Customer Review

103 of 138 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not the best, December 30, 2009
This review is from: WWII in HD [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
WWII in HD does a good job of using personal stories to tell a larger tale. Gary Sinise is a great narrator. The real-life soldiers/sailors/marines are terrific and their story is worthy of being told.

The production suffers from two main problems, that pull it down from being the best of class in the area of color WWII documentaries.

1) There is heavy use of colorized film. For example, you can now watch General MacArthur wade ashore in a film you've seen before, but now it's in color. I found that to be too distracting to abide. There are many, many other cases of film colorization, this is just the most shocking.

2) There is a lot of unnecessary back and forth... from Leyte to Europe, then back to Leyte, then back to Europe, then back to Leyte, then to somewhere else in Europe, then back to Leyte... At each transition, there is a high-tech, google-earth-like movement across the globe that I found out of place and amateurish given the seriousness of the subject.

I found "World War II - The Lost Color Archives", sold right here at Amazon.com (World War II - The Lost Color Archives), to be a much more satisfying experience. That documentary does a better job of using its 100% authentic color film to tell the story of WWII.

While "WWII in HD" is not the best documentary, either about WWII, or in the sub-genre of color presentation of the war, it should be considered a quality addition to the canon. In other words, if you own several other documentaries, you should consider getting this one too, for what it adds. However, if you are looking for one or two, definitive, documentaries to watch, then I'd suggest going elsewhere.
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Comments

Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 19, 2010 10:36:06 PM PST
Christopher says:
Nothing wrong with colorization on real life. You know many wonder what events would have been like if viewed in color. As for the back and forth, it is not a movie,, they do not have sequential footage that follows a screenplay, so they have to do what they can to make it interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 12:25:28 AM PST
I did not see the whole series when it aired, but the ones I did see it seemed to be going back and forth conveying what was happening when, in relation to the other individual's stories and footage.. I was blown away by the what I did see, and how they would have the Hollywood narrations that then transitioned to the actual person at 80 recalling the details... Amazing.. Definitely one to buy.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 8:17:08 AM PST
R. Kell says:
Read the Amazon description!!!: "Add to that the fact that most of it is in color (not colorized, but originally recorded in that medium, some at the behest of the United States government), and the result is nothing short of astonishing." 50% of your argument is bogus, and the other 50% is nitpicky at best. It doesn't have to be in B&W to be authentic and engaging. Sheesh.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2010 3:53:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 27, 2010 3:54:33 PM PST
Kir Kanos TN says:
I Agree Reid M. Kell!

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 12:38:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 28, 2010 12:40:59 AM PST
While I haven't seen this particular production, I have seen a lot of other color archive footage that looks peculiar when compared to more modern examples of color. Some footage will have a tint, color cast or other property that at first glance appears colorized when it actually is not. This is particularly true of the earliest examples of color film stock, or film that wasn't processed or stored under ideal conditions. Perhaps this explains why the reviewer thought some of it was colorized. I'll reserve final judgement until I watch the discs, but people should be aware that some of the footage will not have the look of modern color film stock, even allowing for age, wear, and tear.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010 2:26:49 AM PST
C. W. Hacker says:
I don't have a source to back this up, but in some cases well-known footage that you're familiar with from multiple documentaries as being in black and white may very well have been shot in color - what was released for general consumption was likely originally a black and white print, e.g. for newsreels, which is what's commonly available and used in documentaries later. Whether or not this is the case here (e.g. MacArthur coming ashore) I don't know, but it would seem a little disingenuous to include so much colorized film as you're implying.

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 10:17:40 PM PST
We have to keep memories of WW2 alive for the coming generations. I believe the "high-tech, google-earth-like movement across the globe" is NOT "out of place and amateurish given the seriousness of the subject" as implied. I believe it rather helps younger google-using generations grasp the geographical scale of the war. My father was teaching English and Math in Corregidor when WW2 started then had to become a guerrilla to fight unconventionally after MacArthur left the little island for Australia. I don't feel he was disrespected by the 'amateurish high-tech' attempt.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 11:53:12 AM PST
As one who was there I find your comments insulting.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2011 3:57:52 PM PST
D. DEGEORGE says:
It is not clear to me whose comments you found insulting, or why. If you are commenting on the original review by M. Anderson, why would you not share his concern that those of you who were there might be demeaned by gimmickry and false color; or were you one of those who shot the film? As some of the other comments suggest, he may be wrong about whether or not the color was real; but I don't understand why you find his concerns insulting, other than to those who edited and produced these discs.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2011 7:03:45 AM PST
insulting for what reason.
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