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Will Kaufman
Scott Adkins, Charlie Weber, Dante Basco, Romeo Miller, Dennis Haysbert
Writing Credits:
Michael Weiss

A group of Marines must protect a US Embassy in the Middle East when it suddenly comes under attack from enemy forces.

Rated R/Unrated.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5..1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 89 min.
Price: $22.98
Release Date: 6/7/2016

• Both R-Rated and Unrated Editions
• “Making Jarhead 3” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Jarhead 3: The Siege [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 30, 2016)

Back in 2005, Jarhead provided an off-kilter, quirky look at the military and warfare. However, 2014’s Jarhead 2: Fields of Fire apparently ignored that tone completely. A “sequel” in name only, that film seems to have delivered a conventional war movie.

2016’s Jarhead 3: The Siege follows the same path as its immediate predecessor, so don’t expect the semi-subversive approach from the first film. Marine Corporal Evan Albright (Charlie Weber) gets assigned to the US Embassy in Unnamed Middle Eastern Country, where some anti-US unrest foments.

Though Albright’s new colleagues assure him that he’ll encounter nothing but peace, the opposite soon becomes true. In an attempt to silence an informant, extremists launch an assault on the embassy, and Albright finds himself at the heart of the battle.

Boy, that scenario sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Any resemblance between the events in Siege and the September 2012 assault on the US embassy in Benghazi must be a coincidence, I’m sure.

And by “coincidence”, I mean it’s patently obvious Siege offers a fictionalized version of the Benghazi incident. Of course, stories of this sort predate 2012, but I still see the similarities as too close for coincidence. Siege clearly wants to give us a twist on the real-life events – and its characters even allude to that 2012 attack.

Michael Bay’s version of Benghazi didn’t work well, largely because it gave us such a superficial, glossy view. Siege seems no grittier or more realistic – indeed, it indulges even more clichés than Bay’s flick – but I find these choices less problematic here, mainly because of the fictional nature of the story.

As much as it’s obvious Siege borrows from Benghazi, it doesn’t actually attempt to tell that specific story, so I expect less “reality” from it. I have totally different standards when I view films that purport to depict real events versus that simply use facts as loose inspiration, so I won’t fault the cliché nature of Siege in the same way I will 13 Hours.

None of this makes Siege a good film, though, and the flick indeed suffers from its less than creative nature. Admittedly, the original Jarhead wore its influences on its sleeve, as we could see its roots in predecessors such as Full Metal Jacket and M*A*S*H.

Nonetheless, Jarhead still offered an unusual take on the war genre; while indebted to those earlier movies, it made its own way. On the other hand, Siege feels interchangeable with any number of genre efforts.

And I don’t just mean the military genre, as Siege feels like plenty of other action flicks as well. It takes its cues from a variety of efforts, and these influences mean it never does much to create its own identity.

Still, as direct-to-video sequels go, Siege does okay for itself. While it seems lacking in creativity or originality, it offers better than average production values for a low-budget affair. Siege falls a little short of the look/feel of something that’d get a theatrical release, but it still comes across as professional.

Siege also manages reasonable war-based action as well. Again, you’ll not find anything that doesn’t resemble plenty of other flicks you’ve already seen, but the movie still delivers a moderate sense of excitement and drama as it explores its well-trodden plot.

Does all of this exist as faint praise? Sure, but faint praise is better than none. Jarhead 3 never turns into anything memorable, but it offers competent popcorn action.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus D+

Jarhead 3: The Siege appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The film offered a strong transfer.

At all times, sharpness seemed solid. Virtually no softness emerged, so the film remained tight and well-defined. Shimmering and jaggies failed to appear, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws.

Given the desert setting, the film gave us a sandy palette without many other hues. These made sense for the story and looked fine within the movie’s stylistic choices. Blacks seemed deep and full, while shadows came across as smooth and clear. This became an excellent image.

I also felt pleased with the active DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Siege. As expected, the battle scenes delivered the most dynamic material, as those provided the anticipated fury. The mix gave us a solid sense of the action and spread gunfire, explosions and other elements around the room in the appropriate locations.

The material blended together well, and quieter scenes fared nicely, too. These boasted good stereo separation for the score as well as a nice feeling for general ambience.

Audio quality appeared good. Music was bright and lively, and effects followed suit. Those components gave us accurate, vivid material that showed good punch. Speech was natural and concise. All of this combined for a very nice soundtrack.

The Blu-ray includes both the film’s R-rated (1:29:06) and Unrated (1:29:06) versions. That’s right: both cuts run exactly the same length.

Given their identical running times, one can safely assume that the unrated cut adds no new content. The only changes involve gore, as we get a bit more blood in the unrated version.

And I mean just a wee bit. I noticed a few splashes of blood in a couple of scenes, but these instances were minor – and not outside of the realm of an “R”-rating, I wouldn’t think, so I don’t understand the two different ratings. In any case, viewers should understand both versions are really identical, so don’t expect a better or worse experience from the unrated edition.

The Making of Jarhead 3 runs seven minutes, two seconds and involves comments from actors Charlie Weber, Scott Adkins, Dennis Haysbert, Erik Valdez, Sasha Jackson, Hadrian Howard, Dante Basco, and Stephen Hogan. “Making” looks at story/characters, cast and performances, and the director’s impact on the production. Not much substance emerges in this quick promo piece.

The disc opens with ads for Eye in the Sky, London Has Fallen, Riot, Hail, Caesar!, Kindergarten Cop 2 and Hard Target 2. Previews adds promos for Desierto, Term Life and The Expanse. No trailer for Jarhead 3 appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Jarhead 3. It includes both versions of the film and the featurette.

Though it compares unfavorably with the original flick, Jarhead 3: The Siege still manages to offer a decent action effort. I can’t claim it excels in any way, but it presents a minor diversion – sometimes “it didn’t suck” is its own victory. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio but it lacks substantial supplements. If the subject matter interests you, Jarhead 3 might be worth a look.

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