The DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless audio track fares better, and overall is solid. If you can’t make use of good surround spacing in a war film, then you’re just not trying. And thankfully for us, Three Kings delivers well beyond try. If there’s a criticism it’s that things sometimes feel constrained until you get to battle scenes, which can make levels feel unbalanced. Dialogue sections go by grounded to the front, and then all of a sudden everything opens up when there’s gunfire. It’s mainly a small complaint, but something that keeps it from being a “great” audio track.
The disc comes with an generous assortment of bonus material, although it should be noted that all supplemental video is in standard definition. The details for the bonus section are:
- Commentary track with director David O. Russell - Russell provides an enthusiastic and informative commentary track for the film, touching on all aspects of the film from tailoring up the script to technical production hurdles. Of the two commentary tracks included this is the one to devote your time to.
- Commentary track with producers Charles Roven and Edward L. McDonnell - Although the two producers provide some good insights, it occasionally feels like a long pitch for the film as opposed to just about it. Informative, but a touch extraneous.
- Under the Bunker (SD, 21:32) - A standard, but sufficient, behind the scenes look at making the film. Including cast and crew interviews, technical advisers, film clips and location information, this one touches all the bases for how the movie came together.
- On the Set of 'Three Kings' (SD, 10:15) - Production Designer Catherine Hardwicke hosts a guided tour of the main set for Three Kings and also details the process of bringing it to life. A solid feature on how to design something that isn’t supposed to look designed.
- The Cinematography of 'Three Kings’ (SD, 7:06) - Director of Photography Thomas Newton Sigel explains the intent behind the stark look of the film. Interesting for film geeks, but some of his explanations aren’t terribly convincing.
- David O. Russell's 'Three Kings' Video Journal (SD, 13:37) - A candid, but random look at the process of getting a film made. Russell includes home video from the time between when he was pitching the film to its red carpet premiere.
- Deleted Scenes (SD, 6:37) - A handful of deleted and alternate scenes. A couple that are interesting, but none that shed too much extra light on the story.
- An Intimate Look Inside the Acting Process with Ice Cube (SD, 2:21) - A humorous short starring Ice Cube, as he prepares for one of his “big scenes” in the movie.
- Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:10)
Three Kings is definitely an above-average war movie, and in fact should hold interest for those not typically drawn towards the war genre. The unusual setting for the film, coupled with strong performances from all the leads, make this a worthy catalog title to check out if you have not already done so.