Blu-ray of the Day: Band of Brothers

Cast: Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Donnie Wahlberg, Scott Grimes, David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg.
Directors: Tom Hanks, Phil Alden Robinson, Richard Loncraine, Mikael Salomon, David Nutter, David Leland, Tony To, David Frankel.
Score: Michael Kamen.
Cinematography: Joel Ransom, Remi Adefarasin.

Why endure TV One’s standard definition re-run of Band of Brothers, punctuated by ads and promos, when you can watch it uninterrupted on Blu-ray? The award-winning miniseries about an elite paratroop regiment going to hell and back in wartime Europe has been given an HD tour of duty in a collector’s tin box with exclusive Blu-ray extras that lend nuance to the exciting, spellbinding narrative. Admittedly, it starts with a whimper rather than a bang — the first of 10 episodes suffers from too many boot camp basics — but the rest easily earn their stripes. The second opens with Easy Company parachuting behind enemy lines on D-Day, in a fearsome sequence reminiscent of the beach landing in Saving Private Ryan, and from thereon the series barely lets up. The powerful combat footage is more horrific than heroic, the storytelling doesn’t surrender to cliches and the acting is sublime. Extras range from an 80-minute, war-stories-our-fathers-never-told-us doco, in which the veterans of Easy Company discuss their experiences in honest, heartfelt detail, to the same survivors contributing to a picture-in-picture commentary on each of the 10 episodes. Another bonus is an “interactive field guide” that backgrounds what’s happening on screen with historical and military context. Best of all, however, is the startling clarity of an HD presentation that earns the rank of reference standard.

Series: :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D
Image: :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D
Extras: :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

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