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The Deer Hunter (Blu-ray)

Do the horrors of Vietman look better than ever before?

Disc Specs

Starring Robert De NiroPaul WalkerMeryl Streep Disc Cover
Directed By Michael Cimino Certificate 18
Audio DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Visuals 1.85:1 Widescreen
Running Time 182 mins
UK Release Date September 28, 2009
Genre Drama
Our Rating
User Rating

Thanks to Optimum’s recent hi-def Studio Canal venture, some prime cuts of classic cinema are now being dished out to the Blu-ray crowd, including Michael Cimino’s devastating, The Deer Hunter.

Winner of five Oscars and boasting one of the most haunting and affecting music scores in cinema history, The Deer Hunter explores the emotional, physical and psychological pain of war that is inflicted upon and dealt with by three very different steel-workers from Pennsylvania, who leave their relatively simple lives to face the horrors of Vietnam.

With iconic performances from Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken (who bagged an Oscar for his turn as the doomed, war-torn, Nick), The Deer Hunter is a moving and harrowing experience that’s not easily forgotten, and the various Russian roulette scenarios are still among the most balls-achingly intense cinematic moments you are ever likely to witness.

Like other Studio Canal Blu-ray releases in the UK, the hi-def picture of The Deer Hunter isn’t without its flaws. There’s grain around every corner, and darker scenes look a tad grubby around the edges (the notorious roulette game in the Vietnam prison suffers from heavy grain). But, in contrast, a shot of a car riding through the mountains looks crisp and vibrant, and sees the film looking better than ever before. Indeed, the wide open shots of the picturesque Appalachian ranges look fairly impressive, while the long shots of the smoky, dismal looking town a great deal cleaner than the DVD.
 
The audio delivers when it needs to, bringing the film to life with a deafening audio accompaniment when the bullets fly, while dialogue is always crystal clear.

The special features present an impressive list of extra goodies that haven’t appeared on any previously released DVD edition in the UK, including the near-50-minute documentary on the Vietnam War, ‘Unknown Images’. The BD-Live option gives you access to a booklet analysis of the film.

Overall Verdict: The picture could be better, but it’s a fairly solid package that does this classic ‘Nam movie proud.

Special Features:
‘Introduction By Mickey Rourke’ Featurette
‘Vietnam War: Unknown images’ Documentary
‘Realising The Deer Hunter’ Featurette
‘Shooting The Deer Hunter’ Featurette
‘Playing The Deer Hunter’ Featurette
Audio Commentary With Director Michael Cimino
Trailer
BD-Live

Reviewer: Lee Griffiths

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