I’m sure many of our planet5D readers have been to see the movie “Act of Valor” that I’ve been talking about over the past couple of years. This movie (just in case you haven’t read my posts about it yet) was shot on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (well about 75% of the final footage was 5D2) and in fact most if it was shot before the 5D2 even had 24 fps!
I’m eager to hear your reactions – and I’ll share mine below.
The LA Regal Live
I attended the showing that I’d been tweeting about incessantly the last couple of weeks with the movies Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut (see also this BTS post where I talk a bit about the dinner we had before the show).
The good news we heard at the end of the showing was that in the first 2 days of opening, Act of Valor was #1! And there was a big crowd waiting to see the next show once we finished with the panel discussion after the 5:10 showing.
The movie looks amazing! Shane and his team have done an outstanding job of bringing some amazing visuals to the big screen and it is incredible what they’ve done with the look of the 5D2. You sure can’t tell which scenes are 5D2 and which are film.
The sound design is also amazing! We were in an excellent theater and the sounds of the battle scenes will just blow you out of the seat if you’re in a good theater. This was my friend Barry Andersson’s second time seeing the movie and he said the sound was so much better in this theater than the one where he first viewed the movie. There’s a scene about 30 minutes in (part of the water rescue sequence) where the seals start firing an amazing large machine gun and BAM! The sound just floors you.
I recently said in a planet5D poll that if the sound is bad, then I have a hard time sticking with the movie and there’s no problem with the sound design here!
It was fascinating to me to have a bit of behind the scenes knowledge going in because there were several scenes that I recognized from Shane’s blog coverage of the movie as well as some of the previews and other coverage we’ve brought you here on planet5D.
I will have to go back again tho – I’m sure the second or third viewing will bring more insights.
And because I knew some of the back story and that the actors were indeed Navy Seals, I believe I was a bit more forgiving of the acting than most of the critics have been (and I haven’t even read any, but I’ve heard they aren’t too fond of the movie). But I suspect that they’re so used to high caliber acting that if there’s a movie with just slightly inferior acting to those that they’ll be disappointed.
I wasn’t overly concerned about the acting. In fact I thought it was very good for untrained Navy Seals (I mean they’re trained as Seals and not actors). And even the Seal’s wives and families did a good job.
What I’m afraid I had a bit of trouble with initially was the story line. At the beginning I just wasn’t exactly clear about what was going on for the first 10 minutes or so. I eventually got caught up but I think that’s one of the weaker points of the movie. I’m eager to see it again to see if it was just me or if others have the same issue.
But what does set this off from the action movies of the past is the way the 5D2 is able to bring you into the action. Have a look at the panel discussion video below and you’ll hear some more about that.
As many of you have pointed out, the strength of this movie is the action and the point of view scenes – they really draw you in and make you feel like you’re more a part of the action.
Make sure you watch the video about the panel discussion after you’ve been to see the movie – I think it is better to just get your own reactions before you know some more of the BTS — and then go back afterwards to see the movie in a different light. Watch for some of the places where the 5D2 was able to be used so incredibly close to the action and think about how in all the other movies you’ve watched the action from afar.
The action scenes will draw you right into the emotion and terror of war.
It will give you new found appreciation for what our military are doing for each and every one of us. I walked away very proud of our country and our fighting spirit.
What’s your reaction?
If you went to see the movie, please give us your reaction – and if you have criticisms, be constructive without being mean please.
(cover photo credit: snap from the official trailer – one of the gut wrenching scenes)