DVD Review - 'Apocalypse'

Posted by Alexander Hay

Does the world need yet another documentary series on World War Two? Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment thinks so, as its forthcoming release of the DVD collection of documentary series 'Apocalypse' shows.

http://owl-group-staging.s3.amazonaws.com/upload_datas/29385/landscape_large.jpg?1289915181Currently being shown on Channel 4 at the time of writing, the main selling point for Apocalypse is its use of colourised footage of the war, from the prelude shots of Hitler's rise in 1920s Germany through the pitched battles of Stalingrad and Torbuk to the devastation wrought upon Hiroshima and Berlin.

This is the show's strength - it brings the images to life in a way black and white images simply can't, though it's obvious that the footage is colourised for the most part, rather than originally shot in technicolour.

The footage ranges from the quirky (for some reason, the shot of a French Llama being evacuated sticks in the mind) to the brutal (explosions and warfare aplenty) to the truly grim - the colourised casualties and dead bodies are not a pleasant sight. To sum it up, the show is certainly vivid and pulls no punches.

The production is good too, with narration and images spliced effectively together. The end result flows well and is very watchable. The narration is somewhat flat but is clear and has the right tone, depending on what's being shown.

Apocalypse also shares its flaws with most shows of this type. Such an epic sweep means there's a lack of detail to the events at times, and there's no footage of Mrs Schmidt going shopping for potatoes in Koln c 1943 even though mundane events like these were every bit as much part of the war as the showpiece sequences. It's just that no one bothered to film them, sadly.

And yet, as said, Apocalypse is an engaging if not always comfortable watch. It does its job well, which is to say, it keeps the memory of World War Two alive.

http://owl-group-staging.s3.amazonaws.com/upload_datas/29389/portrait_large.jpg?1289916553APOCALYPSE will be out on DVD and Blu Ray on the 22nd of November. You can get a copy from all good retailers, including Amazon and Play.com. RRP £19.99 for DVD and £29.99 for Blu Ray.

COMPETITION: We have three copies of the Apocalypse DVD set to give away. In order to win one, sign in and answer this question: "If you could travel back to World War Two for a day, what would you do?" The best three answers will win a copy each!

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Alexander Hay

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