Blu-ray Review “Hell and Back Again”

Director: Danfung Dennis
Starring: Sergeant Nathan Harris, Ashley Harris, The Marines of Echo Company 2nd Battalion
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Distributed by: New Video
Run Time: 88 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

If you haven’t heard of this film it is the 2011 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Grand Jury Prize and Cinematography Prize Winner. Director Danfung Dennis really dives into behind the lines and captures the action of being in Afghanistan and follows 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris and the aftermath of him being shot, returning home and coping with regular life. The film is well paced and has a good blend of blending the past and present. It really puts you in the shoes of the soldiers fighting for our country.

The footage in Afghanistan feels very real and gives an inside look inside to what is it like to be behind the lines. You really feel for Sergeant Harris and his struggles with recuperating after his injury. The Blu-ray also shines in video with a clear picture and great sound to back this release. Although it is not to an action film this format definitely adds a lot to this film. Also notable with this release is the fact that this film comes with both the Blu-ray and a DVD of the film which I enjoy having both.

The special features includes on this Blu-ray are really great starting with a great and informative commentary from director Danfung Dennis and editor Fiona Otway. It is very detailed and worth listening to if you are a fan of commentary tracks. In “Technical Gear Demo: How HELL AND BACK AGAIN was filmed”, it is pretty self explanatory, it goes into the process of how this film was made. I really enjoyed the inside look into the process. “Willie Nelson’s Hell and Back: Slide Show” is basically a glorified photo gallery with some good tunes. Lastly there are a few deleted scenes. I think the film was tight at 88 minutes and none of these really jumped out as being needed in the film but they are worth a watch if you enjoyed the film and want a little more.


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