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Stars And Stripes Forever Blu-ray Review

A poor script ruins “Stars And Stripes Forever”.

For those that don’t know, “Stars And Stripes Forever” is a biopic about the legendary Marching Band leader/composer John Philip Sousa. The film chronicles his life from being the Sergeant Major leader of the United States Marine Corps Marching Band to the creation of his own band that he toured the world with. There’s also a subplot about a soldier/band member (Willie) and his love interest the showgirl turned singer Lily.

As far as biopics go, ‘Stars’ leaves a lot to be desired. While the film is certainly a respectful tribute to John Philip Sousa, I can’t help but feel like his life got short changed thanks to a seemingly useless subplot with Willie and Lily. The romantic subplot feels like it was thrown in to attract young moviegoers and to have some sort of conflict and or character interaction with John Philip Sousa. To say it feels forced is an understatement.

On the plus side, the musical numbers of Sousa’s works are great here and are clearly the highlight of the film. If nothing else, the movie at least gives you a greater appreciation of his musical talents and accomplishments.

Summary: Had the romantic subplot not detracted from the main story and Sousa’s life, this would have been a stronger film. As is, it’s merely a mediocre effort.

Video/Audio:

To be quite honest, I wasn’t too thrilled with the Blu-ray transfer. The print is littered with grain and dirt specs and the skin tones and colors look far too bright. I thought the DVD actually looked better in terms of video quality. The film is presented in 1.37:1

The DTS-HD Mono audio track, however, is  impressive for a mono track. The music in particular really sounds fantastic.

Extras:
* Theatrical trailer and U.K. trailer.
* DVD copy
* Booklet with cast bios.
* Interactive pressbook, advertising and still galleries.

* “From Our National March To The Silver Screen”- A featurette about John Philip Sousa, musicals, film, etc.

* “John Philip Sousa’s Contribution To American Music”- A featurette about Sousa’s music.

December 28, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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