233 of 268 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cinematic masterpiece!
Meet Oskar Schindler. A German living in occupied Poland during World War II. A member in good standing of the Nazi party. A womanizer, a war profiteer...and ultimately a man of conscience. A man who became one of the great unsung heroes and humanitarians of the war.
"Schindler's List" chronicles Oskar Schindler's spiritual odyssey from war profiteer to...
Published on February 21, 2001 by Mike Powers
40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie - Disappointing Set
I was very excited to see the DVD of Schindler's List finally released. So excited, in fact, that I bought the Collector's Edition. To my dismay, it was not a very exciting collection.
Before I get to that, I will just state that the movie is as good as ever and it has been some time since I have seen it. The quality is clean and clear, while sound is great. This is a...
Published on March 27, 2004 by rareoopdvds
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233 of 268 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cinematic masterpiece!,
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This review is from: Schindler's List (Widescreen Edition) [VHS] (VHS Tape)Meet Oskar Schindler. A German living in occupied Poland during World War II. A member in good standing of the Nazi party. A womanizer, a war profiteer...and ultimately a man of conscience. A man who became one of the great unsung heroes and humanitarians of the war.
"Schindler's List" chronicles Oskar Schindler's spiritual odyssey from war profiteer to humanitarian and hero. Winner of seven Academy Awards® in 1993, including Best Picture, this harrowing and heart-rending film is Steven Spielberg's masterpiece, and perhaps one of the finest and most important movies ever made. It depicts Schindler's ultimately successful attempt to rescue 1,100 Jews from Hitler's "Final Solution" by getting them to safety outside Poland.
Dynamic performances abound in this beautiful movie, Especially noteworthy are Liam Neeson as the suave Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as the monstrously depraved Nazi colonel, Amon Goeth, and Ben Kingsley as the dignified, principled Jewish prisoner Itzhak Stern.
"Schindler's List" is definitely not light entertainment! This beautiful movie allows viewers to feel like they're actually a part of one of the darkest, most horrific periods in history. (I'm sure this is the reason the film was shot in black-and-white, with only minor "colorized" bits included.) The story of the Holocaust needs to be told over and over again, in hopes that future generations can understand the horrors perpetrated on an entire race of people and prevent future occurrences. "Schindler's List" is perhaps one of the best and most effective vehicles for telling that story I've ever experienced.
67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal movie that everyone should see,
First of all, the acting is superb. Liam Neeson does well as Oskar Schindler, but in particular I liked Ben Kingsley (as Istak Stern, Schindler's accountant) and Ralph Fiennes (as Amon Goeth, the camp commandant). All of the performances were very convincing and reflect the good casting.
Another great feature of this film is the soundtrack. Slow, soaring music tells of the painful circumstances of the Jews and of their conflict with the Nazi regime. Mixed in with the instrumental pieces are Jewish melodies which also gave me a sense of the cultural traditions of the Jewish people.
From a technical point of view, the decision by director Spielberg to shoot the movie is black-and-white was a good one. In fact, I think it makes the movie better than it would have been in color. The few color segments throughout the movie are aptly placed and help to focus the viewer's attention on particular details through the eyes of Schindler. The scenery and photography were excellent compared to other movies I have seen and contribute to the whole atmosphere of the 1940s. Some people may be put off a bit by the length (over 3 hours) but believe me, every minute is worthwhile. Unlike other long movies, there are no lulls or useless scenes -- everything counts.
The best part of the movie without any doubt is the story itself, the tale of Oskar Schindler and how he was able to save 1100 Jews from the Auschwitz gas chambers by employing them in his enamelware factory and eventually his shelling factory. Schindler's ambition and personal success shines through amidst the Jewish tragedy and shows how one man, if he has the willpower, can accomplish what appears to be impossible. Based on the novel by Thomas Keneally (which I have not yet had the opportunity to read), this movie digs deep into the human soul and shows how different people are able to survive.
