This insightful, inspiring 1962 epic portrait of a British officer who turned into a great and legendary leader of Arabs in World War 1 - uniting warring factions into a guerrilla army capable of defeating the Turkish occupiers - is one of the greatest, most critically acclaimed, and most beloved films of all time and it has certainly gotten the Blu-ray treatment it deserves.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" Snow White - at least in terms of this Blu-ray disc. The film itself is sometimes exciting and engaging, sometimes draggy, but where sound and vision is concerned, it's reference quality.
Is man ruled by heaven or his own will? Is the great flood coming again? Does man deserve to survive? Often defying logic, this mythological story where miracles occur regularly explores such questions. Noah, who follows the ways of God and respects fellow creatures, is conservationist, vegetarian, but not pacifist, slaughtering those who oppose the Lord’s work. Those, the descendants of Cain, have created cities, ripping minerals from the land to forge weapons and armor. But the land is dying, and the cities are dead. And since selfish man has broken the world and exploits other creatures, God decides to annihilate humans. This, once the family is isolated on the ark and all special effects are done with, sets off a smaller, more intimate drama closer to Greek tragedy with sons murderously set against father.
Hey, we're not making this up as we go. We're on a crusade to unearth the best box sets of the holiday season. And here they are - not in any particular order, but simply the ten coolest treasures on DVD and CD. Is your friend's home theater starting to seem like a temple of gloom? Do you and your girl keep going out on, shall we say, bad dates?
The idea of great, aging actors running around, dropping their elegant theatrical gravitas, and letting their hair down to play goofy action heroes was an inspired one that produced plenty of humor and charm in Reds. Though the concept doesn’t work quite as well the second time around, it still offers a lot of fun.
Black Hawk Down (Sony). Finally, it all comes together on one high-def disc: incredibly detailed 1080p images and stunningly clear, uncompressed PCM 5.1-channel surround sound. A sea of fine lines in Sam Shepard's face adds authenticity to his portrayal of the commander of the mission, and his skin tones look utterly natural.
(Paramount) Clint Eastwood's cinematic debunking of wartime heroism makes for a terrific home theater experience. The clear, crisp, and bright DVD picture has depth and detail to burn, even in the many nighttime scenes. Although the combat images are tinted like old photographs, bursts of orange flames cut through the sea of green and brown when the big guns blast.