PictureNapoleon is presented to us in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced transfer that gives it a reasonable cinematic feel. The detail is fantastic, in particular for the facial close-ups, and clarity is retained throughout. There is marginal grain, but nothing so as to detract from your enjoyment of the six-hour feature. The picture is also filtered occasionally to bring out different colours and set the tone of the scenes, made more effective by the accurate representation of the broad colour scheme. All in all, considering its TV origins, it was nice to see such a clean, polished transfer. There was no sign of dust, dirt or scratches and absolutely nothing to really complain about.
SoundThe mini-series is given a solid but not exemplary Dolby Digital 2.0 track that does just what you would expect - it is nothing spectacular, but adequate enough to absorb you in the story. The dialogue itself, whether or not you can comprehend the garbled English, is perfectly clear and always comes at you from the frontal array of your sound system. During the battle scenes, some of the effects can be noticed but without surrounds to come into play, nothing dynamic occurs. The cannon-fire lacks bass which is a shame when some of the effects have the potential to shake your living room. The score is well chosen and pulls you into the atmosphere of the production. Overall, it is nothing to write home about, but can still be considered possibly okay when you remember that it is just TV show soundtrack, it's just a shame when you know that there are other releases out there (The German Region 2 release, for example) which have 5.1 tracks.
ExtrasNapoleon is being released in a Collector's Edition set with a third disc full of extras including a featurette and two A&E Channel bonus documentaries on Napoleon.
VerdictOne of those legendary leaders that is often overlooked, Napoleon is here deservedly remembered in a lavish six hour production. No expense appears to have been spared, and it really shows. With a decent release - solid video and reasonable audio, and a bucket of extras - this should be a must for any fan of the French/Corsican hero, or simply anybody who wants to know more about him. Recommended.
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