63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great mini-series but still not the proper restorative attention it deserves!
The miniseries is the best program I have ever seen and now thankfully own thanks to my significant other. Even though the young Kunta Kinte is only in the first two episodes, LeVar Burton is what made the show for me. Levar Burton is a revelation and it surprises me that he isn't doing more movies. He reminded me of those silent film stars who show with their eyes. The...
Published on 17 Oct. 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.
2.0 out of 5 stars Hugely dated
I remember being fascinated by this series as a child growing up in the seventies- particularly as it had a few naughty bits in it. I'm afraid that the whole thing, including the naughty bits has lost it interest. Whilst the story remains as relevant as ever, the TV epic mini series thing comes across as really naff and the writing and production values seem almost...
Published on 6 Jan. 2013 by Mr Tea
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great mini-series but still not the proper restorative attention it deserves!,
This review is from: Roots : The Original Series 1 - 30th Anniversary 4-Disc Box Set [DVD]  (DVD)
The miniseries is the best program I have ever seen and now thankfully own thanks to my significant other. Even though the young Kunta Kinte is only in the first two episodes, LeVar Burton is what made the show for me. Levar Burton is a revelation and it surprises me that he isn't doing more movies. He reminded me of those silent film stars who show with their eyes. The rest of the actors performed their characters just as well, and it gave me an impression of them playing their characters with the whole of their hearts. In this story Kunta is a good, brave young man who loves his village, his family and Allah. He is only 17 and has just completed manhood training and dreams of having a family of his own; the young warrior is out gathering food for his family when he hears a twig snap and turns to see a white man rushing him. Haley gets inside Kunta's mind and you feel his horror. Kunta fights bravely, he fights like a wild animal, but is overpowered and taken captive and then brutally abducted and put on a slave ship. Haley's book was so much more graphic; it showed scenes the TV show couldn't. To really grasp Kunta's nightmare, you need to read the book. The story eventually follows 200 yrs. of the descendants of this family who's strong will and striving finally brings them to Justice and Freedom.
I think that different directors were assigned to different movies in the series... which could be the reason why movie began to grow weak after Kunta Kinte leaves the storyline. I thought the beginning was rather powerful... displaying the savagery of the white man's actions... entering the peaceful villages in Africa and pulling everybody out in shackles onto their ships' dark and musty cargo holds, and slowly, try to bring the main character into submission once he arrives in America. The rest is...Watchable... but has much less to offer than the first 2. This film is history, it has held up well over almost 30 years since it was originally televised. Racism is still rampant, and not just in the South. By being informed it helps each of us to have compassion and to inventory our beliefs and question our teachings.
This particular DVD version, however, is a little disappointing. I guess I was expecting a little more by way of restored/improved video and audio quality, but this version definitely shows its age. On the other hand, I enjoyed watching this 4 disc anniversary edition. Only 3 discs were related to story. This was not the entire series though. It seemed some scenes were cut out making this typical of an anniversary set. Apart from feeling like I am missing parts of the movie the picture and sound was good. There are one or two new extra features on this DVD that are very interesting, but I would not recommend purchasing this version if you already own the older DVD version unless your copy has been worn out.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story of hope and courage,
Roots tells the tale of slavery, the development of the New World and changes in mankinds attitudes to each other. The story was powerful enough to be one of the reasons that I studied History at University.(I watched it as a seven year old,and some of the scenes have never quite left me)When I teach my pupils about slavery and its consequences it is a way in which they can become emotionally entangled in the subject. It has its weaknesses, it can be too simplistic, but not all of the white characters are evil and it does tell the truth about how people traded (and treated) each other just because of the colour of a persons skin.I would recommend this Dvd to anyone. The story is powerful,heartfelt and emotionally challenging.There is also joy in the story as you watch the plight and development of a family generation after generation.They remain strong and proud even when their lives are difficult and cruel. An epic...
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic series and an epic treat...,
I can remember this series when it originally aired amid much publicity for both the Book that inspired it and the production itself. It won many awards at the time and it is still easy to see why...
On seeing it again all these years later I was surprised that it still stands up as a moving, epic story and well produced mini-series. This is as it was originally aired - the 'Next Generation' series came a couple of years later and brought the story up-to-date. Those who remember that version will be remembering the repeated one that included both series.
This is an important production in that it was ground-breaking for the time as it addressed many social issues as well as a nation's guilt for it's past injustices. The acting is of a general high standard, although sometimes a little 'high-gloss' for the subject matter ( some of the 'slaves' look a little high-maintenance and well manicured!!), but this can be overlooked because the story itself is so gripping emotionally and the characters themselves so appealing. 'Star Trek' fans will spot a young Levar Burton (Geordi LaForge) as the slave Kunta Kinte stolen from home at the start, and the series has many fine guest stars from US TV of the time. This is a great purchase for anyone who remembers the series, and essential viewing for those who have never seen it. Great price too, as this will provide 2 or 3 nights viewing..... and it WOULD be nice to see the second series released on DVD! Highly Recommended...
