King Arthur: Director's Cut DVD Review
PictureFrom a technical viewpoint I thought the THX optimized and anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 image was bright, clean and nicely detailed. Colours are rich and solid, and contrast levels are good with Arthur and his Knight's armour and clothing being depicted very well - they really stand out against the green background of the British countryside. This is one of those images where skin pores and individual hairs can be easily made out and the tonal balance of colours is excellent, if seeming a little out of place with what is meant to be the harsh and gruesome nature of 15th Century Britain. As I've already mentioned though, the vibrant image seems somewhat out of place given the subject matter, and I found this characteristic alone a little jarring. Still, the image does look very good on a ninety inch screen, despite the appearance of a little edge enhancement, and a few murky looking darker scenes. Overall, King Arthur: Director's Cut has been given a very good DVD transfer.
SoundThe 448Kbps Dolby Digital track, again tweaked by THX, is pretty run of the mill - I had hoped for more. Arrows phut in an average way, lacking the dynamism of say Gladiator and everything seems merely adequate at best. The audio highlight for me was the frozen lake scene, my sub woofer sprang to life a little, and the whole action sequence lent itself well to a home cinema setting.
I had hoped for some Gladiator (or come to think of it even Braveheart or The Patriot) style fight scenes, and a matching audio fest. Unfortunately that was not to be, and whilst audio is always adequate, it never really aspires to anything more. It's all a bit of a let down, really, and does the movie (and the movie experience) no favours at all.
ExtrasBlood On The Land: Forging King Arthur It's quite remarkable how this feature made me feel like watching the movie all over again! Here is the gritty realism missing from the Hollywood glitziness of the actual film. Hearing the cast and crew singing the movie's praises so highly all seemed a little sycophantic to me, though.
Cast And Filmmaker Roundtable is a fifteen minute discussion by some of those involved in the movie making process, and one viewing of the Alternate Ending will leave you in no doubt why it's the alternate. If you're interested in 15th Century trivia then turn on the Knight Vision feature and you should be suitably impressed - throughout the movie at relevant points little nuggets of information spring up on screen.
The Audio Commentary With Antoine Fuqua was a little too dry for my taste, but fans of the movie should find much of interest here and overall King Arthur: Director's Cut gets a reasonable set of supplemental features.
VerdictKing Arthur: Director's Cut has two redeeming features as far as I'm concerned - the first is the frozen lake battle scene; the second is the Sneak Peak feature for The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Sorry, but I advise giving poor old Arthur a wide berth.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £29.99