There are many touching moments in this film; in particular, near the end when the war has been declared over and the Nazis must flee from the Soviet army. This part and the modern-day segment that follows are both truly heart-warming tributes. I finished watching this movie for about the fourth time yesterday, and even though I didn't cry, tears welled up in my eyes (and this rarely happens when I watch movies).
This movie is a must-see not only for its excellence in the film genre but for the story it presents to the viewer. Although it is not suitable for young children (due to its violence and mature content), any mature individual should see it so they can understand that a spark of good can still exist in a fire of evil. This movie deserved all of the Academy Awards that it received and will likely remain in top ten lists for at least the next fifty years. Highly recommended.
67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece for all time,
This review is from: Schindler's List (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) (Blu-ray)Steven Spielberg finally got the long awaited respect he deserved as director when he won the Oscar for his 3 hour 16 minute epic. And now this excellent 20th Anniversary Blu ray finally arrives. Spielberg shot in black and white because he says that is how he pictures all the events in his mind. As a kid he had seen some photos and they were B & W. With a splash of color at the beginning and end, he also tosses in an effective shot of a little girl walking through chaos wearing a red coat.
Brilliant movie making but certainly not a movie that can be casually watched. Nor is it a film that requires regular viewing. Frankly it is difficult assignment most of the time. In spite of the upbeat aura of Schindler's great good, the film also accurately depicts the horrors the Nazis bestowed upon Jews throughout Eastern Europe. As one might expect, we see superb performances especially by Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes. A masterpiece for all time.
This Blu ray transfer includes a 1080p resolution and a 1.85:1 aspect ratio that matches the original. Spielberg personally supervised the high definition transfer and the lossless audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) restoration of the film from the 35mm film original negative. Special features include:
Voices from the List: Documentary featuring a number of testimonies and stories from men and women who survived the Holocaust thanks to Oskar Schindler.
USC Shoah Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg
119 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The List Is A Life,
Spielberg wisely does not gloss over the fact that Schindler was every bit the womanizer as he was an astute, cagey businessman who made deals with the Nazis to set up an enamelware factory in the Cracow ghetto and employ the Jewish populace there. But his very trusted secretary Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) manages to awaken a latent spark of humanity in the once cold-blooded Schindler. By the time the war is over and the facts are known about the Nazi atrocities, Schindler is financially broke but spiritually enriched. "He who saves one life saves the world entire."
Filmed in somber, documentary-like black-and-white by Janusz Kaminski, SCHINDLER'S LIST features superb performances by Neeson and Kingsley, as well as British actor Ralph Fiennes as the extraordinarily chilling Nazi commandant Amon Goeth, whose basic senses of Nazi business Schindler must appeal to while keeping the fact that he is sheltering the Jews a secret. Spielberg spares nothing in showing us the horrors of the Nazis barbarism; and although it is, not surprisingly, a very lengthy film (three hours and ten minutes), a lot happens for us to absorb, so it never becomes ponderous or heavy-handed.
Winner of seven Oscars, including a Best Director nod to Spielberg that was long overdue, SCHINDLER'S LIST shows us the worst in humanity, but also the best as well. Even in so much pain and death, there is hope. And that is why this film is such a masterpiece.
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Importance Of One Man,
This review is from: Schindler's List (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) (Blu-ray)When watching a movie like "Schindler's List", there are so many ways that it can be appreciated. It's a history lesson, an intense drama, and a gripping character study all at once. For me, however, the film really hits home with the realization of the difference that one person can make in the grand scheme of things.
For a basic plot summary, "Schindler's List" focuses on Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a high-ranking member of the Nazi party during World War II. When the German Nazis invade Poland and begin rounding up Jews into ghettos, Schindler sees it as strictly a business operation, opening up his own pots-and-pans factory using Jewish labor. While raking in the dough on the backs of the Jews, however, Schindler begins to see the escalating brutality of the Nazis and is eventually appalled by their treatment at the concentration camps. Thus, he creates a list of workers that he ultimately hopes to protect from the brutality.
