Featured In Issue 202, December 2015

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Boaz Yakin
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DTS HD High Resolution 5.1
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Max is a story of an incredible journey about the unbreakable bond between one kid and his heroic best friend. A precision-trained military dog, Max serves on the frontlines in Afghanistan alongside his handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott. But when things go terribly wrong on maneuvers, Kyle is mortally wounded and Max, traumatized by the loss of his best friend, is unable to remain in service. Sent stateside, the only human he seems willing to connect with is Kyle's teenage brother, Justin (Wiggins), so Max is saved when he is adopted by Kyle's family. But Justin has issues of his own, including living up to his father's expectations, and he isn't interested in taking responsibility for his brother's troubled dog. However, Max may be Justin's only chance to discover what really happened to his brother that day on the front, and with the help of Carmen, a tough-talking young teen who has a way with dogs, Justin begins to appreciate his canine companion. Justin's growing trust in Max helps the four-legged veteran revert back to his heroic self, and as the pair race to unravel the mystery, they find more excitement––and danger––than they bargained for. But they each might also find an unlikely new best friend…in each other. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurettes Working With Max (HD 04:49) and Hero Dogs: A Journey (HD 07:43), and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture exhibits a natural appearance with well-saturated colors. Hues are rich and warm with, at times, a vivid quality. The domestic setting is rural Texas, with nicely rendered earth tones, including browns and greens of the vegetation. The Afghanistan setting is desert-tinged throughout. Fleshtones are naturally hued. Resolution is excellent, displaying crisp and detailed imagery. Closeups are nicely resolved with excellent detail throughout, Max is resolved with fine detail shown on his coat and face. This is a pleasing picture that is generally bright with good contrast, deep blacks, and revealing shadow delineation. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is effectively dynamic, at times enhanced with deep bass in the .1 LFE channel. Atmospherics and sound effects also are effectively rendered, to enhance the sense of realism. The war scenes are dynamic, with various gunfire clashes that extend to the surrounds and are directionalized, as well as the ending scene with explosions and loose-firing munitions. Otherwise, the domestic scenes are complemented with surround envelopment during the more action sequences. The music score is nicely recorded with a soundstage presence that extends to the surrounds. Dialogue is generally well integrated spatially. And the dog fights and sonics are perfectly realistic. Overall, this is a nicely produced soundtrack that is supportive of the storytelling with dynamics and envelopment. (Gary Reber)