Featured In Issue 110, July 2006

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Pervasive language, some violent images, and strong sexual content
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Single Side, Dual Layer (HD-30)
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Sam Mendes
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Dolby Digital+ 5.1
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Following in the footsteps of his father and his father's father, Tony Swofford (Gyllenhaal) enlists in the United States Marine Corp—thus becoming a Jarhead—just in time to be deployed as a sniper to the deserts of Iraq. Along with sniper partner Troy (Sarsgaard) and the rest of the troop, and under the watchful eye of Staff Sargeant Sykes (Foxx), they spend their time nestled between sheer boredom and the terrors of war. Based on the book by Anthony Swofford. (Jack Kelley)

As with its DVD counterpart, this HD DVD includes six minutes of Swoff's Fantasies (in four chapters: D.I. In A Dress, Fantasy Interview, Exploding Major, and Swoff's Kill) with optional audio commentary with director Sam Mendes and editor Walter Murch, 16 minutes of News Interviews In Full with optional commentary by Mendes and Murch, 11 deleted scenes with optional Mendes and Murch commentary, and the option to watch with film with commentary by Mendes, or with screenwriter William Broyles, Jr. and author Anthony Swofford. Additionally, Mendes introduces the 31-minute Jarhead Diaries and Background, and there is the 36-minute Semper Fi: Life After The Corps with an audio introduction by Swofford.

The high-definition 2.35:1 HD DVD picture exhibits a bright, nicely contrasted picture. Considering a slight desaturation to give the picture a dry appearance that is complementary to the Middle Eastern desert, colors are generally natural and well balanced. The picture can be bright, with blown-out whites, but, again, stylizations are perfectly replicated into this high-definition image. Textures, definition, and clarity are very nicely rendered, and shadow delineation is superb. The picture is quite clean and solid, with no signs of bothersome VC-1 compression problems. Nor is there any obtrusive edge enhancement. (Suzanne Hodges)

While the Dolby® Digital•Plus 5.1-channel encoding has slightly improved fidelity over the DVD release, the same clipping distortion can become a distraction at times. The entire character is "sizzly.".Very little deep bass is present in this soundtrack. The dynamic range is not great, and is actually narrow. Dialogue is slightly improved, which makes it better than the DVD release, but the soundtrack is disappointing. (Danny Richelieu)