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Hart's War - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray]
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When Colonel William McNamara (Bruce Willis) is stripped of his freedom in a German POW camp, he’s determined to keep on fighting — even from behind enemy lines. Enlisting the help of a young lieutenant (Colin Farrell), McNamara risks everything on a mission to free his men... and change the outcome of the war.
Hart's War is a serious, well-intentioned Second World War drama. It's finally unconvincing, but it will go down in the history books as marking future superstar Colin Farrell's first leading role in a major studio picture. It's late 1944 and Lieutenant Hart (Farrell) ends up in a POW camp where the senior American officer, Colonel McNamara (Bruce Willis), takes an instant dislike to him. When a black American officer, Lt Scott (Terrence Howard), is accused of murder, the commandant allows McNamara to conduct a politically motivated trial. Hart is made the defence attorney, but may be no more than a pawn to further McNamara's own agenda.
In a film that chooses the ironic setting of a Nazi prison camp to examine racism in the American military, none of the characters are black or white, and in the tradition of The Shawshank Redemption there is more going on beneath the surface than meets the eye. Unfortunately, while Hart's War is extremely well made, various small plot holes and contrivances mean that ultimately it fails to ring true--a problem exacerbated by an over-earnest tendency to preach in key scenes. Nevertheless, Willis gives one of his best, most understated performances and Farrell, who went straight from this to Minority Report, delivers a truly star-making turn.
On the DVD: Hart's War comes to DVD with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that's fine for a dialogue-driven film, while the anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 transfer is virtually flawless. Ten deleted scenes are presented with the same excellent picture quality and optional commentary by director Gregory Hoblit. There is a four-part photo gallery, the deceptive theatrical trailer and two commentaries. Producer David Foster offers some interesting information, but also a lot of generalities and silence. Bruce Willis contributes virtually nothing, but Hoblit and writer Billy Ray engage in a frank discussion of many of the flaws in the film and the problems they never solved. The wartime history they recount and the cuts they made suggest that a better film was sacrificed to tell a commercial story in two hours. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It will suprrise a lot of viewers that Bruce Willis is not the title character in "Hart's War." Willis plays Col. William McNamara, commanding officer of the American Troops at German Stalag VI A. Colin Farrell is Lt. Thomas Hart and who he is and how he came to be at this place is one of the first major pieces in the puzzle of what is happening in this film. But then a pair of black Air Corps pilots, Lt. Lincoln Scott (Terrence Howard) and Lt. Lamar Archer (Vicellous Shannon) enter the camp to a hostile reception from their fellow Americans. Meanwhile, the camp's Russian prisoners are doing forced labor at a bomb factory that the Allies think only makes shoes.
What we know about World War II films set in P.O.W. camps is that there is supposed to be an escape (e.g., "The Great Escape," "Von Ryan's Express"). What we do not expect is a court martial, but that becomes the event that starts to bring all the sub-plots together in this film (unless, of course, you made the mistake of watching that trailer). However, having created some momentum towards the conclusion it has carefully constructed, the film throws it away at the end, and not to some greater good. If this had happened after I had seen the trailer I would have been motivated to really trash this film because it would have been the proverbial adding insult to injury.
Willis's face was used to sell this film but Col.Read more ›
Captured and sent to a POW camp, Lt Thomas Hart (Colin Farrell) is the son of an American congressman who fully expected to spend "his war" behind a desk at headquarters. Ambushed whilst driving a fellow officer back towards the front he is captured and interrogated and final packed aboard a train crammed with hundreds of other POWs. On arriving at the camp he is welcomed by Col McNamara (Bruce Willis), the highest ranking prisoner and therefore in charge of the POWs. McNamara all but interrogates Hart on how he was captured and subsequently questioned and dissatisfied with the answers, assigns him to a bunk in with the non commissioned officers and other men. Days later two American pilots are also sent to the camp, nothing that unusual except that these two flyers are black and in a seeming act of racism by McNamara, they are also sent to live in Hart's hut. Subjected to general insubordination and hurtful racist abuse, it is still something of a shock when one of the pilots is "set up" on a charge or possession of a potential weapon and summarily executed by the German guards. When the supposed perpetrator of the "set up" is found murdered and the other pilot found crouched over his body, instant assumptions are made and a court martial is organised to try the pilot for murder.
