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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 97:04)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French, German, Dutch, Arabic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • 60 Additional footage
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - by director Wolfgang Petersen including english, german, french and dutch subtitled commentary tracks.
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Digitally remastered - 5.1 audio
  • Awards/Nominations

Das Boot - Director's Cut

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 200 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

On a hot night, when you're very tired, the last thing you want to do is watch a 3 hour plus movie. But hell, this is Das Boot and I wanted to see just how good the region 4 version held up.

Das Boot is the story of a German U-boat, its crew and the terror they endure whilst encountering the British Navy and their newly acquired techniques for locating enemy subs.

From the outset we are shown a group of young adults, with their cleanly shaven faces and cheeky personalities enjoying their last night on land before setting out to sea. From there, we are with them on their journey as they quickly become men with the responsibility of ensuring the survival of their fellow crew.

At times you really start to feel ill in the stomach at just how helpless these men are and how the human spirit can overcome all odds and find the strength to go on. After being on a small cruise boat for 4 days as part of my honeymoon, I can see similarities in just how tense situations can get.

But which disc is the one YOU want? There are pros and cons but more on that later...

  Video
Contract

For an movie made in 1981, the video quality has held up well. There are a few scenes where there is alot of noise in the picture and it is hard to tell if any compression problems are evident.

Bringing up the bitrate meter that shows a value of 3.0 - 4.0, you start to wonder if in fact there is some side effects. In the very first opening scene of the sub in the green-green water you will notice alot of noise, and I mean alot. Seeing this almost deterred me from the rest of the movie but this is an exception and the rest of the movie is actually very good.

When the crew is on the bridge of the sub, you'll notice some streaks in the background plate. This is a characteristic of the old film and not the dvd so don't be misled.

As an overall, the image is good, Not great. Colors are nicely saturated, within and outside of the sub. The darkness of the sub comes up great and when the red or blue lights are on, the eerie feeling of claustrophobia becomes clear.

One shot I liked in particular is when the sub returns to the surface where they have just torpedoed 3 brittish ships. One ship hasn't sunk yet and the reds and yellows in this scene are very nice indeed. This is also evident on the region 1 disc.

  Audio
Contract

All the reports from the region 1 disc are true. This is an exceptional soundtrack and if there is any argument for a company to do a digital remaster then this disc is the one.

Everyone comments about the bolts bursting across the room, yes this is good, but it is not the ONLY good effect. In the first scene where the crewmen are partying, the ambience is very nice.

I must admit, my favorite sound was the sub creeking and moaning as the sub descends and the pressure outside builds up. I didn't have a subwoofer hooked up but there was enough rumbling to make you nervous.

I watched the entire movie in german surround but went back and saw selected scenes in english 5.1. It is a detriment to our release that the 5.1 german soundtrack was not included but the pro-logic soundtrack is very good on its own.

  Extras
Contract

The extras are exactly the same as the region 1 disc, yet we have the theatrical trailer included aswell. The making of feature is very short indeed and is pretty much just some simple interview footage of the director and main actor thrown in the mix of the trailer.

Then there is the director's commentary track. This is entertaining as we sit with the director Wolfgang Petersen, actor Jurgen Prochnow and director's cut producer Ortwin Fbeyermuth as they reminisce about the making of the movie.

These guys are enjoying themselves and it really shows that they did have some fun on the making. Wolfgang is the main speaker and comments on each and every cut-scene that was re-inserted and we get a terrific insight into where the hidden cameras were, which props and sets they used, who borrowed them (like Spielberg borrowing the sub for raiders of the lost ark - also mentioned in Paul Dosset's review) and their failure and successes of both the original screening and the directors cut.

If you do have the time for a 3 hour commentary, do so and you should enjoy it. It made the movie much more interesting for me. You'll also hear them making many references to laserdisc so don't be alarmed or insulted as this is the best format to see this movie on.

The only other differences on this disc is that we get a whole swag of subtitles, including 4 commentary subtitles. We also get the dolby digital city trailer which is always a great way to start a movie and give it that theatrical feel.

Menu's are almost identical for both discs. One thing I noticed was the the subtitling font and coloring is much better on the region 4 disc. The region 1 disc uses a smaller yellowy green font whilst the region 4 disc is a bigger white, almost aliased font. Much prefered.

  Overall  
Contract

This movie is not for everyone. I liked it, not loved, but what surprised me was that my wife enjoyed it. She was nibbling the finger-nails at certain stages but by the end of the movie she look very tired. It is draining, I must admit but it is excellent cinema.

So which is the pick for us in Australia? That depends entirely on you. If you don't mind the german soundtrack in dolby surround rather than 5.1 then the region 4 is definetly the pick. BUT if you must have the german 5.1 soundtrack, then maybe a flip of the disc is a good chance to take a quick breather.


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      And I quote...
    ""
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-505 Gold
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Peterson Labs 100Watts
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sherwood SC-60E
    • Surrounds:
          Sherwood LS-502
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
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