Das Boot: The Director's Cut
Columbia / 1997 / 216 Mins / Rated M15+


MOVIE
The first time I saw this movie was about 10 years ago on an old P&S VHS videotape from the local video store, and even though it was in German with subtitles I loved it, very suspenseful. Well when I heard that Wolfgang Peterson was making a director's cut, I salivated. Cue a couple of years ago down at the Village Geelong 11 cinemas. Now was my chance to see the ultimate version in the best way possible in the cinema. the lights go down and it begins, those familiar opening titles and that familiar submarine goes over my head, all in Dolby Digital. Amazing, and while the new scenes certainly made the movie much better, it just seemed to go a little long too long for me now, ah but I complain too much.

Now CTHV have brought this seminal classic to the DVD format, with the original theatrical trailer, director's commentary, making of Featurette and a heap of chapter stops along the way. Get ready for a numb bum, because this story of a group of young men's courage and how this tour changes their life, is some of the best film-making seen in the last 30 years.

It is 1941, the war is at it's peak and Hitler's famous U-Boat fleet is patrolling the Atlantic, the story revolves around a group of young men who join their 30 year old seasoned captain in what they hope will be an adventure, but turns into a voyage of fear, terror and hope when they get more than they bargained for hunting down allied ships. Do they get back alive or will they go down in the end as heroes, well lets just say the end is one you won't forget.

VIDEO

Overall the print is of high quality, although I did notice some MPEG distortion during the opening submarine shot, mostly though the movie is great visually, seeing it's a very dark movie mostly. The colors are very clear and vivid and are easy on the eyes.

Das Boot is framed at 1:85:1 and is 16:9 enhanced.

This is an RSDL disc and the layer change occurs at around 97 minutes and seems to be placed very well, it took me a little time to see the change it's placed that well. I guess that's one up on region 1 for us.

AUDIO

This is what Dolby Digital was made for! The sound effects of the sonar and explosions in this movie are outstanding, but the English dubbing of the voices is pitiful. So then I changed over to the German language and shock horror, it's only in DD2.0. Thinking my player was fubar I looked at the cover and German was indeed in DD2.0 but there was a fu***** French DD5.1 soundtrack, why Columbia? why? But if I were to take that gripe out of the equation I would say it's an outstanding sound field. A very meaty use of the surrounds and the .1 channel.

The dialog was bloody hard to make out on the English 5.1 track, it sounded really muddy but the rest is clear in that mix. So I decided to listen to the German DD2.0 after listening to the DD5.1 English track.

EXTRAS
More extras than a usual CTHV disc. Firstly you get the Dolby Digital trailer to start the movie, then you get the trailer, although it doesn't look like the theatrical one, but one that was on a TV commercial, if you see the trailer on the Windscreen VHS version of the DC it is much longer and better, pity it's not on the DVD. You also get the director's commentary. I love any of Wolfgang Peterson's commentary tracks. The first one of his I heard was on the Air Force One. He always gets very excited about his movies and tries to give you the most info about how he did this and that, so it is very informative. The commentary also has Ortwin Fryermuth, the producer of the director's cut. He is moderately interesting, but I prefer old Wolfgang. The star Jurgen Prochnow also pops up in the commentary and some of the stuff he says is moderately interesting. There is also is also a quick 5 minute Featurette with scenes from the trailer and others doco shots put together as well, sort of like the stuff on the VR discs. The other great thing about the disc is it's chapters, 66 in all and if there's one thing I like about a DVD it's a well chaptered one.

Subtitles include English, French, German, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Dutch, Arabic.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Why are you still reading this go and get it, it moves near the top of the must buy R4 DVD's.

16:9 ENHANCEMENT DISC RATING

VIDEO:
AUDIO:
EXTRAS:
PLOT:
OVERALL:

REVIEW EQUIPMENT

Display: 48" Sony RPTV.
DVD Player:
Panasonic A350 Player using S-Video Cables.
Receiver:
Pioneer VSX-D508 Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Speakers:
Accusound speaker system.

Copyright 2000 by [Roger Ward].
Revised: 25 May 2000 00:21:38 +1100 .

DVD INFORMATION
Region Coding: Region 4
No of Discs: 1
OFLC Rating M15+
Running Time: 216 minutes
Case Type: Clip Case
Release Date: 2/2/1999
Catalog Number: D25358
List Price: $34.95
Distributor: Columbia/Tri-Star
DISC SPECIFICATIONS
Disc Format: PAL
Disc Type: Picture Disc
Disc Format: SS-RSDL
Chapters: 66
Macrovision: Yes
Manufacturer: Sony DVD Center
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
Anamorphic: Yes
Film Format: 35mm
SOUND SPECIFICATIONS
Dolby Digital:

5.1 Surround
2.0 Surround

DTS: None
PCM Stereo: None
Other: None
Languages:


English
French
German
Subtitles: Yes
SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary: Yes
Theatrical Trailer: Yes
Teaser Trailer: None
TV Spots: None
Dolby Trailer: Yes
Documentary: Yes
Cast & Crew Bios: None
Deleted Scenes: None
Music Videos: None
DVD Rom Content: None
Collectable Booklet: None
Scene Access: Yes
Animated Menus: None
Production Notes: None
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