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Pearl Harbor (The Director's Cut) (Four-Disc Vista Series)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

PEARL HARBOR: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT Vista Series DVD is the most extensive exploration of moviemaking ever presented. Four discs showcase more than 60 new shots in the film and over 12 hours of new special features. There's never been anything like it before. History comes alive in the unforgettable epic motion picture PEARL HARBOR, the spectacular blockbuster brought to the screen by Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay. Astounding visual and audio effects put you at the center of the event that changed the world -- that early Sunday morning in paradise when warplanes screamed across the peaceful skies of Pearl Harbor and jolted America into World War II. This real-life tale of catastrophic defeat, heroic victory, and personal courage focuses on the war's devastating impact on two daring young pilots, Ben Affleck (ARMAGEDDON) and Josh Hartnett (BLACK HAWK DOWN), and a beautiful, dedicated nurse, Kate Beckinsale (SERENDIPITY). PEARL HARBOR is extraordinary moviemaking -- a breathtaking reenactment of the "date which will live in infamy" and a heartfelt tribute to the men and women who lived it.

Sometimes bigger is actually better. Nearly matching the size of director Michael Bay's ego, this massive four-disc set is a veritable Pearl Harbor archive, and ironically, Bay's film remains the least interesting component. It's a purely conventional Hollywood take on the tragedy, using a clichéd love triangle between two ace pilots (Josh Hartnett, Ben Affleck) and a Pearl Harbor nurse (Kate Beckinsale) as an "intimate" means of spectacularly re-creating the attack that thrust America into World War II. The director's cut adds little to the previous DVD release, apart from authentic R-rated carnage during the Japanese raid, and minor expansion of the Hartnett-Beckinsale romance. Commentaries range from superfluous (Bay and film historian Jeanine Basinger) to highly entertaining (Ben Affleck and costars) and technically informative (primary production team), and a spirited examination of visual effects (with Bay and ILM supervisor Eric Brevig) is guaranteed to fascinate anyone interested in physical effects and CGI. A broad "making of" documentary is noteworthy for one-time viewing, while abundant historical records make this a valuable compilation of definitive materials.

The History Channel's "One Hour over Tokyo" and "Unsung Heroes of Pearl Harbor" provide depth that Bay's movie lacks, and Charles Kiselyak's interactive timeline is arguably the finest feature included, providing an in-depth historical perspective on U.S.-Japan relations. Even a brief reenactment of a Pearl Harbor nurse's journal is moving in a way that Bay's film can only try to be, while the "Interactive Attack Sequence" provides a multifaceted exploration of the entire production process (a highly educational feature for aspiring filmmakers). All in all, these four discs offer an admirable balance between Bay's technically impressive but ill-conceived epic and a thorough, fitting tribute to those who endured hell on that fateful Sunday in 1941. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Mail-in Certificate for a $10 Rebate for Owners of Previous Editions, Expires 1/2/03
  • Disc One
  • Intro and letterbox explanation by Michael Bay
  • Pearl Harbor: The Director's Cut - Rated R (Part 1)
  • Disc Two
  • Pearl Harbor: The Director's Cut - Rated R (Part 2)
  • Disc Two, Three & Four
  • Hours of Interactive in-depth "Making Of" features
  • "Journey To The Screen: The Making of Pearl Harbor" segments (approximately 45 minutes) including segments on Battleship Row Attack, Sandbag Explosion, Dorrie Miller At The Guns, The Airfield Attack, The Scramble To The Planes, The Dud Bomb, The Oklahoma Gimble, The Doolitle Raid
  • The Surprise Attack - A multi-angle breakdown of the film's most exciting sequence (approximately 30 minutes)--includes video intro by Michael Bay
  • Multiple video tracks that will include pre-visualization: Storyboards, artwork, animatics, effects plates, green screen, and final sequence--All accessible by switching angles
  • Commentaries from veterans
  • Pearl Harbor Historic Timeline - a set-top interactive feature produced by documentarian Charles Kiselyak.  Through an innovative animated timeline, viewers will be able to select historic videos, audio clips, text, or photos that set the stage for the events in Hawaii, or follow how they impacted world events that transpired as a result of the conflict. (Approximately 30 Minutes)
  • Soldier's Boot Camp - This segment follows the actors as they take preparation for their roles to an extreme.  In the first segment, Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and their co-stars are put through grueling paces by an over-enthusiastic drill sergeant.  The second segment follows Alec Baldwin through his officer training. (Approximately 30 Minutes)
  • "One Hour Over Tokyo" - The History Channel's documentary
  • Super-8 Montage - A collection of unseen super-8 footage shot for potential use in the movie by Michael Bay's Visual Assistant, Mark Palansky
  • "Deconstructing Destruction" - an in-depth conversation among filmmakers with interactive industrial light and magic sequences
  • Nurse Ruth Erickson interview
  • "Unsung Heroes" - The History Channel documentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, William Lee Scott, Greg Zola
  • Directors: Michael Bay
  • Writers: Randall Wallace
  • Producers: Barry H. Waldman, Bruce Hendricks, Chad Oman, Jennifer Klein, Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, Digital Sound, Director's Cut, Collector's Edition, THX, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 2, 2002
  • Run Time: 184 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,398 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Q3TZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,098 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pearl Harbor (The Director's Cut) (Four-Disc Vista Series)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Shane Bushman on January 30, 2007
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This movie was definitely one to show off the Blu-Ray format, but some corporate genius decided not to pay MS royalties for the use of VC-1, and they went with MPEG2 again on PH. Unless you have the sharpness dialed down on your set, or a 720p display blocking can be seen on this title pretty easily. If you're not sensitive to it then you're lucky. It comes through looking almost like a second layer of grain, but not the very fine grain of good film we're used to. I know some films are intentionally grainy, but rather than error diffusion (like real grain) this movie exhibits patterned grain. It is an artifact of MPEG2 block in motion.

