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Apocalypse: World War II [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This captivating documentary series takes an in-depth look at the Second World War through the eyes of those who lived through it: the soldiers, the victims, and the political and military leaders. Using archival footage – most of it previously unseen and now colorized – this series provides an intimate and breath-taking examination of history’s most devastating war.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 312 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004H0M2XM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,373 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Hi all, I have seen some comments about this documentary having more insights and details lived by the French people.

Well it's perfectly normal, as this was originally produced by a joint France-Belgium venture and of course will have a tid bit more for them.

Rest assured, it covers the War at large and I have learned tons from it.

This being said, I find this English version not marketed well enough, as it is presented solely as an action packed (which it is) documentary, whereas in French it is featured as a documentary about and against totalitarianism and its effects on civilians (with a civilian perspective!).

It is the only documentary that has a created a tremendous and lasting effect on me, with the level of stress and goosebumps raising by the episode. I have shared this documentary with many of my friends and colleagues, and it had the same effects on them, rarely have I seen unanimous reviews on any production like this (be it a documentary, a movie, or else).

I have seen the original French version of course, and it's narrator is also detached and neutral, as in the English version, leaving the viewer to make up his own opinion without any hints from the narration.

If you're looking for a Terminator-like movie or football game style commentary, please look away.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have at least twenty historical dvds of WWII, and Countless Hollywood movies about WWII. What I believe makes This series and Blu-ray unique is seeing more of a perspective of the civilians during WWII. Many of the historical dvds give the viewer details of the battles, and film and pictures of the battles, but more from a soldiers perspective. I am glad to add this to my collection because I believe it added that civilian perspective. Many people forget that the civilian causaulty rate dwarfed that of the soldiers lost during WWII. The civilians were just as courageous as the soldiers in many instances. Hopefully we will never have to repeat the lessons that so many learned.
6 Comments 58 of 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
First thing I must point out about this series, is don't expect this to be the most comprehensive in terms of technical details, this is more of a broader overview of the conflict. The aspect that makes this series fantastic is the footage..it is some of the best, if not THE best I've ever seen. Especially German military footage, I don't think I've ever seen another documentary on the second world war with better footage of the Wehrmacht. A lot of the footage in Apocalypse you won't find in any other series, or if you do it will most likely be in black and white and not remastered in HD. This is a more cinematic presentation of the war, with no interviews to break up the continuity. The sound is also a great selling point for Apocalypse, because it's in 5.1 surround. If you have even the slightest interest in WW2, pick up this one. If you want a more detailed synapsis on the conflict I would suggest picking up the classic 'The World at War'.
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Format: DVD
I have what is apparently the original version of this series which I ordered through Time-Life. It is in English with a rather bland narrator whose voice I don't recognize. While not obviously inaccurate the narration doesn't go into a lot of detail and repeats many well-worn cliches (i.e. Polish cavalry DID NOT deliberately charge German tanks in September 1939; they simply got surprised in the open by a German armored column). Disc 2, which details the first 6 months of the Pacific War, contains very little new info and I quickly became bored watching it.

Time-Life promotes this series as being spectacular and new. A lot of the footage is indeed new, but I also had seen much of it before on history websites. There are also some curious parts in which the script feels like it was solely written to incorporate available footage.

That said, there is some very interesting footage that I had never seen before. Colorized footage of U.S. battleships burning at Pearl Harbor and Japanese planes apparently ditching in the ocean after their carriers had been sunk at the Battle of Midway was nice. Footage showing executions of Jews and alleged collaborators can also be quite graphic, as can be the scenes of dead bodies.

I would recommend buying this series only for the footage, much of which is definitely worth the price of admission. But if you've been studying World War 2 in detail for any length of time don't expect to learn anything particularly new. If you're new to this subject, know that this is a well-produced series that looks and sounds nice, but just be careful about repeating what you learn from it.
14 Comments 95 of 115 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I've watched every English speaking WW2 documentary out there, and many non-English ones too. This one is in a class of its own. I'm not a fan of colorizing footage for aesthetic reasons, but it was done beautifully and I could not help but feel that it brings images to life and makes the stories more absorbing.

It's unique for several reasons:

1) There are many new footage that were not shown previously.
2) It's more raw and graphic than anything WW2 that you've seen before. And while not suitable for the faint hearted, this is the reality of war, and a documentary is supposed to bring you as close to reality as possible.
3) While no WW2 documentary could be truly balanced because winners write history, this is as close to balance and objectivity as I've seen them. No where else will you hear that the alleged Dunkirk "victory" was indeed an act of clemency by Hitler, and in other documentaries they vaguely describe how war started on Western front, but here it tells how Hitler didn't want to go to war with Britain and France that even after they declared war on Germany they were ignored despite the French attacking villages in Germany.

An excellent addition to my collection.
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