Finally...a Star Wars movie on DVD! Given the irony in that this DVD is clearly the most anticipated release ever, yet so many people seemingly disliked the movie, is the DVD actually worth the wait.? Absolutely! The Force is definitely with home theatre fans with this release. Many Star Wars fans were disappointed back in 1993 when the Definitive Collection LaserDisc set was released, with its partial commentary tracks and apparent lack of focus in having a comprehensive array of supplements assembled. This most certainly is not the case with the Episode I DVD.On Disc One is, of course, the movie...only here it runs approximately three minutes longer than in theatrical release. There
The anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD picture is quite impressive. When compared to the previously reviewed Japanese import LaserDisc, the detail is excellent. Also very much improved is the contrast and color balance. Hues are better defined on the DVD, with no smearing. Viewed alone, images are sharp and finely detailed, though some scenes appear somewhat lacking soft. Colors are rich and well-balanced, with natural fleshtones, and truly deep blacks. Contrast and shadow delineation appear to be nicely rendered, providing excellent visual information in the darker scenes. Of course, the visual effects are stunning, and the many computer-generated images are sharp and detailed, with superb color. Unfortunately, the "dark side" of this DVD is unquestionably the amount of edge enhancement noticed throughout. Its presence can be downright terrible, but many scenes are free from its distraction. There is also some shimmering noticed in finer details. Overall, the visual presentation is truly an exciting experience, and the disc will surely be viewed many times over due to the exciting sonic experience. But sadly, edge enhancement can be obtrusive enough to downgrade the picture from reference quality. (Suzanne Hodges)
Even though most titles that only include Web links do not get reviewed as DVD-ROM enabled discs, Episode I is different in that it offers online features only available to those with the DVD. This includes advanced information on the upcoming Episode II. Also, down the line, there will be more information about the hidden features in your copy of Episode I. As of the time this title was to be reviewed, the most prominent feature available to those with the disc was the ability to see the first Episode II trailer before it was aired to the general public at starwars.com. I assume that down the line subsequent trailers will also be shown the same way. To view this special DVD owner material, just point your favorite Web browser towards dvd.starwars.com. (Danny Richelieu)
Reason #63 Why Readers Love Widescreen Review:
I am an older guy who had not bought any A/V equipment for the last 14 years. I was really out of the loop as to what was happening. Did not even own a DVD player until now. This summer, my wife and I decided to build a small home theatre in our basement. Widescreen Review has been an invaluable research partner. The room was completed in mid September and now Widescreen Review can really show its stuff. The extensive DVD reviews are the final word for us when picking movies to watch. The news and equipment reviews keep us current, as we start down the never-ending path of upgrade-itis. Thanks for a great magazine.