DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Titanic: The Complete Story
Titanic: The Complete Story
A&E Video // Unrated // March 13, 2012
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Rich Rosell | posted February 26, 2012 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Skip It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
In 2002 The History Channel released a two-disc set entitled Titanic: The Complete Story that consisted of three full-length documentaries about the famously doomed ship. Now - ten years later - they have once again issued another two-disc set entitled Titanic: The Complete Story, also consisting of three full-length documentaries. For this new set, however, two of those original docs (Death Of A Dream and The Legend Lives On) are still here, with the third (Titanic's Achilles Heel) a new addition, being a relatively recent production - from 2007 - that looks at exploration of the wreckage and possible design flaws in the ship. As with that 2002 set, there is a lot of content here, runtime-wise, but much of it is repetitive and suffers from way too much narrative padding, which was obviously designed to individually stretch these to fit within a two-hour broadcast window.

DISC ONE
Death Of A Dream (01h:35m:47s) was directed by Melissa Jo Peltier, and this 1994 production is narrated by David McCallum. The story begins with the building of the great ship, and concludes with the eventual sinking in the North Atlantic. Along the way we learn unnecessary facts about marginal characters and passengers, and the whole thing seems to take forever to get to the maiden voyage. The Legend Lives On (01h:35m:52s) is another Peltier-directed/McCallum-narrated piece, also from 1994, and essentially is a bookend to Death Of A Dream, opening with events immediately after the ship sank, on through the Senate hearings to find someone to blame. The second half concludes with some rather exciting coverage of Robert Ballard's celebrated search and discovery of the wreckage.

Offering far too much information that is only marginally important, the content here is textbook stiff. Of mild, passing interest are the comments from actual survivors, but their input is ultimately quite minimal. The Ballard material is interesting, in a nerdy explorer kind of way, but it takes way too long to get there.

DISC TWO
The History Channel ditched the previously released Beyond Titanic from the 2002 Complete Story in favor of a newer production entitled Titanic's Achilles Heel (01h:29m:54s). I'm not going to wrestle with semantics on which release is really "complete", so I'll leave that to you. Directed by Kirk Wolfinger and narrated by Edward Herrmann, this time the thesis is what went may have gone wrong, with experts analyzing a possible design flaw. Of the three docs here this is certainly the most engaging and concise, offering a mixture of CGI-theorizing and wreckage expeditions amidst the usual batch of now familiar archival material. Bear in mind the word "concise" still means a bit too much padding for my tastes, but apparently that's to be expected, I guess.

If you're a Titanic-geek with the ability to remain awake during excessively long and dull recountings of historical minutiae then this might be your bag. Yes, Titanic's Achilles Heel is fairly informative but then - if you're a real Titanic-geek - you probably already own the 2002 Complete Story, making this release only 1/3 new to you. Those with just a casual interest in the history would do best to find something a little more bite-sized and not so laborious.

Video
Disc one's Death Of A Dream and The Legend Lives On are presented in their original 1.33:1 fullframe, and are fair but hardly remarkable in any way. Most of the content is closeups of black & white photos, but the occasional color interview segments look fairly bright. Disc two's Titanic's Achilles Heel is presented in nonanamorphic widescreen and certainly looks more vivid - with more natural colors and hues - but then it was made in 2007 and consists mostly of interviews and modern day explorations of the wreckage.

Audio
No complaints on the 2.0 digital stereo tracks, which are clean, with surprisingly rich, deep bass. Narration is equally clear, and mixed well above the score. Nothing terribly fancy here, but more than workable for the material.

Extras
The only extra is a timeline feature on disc one that allows you to click on key dates for a sentence or two of information.

Final Thoughts
There's a lot of repetition in the content here, and I'll wager that if you have even a passing interest in the story of the Titanic then you're already familiar with much of it.

Skip it.
Popular Reviews
1. The Equalizer (2014)
2. Ben-Hur (Diamond Luxe Edition)
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
4. Natural Born Killers: 20th Anniversary
5. Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
6. The Long Goodbye
7. Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season Seven
8. Tales From The Crypt / Vault Of Horror
9. Running Scared
10. The Skeleton Twins


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use