A Bridge Too Far (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

In an effort to conclude World War 2 as quickly as possible, a British plan was concocted that if successful, would end the war by Christmas of 1944. The plan was called Operation Market Garden, in which over 35,000 paratroopers would land behind enemy lines and begin a march toward Ruhr. These forces would push through Arnhem and then begin reclaiming bridges, in the process taking back control of the regions. The plan was bold and quite a gamble, but British forces went ahead with the concept and Operation Market Garden was launched. As it turned out, the plan crumbled thanks to poor intelligence and other miscalculations. The plan would unravel in just over a week and leave over 18,000 losses in its wake. In A Bridge Too Far, we watch as Operation Market Garden unfolds and what caused it to fail.

With a cast that includes Sean Connery, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, and numerous others, you’d think A Bridge Too Far would be a true epic. The trouble is that at almost three hours, the movie fails to capture the immediacy of war and instead, picks and chooses its battles. A few scenes stand out as memorable, but they’re sparse and too infrequent. I don’t mind a three hour duration, but A Bridge Too Far fails to make good use of the time and can be quite dull in several stretches. Even so, it is a pleasure to watch such an incredible cast in action, as this movie does boast one of the more impressive roll calls. A Bridge Too Far fails to inject proper tension into the war atmosphere, but for the cast alone I’d recommend a rental.

Video: How does it look?

A Bridge Too Far is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This transfer looks solid, but never dazzles. mostly due to source limitations. The soft focus photography limits the visual depth, so don’t expect stunning detail or the wonderful three dimensional presence. I will say that detail is better than on the DVD, which is good news. The print is in fine shape, with no serious woes, just some minor debris here and there. I did see some noise, perhaps due to the MPEG2 encode, but for the most part, this movie looks good here.

Audio: How does it sound?

This lossless DTS HD 5.1 option sounds passable, but has some issues that detract from the experience. The main problem is the volume, which varies and is never consistent. When the scenes are reserved, the audio reflects that and the volume is low, but then it becomes so loud during more tense scenes, that is is harsh. So you’ll need the remote by your side, to keep the volume within a proper scale. The surround use is basic, but never fills in around use like I would like. But taking the source into consideration, its hard to be too critical. This disc also includes a 4.0 surround option, French and Spanish language tracks, and subtitles in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Korean.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer

Disc Scores