Apocalypse: World War II [Blu-ray]
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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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This documentary gives an excellent overview of the events of World War II and perhaps its stronger point is its breathtakingly vibrant footage which has been remastered and... Read morePublished 22 hours ago by Occasional Reviewer
We collect and watch a lot of World War II documentaries. We have seen some of the footage on other documentaries. Read morePublished 2 months ago by WAWA
Very well done, but felt a bit rushed at the end. This series really needed a minumum of 8 hours and probably 10 to 12 to feel complete. Read morePublished 2 months ago by kb critic
I had never seen some of the footage that was in this series and I thoroughly enjoyed it, however..I felt the series was rushed at the end and didn't cover alot of the war in the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by B. Pack
This series alone, would not provide enough detailed information about WW II in my opinion. That being said, worth watching for WW II aficionados. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mike D.
Amazing documentary... a little disappointed because i was expecting to hear the British narrator. Same script though. Highly recommended. Read morePublished 4 months ago by ben
I strongly recommend this to all World War II history buffs. The visuals are truly unforgettable and the narrative is very nicely done. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Marsh Wren