Under the Radar

'Marine for Life' Gene Hackman Narrates the Story of the USMC

"We, The Marines" (MacGillivray Freeman)

"We, The Marines" is a large-format documentary made by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and funded by Boeing Co. for permanent exhibit in the giant-screen Medal of Honor Theater at the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico, Va.

Made by the expert IMAX producers at MacGillivray Freeman, the movie is an unabashed love letter to the Corps.

Gene Hackman is our greatest living Marine veteran actor, an Oscar winner for "The French Connection" and "Unforgiven." He also starred in the classics "Bonnie and Clyde," "Hoosiers," "The Poseidon Adventure," "The Conversation," "Superman," "Night Moves," "Mississippi Burning," "Enemy of the State," "Get Shorty" and "The Royal Tenenbaums."

He retired from acting after co-starring with Ray Romano in "Welcome to Mooseport" in 2004 and, aside from voiceover work in a few Lowe's Home Improvement ads, he's been missing in action. It's amazing to hear -- if not see -- him in this movie, and his love for the Marine Corps informs every word he says during the film.

Shout! Factory has just released "We, The Marines" in a 4K UHD/Blu-ray-Digital Download set, one in a series IMAX documentaries it has brought to home video. 4K isn't exactly IMAX, but the films make for an incredible use of the new format. If you have a 4K disc player to go with your 4K UHD television, this movie is a must-own showcase for your home theater setup. It's the company's first release in the new HDR10+ format, which provides for scene-by-scene, frame-by-frame adjustments to the image during playback.

The 37-minute film is structured around the locations and experiences that mold a Marine, from boot camp to amphibious assault to mountain warfare to live-fire drills. Just as good (and nearly as long) as the feature is the bonus documentary, which combines making-of footage featuring the filmmakers, with finished scenes that are as compelling as anything in the finished movie.

Museums have to squeeze in one showing per hour, but it would be nice to see a feature-length version of this one that combines all the footage from the two films included here.

You can stream "We, The Marines," but you owe it to yourself to see this 4K version if you can.

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