Gettysburg: Director's Cut (Blu-ray Book Packaging)


On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Running Time: 
271 Minutes

Except for the professional actors, this movie featured over 13,000 volunteer Civil War re-enactors who paid their own way, provided their own props and uniforms and fought the battles presented on screen using the same tactics as were current at the time. ~IMDB

Warner Bros. puts out their sweeping epic tales of the Civil War this month with both Gettysburg as well as Gods & Generals (the prequel to Gettysburg). For those that liked them both they will come in a double box set in July on BD. The individual titles both come in Director’s Cut versions supplemented with 48-Page booklets that give you an in-depth look at the creative process and history behind the films story. Unfortunately, for Gettysburg fans anyway, the fine polished outside appearance of this release brings to mind the old saying, “Never judge a book by its cover”.

Sadly the picture quality for this release is poorly at best. Color is a delicate balance between somewhat vibrant to often times muted. Black levels are exceptionally deep, which is a positive, but light variances, most likely due to the majority of the film being shot out in the open, are in competition with the natural elements never obtaining a solid light scheme. Skin tones look unnatural a majority of the time and grain is present when scenes are not well lit. Things like clarity and sharpness are far better off then in the films DVD counterpart but nowhere near BD quality unless, again, your looking at a tight shot. Wide out shots? Forget about it. Audio is good, though never to the level where we wish it could be, what with gunfire, cannon fire, and all the stuff war entails, really immersing you into the fray. Dialogue is clear though and channel use is satisfactory if not a little lacking.

The best supplement in the package is the 48-Page booklet. Beautiful photography, in-depth reading on what it took to bring such a film of this scale to life and the gathering of the cast. It also has a timeline which helps you better immerse yourself in the Civil War story if your not familiar with it. As for the rest of the bonus features its all mostly rehashing from the DVD version and all of them in standard definition. You’d think with the presentation of this release they would have put together something a bit more grand. Still, if you have never seen the film or bonus features that in itself is supplemental, even if the material is standard definition.

~Commentary by Director/Screenwriter Ronald F. Maxwell, Cinematographer Kees Van Oostrum, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author James M. McPherson and Military Historian Craid Symonds.
~The Making of Featurette
~On Location Featurette
~The Battle of Gettysburg Documentary
~Battlefield Maps
~Theatrical Trailer

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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