The Eagle (of the Ninth) Gets DVD Release Date

The Eagle, as it was known upon release, comes to DVD and Blu-Ray on June 21, 2011. Based on the acclaimed YA book by the late Rosemary Sutcliffe (originally titled "The Eagle of the Ninth", but don’t get me started on that), the film tells the story of  Roman soldier Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) and his quest to restore his family’s honor by finding the symbol of the lost 9th Legion that disappeared with his father and thousands of troops twenty years earlier. Marcus and his slave, Esca (Jamie Bell),  are forced to battle the raw Highland landscape and the primeval Caledonian forests (this was 2nd century, so there were still some left) not to mention the savage native tribes.  "Their journey pushes them beyond the boundaries of loyalty and betrayal, friendship and hatred, deceit and heroism."*

I’m no fan of Channing Tatum, but I am a fan of both British history and Mark Strong. I’m still not over how long I waited to see this movie and the disturbing Strong to Tatum ratio I had to sit through. My initial thoughts on the film can be found here

The good news is that both discs will contain an unrated version (which I’m hoping has much more Mark Strong), and the Blu-ray will also include the theatrical version and a digital copy plus has special features that include:

  • Commentary with director Kevin Macdonald
  • The Eagle: Making of a Roman Epic
  • Alternate ending
  • Deleted scenes

Personally, I’m getting tired of all of the good stuff being included on Blu-ray only. While I may have (okay, probably would have) come to the conclusion on my own that an upgrade to the new technology was warranted, I do not like being bullied into it. In addition to the initial cost of the player, Blu-ray discs are more expensive than regular dvds. Studios need to be grateful us poor schmucks are splashing out our hard earned bucks for their movies at ALL, instead of, as with 3D in theaters, trying to figure out ways to get us to part with more of it.  Personally, I’m more likely to pick up a copy of a film, regardless of whether or not I’ve already seen it, if the price is right. Unless it’s a special edition, I generally won’t pay more than $20.  Blu-ray versions, even on sale the first week of release are almost ALWAYS over $20.

I know there are big technical differences between dvd and Blu-ray and the picture quality is better yada yada yada, but unless you’ve got state of the art home theater equipment, most dvd is still pretty damn good. Perhaps my skepticism has its roots in the fact that I grew up in the VCR age and I know digital is already miles ahead of tape, but given that people are now watching movies instant streaming on their computers or on their PHONES, I don’t really think that the masses care about the aspect ratios of dvd vs Blu-ray. JMHO.

Bottom line, I’ll be adding this one to my collection because I’m a completist and will have to have it for my Mark Strong collection, despite his abbreviated appearance.

*Universal Studios dvd synopsis

2 responses to “The Eagle (of the Ninth) Gets DVD Release Date

  1. 1. I’m thrilled that both MGP and Coriolanus will be screened at TIFF; the multiplier of having both dramatic roles, both very DIFFERENT dramatic roles screened by audiences at the same film festival should demonstrate once and for all that G Butler is a truly talented actor. Maybe it will help offset some of the criticism (some deserved) of a couple of his more recent film choices.

    2. I was amazed at the discussion on some boards yesterday about the dearth of heroic black characters in film and, to your point, how it’s “always” a white hero coming in to save victimized blacks. Oh really? Does anyone remember “To Sir, With Love”? How about “In the Heat of the Night”? Clearly there are a significant number of top tier black actors who have accomplished a great deal in film over the recent years, but can we also recognize the huge impact that Sidney Poitier made with just about every film role he illuminated? Would Denzel Washington have been able to maximize the opportunities he’s undertaken if not for Poitier’s groundbreaking performances? And then there’s Cecily Tyson…James Earl Jones… I know this comment reflects my age, but I was stunned at the omissions in what is certainly a very shallow discussion going on right now of racial stereotypes in film.

  2. Oh, Yes. Yes “It” IS Fine

    Naturally I agree with your analysis (don’t I always??), and would merely add that I thought the score was lush and had just the right amount of ethnicity to be interesting.

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