There's plenty more twists and turns in store and all isn't what it seems as many of the characters have secret agendas that their actions do not give away.
As I say, the film does work on a number of different levels.Read more ›
Picture Quality: 9/10. The picture gets a pure 9 from me. I sat down and watched this last night and I have to say that the picture is very good indeed! In particular, colours stand out immensely with this Blu Ray. Also, aerial shots and crowd scenes (either at the camp or in general during the film) look very well. Overall, Hart's War is a major improvement over its DVD counterpart and yes, I did have it on DVD beforehand, so you can take it from me!
Sound Quality: 8/10. Overall, I would give the sound a solid 8. There's no real issues with it; dialogue was crisp and clear, explosions sound amazing and everything in between. However, in some scenes, it was a little low... but that's not a big issue, given the greater scheme of things, and it is known to happen with Blu Ray.
Overall, I would highly recommend purchasing Hart's War on Blu Ray, even if you have seen it already. It is a solid upgrade and you really get your moneys worth. If you haven't seen this, by all means, get the Blu Ray and enjoy the quality. Plus, the plot is very good.
Thanks for reading this. I hope it helps.
The ostensible leading role of this film is played by Bruce Willis as Colonel William McNamara, the ranking American officer in a German stalag for Allied prisoners towards the end of WWII. However, the primary character is arguably Lt. Tommy Hart (Colin Farrell), recently captured and interrogated before being deposited in the prison. Under relatively mild coercion by his Wehrmacht captors, Hart had pinpointed a crucial U.S. Army supply dump that was subsequently captured by the Germans during the 1944 Ardennes offensive, so Tommy's self-esteem is at low ebb. In any case, on the basis of Hart's two years of law school, McNamara assigns him to defend Lt. Lincoln Scott (Terence Howard), a Negro fighter pilot recently arrived in the camp and now to be courtmartialed for the murder of a fellow POW, the racist Staff Sgt. Bedford (Cole Hauser).
HART'S WAR the movie is part murder mystery and part courtroom drama. What it definitely isn't, as otherwise implied by its pre-release previews, is a Bruce Willis action flick. Perhaps that's why the film swiftly disappeared from the Big Screen - it was a bit more intelligent than the trailer-targeted audiences could bear.
While Willis plays second fiddle to Farrell, the most intriguing character is that of the German camp commandant, Col. Visser (Marcel Iures), a world-wise veteran wounded in the Great War now engaged in a battle of wills with the no-nonsense West Pointer McNamara. Is the help in case preparation Visser gives young Hart simply because both attended the same American university, or does it stem from a more hidden agenda? And what are those Russian POWs up to at that shoe factory next door? Also effective is Terrence Howard as Scott.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't know what it is about colin farrell. Personally I think he should fire his manager. He has starred in some turkeys - the dire remake of total remake for example. Read morePublished 3 months ago by R. G. Hancox
I think this film was Okay,
Hard Man Bruce Willis, I played is part okay,
Not your usual war film really enjoyed it, had my mom in tearsPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
A World War 2 Film Set In A POW Camp
It Ain't The Great Escape But That Was n"t The Point Of The Film
A good movie.
But not as great as the trailers made it out to be.
Still very enjoyable.
I love everything Bruce Willis is in be it war films or kiddies cartoons - Great voice and fantastic sense of humourPublished 16 months ago by Mrs Robinson
Saw a part of this on TV in Ireland and couldn't see it on any of UK TV schedules to see all of it, so I bought it.
good yarn and very well produced but some of the negative comments are valid. It just jump about a bit too much and can't make its mind up about what sort of film it is.... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Johan RF
Brilliant. This brought back many memories. This is a must have DVD, Still hilarious to this day. Timeless.Published 20 months ago by mike