"13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi" tells the incredible true story of six elite ex-military operators who fought to protect the CIA against overwhelming odds when terrorists attacked a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya on September 11, 2012. Based on the nonfiction novel "13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi" by Mitchell Zuckoff with members of the Annex Security Team. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes: For The Record: Finding The Truth Amid The Noise (HD 08:02), Uncovering Benghazi’s Secret Soldiers (HD 27:34), and Preparing For Battle: Behind The Scenes Of 13 Hours (HD 26:24); Operation: 13 Hours Premiere (HD 03:00); In Memoriam (HD 02:58); and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.40:1 2160p AVC picture was photographed digitally using the Red Epic Dragon camera system, which often appears cinematic. The imagery exhibits a color palette that is saturated with rich and warm hues that result is a stylized visual experience. Fleshtones are orangish in hue but convey the impression of a humid desert environment in which human sweat is not uncommon. The locations are strongly hued, even the rare instances of green lawns, which pop. This oversaturation enhances the stylization and intensity of the environment’s textures. The lighting design also is stylized to enhance the dramatic aspects. Resolution is superb, with fine detail evident throughout, especially in closeups of facial features, hair, clothing, military paraphernalia, structures, and object textures—even dust—resulting from the intense raging fire at the compound and debris from explosions. Contrast is excellent throughout, with solid black levels and revealing shadow detail, even during nighttime exterior backdrops. The picture is pristine and exhibits excellent clarity and definition, which enhances the intense visual impact as the story unfolds. This is a reference-quality picture that is engaging throughout. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is extremely intense and dynamic sounding. The sonics are realistically frightening as the action intensifies and gunfire and rocket fire dominate the soundtrack. Gunfire rips through the soundfield with aggressive directionality and is so well defined that different sound signatures can be identified, such as .233 caliber M4s to machine guns with larger caliber shells. The fire power is enhanced with heft from extended .1 LFE energy. Explosions also are intensified with .1 LFE sub-25 Hz energy. The resulting debris ricochets all around, creating a sense of intense mayhem. Rocket-propelled grenades also zoom through the soundfield. Lorne Balfe's synthesizer music score is rich with low-frequency extension and concussive rhythmic signatures that weave in and out of the largely synthesized sonics. The additional surround channels really enhance the ear-level spatial sonic character. Dialogue is consistently intelligible, with good spatial integration.
The Immersive Sound element is predominantly comprised of location ambiences as well as infrequent synthesizer music, an early-on voice in an airplane, airplane fly-overs and airport ambience, road sounds surrounding a driving jeep, a car horn, surrounding compound ambience, interior compound office ambience, strong wind, birds chirping, car traffic and chatter in the square and market, a van crash, ambient sounds throughout in various location settings, sounds of whizzing gunfire, explosions, ambience in and around ambassador Stevens' compound, chatter in the command center, helicopter turning blades, some voices during battle, explosion debris, intense rocket fire, roaring fire sounds, an airplane engine closeup, a powerful fall into a pool, powerful shots in an SUV's window, bazooka fire, night ambience with bug sounds, helicopter flyovers, people panicking in the compound, lots of intense directionalized bullet whizzes, bomb launches and bomb debris and other minor sound effects. The extended set location ambiences are very effective in enhancing the dimensionality of the soundtrack.
This is a very intense and realistic holosonic® spherical surround soundtrack experience that is reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)