In a year that was incredibly stacked with great films, 1917 took home three Oscar wins, including Best Cinematography, Best Achievement in Visual Effects, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. It could have easily won Best Picture as well, it’s just that damn good. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Blu-ray release.
Directed by Sam Mendes, this World War I film tells the story of two young soldiers who are sent across no mans land in an overnight mission to deliver a critically important message to an entire regiment of soldiers who are set to march into a trap.
Now, most war movies you see on screen are from World War II, so right off the bat, this movie sets itself in a completely different time and place than you’re most likely thinking when war films come to mind. The lack of technology made for a particularly gruesome battlefield, littered with corpses, covered in mud, and seeping dread basically everywhere you can lay your eyes. Only in the recent years have we seen what these battlefields were like, with HD and color restorations as well as They Shall Not Grow Old. Needless to say, it is deeply saddening that soldiers were sent to die in these situations. War just sucks.
1917 not only does an amazing job at showing off the war battlefields, it also gives an accurate glimpse at what life was like in the trenches. Lacking basic necessities, and without the proper weapons or medical supplies, almost every character we meet is living through their own version of hell, and it shows.
Shot in a way that simulates extremely long one shot takes, Roger Deakins more than earns his second Oscar. The amount of time and detail put into this movie is on par with some of the greatest war films of all time. The long take shots build up suspense and carry emotional weight in a way that is wholly unique and requires a watch.
This Blu-ray has an astounding level of detail, which only makes me that much more interested in picking up this movie on 4K. War is gritty, it’s dirty, and it’s brutal. All of these details are shown in crisp, clear, and exciting fashion on Blu-ray. Even more than when I saw this one in theaters, I was noticing very real feeling scenes. It’s releases like this that make me astonished that people still buy DVDs these days. There is just so much more to see.
In terms of audio, this release features the Dolby Atmos audio track, which is very exciting. There is almost non-stop tension in this movie, which is brought to life with great effect with the use of all channels. This is reference quality material, and, again, it makes me that much more interested in the 4K release, to see if it can get even better.
This Blu-ray release comes in a standard blue case with a slipcover, and Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy of the film. Also included are:
- The Weight of the World: Sam Mendes
- Allied Forces: The Making of 1917
- The Score of 1917
- In the Trenches
- Recreating History
- Audio Commentary with Sam Mendes
- Audio Commentary with Roger Deakins
Each of these featurettes are between 5 and 15 minutes long and are quite interesting and worth the watch. Also, I recommend the audio commentaries highly. Sam Mendes goes into a lot of detail of actual war history, while Roger Deakins is just a technical powerhouse who explains how he achieved what he did with this movie.,
Our Recommendation for 1917:
While Parasite won Best Picture, I could very easily have seen 1917 taking home this particular award. It is definitely one of the best war films of all time, and with the smaller amount of WWI films out there, it stands apart for showing an entirely different set of circumstances in an extremely exciting and tense fashion. I recommend grabbing this on 4K if you have the player for it, because it is sure to shine, but if you aren’t UHD compatible, this Blu-ray is a really exciting package in itself.