As a history-based epic, "Schindler's List" manages to capture the essence of the moment AND yet still be subtle about it at the same time. Director Steven Spielberg strikes the perfect balance between drama and realism. The acting performance from Ralph Fiennes as the Nazi Commandant is especially shocking for its ability to depict the brutality of those camps. Essentially, this is a movie that should be shown to American high school students at least once during their education for its ability to show the true horrors of the holocaust.
Perhaps the true hallmark of the movie, though, is the character evolution of Mr. Schindler. He starts off as nothing more than a ruthless businessman, but over time (and it quite literally takes almost every minute of the film's 3+ hour runtime to come to fruition) he begins to realize not only the horrors transpiring around him, but also that he has the power (and thus the responsibility) to do something about it. To me, that was the most endearing message that I took from the overall experience.
Thus, I consider "Schindler's List" to be a masterpiece of American cinema (although, what should I have expected from Mr. Spielberg?!). It is compelling on both a historic and personal level simultaneously. Even though it is quite long, there are very few wasted moments.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful!!! The Best movie of the last 50 years!!!,
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rest Is Silence,Schindler's List (Widescreen Edition)I saw this movie for the first time along with a group of seven other people, in a completely full theater. When the curtain went down and the lights came on, everyone got up and moved to the door, but no one said a word. Not one. It was dead quiet all the way out to the street. I've never experienced anything like that.
I was raised knowing all about the six million we lost in the Holocaust, not to mention the five or six million others who died in the camps, but I didn't really get it until Spielberg silenced me and everyone else in the room. How did he do it?
First of all, he chose the right protagonist. Oskar Schindler, the savior of a thousand Jews, was anything but an angel - he toadied up to those in power unashamedly, paid bribes with money he didn't have, took advantage of the unfortunate for his own ends, cheated endlessly on his wife, and kept his eye on his bottom line to the exclusion of everything else. He was flawed, vulnerable and human, like you and me, and through his reaction to what he sees we can feel the indescribable horror as we could not through the reactions of a saint. There's a scene in this movie where Schindler, out for a horseback ride with one of his girlfriends, happens upon a mountain of corpses being burned. A saint might look sad or angry at such a scene - Liam Neeson's expression is that of a man falling off a cliff he didn't know was there. Faced with such carnage, that's probably how I'd look, too.
Spielberg's other smart move was filming "Schindler's List" in black and white. Siskel and Ebert have pointed out, rightly, that black and white makes images appear somehow eternal, like historical documents rather than mere pictures. That's certainly true here, but it works on many levels. Sometimes the black and white photography has a matte finish and takes on the character of news photography, showing how banal (and therefore how terrifying) an image is, such as those times when Ralph Fiennes Commandant Goeth shoots a few passing prisoners for breakfast. On the other hand, "Schindler's List" contains a great many images that look like they were etched on mirrors, such as the famous shot of a little boy hiding from the Nazis at the bottom of a latrine. At those moments, even when (as one character says) "all around lies the gulf," the pictures soak up a truly heavenly light, as though Someone were watching.
The performers involved certainly behave as though Someone were watching, and they turn in the work of their lives, from the stars to the bit players. Neeson has just the right sort of big, craggy face that can show decadence one minute and agony the next, and he's got the talent to run the whole gamut in all the right places. Fiennes, in his first major role, resembles nothing so much as a sort of human hog, but a cunning and crazed one - he seems able to sweat on cue. Ben Kingsley as Schindler's factory manager, with almost no change in his facial expression, makes us see how he moves from suspicion to hope to love for this strange animal, his boss. And besides these monumental performances, there's the black marketeer who finagles his customers with one breath and loves his wife with the next; the engineer who sacrifices her life to the fact that concrete needs to be poured with care; the old hinge-maker who waits on his knees for a miracle involving a jammed gun; the pretty young woman who informs Schindler that he's running a haven rather than a factory; the kindly but finally gutless industrialist, and a many dozen others, all unforgettable.
