Love and Honor Blu-ray Review
No other war in human history has had more stories, scenarios, repercussions or affected characters in film history than those involved with Vietnam. Mostly because it’s the one war that the United States was involved in and could not claim true victory. Some would even say it was a complete loss. But from such a complex time, equally triumphant and sorrowful tales have been created from both real-life and imaginary sources.
With LOVE AND HONOR, Mickey (Liam Hemsworth, THE HUNGER GAMES) and Dalton (Austin Stowell, DOLPHIN TALE) are two friends serving in Vietnam who instead of using their R&R in Hong Kong like they were supposed to, fly back to the United States so Dalton can try and win back his girlfriend Jane (Aimee Teegarden, SCREAM 4) after she broke up with him through a letter. However, when Dalton and Mickey find Jane, she is now a member of an anti-war activist group. Dalton and Mickey decide to pretend that they’ve gone AWOL to gain both Jane’s and the group’s trust and admiration.
Based on a true story, LOVE AND HONOR starts out with good intentions by setting the groundwork between Dalton and Mickey. Both Hemsworth and Stowell portray friends serving together under incredible stressful situations with a definite sense of believability, even to those who have never served before themselves. Unfortunately though, that’s where the accolades for this film come to a severe halt. The rest of the film is about as interesting as a made-for-tv “movie of the week.” There are literally soap operas that have more drama and better story telling than what goes on in this script. In his first full-length feature, director Danny Mooney at least tries to make the film look like a soap opera. Every scene is bright and shiny, every face right off the couch from Central Casting. There’s really never a moment when the film’s story holds any significant weight with the viewer or shows an aspect of this period in time that has not already been produced with a much higher caliber.
Again though, the strongest part of the film is its actors. Even though the setup and the framework of the scenes look artificial, their performances are not. Hemsworth and Stowell seem to give these characters every bit of dimension as humanly possible, even when the plot point and dialogue leave little room for appreciation. Teresa Palmer (WARM BODIES) who plays Candace, Mickey’s chance romance, also seems to give the material her full effort, setting the performance apart from even some of her more recognized roles.
LOVE AND HONOR is never going make any credible movie collection’s top, middle or even bottom rung of war films. It may though hold some small value as a slightly educational piece on American history that can make a direct connection with the demographic of young viewers that fuels the ratings for the CW network, but besides that it’s only value is as an extra Blu-ray jacket incase the friend who you let borrow FULL METAL JACKET and PLATOON loses either of theirs.
LOVE AND HONOR BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 2.35:1 Widescreen, 1080p/AVC MPEG-4: The video is your standard crystal clear 1080p HD quality, and it’s terribly distracting. This kind of bright and sharp picture just feels wrong for a supposed “Vietnam Film,” even if most of it takes place in the US. Even FORREST GUMP was able to make what was mostly a bright and shiny film, seem somewhat gritty for the scenes dealing with that time in American History. LOVE AND HONOR just comes off as very artificial and never lets the viewer forget its actors’ parents were probably not even old enough to serve in Vietnam.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1: The audio for LOVE AND HONOR was not much of a factor in the critiquing of the film, and even though the soundtrack was incredibly cliché, it did not interfere with the clarity of the dialogue.
Making of Love and Honor: Your standard run-of-the-mill behind-the-scenes featurette that does little more than prolong you from hitting the “eject” button on your remote control.
Trailer: Theatrical Trailer