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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Patton
Patton
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List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 21, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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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
Highly Recommended
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In Short: Fox does some of their best work here, with really impressive image quality and another disc of extra features.

The Movie:

George C. Scott stars as George S. Patton, a war hero famous not only for his larger-than-life nature, but for his well-planned strategies during wartime. It's a role that Scott has become famous for, and for good reason: he's perfection in the role, making it his own, with an intense and emotional performance.

The film chronicles Patton's army career throughout WWII, with a look into his conflicts, personality, triumphs and failures. It's an outstanding biography and worthy of the 8 Oscars that it captured.


The DVD

VIDEO: Rather than use the materials used for the old laserdisc, Fox has given us an anamorphic transfer and the results are pretty astounding. The film almost looks like a new movie. If not quite looking like a new movie, then it's certainly a new "Patton". Images are sharp and absolutely crisp and clear. Colors are downright excellent, looking vibrant, rich and nicely saturated. Contrast, as well as flesh tones, are also both very good. There's really an excellent amount of detail to the picture as well.

Although there does look to be some slight grain, it certainly wasn't enough to distract me, and considering the picture's age, there really doesn't seem to be that much. There is also an instance or two(literally, one or two times) of some slight shimmering, but again, nothing distracting. Most of this picture looks almost three-dimensional; it's that strong. There are incredibly few marks or scratches on the print used; the few that I did see were very minor. Fox really goes the extra distance here to make an image that's of the highest quality. From begining to end, there wasn't a scene where I wasn't really impressed.It's great to see Fox really do fine work and this transfer is certainly some of the best work I've seen from them. I think a lot of people will be really amazed by this disc.

SOUND: Although it's not going to be as dynamic as most recent movies, I was really suprised by just how listenable this disc is. Explosions and gunfire ring clear throughout, and the battle scenes (which sound great), deliver every detail well. The audio doesn't sound thin or harsh, either. As I said, although it's not a new movie, it still sounds remarkably clear and clean. Jerry Goldsmith's outstanding score is also delivered quite well, sounding consistently clear, crisp and enveloping. Dialogue is not quite as full-sounding as new movies, but it still sounds very good and quite clear. Really nice work by Fox.

MENUS: The menus are basic, but very nice. A small suggestion might have been have Goldsmith's score play behind the menus.

EXTRAS::.
The History Of Patton: A 50 minute documentary, "The History Of Patton" takes a wonderfully in-depth look at not only the man himself, but the production of the picture itself, from stories about the director (Franklin Schaeffner) through tales told by producer Richard Zanuck to stories about how the picture was brought to 20th Century Fox. The director himself is also recorded, and he shares his thoughts about the picture while scenes play out.

This is a really well-made documentary, and many of the crew involved get a chance to share their viewpoint on their role in making one of the best war pictures ever made. We get details on everything from the screenplay to production to working with George C. Scott. It's a fascinating and informative look at a great picture and I think that Fox deserves high praise for including it on a disc of its own. You can also choose to hear Jerry Goldsmith's isolated score during this documentary, as well. Again, you can find this documentary on disc number 2.

Also: Trailers for "The Longest Day", "Patton" and "Tora! Tora! Tora!", as well as an audio essay by the head of the George Patton historical society that lasts until about one hour and twenty minutes into the picture. The audio essay is a fine place to look if you're interested in finding out more about who General George S. Patton really was.



Final Thoughts: The image quality is really quite awesome for a nearly 30 year old movie, the sound quality is good, and there's even another disc with extras. All for $29.99(and even less online). Definitely recommended.

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