The Red Baron Blu-ray Review

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  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: A (B? C?)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Monterey Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • List Price: $34.95

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BestBuy.com:
The Red Baron - Subtitle Dolby

Purchase The Red Baron on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Red Baron (2008)

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Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Mention the Red Baron and chances are that most of have some idea who he was, regardless of the fact that he lived and died long before our time and even if some of us only know of him secondhand through Snoopy’s dogfights atop his doghouse. The fact his, the Red Baron, or Baron von Richthofen, was Germany’s top ace during World War I, striking fear into the hearts of his opponents when they spotted his vermillion colored flying machine lining up for them on the horizon.

This film starring Matthias Schweighōffer as the Baron is a biopic of sorts that attempts to tell the story of Richthofen’s life during the war, beyond just his dogfights. The end result, however, is a film made up of pure fiction with soap opera-like dialogue. The wonderfully cast Lena Headey is brought in to play a beautiful French nurse and love interest for the Baron and Joseph Fiennes plays an American pilot flying for the allies against Germany and a sort of friendly rival for Richthofen.

The best thing to do while watching The Red Baron, is to overlook the backstory and thin dialogue and focus on the awesome special effects. It is one of the best action films made for lovers of airplanes and dogfights, like those series that play on History Channel – only bumped up by a factor of 100. These old flying machines whiz through the air, dive, swoop, and swirl, getting you on the edge of your seat during every battle. It’s thrilling.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The AVC/MPEG-4 encodement of The Red Baron‘s 2.35:1 framing looks as good as one would expect a film of such recent vintage to look. It’s clean and shows good detail. There is a purposely diffuse and blown-out look with some over-saturated colors to the film that sometimes squander detail, but t is a solid effort that even exposes some of the weaker looking CG effects.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

The mid-level bitrate lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack shows its inability to handle this sound effects laden film during the many action sequences. I’ve become so used to the lossless soundtracks that offer such amazing detail, space and separation of sounds, that this truly sounds like traveling back to the beginning of last century. Ambience sounds closed off, the array of gunfire, rumbling airplane engines and explosions collapses into a bit of a muddled mess. The dialogue is intelligible, but it does have just a bit of a veiled sound to it and both high and low frequencies tend to distort a bit too much.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The supplements are light on here, with only a brief featurette on the film’s visual effects, a text-based feature on the legends of the Red Baron and a theatrical trailer filling out the disc.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Making of Visual Effects (1080p/24; 0:12.07)
  • Legends of the Red Barron – Read some legends about Baron von Richthofen believed to be true.
  • Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

The spectacular aerial effect of The Red Baron take a nose dive when burdened by the purely fictional “biopic” about Baron von Richthofen. The film may still be well worth renting for anyone who’s into planes.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0039USJBK[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
The Red Baron - Subtitle Dolby

Purchase The Red Baron on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Red Baron (2008)

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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