Uncommon Valor (1983)

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Released 11-Oct-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 100:31
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:55) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ted Kotcheff
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Gene Hackman
Patrick Swayze
Tim Thomerson
Fred Ward
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music James Horner


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
German
Greek
English
Spanish
French
Hebrew
Croatian
Icelandic
Italian
Hungarian
Dutch
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Slovenian
Finnish
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Hot off the success of Stallone's First Blood, director Ted Kotcheff chose another action movie with ties to the Vietnam War as his next vehicle. Uncommon Valor is a moderately budgeted action rescue film that owes a great deal of debt to The Dirty Dozen. A group of ex-military soldiers led by a retired Colonel (Gene Hackman) go back to Vietnam circa 1983 in an attempt to rescue American POWs still held captive since 1975. The difference is that one of those POWs is Hackman's son. Needless to say, all doesn't go to plan and thus follows a pretty entertaining early 80s action cheese fest.

    The performances are fairly entertaining, with Hackman a standout as usual. It is interesting to see the work of a young Patrick Swayze, who is slightly wooden as `the rookie', but he delivers his lines (which are somewhat corny) with enthusiasm. The film's premise is interesting, but it needed a more experienced director to elevate the material above B level. A moderate success in its day, it inspired countless rip-offs including the Chuck Norris Missing In Action films. All-in-all, Uncommon Valor is a good Saturday night boy's own adventure.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Uncommon Valor is presented in an aspect ratio of 1:78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness levels are reasonable for a film of this vintage, with good shadow detail. There is a certain amount of grain during the night time sequences, but nothing top distracting.

    Colours are natural and well suited to the subject matter, especially the jungle scenes.

    There are minor film artefacts throughout the transfer, but these are few and acceptable.

    Overall, Paramount have provided a very decent transfer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

   Paramount have provided a very enjoyable remastered soundtrack for this film.

    The disc has a remastered English Dolby Digital 5.1 track and 2.0 surround tracks in French, German, Dutch and Spanish. The 5.1 track is reviewed here.

    Dialogue is always clear with little to no audio sync problems.

    The score by James Horner is typical of the genre and not at all intrusive.

    Surround channel usage is remarkably strong for a 20 year old film. The directional soundfield is quite vivid, especially during the many action scenes.

    The subwoofer amply supports the other channels.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    All versions of this DVD are equally specified, so the PAL transfer on the R4 disc is the preferred version.

Summary

    Uncommon Valor is an engaging B level action picture from those magnificently politically incorrect early 80s. A decent plot is accompanied by a strong lead performance from Gene Hackman. The film is presented on a bare bones disc with a good transfer and a great remastered 5.1 audio track.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Saturday, February 15, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
SpeakersSS-MS215

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