Company of Heroes Blu-ray Review
If you ever wondered what a Michael Bay directed and Jerry Bruckheimer produced World War II film may look like, this film is about as close as it gets. COMPANY OF HEROES is a high-octane, action-packed war film, focusing more on explosions and kills rather than the intricate story details or character building exercises. While that may irritate some movie watchers, COMPANY OF HEROES has a clear focus toward its target audiece and capably caters to them with mindless action fun.
A band of American soldiers during WWII get stuck behind enemy lines. When they find out Hitler is creating a super bomb, they set out to find and rescue the scientist who is being forced into developing the massive weapon. The team lose and gain unlikely members along the way. Obviously, this is not quite SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, however it does star a familiar actor in Tom Sizemore. Hopefully, the HEAT star has kicked that pesky drug habit as he along with Vinnie Jones (SNATCH), Dimitri Diatchenko (CHERNOBYL DIARIES) and Neal McDonogh (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER) bring in fine performances. The team is led by young courageous Nate (Chad Michael Collins) as they try to avoid the villanous German officer played by Jürgen Prochnow (DAS BOOT) trying to hunt them down.
Firstly, I need to give credit to director Don Michael Paul who is not Michael Bay nor Jerry Bruckheimer for whom I alluded to having a part in the making of this straight to Blu-ray World War II film. Don Michael Paul doesn’t have near the budget of a big wig studio film but his picture looks nearly as great. He has a great eye for visuals changing the colors and tone through the snowy forrest and dark train carts creating an intense atmosphere.
Unfortunately, COMPANY OF HEROES doesn’t have much of a script and therefore lacks a much-needed substance to carry through the film. On top of that, transitions are abrupt, soldiers infiltrate with ease, and the dramatic dialogue is forced, so the film clearly has problems. While these flaws will be too much for many filmgoers, the target audience for COMPANY OF HEROES will embrace the bullets and blood with the bonus aspect of a great looking picture.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not quite the eye candy of say 2000‘s PEARL HARBOR, but COMPANY OF HEROES manages to maintain that same level of filmmaking, which lacks depth but is high on visual entertainment, with none of the star power and a penny of the budget. So where I may give a film like PEARL HARBOR grief for pretending and paying to be more than it really is, I can’t help but give props to a smaller film like COMPANY OF HEROES, which overcomes low expectations and knowing what it really is – a fun film for mindless action in a World War II setting.
Video: (1080p, 1.78:1) The picture quality is clear and sharp with a terrifically dynamic look through a variety of settings.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) A great sound throughout utilizing all the warfare elements.
Deleted Scene (2:57): “Kestrel and squad meet in safe house”
In The Trenches: Filming Company of Heroes (10:28): Some of the cast and crew discuss working on the film and the difference between the movie and video game. Director Don Michael Paul talks about creating his vision and the enjoyment and connection working on a war film.
Fabricating World War II (5:41): The filmmakers show how they created the authentic look of the costuming, vehicles and weapons.