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UPC: 025192055027

Format: DVD

Release Date: Mar 23, 1999

Rating: NR

Regular price $10.95 USD
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After the back-to-back smashes of Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg tried his hand at comedy with this loud, chaotic wartime comedy. The end result has long been dismissed as the blackest mark on the director's record. This DVD edition from Universal will allow people to judge for themselves. The film, a restored director's cut clocking in at two hours and 26 minutes, looks great, presented in a widescreen format with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Spielberg expertly captured the tone and look of 1940s California, and this DVD lets viewers luxuriate in it; however, they can't relax for long, as the sound has been remixed to a ground-shaking Dolby Digital 5.1. Every crashing plane, roaring anti-aircraft gun, and collapsing house sounds as if it's happening next door. Where the disc really takes off is with the extras. First up is an encyclopedic documentary that runs 100 minutes and gives every detail of the film's making. There are loads of anecdotes (including John Wayne's and Charlton Heston's refusal to act in the film, seeing it as unpatriotic), Spielberg's own home movies, and some reflections on the end result by the film's creators, many of whom (such as Robert Zemeckis ) went on to great success. Also included is a collection of promotional artwork and selected reviews from critics (few of which are favorable). Additionally, there are deleted scenes, trailers, production photographs, and production notes. One feature that deserves mentioning, only for how odd it is, is titled "Comic Relief" -- a collection of production stills with (supposedly) humorous voice balloons drawn over them. It's certainly one feature they could have left out. Overall, fans of 1941 and Spielberg completists will want to have this in their libraries.
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