U-571 (2000) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Drama / War
Universal || PG13 - 116 minutes - $29.98 || August 26, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-08-27


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Writer(s): Jonathan Mostow (story), Jonathan Mostow and Sam Montgomery and David Ayer (screenplay)
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi


Theatrical Release Date: April 21, 2000


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • U-Control (BD Exclusive)


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (DTS MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

U-571 is a gripping film that tells the tale of a German submarine (U-571) that is damaged during battle and since all the mechanics were killed during battle; it becomes a floating casket for the remaining German men. In enters the Americans who found out that the German submarine may have an Enigma and code books on board so they set up a group of Americans and two Military Intelligence Officers (one of which speaks fluent German) to go to the aide of the Germans u-boat disguised as a German helper submarine.

They eventually capture the Enigma and kill most of the remaining Germans, but the submarine they travelled on gets destroyed by a German Destroyer so they must retreat in whatís left of U-571 and continue to pose as a German u-boat. While inside the claustrophobic submarine Lt. Andrew Tyler (McConaughey) has many tough decisions to make if he wants to get his men and the very valuable Enigma back into American hands.

While I'm typically not a fan of Matthew McConaughey I found him to be amazing in this film. He gives an amazing performance as Lt. Andrew Tyler who has to make certain decisions that he knows will ultimately end is several peoples death. Since his typical roles are in romantic comedies it was a nice change of pace to see him in a different role, one that I didn't recognize him in until forty minutes into the film.

The rest of the cast also does a wonderful job including the great Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel and Jon Bon Jovi. I did find it a bit hard to tell most of these people apart as they all wear the same uniform, sport the same haircut, and since the film is usually in a very dark, damp submarine it can be hard at times to tell who is who and who is saying what. That's certainly not the actors fault but more in-line with how the film was made.

One thing to keep in mind is the film is by no means historically accurate. While the Enigma was in fact stolen, it was not by the Americans as the film wants us to believe but by the British Navy. The best part was they had no idea an Enigma and code books ended up in our hands until sometime in 1974. So while the film may not be 100% accurate (and if it was, it wouldn't be as engaging), itís still very enjoyable and reminiscent of Das Boot.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Director Jonathan Mostow - A very dry commentary with someone who often times goes too long with saying a thing. Not bad for the film buff but I certainly would not want to sit through this again.

U-Control (Profile 1.1/2.0 Players only) - Sigh. The previous HD DVD release had numerous special features which have all been incorporated into this U-Control feature. U-Control runs at the same time as the film and can be accessed whenever Universal has marked the glowing U icon (at the bottom of the screen) and a small mini-box will appear with said special feature. While some may like this feature, I would much rather have all features kept separately (like the HD DVD) so I can watch what I want, when I want in full screen. For those with Profile 1.0 players you won't be able to even access this mode. It may be time now to go out and buy yet another player. Just make sure its 2.0 (not 1.1) so you don't get screwed over when Universal launches BD-Live features in the next few weeks.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

U-571 is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 2.40 (VC1) on a 50GB disc. Just like the previous HD DVD version I am very happy to report this is a stunning transfer. Everything here looks great; from blacks to what little bit of color we see in the film. The quality is so great you can see the sweat on their face dripping down to their scruffy chins.

Universal has included an English 5.1 DTS MA track that sounds nothing short of fantastic. Right from the start we are bombarded with bombs going off and so much noise coming from each and every speaker. While the film does have its dialog moments, more times than not there will be multiple gun fights, explosions, and some great ambiance coming from the rear speakers. Easily one of the best mixes I have heard from a Blu-ray.



.::OVERALL::.

I enjoyed this film just as much as I did when I first saw it on DVD in 2000. The Blu-ray boasts possibly one of the formats best sounding discs, a stunning transfer, and a decent amount of extras (if you can access them). At the low price Universal is bringing this film to Blu-ray for this would make a great purchase.