Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Absolutely AMAZING and essential - but get the earlier UNCROPPED version
on 26 May 2017
An incredible series. Genuinely, on every level. The use of footage, editing, testimonies, direction, writing and overall clarity are just top-notch. Its everything - emotional history, rich story-telling, strategy, action, psychology. It really should be seen by everyone, there are so many reasons that everyone should be aware of the events of the war, not only out of respect and recognition of events that led to where we are today but also with regards to freedom, politics, governments and the modern era.
However, this restored version is a strange mixed bag. The image has been cleared of dust/scratches, the sound has been enhanced. Do we really need all that? I really don't think so - there's a vintage charm to the original edition. But what is absolutely crazy to me is the cropping of the image to fit widescreen TVs - you literally lose about a THIRD of the image, maybe more. This is a historical documentary, first and foremost useful for the INFORMATION, of which visual information plays an important part. Its NOT a glossy Michael Bay film, designed to blow your socks off with modern viewing technology. Lots of the shots are composed to fill the 4:3 frame, and watching with spires, foreheads, buildings, horizons, foregrounds cut out is just nuts. It gives a sense of claustrophobia after a while, you just know that the shots are incomplete and too zoomed in. Why oh why the producers/restorers couldn't have left it at 4:3 ratio I have no idea. All TVs have a zoom option, so viewers could have had a choice.
Absolutely watch this series - but seek out the original DVD version, keep your bluray player for modern film pap, not this incredible series.