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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 125 minutes, audio commentary, featurettes, still gallery, and trailers
VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1, French 2.0, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish

STUDIO: MGM/ Gibraltar Films/ Top Gun Productions/ Thema Production/ 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: 11-20-2007

RESCUE DAWN is based on the true story of Dieter Dengler. he was shot down and held in a Viet Cong prison camp (in Laos) until he decided to break out. The film is fanastically photogarphed. A little grain does appear at times to reflect the quality of 1960s Vietnam War footage shown on TV. RESCUE DAWN does wear out it's welcome because it should have ended ten minutes sooner. Werner Herzog did a documentary on the events in RESCUE DAWN known as LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY. RESCUE DAWN makes me curious to see the documentary, but RESCUE DAWN does have too pat of an ending straight out of a Hollywood film. Christain Bale does fantastic work playing Dieter and he goes from one strong character role to the next. Too bad RESCUE DAWN was a failure at the box office. Hopefully, it will find an audience on DVD. The acting and natural feel to the film makes RESCUE DAWN a different type of film. The cinematography (by director of photography Peter Zeitlinger) and acting make you feel like you're there with the prisoners out in the jungle. Werner Herzog putws his actors and crew through and unorthodox production style which comes out in the end with a very unique film.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The audio commentary for the film is with Director Werner Herzog and Interviewer Norman Hill. They also do commentary for the three deleted scenes (I can see why they were left out of the film).

A still gallery and trailers for three other films are included on the disc, but sadly a trailer for RESCUE DAWN is absent.

The real gem are the four featurettes which chronicle the Making Of A True Story:
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: TELLING DIETER'S STORY basically touches upon the real Dieter's life and how he said to Werner that this story is like Werner's unfinished business until he makes RESCUE DAWN.
STRENGTH OF CHARACTER focuses on the actors Werner Herzog chose to play each character in RESCUE DAWN and a little bit about the real lives of each person.
WAR STORIES is the story of the very unorthodox approach to making RESCUE DAWN from Werner trying out every thing before the actors did it, Christain Bale's close encounters with the snails in the water, the mishaps each actor went through, and filming the movie backwards (to Werner taking off with the key actors and the DP to film scenes on their own).
WHAT WOULD DIETER DO? explains it all when you watch the featurette. They used that type of approach which making the film.

FINAL ANALYSIS: RESCUE DAWN is a unique story of courage and survival (based on a true story). Definitely worth a viewing.

this DVD review is (c)11-20-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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