Considered by some to be the greatest film ever made, Lawrence Of Arabia, has arrived on DVD on two discs complete with stylish extras. Disc One offers the first portion of the film and DVD-ROM extras. Disc Two gives us additional DVD-ROM extras, and much, much more! Begin with a new, chaptered 61-minute making-of documentary, The Making Of Lawrence Of Arabia. The documentary, written, directed, and produced by the talented Laurent Bouzereau, includes many interviews with actors, filmmakers and film historians and is an excellent chronicle of the making of this epic film. It also includes portions of a 1989 interview with director Sir David Lean, and you just can
The anamorphically enhanced 2.25:1 DVD picture will undoubtedly delight fans of this classic David Lean epic, compared to the previously reviewed LaserDiscs reviewed in Issues 1, 4 and 9. Colors are refined with excellent balance and a level of natural openness that was not apparent on previous video versions. An amazing amount of detail is apparent on the DVD, while the LaserDisc appears slightly hazy and plugged-up. Colors are rich, with excellent clarity and definition. While appearing brownish on the LaserDisc, fleshtones are more natural on the DVD. Blacks are deep and solid. While bothersome edge enhancement is apparent, the picture is solid and virtually free from distracting pixelization. Source element artifacts are infrequently noticed. Overall, image quality is superb, rarely showing signs of the film
The original multichannel magnetic soundtrack has been very well-restored for this definitive DVD release, with background hiss and archival-related artifacts remarkably low. The primary multidimensional element is certainly Maurice Jarre
Once you finish the PCFriendly installation, you are shown a nicely presented main menu, with a good color scheme, and great movement around the screen. From this menu, you must select the DVD-ROM component option to view the components available for this title. These components are Archives of Arabia, Journey with Lawrence, Bibliography, credits, and Main Menu.An excellent photo gallery and historical "tour" of the film can be found in the Archives of Arabia section. The screen here is cut into three sections, with photos on the top, video to the left, and text to the right. As the movie plays on the left, blurbs appear on the right describing the scene. Also, from time to time, pictures will appear on the top, with documentation on these as well shown in the text area.In the Journey with Lawrence section, you can find a map of the Middle East, with cities and dates to click. When you click on the different dates, a variety of cities will illuminate on the map. After clicking on the different cities, you will be given a brief report on its role in the film, as well as a picture that can be enlarged and printed.A listing of major books that have been written about Lawrence of Arabia can be found in the Bibliography section. In the Credits section, you can find a listing of the people who developed the DVD-ROM components.The Main Menu button sends you to the DVD-Video main menu, which works well on the computer using a mouse.This title has some great features, but without a script or cast and crew biographies, I was a little bit disappointed. The Journey with Lawrence section is marvelous, and the Archives of Arabia is also well done. (Danny Richelieu)
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