War, A (Krigen)

WSR Score4
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Magnolia Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Tobias Lindholm
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In A War, company commander Claus M. Pedersen (Asbaek) and his men are stationed in an Afghan province. Meanwhile back in Denmark, Claus' wife Maria (Novotny) is trying to hold everyday life together with a husband at war and three children missing their father. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him and his family back home, which leads him to face charges of killing local Afghanistan civilians. Using Danish soldiers and Taliban warriors, relatives, and refugees, the movie presents one of the most realistic looks at the unintended effects of combat on and off the battlefield. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette (HD 05:24), an interview with Writer/Director Tobias Lindholm (HD 16:30), an interview with Colonel Arnold Strong (HD 01:31), Los Angeles film screening reactions (HD 0:58), the theatrical trailer, and upfront previews.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture is photographed in a handheld-camera documentary style under natural light conditions. The color palette is muted with an image style that appears as roughly 16mm combat footage. And while photographed digitally, the visual textures convey a sense of fine film grain. The scenes switch back and forth from the Afghanistan desert locations to home in Denmark. The desert scenes are rendered in earthy brownish tones and beige uniforms, while the Denmark hues are naturally rendered. The Danish courtroom scene is hued in cold tones to portray the sterile and uncertainty of the ruling. Fleshtones are generally natural in hue. Overall, the imagery elicits a very realistic scenario of the turmoils and stress of war. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel Danish language (with English subtitles) soundtrack is largely dialogue focused, even during a crossfire ambush. The ambush is intense, with aggressive directional surround energy as automatic weapons fire and loud explosions ignite, resulting in flying debris throughout the soundfield. During this sequence, deep .1 LFE bass is intense, yet remarkably realistic sounding. In another sequence, an SAS airplane arrival in Denmark also sounds very realistic, followed by the enveloping ambiance of the airport. During the crossfire panic, voices of the soldiers are scattered throughout. This is a very effective holosonic® segment in an otherwise frontal-focused soundtrack. Atmospherics are realistically rendered throughout, which enhances the realism of the experience. There is virtually no music, except for the briefest moments, and then it is purely electronic. Dialogue is clean and well integrated spatially. Overall, this is a very realistic sonic experience with excellent fidelity and presence. (Gary Reber)