Titles released on Blu-Ray in VC1 encoding have proven how much better they can look. Why won't they maximize the potential of the format already?
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Paul Huang on November 6, 2007
Format: Blu-ray
This movie is very enjoyable in plot and special effects. But, unfortunately the video transfer was poorly done in Blu-ray. If you already have standard DVD version, save your money.
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54 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hancock on June 16, 2002
Format: DVD
The Vista Series has released the biggest and greatest DVD package ever assembled with "Pearl Harbor- The Director's Cut." The new 184 Minute cut is edited better. The attack sequence is more realistic and graphic, the reason for this cut's R-rating. And the four-disc set features hours of behind-the-scenes footage, two documentaries on the real attack and the Doolittle Raid, and commentary tracks from Michael Bay and Janine Basinger; Jerry Brucheimer, Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Alec Baldwin; The Director of Photography, Costume Designer, Visual Effects Supervisor and Composer. A great addition to the DVD collection. And if you think this is good, then get ready for the November release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring- The Director's Edition" four-disc set! Movie Grade: A+; DVD Grade: A+
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Campbell on July 5, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
If I could give this bunch of garbage 0 stars I would have.

Seriously, this is an insult to the men and women who served and/or lived through the Pearl Harbor attack. What? There wasn't enough drama in the REAL story so they had to make up this bunch of garbage? I think the producers knew it was garbage too, because even the theater trailer gave no hint to the garbage that this movie was. The trailer focused on the actual attack which, although visually done well, seemed to be an afterthought towards the end of the movie. So, I got tricked in to going to see the movie in the theater and walked out of the theater feeling like I was actually dumber for having seen this garbage. By the way, did I mention that this movie is garbage?

Do yourself a favor. Preserve your intelligence and avoid this movie.
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36 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Chillianis on January 6, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Where to begin?
Why in Heaven's name would the producers go through all the effort to digitally recreate "Battleship Row" and waves upon waves of attacking Japanese aircraft, only to show a US NAVY NIMITZ Class nuclear carrier in another scene, and try to palm it off as a Japanese carrier? And the footage of the TICONDEROGA Class Guided Missile Cruisers (First commissioned in 1980), interspersed with the WWII battleships getting blown up, was another anachronistically lovely touch as well.
Add to this a sophomoric love triangle to titillate the pre-pubescent girls (and some of their mothers) in the audience, and pitch it all as a tribute to the fighting men of WWII, and you have the recipe for a totally overhyped, "film that will live in infamy".
The most enjoyable part of the tape, for me, was the "History Channel" program that followed the movie, and showed actual footage from 1941, and told the story of some of the unsung heroes of that day. It's a shame that the producers couldn't spare a few minutes from their three hour long tribute to "Love Story", so rudely interrupted by a few obligatory battle scenes, to do justice to these brave men's story.
Do yourself a favor and get the Widescreen version of "Tora, Tora, Tora" instead. No digital "magic", but an infinitely better telling of the story of the "date that will live in infamy". Sorry girls, no Ben Affleck either.
By the way, the passenger car outside Ben Affleck's train window, "Silver Horizon" was built for the "California Zephyr" in 1948, 7 years after Pearl Harbor. But that's being real picky, I know.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mark A. Allan on August 9, 2010
Format: DVD
This movie should come with a bonus pillow, because you are going to need one before the end. Seriously, this has to be one of the worst movies ever made. It is over long and drawn out to the point where most people in the cinema where I made the mistake of initially seeing it were struggling to stay awake by the time the actual attack began. Admittedly the scenes which feature the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor are impressive from a CGI point of view but tend to look more like an intro sequence to a video game than anything resembling reality. One low flying sequence in particular has the P40 fighters behaving like flying saucers in some cheap 50's Sci-Fi movie. While I realize that some artistic license is required in the making of this type of movie and that some historical inaccuracies or omissions will occur, this is almost comic book stuff. It is a convenient fact that only two American fighter aircraft managed to get off the ground and engage the Japanese on that day but to suggest that these were two childhood buddies and that they both then somehow managed to fly in Doolittle's raid on Japan is insulting to those who actually did. But in the end this sums up this movie, it is a formula American buddy movie that contains all the attributes that makes these types of movie so dire and cringe worthy. Why they named it Pearl Harbor is beyond me when that event only took up such a small portion of the movie. To call it that would suggest an attempt to document the actual events surrounding this historically important event but this is lame romantic claptrap that just uses it as a backdrop. If you want to see a movie about the subject then try Tora, Tora, Tora. There are some fine performances in this film, which must have been hard given the dire nature of the script. Cuba Gooding Jr.Read more ›
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Topic From this Discussion
Does anyone other than me think that this is a truely touching story...
Sorry Megan but your on your own. Love stories set during war aren't uncommon, as a matter of fact there are tons of the damn things.

However, and even though I'm not an American, to take a subject like Pearl Harbour and turn it into this rubbish, it really does a disservice to every one of the... Read More
Oct 30, 2006 by Amazon Customer |  See all 21 posts
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