3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Elizabeth [HD DVD]  [US Import] (HD DVD)
This is an HD-DVD definitely worth importing from the U.S. if you own an HD-DVD player. The detail on screen is frequently breathtaking, particularly on the close-ups of faces, adding to the intimacy of some of the scenes (particularly in moments shared by Elizabeth and the Earl of Leicester). Shadowy shots are also noticeably well rendered, demonstrating a lot of depth. One thing I noticed though, was that some of the faces can seem unnaturally red on brief occasions... I don't know whether this was intended or not, but it looks to me like a minor flaw the transfer. Still, the superiority of the picture over the standard DVD version is significant enough to warrant getting it on HD-DVD.
As for the film itself: 'Elizabeth' is a captivating portrait of a very impressive woman. Cate Blanchett is outstanding in her role. One truly gets a sense of the transformative effect of being thrust into power the way Elizabeth was. She starts out at the beginning of the film as a sort of care-free innocent and finishes as a true 'royal'. The interesting thing is how naturally this change is.
One of my observations about the film is that you get no sense of the world outside the royal courts; you hardly ever see ordinary people except with the burning of the heretics at the beginning. I think this is the director's intent, however and you really feel a sort of disconnect between the people and the rulers... Especially in the chunk of the film where Mary is the ruler. It made it sort of funny for me to hear Elizabeth talking about 'my people' since you pretty much don't see 'the people'.
Overall, I think that if you haven't seen this film you will find it very interesting. If you have, the HD-DVD transfer is very impressive and good enough for it to be worth the effort of importing it from the United States.