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The Werner Herzog Collection [Blu-ray] 
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WERNER HERZOG COLLECTION (8-DISC Blu-ray BOX SET)
The Werner Herzog Collection an extensive Blu-ray box set compiling 18 films from the legendary German director. Features digitally remastered High Definition presentations of classics such as Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972); The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974); Nosferatu, the Vampyre (1979) and Fitzcarraldo (1982) plus many of Herzog's hugely acclaimed short films. Extras include Jack Bond's long-unseen South Bank Show on Herzog from 1982 and Les Blank's Burden of Dreams.
- The Unprecedented Defence of the Fortress Deutschkreuz (1967)
- Last Words (1968)
- Precautions Against Fanatics (1969)
- Handicapped Future (1970)
- Fata Morgana (1971)
- Land Of Silence and Darkness (1971)
- Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972)
- The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
- The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (1975)
- Heart of Glass (1976)
- How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck (1976)
- Stroszek (1977)
- Nosferatu, the Vampyre (1979)
- Woyzeck (1979)
- Huie's Sermon (1980)
- God's Angry Man (1980)
- Fitzcarraldo (1982)
- Cobre Verde (1987)
- All films remastered to High Definition
- Alternative German and English versions of selected titles
- Full-length audio commentaries with Werner Herzog on selected titles
- Optional 5.1. German and English audio on selected titles
- Nosferatu On set documentary (1979, 13 mins)
- Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (Les Blank, 1980, 21 mins)
- Burden of Dreams (Les Blank, 1982, 95 mins)
- Guardian Lecture with Werner Herzog (1988, 83 mins, audio only)
- The South Bank Show: Werner Herzog (Jack Bond, 1982, 56 mins)
- Original trailers on selected films
- Stills galleries on selected films
- Illustrated booklet with extensive essay by Laurie Johnson; full film credits
Germany, France, Peru, Ghana | 1967-1987 | black & white, and colour | German language, with optional English subtitles, English language | 1391 minutes (+ extras) | Original aspect ratios 1.33:1, 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 | BD50 x 8 | PAL | PCM mono and stereo audio (48k/24-bit), 5.1 DTS-HD master audio (640kbps) | Region B Blu-ray
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Bottom Line, 6 stars for the content and it's quality, 2 stars for the packaging.
1.) This set digs deeper. There's nothing on the Shout Factory! set that hasn't been around for a while in some form, whereas here you find extravagant rarities like "God's Holy Man."
2.) Still more important, both of the big Blu-Ray review websites identify the BFI transfers as brilliant and the Shout Factory! transfers as sub-par. Here, for example, is bluray.com's review of "Nosferatu" - first the UK, then the US version:
Here is dvdbeaver.com on the same film:
Title after title, a pattern emerges. Although not every film on each box has been reviewed so systematically (the sets are too new), it is clear that the Shout Factory! discs suffer from excessive digital enhancement, while the BGI transfers reflect a greater respect for the source material (see also, reviews of Woyzec and Aguirre on the same sites). It's hard to be a purist when it comes to digital transfers, obviously, but In my experience, people who are interested in art films like these will appreciate the grain as a sign of fidelity to the cinematic experience. For the scrupulous critics of dvdbeaver and bluray.com (and for prestige labels like Criterion and Masters of Cinema), the more print-like the movie looks on Blu, the better.
Now, the packaging stuff referenced by the other reviewers sounds obnoxious. It would be nice if the BFI had put more attention into the housing of the discs and supplied a better booklet (usually their booklets are good). But my main interest is in the movies themselves (there are several good books about Herzog out there, including one or two by the man himself) and I'm very excited to receive what looks to be a beautiful set of beautiful movies.
UPDATE JANUARY 7th: Note that the BFI set - not the Shout Factory set - topped dvdbeaver's critics poll for Blu-Ray of the year: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/Blu-ray_and_DVD_of_the_Year_2014.htm#blu-ray-of-the-year
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