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Company of Heroes

Score: 83%
Rating: R
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home
                  Entertainment

Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 100 Mins.
Genre: War/Drama/Historical
Audio: English, French (PAR),
           Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA,
           Spanish, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Arabic,
           Chinese (Mandarin Traditional),
           Chinese (Mandarin Simplified),
           Dutch, French, Korean,
           Portuguese, Spanish, Thai


Features:

  • Deleted Scene
  • In the Trenches: Filming Company of Heroes
  • Fabricating World War II

Admittedly, I am a different sort of a gal. Give me crime series and war movies over rom-coms any day of the week. I was both intrigued and skeptical of Company of Heroes because of its basis on a videogame series. Traditionally, this is not a good thing, but hey, I am always willing to give someone the chance to prove that wrong. I actually enjoyed Company of Heroes a good deal and while the special effects were a little cheesy at times, it's a good war movie.

First off, I haven't played the Company of Heroes game series because while I love WWII games, I don't play them on the PC. So I can't speak as to whether the storylines are faithful or not. What I can tell you is that often while watching the film, we noticed that it felt like you were playing a game rather than watching a movie. The viewpoints would sometimes go first person and the explosions and blood felt very "videogame." Take this for what it's worth. If this hadn't been a movie based on a game, I would have thought lesser of the film for these choices, but instead I'll chalk it up to trying to remain faithful to the videogame heritage and leave it at that.

The story goes that the great war is all but over and a platoon is sent on a mission to deliver Christmas hams and supplies to some fellow soldiers. Naturally, things go sideways and the troops are caught behind enemy lines. It's pretty clear that the war is definitely not over and the group actually steps into something far worse than they could have imagined. The Germans are quite close to developing a devastating weapon that they intend to use on American soil. A dying member of the OSS tasks them with taking the information to his contact and stopping the Germans. What could be simpler, right?

The ragtag group consists of Sgt. Matheson (Sam Spruell), the leader of the group, Nate Burrows (Chad Michael Collins), the teamís highly effective sniper, Dean Ransom (Tom Sizemore), once a great leader but now the team's cook due to a devastating mistake, and a handful of other fodder, uh, I mean members. As they embark on the mission, they take on additional party members such as a vocal British prisoner of war, Brent Willoughby (Vinnie Jones), and a former Russian prisoner named Ivan Pozarsky (Dimitri Diatchenko). Can they stop the Germans and complete the mission, which turns out to be the extraction of the German scientist, Dr. Gruenewald (Jurgen Prochnow) and his lovely assistant (Melia Kreiling), or will they simply die trying?

Company of Heroes is pretty sparse on the special features, including only one deleted scene (and that scene is really an extended scene, since most of it already appears in the film), a behind the scenes making-of featurette and a featurette on the challenges of recreating WWII. They are interesting, but nothing groundbreaking. As far as the decision of whether to view Company of Heroes on DVD or Blu-ray, there are some beautiful outdoor scenes, but a number of the scenes and special effects looked very movie-like, so I don't think the high-def was doing them any favors. It was nothing offensive, mind you; but watching, I thought, "that's a set." Of course, shame on me for assuming since I learned that I was wrong while watching the special features, so there you go.

Company of Heroes is a good war movie. It won't win any Oscars, but if you like war flicks, add it to your Netflix queue.



-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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