Two Men Went to War (2002)

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Released 6-Jan-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Deleted Scenes-3
Gallery-Poster
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 104:41
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By John Henderson
Studio
Distributor
Little Wing Films
Warner Home Video
Starring Kenneth Cranham
Leo Bill
Derek Jacobi
Rosanna Lavelle
Phyllida Law
Paul Bayfield
James Fleet
Julian Glover
David Ryall
Anthony Valentine
Mossie Smith
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Richard Harvey


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    It's 1942 and the German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau are wreaking havoc in the Atlantic.

    Private Leslie Cuthbertson (Leo Bill) is being trained by the army as a dentist, but he doesn't feel much enthusiasm for pulling teeth and helping out behind the scenes. He wants to be fighting in the front line and making a personal contribution towards winning the war. Sargent Peter King (Kenneth Cranham) secretly harbours similar views. However, he has a plan. He wants to destroy the Scharnhorst using a well placed grenade. He also knows that Leslie is the only one foolish enough to take part in his plan.

    Before leaving, they send a letter to Winston Churchill informing him of what they plan to do, and try to convince themselves that they are not deserters. It takes a while before the letter gets into the hands of Winston Churchill, as all letters to the Prime Minister must first be vetted by Major Merton (Derek Jacobi) and his team of women, but Winston is suitably impressed when he does receive it.

    The two men steal a ship and attempt to sail to France armed with a bag full of grenades. How successful will they be in this rather ambitious effort?

    This is based on a true story. Unfortunately, there is no special feature or commentary explaining what was real and what was made up. This is a very light-hearted movie - it is certainly not a heavy war film. There are plenty of laughs in the movie, the acting is good, and overall the movie is reasonably entertaining.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie was originally shown in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This DVD is presented as a full screen image with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. This differs to the deleted scenes, which are presented at 1.85:1 but are not 16x9 enhanced.

    The video transfer really suffers from a low bitrate due to it being squeezed onto one layer. Grain is the biggest problem. It is ever-present and quite annoying. There are also MPEG artefacts and some aliasing.

    The source material appears to be excellent, and it is purely the DVD encoding that is poor. There are almost no film artefacts. Colour and sharpness are both good.

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

Audio

    There is one audio track which is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 448 kbps. Dialogue is clear and there are no major glitches.

    This transfer certainly would have benefited from a 5.1 soundtrack. There are plenty of missed opportunities for the surrounds, such as when planes fly over, and the subwoofer could have got some action during the various explosions and collisions in the movie.

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

Extras

    There are three deleted scenes, and one movie poster. All deleted scenes are non-16x9 enhanced 1.85:1 and they all have a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track at 448 kbps.

Self Respect (1:06)

    This is an extra scene from the start of the movie that tries to add some character development. However, this scene doesn't add anything worthwhile to the movie and is better left cut.

Waste of Ammo (2:14)

    This is an extended version of the main action scene in the film. I found this scene quite funny, and they probably spent a bit of their budget on it (this is a reasonably low budget film), so it's surprising they cut it.

Please Don't Shoot (2:56)

    This is an extra scene from the end of the movie, with a bit of slapstick humour. This scene tries to be funny, but the humour doesn't fit in with the rest of the movie. The acting is pretty poor compared to the rest of the movie.

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie does not appear to have been released in Region 1 yet. It has been released as a Region 2 DVD.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 2 version of this disc misses out on;

Summary

    This is a reasonably entertaining movie that is spoilt by a poor transfer. The video quality is poor, the aspect ratio differs from the theatrical release, there is no 5.1 soundtrack, and we are missing lots of special features.

    The Region 4 version of this movie has been seriously short-changed.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Brumby (read my bio)
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1300Y, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE500 Widescreen High Definition Projector onto a 102" screen. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V800
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 Front, Aaron CC-240 Centre, Aaron SS-240 Rear, Yamaha YST-SW320 Sub

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