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Memorial Day Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1:85:1
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 108 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 29th, 2012
  • List Price: $29.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Memorial Day tells the story of Memorial Day, 1993. 13-year-old Kyle (Jackson Bond) tells his grandfather, Bud (James Cromwell), to share his heroic stories of his days as a soldier in WWII. Tying itself to modern day events, grown-up Kyle (Jonathan Bennett) finds the same sorts of violence and scars on the battlefield his grandfather did. The film may dedicate itself to America’s warriors and their families, however, with a rather weak middle act, Memorial Day fails to have the overall lasting impact it may have wanted to achieve.

While the initial opening time period of 1993 where Kyle asks his grandfather about his war days, and the 1940s a.k.a WWII time periods, both work quite well. The storytelling by Cromwell is affectionate, meaningful, and truly has a lasting impact on the audience. Once we move to the more modern time of 2005, and the Iraq War, the film tends to falter. Not necessarily because of the acting by Jonathan Bennett as the adult Kyle. More, the issue is  over how the story is told. Kyle, akin to his grandfather, collects little souvenirs, making them his own. The war has more of a mental impact on Kyle than Bud, causing him to constantly get migraine headaches. Bud never suffered from such headaches (or we’re never told he did), so we never really understand exactly why Kyle is suffering.

This is a bigger fault than I had expected it would be. When the storytelling initially began, I figured this wouldn’t be that big of a problem, as other films of this nature were a bit weak in the story area (Act of Valor) and still ultimately succeeded in being solid entertainment. Memorial Day, on the other hand, is ultimately an unsatisfying picture. Instead of being a lasting drama we might think about later on and want to return to for later viewings, we’re left with a rather bland taste in our mouths.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Shot using the Red One Camera, the film’s 1:85:1, VC-1 encoded transfer, is quite strong. Detail is excellent throughout, particularly the numerous outdoor sequences. Facial and flesh tone detail is also some of the best I’ve seen on the recent batch of Blu-ray’s I’ve covered. The overall image rings with clarity, accurate depth of field, no real anomalies, and just a really natural looking and feeling transfer. There’s a reason why more and more filmmakers are using the Red One Camera system. Memorial Day is just that reason.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Arriving with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, this mix suits the film just fine. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout. There are a few sequences where the dialogue, mainly due to the over-the-top (at times) score kind of getting in the way, can be a bit hard to understand. Besides that, this DTS-HD audio experience is every bit as good as a war themed film should be. Atmosphere is top notch. Bullets zip by, cars screech, bombs go off. All this and more is accurately heard in another effective mix from Image Entertainment.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

The included supplements are featured in High Definition:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Sam Fischer, Writer Marc Conklin, and Actor John Cromwell
  • Behind the Scenes – Running a very scant 1:54, this behind-the-scenes clips are shown quite fast and don’t really offer much insight into the film.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

While the first 40 minutes or so of Day were solid, once the more modern story telling begins, the film falters. Technically speaking, this disc never falters as Image Entertainment has given this a top notch V/A presentation. I’d say best keep this one as a rental.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Memorial Day on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Download Memorial Day on iTunes

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B007D7GM32[/amazon-product]

Purchase Memorial Day on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Download Memorial Day on iTunes

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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