Enemy at the Gates (Blu-ray)
This often-overlooked production is one of my favorite war films of the last decade. While not as epic as Saving Private Ryan nor as poetic as The Thin Red Line, it succeeds on many levelsand I'm a sucker for sniper films. Depicting true events during WWII, I'll admit there are some aspects that are a bit of a stretch, but I thoroughly enjoy it nonetheless.
The HD presentation is a bit of a letdown. I owned the HD DVD import and wasn't that impressed, leading me to believe it needed a new master. It still does. There are obvious video artifacts in random scenes, including video noise, chroma artifacts, and some light ringing. Additionally, the image can be very soft, which is very distracting. While the overall dimension and fine detail is a smidge better than the DVD counterpart, the difference isn't nearly as obvious as with most Blu-ray titles.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is good, but like the video there seems to be something missing. Dynamic range isn't nearly as impressive as I had hoped, and the soundstage doesn't have any separation during the more intense scenes. Low bass is okay but not as gratifying as newer films in this genre. Dialog sounds good with natural tone and decent imaging across the front soundstage.
Extras are pretty much the same as the DVD and include a look at the production along with some deleted scenes and the trailer.
I was hoping for more, but this presentation is one of the more disappointing titles from Paramount of late. Still, it's a great film that's just as intense today as it was the first time. Worth a rental.
Release Date:May 26, 2009
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player
Planar PD-8150 1080p DLP projector
120" Stewart StudioTek 130 screen w/Carada Masquerade masking system
Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Outlaw Model 7900 power amp
Exact Power EP-15A voltage regulator
Exact Power SP15x4 balanced power transformer
Paradigm Reference Signature S8 (front L/R)
Paradigm Reference Signature C5 center
Paradigm Reference Signature ADP surrounds
Paradigm Reference Signature S6 rears
Dual SVS PB12/2 Plus subs
Dual SVS 25/31 subs
Cables by Accell, Nordost, Blue Jeans, and Better Cables