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The Witches (Keep Case Packaging)
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Since I have seen the film numerous times, I was a bit disappointed that the DVD did not contain any special features, such as a commentary from the filmmaker or one of the actors. Other than the most basic chapter selection, the DVD does not offer any of the bonuses that one would like to see. Fortunately, the film itself is so good that it is worthwhile to buy this disc in spite of the substandard packaging.
From the very beginning of the film, we are thrown into an imaginative world where witches reside in literally every small village and where no child is safe in any country. As the credits roll across the screen, Roeg treats us to a ride on a broomstick, to a witch's-eye view of the frozen Scandinavian countryside.
The film then introduces us to Luke and his grandmother, the protagonists of this tale. We learn that the grandmother has long been fighting the witches and even has lost part of her finger in the struggles. After tragedy strikes the young boy's parents, the pair travel to England, which is literally infested with witches. Fortunately, Luke has been well-warned how to recognize them and can play safely in his tree house when other children would be in grave peril.
The delicious irony compounds when the grandmother takes Luke to a seaside resort hotel for her convalescence. It is the precise time when all the witches of England are meeting under the cover of the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children.Read more ›
The movie had previously only ever been released on home video in "fullscreen" (4:3 or 1.33:1 ratio). Both the VHS and DVD releases have only ever had the fullscreen format. A widescreen VHS, LaserDisc or DVD was never released, in any country. The only way to have viewed the complete widescreen version of the film was if you got to see it in theaters when it was released.
Even subsequent airings on HD television channels seem to play a butchered version of the 4:3 cut, further cut from the top and bottom for the illusion of widescreen. What you got was a twice-butchered version (first, the fullscreen version is missing video from the left and right, THEN, the HDTV version cuts data from the top and bottom of the fullscreen version to make a fake-widescreen transfer).
So call me skeptical when Amazon Video claimed the movie was available in widescreen. I bit the bullet and viewed it.
The Amazon Video version, I can confirm, is the full 16:9 release of the film. In both SD and HD resolutions!
As of this review, the movie is available to stream for free if you have a Prime subscription. It is also available to purchase or rent on Amazon Video. If you want to watch it on your TV, a Roku box, PlayStation3 or Xbox 360 can achieve this. You can also watch it on your iPad with the Amazon Prime Video app (sadly not available for iPhone or iPod Touch yet).
The digital release also exists on iTunes and Vudu, but I cannot confirm if they are truly the widescreen version (though it's likely, as Amazon, Apple and UltraViolet probably get their digital release from the same source).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fun movie! This movie is a classic that I watched as a child and now share with my own children! My kids also love this movie. Read morePublished 4 days ago by BigRed
This was my favorite movie as a kid. And I still love it today.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very complex and interesting movie. Very faithful to the book until the last 3 minutes. Worth watching if you are a Dahl fan. True to his spiritPublished 10 days ago by Tracey
Wonderful entertainment - Angelica Huston superb and well supported by the rest of the cast who all appeared to have a very enjoyable time.Published 12 days ago by Hoops
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