'The Green Berets' marches on to Blu-ray with a generally very good 1080p VC-1 transfer framed handsomely in the 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio. Skin tones are of the Hollywood tan persuasion and the green foliage is verdant enough to be believable. The fireballs created by explosions have real punch, particularly when they occur in night scenes. Contrast is also very healthy and we're treated to some good deep blacks. It looks as if a fair bit of DNR has been applied to the image to iron out some grain but that's not to say it's a bad thing as the end result looks pretty good.
Sharpness is fine on most scenes but there's a problem with some night shots in that an actor's eyes left of frame are sharp but everything else is out of focus. It's not a depth of field issue, but I've seen something similar when transferring a movie on a Rank Cintel telecine where the actual film material has warped with age. It's odd that it only seems to affect a few night shots here though and no daytime footage.
That apart, we have a very good transfer that looks good on a big screen.
The audio on 'The Green Berets' has been left alone with no major digital tinkering in the Dolby TrueHD mono presentation. So, everything comes through the front centre channel while the surrounds and sub remain silent.
Dialogue is generally clear, although at times you have to focus your ears on what Big John is saying above the ambient or 'atmos' sound as it's all fed through one speaker. At best, it's serviceable - reminiscent of a good optical soundtrack of the period - and that blooming theme song!
- The Filmmakers- The Making of the Green Berets (SD, 7 mins)
This is a promo piece from the time of the movie's release that seems to have been transferred from a half decent 16mm print. We get some behind the scenes footage of the production at Fort Benning, but it would have been nice to see more interviews with the cast and crew.
- Theatrical trailer (SD, 3 mins)
Trailers from the 1960's had a certain style about them. Corny maybe but this one is fun as the Voice Over artist shouts out each actor's name like a military roll call and the dubbing theatre echo adds to the optical sound quality.
Amid rocket launchers, machine gun fire and explosions, John Wayne's 'The Green Berets' hacks its way on to Region free Blu-ray with a generally very good 1080p VC-1 transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Well rendered skin tones, jungle greens and deep blacks greet our eyes in an overall sharp image although there are some focus issues in some night shots.
The sound is of a Dolby TrueHD mono flavour, which may not please the surround pundits, but it's faithful to how it sounded on its 1968 release.
We get a short featurette and theatrical trailer as extras, but nothing more.
As a movie, it's really a piece of clunky propaganda that is of its time. The story concerning a team of commandos as they battle the Vietcong uses up every war movie cliché in the scriptwriter's handbook. One for the case hardened John Wayne fans.
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