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Generation Kill 1080p Blu-ray Review

Generation Kill is a seven-part HBO miniseries that depicts the first 40 days of the 2003 invasion of Iraq from the perspective of the Marines of the First Reconnaissance Battalion. Based on the book by journalist Evan Wright, who was embedded with the unit, the series offers a realistic and unflinching portrayal of the war and its effects on the soldiers and civilians. The series was created by David Simon and Ed Burns, who also worked on The Wire, and directed by Susanna White and Simon Cellan Jones. The cast includes Alexander Skarsgård, James Ransone, Lee Tergesen, Jon Huertas, Stark Sands, Billy Lush, and many others.

The Blu-ray edition of Generation Kill was released in 2009 by HBO in a three-disc digipack . It features a 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer that preserves the gritty and realistic look of the series. The picture quality is intentionally rough and grainy, with overblown contrast and aggressive shadows, to match the tone and style of the series. Colors are bleached but bold, detail is inconsistent but effective, and black levels are rarely resolved. The transfer is free of any noticeable artifacts or post-production meddling, and faithfully reproduces the directors' and cinematographer's vision. The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, which delivers a powerful and immersive soundstage that captures the chaos and intensity of the war scenes. The dialogue is clear and balanced, the music is subtle and atmospheric, and the sound effects are realistic and directional. The Blu-ray also includes French and Spanish DTS 2.0 tracks, as well as subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.


The Blu-ray edition of Generation Kill also includes a generous amount of bonus features that enhance the viewing experience. The first disc contains an audio commentary by Wright, Simon, Burns, White, Jones, Skarsgård, Ransone, Tergesen, Huertas, Sands, Lush, Rudy Reyes (who plays himself in the series), Eric Kocher (a former Marine who served as a consultant), and Andrea Calderwood (one of the producers). The commentary is informative and insightful, covering various aspects of the production, such as the adaptation process, the casting, the filming locations, the military accuracy, the challenges and difficulties faced by the crew and actors, and the themes and messages of the series. The second disc contains another audio commentary by Wright, Simon, Burns, White, Jones, Skarsgård, Ransone, Tergesen, Huertas, Sands, Lush, Reyes, Kocher, Calderwood, Kellan Lutz (who plays Cpl. Jason Lilley), Neal Jones (who plays Sgt. Major John Sixta), Jonah Lotan (who plays Sgt. Mike Wynn), Wilson Bethel (who plays Cpl. Evan Stafford), Pawel Szajda (who plays Cpl. Walt Hasser), Marc Menchaca (who plays Cpl. Antonio Espera), Rey Valentin (who plays Cpl. Gabe Garza), Michael Kelly (who plays Capt. Bryan Patterson), Benjamin Busch (who plays Maj. Todd Eckloff), Langley Kirkwood (who plays Capt. Dave McGraw), Owain Yeoman (who plays Sgt. Eric Kocher), Sal Alvarez (who plays Cpl. Hector Leon), J. Salome Martinez Jr. (who plays Cpl. Jeffrey Carisalez), Nabil Elouahabi (who plays Meesh), Sean Brosnan (who plays Cpl. Daniel Redman), Chance Kelly (who plays Lt. Col. Stephen Ferrando), Rich McDonald (who plays Capt. Dave Schwetje), Brian Wade (who plays Lt. Nathaniel Fick), Robert John Burke (who plays Maj. Gen. James Mattis), David Barrera (who plays Sgt. Ray Griego), Daniel Fox (who plays Cpl. James Trombley), Josh Barrett (who plays Sgt. Milt Leckie), Eric Nenninger (who plays Capt. Dave McGraw's driver), Bjorn Steinbach (who plays Sgt. Brad Colbert's driver), Justin Shaw (who plays Cpl. Gabriel Garza's driver), Sydney Hall (who plays Cpl. Harold James Trombley's driver), Jeffrey John Carisalez's driver). The commentary is similar to the first one in terms of content and tone.

The third disc contains a featurette called "Making Generation Kill" , which runs for 24 minutes and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the series. It includes interviews with Wright, Simon, Burns, White, Jones, Calderwood, Kocher, Reyes, and many of the actors, as well as footage from the filming locations in Africa and the training camp in South Africa. The featurette covers topics such as the origins of the project, the research and preparation, the casting and characterization, the challenges and rewards of working in a foreign environment, the authenticity and realism of the series, and the impact and relevance of the story. The featurette is informative and engaging, and shows the dedication and passion of the people involved in the series.

The third disc also contains a featurette called "Eric Ladin's Video Diaries" , which runs for 18 minutes and consists of footage shot by Ladin (who plays Cpl. James Chaffin) during the production of the series. The footage shows various aspects of the actors' experiences, such as the training camp, the rehearsals, the camaraderie, the pranks, the downtime, the injuries, and the wrap party. The featurette is amusing and entertaining, and gives a glimpse of the fun and friendship that developed among the cast.

The third disc also contains a featurette called "Generation Kill: A Conversation with the 1st Recon Marines" , which runs for 36 minutes and features a panel discussion with Wright, Simon, Burns, Kocher, Reyes, Fick (the real-life platoon leader), Colbert (the real-life team leader), Lilley (the real-life team member), Patterson (the real-life company commander), Schwetje (the real-life company executive officer), Ferrando (the real-life battalion commander), Mattis (the real-life division commander), and several other Marines who served in Iraq. The discussion covers topics such as their memories of the war, their reactions to the book and the series, their opinions on the portrayal of themselves and their comrades, their feelings about the war and its aftermath, and their advice for future generations of Marines. The discussion is candid and emotional, and shows the respect and admiration that exist between the Marines and the creators of the series.

The third disc also contains a featurette called "Military Glossary" , which runs for 12 minutes and provides definitions and explanations for various military terms and acronyms used in the series. The featurette is helpful and informative, especially for viewers who are not familiar with military jargon.

The third disc also contains a featurette called "Chain of Command" , which runs for 5 minutes and provides a diagram of the hierarchy and structure of the First Recon Battalion during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The featurette is useful and informative, especially for viewers who want to understand how the different ranks and roles relate to each other.

The third disc also contains a featurette called "Mission Maps" , which runs for 10 minutes and provides animated maps that show the routes and locations of the First Recon Battalion during their missions in Iraq. The featurette is interesting and informative, especially for viewers who want to visualize how the geography and terrain affected the operations.

Generation Kill is a powerful and compelling miniseries that depicts one of the most controversial wars in recent history from a unique perspective. The Blu-ray edition of Generation Kill is a must-have for fans of the series, as it offers excellent video and audio quality, as well as an impressive array of bonus features that enhance the viewing experience. Generation Kill is highly recommended for anyone who appreciates quality drama and realistic war stories.

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