The American civil war has been going on for already two years and the Southern forces under the lead of General Robert E. Lee (Martin Sheen) is getting closer to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Nothern Army has combined their forces here and are clearly in a better position since they have a good overview of the battlefield. With a rather daring tactic, Colonel Joshua Lawrence (Jeff Daniels) manages to defend the hill called “Little Round Top” and Lee decides to fight the main battle in open ground since it’s clear that the hills can’t be taken. With this decision, he makes the battle for Gettysburg one of the bloodiest that have happened during the American Civil War.
Sound and Vision:
The original 1.78:1 aspect ratio of the movie is contained on the DVD although 1.85 is listed o the cover. Compression errors are absent while the colors are bright and vivant. Contrast, sharpness and level of detail aren’t too good though and also edge enhancement, grain and posterisation often pass by. Not really top quality, we’ve seen better from Warner.
The acclaimed Dolby Digital 5.1 track is in reality a 5.0 soundtrack running at 384Kbit/sec and while you would hope for very dynamic sound, you don’t get it. Most of the focus goes towards the front speakers but due to the lack of the subwoofer, the overall sound really comes a bit short for portraying the huge battles.
Director Ronald F. Maxwell, Camera man Kees van Oostrum, writer James M. McPherson and historic Craig Symonds start off the extra’s with an audio commentary track where they go deeper on the creation of the movie but also historical facts. The Battle Of Gettysburg : a documentary about the battle of Gettysburg accompanied by images of how the surroundings look like these days. On Location : some behind-the-scenes footage. Interview Gallery: short interviews with cast & crew. Maps of Gettysburg :a tactical view of how the battle was done with the help of maps and voiceover. The Making of Gettysburg : Almost an hour documentary on how the movie was made. Pretty interesting as you get interviews with cast&crew, behind-the-scenes footage and a voiceover by Martin Sheen. Theatrical Trailers & TV Spots,
Gettysburg is a very long movie and if the sound & image quality would have been up to par for this time I probably would have suggested everyone to take a look at it. Now, I’ll advise this only to those who are really interested in the matter.