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Macbeth the DVD
on 17 January 2010
Many amazon reviewers have made their criticisms of this version of Macbeth and I find no need to add to that discussion. MACBETH is my favourite work by Shakespeare and any version is of interest to me.
What this review is about is the actual DVD. First it should be mentioned that this is a dutch import Region 2 disc. The good news is that it does have removable dutch subtitles but no english subtitles. Unfortunately that is the only good news for this disc.
The specifications list this disc as 16x9 widescreen letterbox. This is quite untrue. On a 4x3 television with the 4x3 setting this widescreen effect is achieved by squashing the image down to a 1.75:1 widescreen format. This makes this Macbeth look like Macbeth the hobbit, with shortened bodies and flattened faces. To restore the image to a watchable format the setting on a 4x3 tv must then be set to 16x9 to correct the squashed effect and of course this creates a full frame (pan and scan) image. This image and the print shows multiple artifacts, print damage, hairs and grain. What you are left with is a VHS quality transfer.
Unlike a reviewer mentioned asian issue, audio sync is okay, but certainly not 5.1 standards. The 'making of' featurette on this issue is also a furphy. It is simply 19 minutes on the most well known scenes from the story and is most annoyingly in the correct widescreen format, as is the trailer. The 150 minute running time is also deceptive. The feature is 92.22 minutes, the trailer is 2.15 minutes.
This is, for me, a fine version of Macbeth but as a DVD, Caveat Emptor.