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

2,465 customer reviews

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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.

Amazon.com

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 (2,465 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Q3TZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,086 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

97 of 113 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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50 of 61 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jim Jr on May 28, 2001
Verified Purchase
Much has been made of historical inaccuracies in this film, but what a viewer should consider is whether they want to be entertained or given a history lesson. There are wonderful documenteries that will give the "true" story, this film is aimed at being an entertainment with a historical background and on that level it is tremendously successful. In a program on the History Channel, "History VS Hollywood", two historians pointed out the flaws, but came to the conclusion that it is basically "history". If nothing else the film illustrates an important event that many in today's audiences really do not know anything about. For this reason alone, it is an important film.
Critics have been hard on the love story that takes up the opening section. This part of the film is really necessary as it puts a human face on the horrible attack and the subsequent bomber raid on Japan. Yes, it is a typical "lovers seperated by war, brought together by tragedy" script, but it is very well done. Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale and Josh Hartnett are excellent and moving as the three caught in a situation they never wanted. Their story is much more involving and believable than the romance that James Cameron forced on "Titanic".
A number of actors who usually star in other films are used to advantage in smaller roles. Alec Baldwin is an excellent "Jimmy Doolittle". It is amazing that on a recent talk show, the host, in her late 30s, did not know who Doolittle was (an example of why this film is important in bringing history to the younger audiences). Jon Voight is a wonderful President Roosevelt. Cuba Gooding, Jr. in a very small, but important role, is a standout.
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56 of 72 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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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Jones on September 17, 2013
Format: DVD
With the special effects of today's movie-making business, I eagerly anticipated this World War II movie, as I study the Pacific War quite avidly. I went and saw it opening weekend for my birthday in 2001.

I could not have been more disappointed!

While the special effects were good, I'll give it that, and the attack scene was well-done, the historical accuracy was abysmal. Michael Bay might as well not even had historical advisors on this film, for he sure as hell didn't listen to them. At the scene in New York alongside the Queen Mary, it shows her being painted gray (by that time, she'd already been painted gray for awhile), in the Pearl Harbor attack scene you have Japanese Zeros flying over MODERN U.S. Navy warships docked in the harbor, and the Doolittle Raid is launched from a MODERN-DAY carrier with a number '8' painted on the deck to symbolize U.S.S. Hornet! Disgraceful! There was a group of WWII veterans sitting behind me in the theater, and they got up and walked out, and I couldn't blame them one bit. And on top of all these gross historical inaccuracies, we also have to deal with some crap-ass love triangle.

Bottom line, if you want to see a movie about Pearl Harbor, get "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and skip this piece of crap completely. If Amazon.com had a 'Zero Star' rating, I'd give it to this film.

And Michael Bay, stick to directing purely fiction-based films like "Transformers" and "Bad Boys", because you have absolutely NO sense of history.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Matt on September 2, 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This movie should only be viewed on blu ray, full 1080P with a surround sound system. You can really feel the impacts of the bombing and gunfire on surround sound. This movie was awesome. It speaks of how the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and would bait the U.S. into WWII. But before that, a group of pilots would return the favor with their own bombing attacks on the Japanese. Seeing all those U.S. sailors running for their lives when they were being attacked is truly scary. Much respect to the men and women of the armed forces.
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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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