The Longest Day (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The tide can turn on a single event, even in an epic battle like World War 2. While both sides had engaged in numerous clashes and could claim some victories, the war’s outcome would hinge on one event. June 6, 1944 would see Omaha Beach stormed by sea and by air, by over one hundred and fifty thousand Allied forces. As the Allied troops pushed forward, the Germans would do their best to hold steadfast and turn away the invasion. That a global conflict would turn on sixty miles of beachfront meant the battle would be brutal and losses were immense. In The Longest Day, we’re taken inside the D-Day invasion and shown both sides of the battle, how they prepared and executed their strategies. The battle was just one of numerous conflicts in World War 2, but it would prove to be a decisive one.

While not as visceral and realistic as more recent war pictures, The Longest Day is one of the better World War 2 movies and still works well even now. The film focuses on the June 6, 1944 Allied invasion of France, one of the most famous battles of all time and a turning point in that global conflict. I’ve seen numerous films that recreated that epic Omaha Beach clash, but none delve as deeply as this one. The Longest Day does more than show us the invasion, it takes inside the invasion from a personal point of view and pays attention to the smallest of details. The movie does have some hokey, clutch the flag moments, but for the most part, The Longest Day works quite well. Not to mention the cast, which is beyond impressive and boasts “48 international stars.” The Longest Day is a movie that any war buff would want to watch, as well as anyone interested in the historic D-Day invasion. This Blu-ray release is up to snuff and the definitive home video version.

Video: How does it look?

The Longest Day is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. I was impressed here, as some scenes look stunning and show off some brilliant depth. This is an instance where the added resolution can backfire however, as the image is so clear, you can see when screens and other special effects tools are implemented. Even so, the added depth and subtle detail more than compensate and I think fans will be thrilled. At the same time, not all the scenes look as good as the best ones, but on average, this is a terrific looking presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

This lossless DTS HD 5.1 option sounds good and has a natural presence, so this is a skilled remix. The invasion sounds up close and personal, so you might even dodge a bullet or two. The surround use isn’t intense, but it is effective and adds some nice depth to the action oriented scenes. The music benefits also, so it has a good texture and never disappoints. The more laid back scenes don’t sound as good, but the elements still come across well. This disc also includes a 4.0 surround option, French and Spanish language tracks, and subtitles in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The first disc holds two audio commentaries, one a production track from co-director Ken Annakin, the second a historical track with historian Mary Corey. I wasn’t blown back by either session, but it was impressive to hear how accurate the film was in comparison to the real life events. Corey’s track is informative, but a touch on the dull side, while Annakin never gets much of a roll going and you can safely skip his session. The rest of the extras fall on the second disc, headed up by AMC Backstory: The Longest Day and several other featurettes. Backstory is always a solid watch and this one is no exception, with a great look behind the scenes. Three other featurettes are also included, including comparison shots between the movie and real events, and more general behind the scenes type content. This disc also includes some still photos, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.

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