Schindler's List DVD Review
PictureOverall the transfer is acceptable. Being a mainly black and white film, blacks are solid and contrast is good. Shadow detail is exceptional. However, there is a lot of grain in this print of the film (far more than the USA laserdisc I compared it with). Also, there are quite a few dust and hair speckles I noticed towards the beginning of first disc. There is also some edge enhancement visible on high contrast shots.
The film is split over two sides, with side two holding the extras. The split is handled in the same way as the extended cuts of The Lord of the Rings movies, with a basic menu appearing where you can click on continue movie to get started again. I guess most people will need to go to the main menu to select the sound format they want.
Whether or not a single sided DTS release or a singled sided DD release would have been possible, I'm not sure - but having French, Spanish and 2 flavours of English takes up a lot of room.
SoundThis is a very good sound mix. Obviously this isn't a big action movie with loads of explosions to give you sub a workout, but the sound mix is impressive.
The sound stage is mainly in the front, but the rears are used for ambient noise. The best example of the sound would be in the clearing of the ghetto sequence, which has some great directional sound and is very enveloping.
Switching between DD and DTS shows DTS being far clearer and more natural sounding.
ExtrasAll of the extras are in 4.3:1 ratio.
Firstly, “Voices from the List” is the main documentary, and (in my humble opinion) is a better film than the feature presentation. Lasting about 75-80 minutes, this is a collection of extracts of the interviews of Schindler's survivors of the holocaust. This proves far more interesting and moving than the actual film. Spielberg introduces this documentary and says as much in his introduction.....
Next up is “The Shoah Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg”. This is a 10 minute summary of the video collection and distribution of the interviews of the survivors. It's quite interesting, and is pretty much geared towards raising funds.
The two remaining extra features, “Cast and Filmmakers” and “About Oskar Schindler” are just a few text pages that do exactly like it says on the can.
VerdictThis is an acceptable presentation of (for me) a troubled film. The extras, not the film, are what elevate this disc.
A quick mention should be made of the packaging, a bespoke case which has been made to look like a book. Upon opening “the book” you have a pouch for a booklet on the left (50% to do with the film, the rest just a fund raising mail in slip). This doesn't work because the bottom of the pouch is not sealed, so that the booklet falls out as soon as you put it in. The disc is on the right side of the opened “book”. The back of the packaging has a piece of paper glued on that looks like it should be pulled off....DON'T! Underneath is horrid glue that does not come off! On my copy, the back of the packaging is covered in glue. Please note, this page is supposed to come off - the credits for the film are on the back.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £29.99