"12 Strong" is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when an elite U.S. Special Forces unit, led by their Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. soldiers sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission in response to the attacks. Leaving their families behind, the team is dropped into the remote, rugged landscape of northern Afghanistan, where they must convince General Rashid Dostum (Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans––accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare––must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghan horse soldiers. Despite forming an uneasy bond and growing respect, the new allies face overwhelming odds: vastly outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners. Based on the book "Horse Soldiers" by Doug Stanton. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes "12 Strong: The Making Of An Impossible Mission" (HD 22:05) and "Monumental Effort: Building America's Response Monument" (HD 10:13), an upfront preview, and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally in Panavision® using the Arri Alexa Mini and XT camera systems and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. "Realism" is the one word to describe the essence of the picture. The photography is exceptional, exhibiting both a gritty battle and terrain image and at times a normal image, such as in the early scenes prior to the special mission on the ground in Afghanistan (location the State of New Mexico) and in the command center. A greenish tint pervades various scenes. Resolution is superb. The war scenes are spectacular, both the ground battles with incredible firepower and the air drop of bombs exploding with fiery orange and black and gray smoke. The imagery is natural throughout including smut-covered facial features and war-worn uniforms and Afghan garments. Guns, artillery hardware, aircraft, bombs, tanks, and vehicles are all incredibly realistic. The rocky and sandy Afghan mountainous environment exhibits a spectacular range of earthy grays. Facial features, hair, beards, uniforms and clothing and the vast range of objects are all finely detailed. Contrast is excellent with deep blacks exhibited in explosions and Afghan garments and hats, as well as excellent shadow delineation. WOW! imagery is exhibited throughout. Rasmus Videbaek's cinematography is spectacular! This is the most impressive capture and presentation of the terror of war on the ground ever and reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is a tour de force. Dynamics are exceptional with powerful bombs, explosions, rocket fire, and gunfire incredibly realistic. Deep bass extends to sub-20 Hz throughout and is naturally energized in the .1 LFE channel. Surround envelopment is exceptional with exciting flyovers, rocket fire, gunfire, and vehicle movement all directionalized and panned in the soundfield. While the action is intense and bombastic, dialogue remains intelligible, though, the ADR mix is a bit forward and at times wanting in spatial integration. The orchestral score filsl the soundfield, particularly occupying a very wide and deep soundstage with excellent presence. Fidelity throughout is impressive, delivering exceptional realism. When the soundtrack is played through Auro-Matic, an upmixer of the Auro-3D Immersive Sound format, the soundfield is spectacularly dimensional with the added spherical effect of the height layer. This is a soundtrack to showcase a home theatre system and one that will challenge the very best systems. The excitement is adrenalin-inducing and testimony to why sound is upward of 80 percent of the experience. This is truly a reference-quality soundtrack.