7 items from 2010
Did you perhaps ever wonder, prior to it's rebranding, just what The History Channel was so desperate to emulate with all that unending analysis of World War II that they used to run 24/7? Well, it was this; the now defunct Thames Television's monolithic 26-part serial, The World At War, the depths of which have since served as the benchmark by which all other retrospectives shall be judged.
Supreme in scope, yet personal in detail, The World At War remains an unparalleled achievement in the realm of historical documentary filmmaking. Not least due to it's courageous level of dispassion; commendable for a nation not yet a generation removed from the devastation and one still reeling from the effects of rationing and widespread social unrest. The startlingly simple yet hauntingly effective title sequence - a series of anonymous photographs turned to ash by a naked flame - affirms a commitment to »
- Neil Pedley
Ever wanted to see the definitive program on World War II, featuring over 26 hours of content ranging from newsreels to interviews with veterans, known as The World at War? How about seeing it remastered in stunning hi-def? It has everything you could ever ask for including candid interviews with Alger Hiss and an outstanding narration by Sir Laurence Olivier - this is the set to be owned if you consider yourself a student of history. You couldn't ask for a better or more in-depth look at the events of World War II, and JustPressPlay is giving one reader the chance to win a copy of The World at War on Blu-ray. To find out how to win, just read on.
Informative, unbiased and narrated by Academy Award® winner Laurence Olivier, The World at War on Blu-ray is a visually arresting edition featuring over 12 hours of bonus materials and new features, »
- Lex Walker
DVD Playhouse—November 2010
By Allen Gardner
Paths Of Glory (Criterion) Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 antiwar classic put him on the map as a major filmmaker. Kirk Douglas stars in a true story about a French officer in Ww I who locks horns with the military’s top brass after his men are court-martialed for failing to carry out an obvious suicide mission. A perfect film, across the board, with fine support from George Macready as one of the most despicable martinet’s ever captured on film, Ralph Meeker, and Adolphe Menjou, all oily charm as a conniving General. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Audio commentary by critic Gary Giddins; Excerpt from 1966 audio interview with Kubrick; 1979 interview with Douglas; New interviews with Jan Harlan, Christiane Kubrick, and producer James B. Harris; French television documentary on real-life case which inspired the film; Trailer. Widescreen. Dolby 1.0 mono.
Winter’S Bone (Lionsgate) After her deadbeat father disappears, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
The Real Band of Brothers (Us: Brothers in Arms: True Stories of the 101st Airborne)
Directed by Edward Feuerherd
"It's fifteen minutes past midnight on June 6th 1944. A C-47 Dakota is humming over the skies of Nazi-occupied France. Perched at the aircraft's open door is Captain Frank Lillyman. He gives the signal and jumps into blackness over Normandy, followed by the six thousand other paratroopers on the first combat mission of the 101st Airborne Division soon to be forever known as 'The Screaming Eagles'."
Regular visitors to this site may have realised that I’m a bit of a WWII buff, and if you’ve read my Desert Island Collection then you’ll also know that the classic British documentary series The World at War and the Steven Spielberg / Tom Hanks-produced Band of Brothers are my two favourite television series of all-time. So with that in mind I »
DVD & Blu-Ray, Optimum
You can tell a lot about a movie from its opening shot. Here, a glum, rather ordinary woman in her late 60s wanders into a remote area. Checking no one is around to see her, she steals a few precious moments while enjoying a guilty dance. This deceptively simple, low-key shot tells us plenty: this woman has lived a life, and she's a person – not just an "old person". Most of all, it tells us the director really knows what he's doing; this will be a story that, although unconventional in delivery, will be well-told and engaging. That last fact won't be news to anyone who has seen Korean director Bong Joon-ho's previous films, such as the merciless police procedural thriller Memories Of Murder or his off-kilter monster movie The Host. The mother of the title (the incredible Kim Hye-ja) has her life turned upside down »
- Phelim O'Neill
My former colleague Freddie Slade, who has died aged 91, was the principal film dubbing mixer with Associated-Rediffusion and Thames Television from the beginning of ITV in 1955 until his retirement in 1984.
Today dubbing is computerised, so it takes just moments to do what used to take hours. Back then, each 10-minute reel of film had to be dubbed in one continuous run: if there was one error of judgment, one finger fluff, you had to go back to the beginning. Freddie's concentration never faltered: time and time again, he saved the day.
Freddie worked on programmes including This Week and the 1973 documentary series The World at War. Sir Jeremy Isaacs, executive producer of The World at War, wrote about working on the series: "With music, effects, voice tracks mixed and laid and now final commentary to be added, we are off to the dubbing theatre, where another unsung hero, the dubbing mixer, »
FremantleMedia is preparing to release its second world war series in Blu-ray DVD format after 37 years
The World at War, the documentary series produced by Jeremy Isaacs, is getting an extensive frame-by-frame makeover after 37 years, as owner FremantleMedia Enterprises prepares to release it on the latest high-definition Blu-ray DVD technology.
The second world war documentary is the first of Fremantle's thousands of hours of classic TV and films to go through the conversion process, which is taking nine months, and it is unlikely to be the last, according to Pete Kalhan, the company's senior vice-president of home entertainment and archive sales.
Fremantle, part of the Rtl Group, owns brands such as TalkbackThames and Grundy and has classic serials from The Sweeney and Rumpole of the Bailey to Dangermouse in its archive.
"We also have films such as Cabaret that would look great on Blu-ray – it's such a spectacle. There are »
- Richard Wray
7 items from 2010
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