And then there's Spielberg's damping down his usual sentimentality, his choice of Yiddish music for the soundtrack, his placement of the camera at a quiet and unobtrusive angle for the worst of evils - I found all of this pretty nearly perfect, but there were those who complained about the movie's historical inaccuracy. In one scene, much noted for its supposed softening of the facts, Schindler's female "employees" find themselves in a big room with shower heads in the ceiling and actually get a shower instead of a flood of poison gas. It's true that most prisoners were not so fortunate, and that such scenes may play into the hands of the filth who claim that there was no cyanide in the camps, but I can't see that as an argument against this movie. If nothing else, the looks of tension on the women's faces before the water comes down is more than enough to tell us what they expect to get.
After all, Spielberg is not a documentarian, he's a storyteller; this story could not have had a better servant. The meaning of the Holocaust is as plain as plain here, particularly at the end when Schindler realizes that he could have saved a few more human beings if he had just thought to sell his car or his gold Nazi pin. He crumples weeping to his knees, only to be lifted up by the men and women he has saved.
A little later we learn that the descendants of Schindler's Jews living in Israel outnumber the entire current Jewish population of Poland. That silences all criticism, as the movie audience already knew. Hence the quiet after the final credits.
Benshlomo says nothing.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrible subject brought beautifully to film,
The most poignant moment is the one, the only, faded splash of faint color in the little girls red coat; the rest of the movie is black and white, which only adds to the impact of the total emotion of this fantastic film.
53 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie to be forever treasured and honored.,
By A Customer
40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie - Disappointing Set,
This review is from: Schindler's List Collector's Gift Set (DVD)I was very excited to see the DVD of Schindler's List finally released. So excited, in fact, that I bought the Collector's Edition. To my dismay, it was not a very exciting collection.
Before I get to that, I will just state that the movie is as good as ever and it has been some time since I have seen it. The quality is clean and clear, while sound is great. This is a film that utilizes the widescreen aspect and should be seen in this format (why they even offer a full screen is beyond my comprehension). Nonetheless, it is an amazing film; certainly Spielberg's finest to date.
The collection that comes with the DVD does not quite meet the films quality. What you will receive in the set is a picture disc of the soundtrack. The soundtrack is from John Williams, and perhaps one of his most moving scores I have heard from him. While he instills his usual thematic sound, the music in this film has a deeply personal emotion that is carried with it, along with Itzhak Perlman's violin solos. Truly beautiful music, however sad it may sound.
Along with the soundtrack is a senitype, which is a reproduction of one of the 35mm frames. I imagine they are the same pictures, one of the girl in the red coat walking along the streets. Its a nice photo, but why do I want it? What am I going to do with it?
Also is a small hardcover book of images from the film. A nice book as well, but with a book that shows photos of the movie, why look at the book when you can just watch the movie? Very little in the making of the film.
Finally is a Certificate of Authenticity. Now this just tops the cake. I mean, a Certificate that says this is a real AND official collector's set, because if I did not get one of these, I was going to assume this was a bootleg of some sort. There is not even a printed autograph! It just brags about the film and tells you what the set offers, which, if you did not open the set to see what was in it, you could not read this little certificate to see what was in it. Completely stupid.
If that does not thrill you enough, then you will also get a little pamphlet that tells you about the SHOAH organization which you can send some money to support them. Ugh.
The DVD offers some extras. No commentary, no behind the scenes footage. Can't break that fourth wall, now!! Keep it real! But you will get stories of the real Schindler Jews who have survived. You will also learn about the SHOAH organization. Furthermore is a video on Schindler's life, which is probably the best extra on the disc. The DVD is two-sided which is another unfortunate aspect which takes me back to the laser-disc days when I had to flip the disc over to continue the film. That annoyws me that I have to do that.
The best part of the collection is the case, which is a plexiglass casing with the names of the list printed in gray. Its pretty cool. While all this stuff is held in a slip case, which does not hold it very well, the plexiglass case has some metal dowels to keep it all in place.
In all, a poor set and for the price, definately not worth it. If I had known it was going to be a disappointing set, I would have just saved my money and bought the movie only version.
The ratings are 5 stars for the movie, and 2 stars for the set, which culminates to about 3 stars overall. If you love the movie, get the movie, not this set.
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Schindler's List (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) by Steven Spielberg (Blu-ray - 2013)