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2.8 Stars (out of 5) - Rated NR (Not Rated)


A seven-part series brings World War II to life through the harrowing personal accounts of a handful of soldiers and others from "typical" American towns, recreating visceral scenes of the battles at Omaha Beach, Guadalcanal, Okinawa and more.


Quentin Aanenson, Adam Arkin, Kevin Conway, Keith David, Josh Lucas


Ken Burns

Blu-ray Release Date:

May 15, 2012




Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 2.3 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

● Subwoofer – 2.0 Stars

● Dialog – 5.0 Stars

● Surround Effects – 0.0 Stars

● Dynamic Range – 2.0 Stars3

English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0

This documentary is mostly made up of interviews, still photos, and recovered film. Needless to say, it doesn’t sound as good as Saving Private Ryan. They have added some a few sounds of war to fill in the gaps, but it doesn’t utilize the rear channels, and it doesn’t bring too much action to the subwoofer. However, since this film is about the history and the personal stories of war, the dialog and narration are of utmost importance and they sound great.

Video 3.2 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

● Color Accuracy - 3.0 Stars

● Shadow Detail – 4.0 Stars

● Clarity – 2.0 Stars

● Skin Tones – 3.0 Stars

● Compression – 4.0 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1, Original Aspect Ratio: MIXED

The War’s video presentation is a patchwork of old film footage, still black and white photos, and recently recorded interviews. Original film footage doesn’t look like much time was spent restoring it, and appears grainy and fuzzy. Some of the photos are clean and clear enough to take advantage of 1080P. Seeing the colors and clarity of present day interviews snaps you back into familiar Blu-ray quality and I’m not ashamed to admit I was thankful for it.

Bonus Features 3.0 Stars (out of 5)

● Making THE WAR Featurette - A behind-the-scenes look with filmmakers Ken Burns , Lynn Novick and others at the making of the film.

● Commentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

● Deleted Scenes - These deleted scenes cover a range of topics such as war correspondents, the holocaust, Japanese internment, Operation Cobra and returning home after the war.

● Additional Interviews - Includes more stories from Quentin Aanenson, United States Senator Daniel Inouye, Paul Fussell, Katherine Phillips-Singer and others.

Movie – 5.0 Stars (out of 5)


The War is a remarkable seven part documentary that tells the complete story of World War II from an American perspective. The 15 hour documentary follows the lives of men and women from four different towns in the United States. All of their stories are heartbreaking, historic, and unique to the generation of people who gave their lives and families to the war that changed the history of the world. The still photos are filled with character and emotion and help convey the gravity of the situation. Even if you have seen several other documentaries on this subject, this one tells the story from a personal level that connects on an emotional level that can’t be denied. This documentary is not something to pass the time; it is an enriching experience that makes you thankful for the dept that was paid for our safety and freedom.

Posted by The HT Guys, May 23, 2012 7:12 AM

More in Category: Blu-ray

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.