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars where can i find the rest of it,
why they did not release the full version of this mini series astounds me it only tells half the story , i was very young when this was originally shown but remember far more of the story after chicken george and co became free, where are the bits where alex haley goes to africa for the inspiration to write his story, i am very dissapointed as the second series seems to have been forgotten please if anyone knows where i can obtain a copy please contact me.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roots re-lived,
I was 11 years old when this was screened on British TV. It was a very influential series for both young and old alike. After watching it again this time round, 29 years later, it still gave me the same chill that I had had as a child, and sadly enough still sends the same messages as it did all those years ago - which leads me to wonder that after all these years, exactly what has changed in our world? A very powerfull watch, albeit some low level acting, but a must for everyone with a consience.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as I remembered it but where is the rest of the story?,
I, like previous reviewers, watched this with much anticipation with my boyfriend who had not seen it before. I remember watching it when I was very young but still remember it vividly and was very disappointed when it ended (abruptly in my opinion) as that is not how I had remembered it. It appears the next generations is only available on VHS video but if anyone has found out if or when the next generations will be available I would really like to know. I was also pleased that despite being nearly 30 years old it is still as effective now as it was then.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...,
What can I say, except that I had never seen (or for that matter, heard of) Roots before, until I won the 25th Anniversary box set in a competition. I was so shocked and moved by the first episode (particularly as I had no idea what to expect) that it was over a month before I could bring myself to watch the second.
I was surprised that a TV show could instill such feelings in me, and watching this (and playing it to my brothers) is probably one of the best things I've done all year.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roots Original Series 25th Anniversary Edition,
This review is from: Roots: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Ed [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
When I saw the original Roots series many years ago I was shocked and appalled as the story unfolded. This is not a story as we know it but true life. It bought me closer to understanding what horrors African/American/Carribean people went through and in some cases still going through, it stirred emotions and feelings in me that still make me cry when I watch it today. These human beings suffered at the hands of ignorant, uneducated and violent people but through all the suffering have come through into the 21st century strong, defiant, brave and worthy of everything they have today with a greater understanding,knowledge and hunger for life than anyone can ever imagine. More power to them and anyone who has suffered adverse objection. Watch this series and open your mind and your heart. It is truly eye opening and well writted by the wonderful Alex Haley.
43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Which Not Only Entertains But Educates.,
I first saw Roots in 1976 when it was first shown on BBC, I was six years old and lived in a predominantly white naighberhood. In spite of this I was in awe of the human cruilty inflicted by white people onto blacks. Roots to me is a classic which not only entertains with it's colourful characters such as Chicken George, but also educates.
I seen the series repeated once 10 years ago, and as soon as I saw it was out on DVD I snapped it up. I only hope that Roots the next generation is released onto DVD as well so I can have the complete story of Alex Haleys heritage.
Roots also inspired me to look into my own heratage also. This mini series should be used in schools to educate children on the evils of racism and the damaging effects in can have not only on the individual but on a whole society.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Africa to slavery to freedom!,
This DVD set is based on a book called Roots that was written by Alex Haley. He remembered his grandma telling him stories about the line of his family right back in time to Kunta Kinte who was born in Gambia in Africa. From there Kunta was caught by slave-traders and taken to America and sold into slavery. However he was determined to reclaim his freedom. He made sure his daughter Kizzy also felt this way and told her about the time before he was in slavery and so the story passed from Kizzy to her son Chicken George and from him to his son Tom and so on.
The DVD box-set includes 9 hours of film with each episode being one and a half hours long. However there are enough scene-breaks for you to stop the DVDs at any time and come back to it at a later stage.
The story is a fantastic story following the generations of the family line from the birth of Kunta Kinte through to the author of the book, now deceased, Alex Haley. Along the way you will see just how much hardship black slaves had to suffer in America over this period.
Eventually the family does reach freedom and this is a great moment when you remember how much effort they have gone to over the time.
This is the 25th anniversary boxset but the pictures don't look to have aged at all and the story will stand-up for many generations into the future.
The extras include a family tree, a 20 minute documentary by the people involved 25 years on discussing their roles in Roots and the impact it made, and also full commentary by the same people.
All in all a great boxset with hours of viewing at a bargain price.
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Roots : The Original Series 1 - 30th Anniversary 4-Disc Box Set [DVD]  by LeVar Burton (DVD - 2007)