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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Pearl Harbor

60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition
Genre: Drama

Reviewed In Issue 56 (Jan 2002) Of Widescreen Review®

Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Colm Feore, Mako & Alec Baldwin

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 5
DD Sound Rating: 5
DTS Sound Rating: 5+
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 3
Internet Links

Special Features
The 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition two-disc release includes the 183-minute film spread across two discs (129 minutes on Disc One; 54 minutes on Disc Two). Extras on Disc Two include the 47-minute documentary Journey To The Screen: The Making Of Pearl Harbor, a 45-minute History Channel program Unsung Heroes Of Pearl Harbor, a preview of National Geographic Beyond The Movie: Pearl Harbor, and a Faith Hill music video (

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Touchstone Home Video
(Catalog Number): 23889
(MPAA Rating): PG13
(Rating Reason):

Sustained intense war sequences, images of wounded, brief sexuality and some language
(Retail Price): $29.99
(DVD Type): Two-Disc Set/DVD-9 x2
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 183
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 2001
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 12/04/01
(THX® Digitally Mastered): Yes

 Credits Information

(Director): Michael Bay
(Screenplay/Written By): Subscribe Now!
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  DVD Picture Information

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  DVD Sound Information

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  WSR Narrative Review
Special Notes:
Also available in a 60th Anniversary Commemorative Gift Set and four-disc VISTA edition.

Story Synopsis:
With the United States not yet involved in World War II, Rafe McCawley (Affleck) volunteers to fight for the British Royal Air Force, leaving behind his lovely nurse girlfriend, Evelyn (Beckinsale), and his best friend from childhood, Danny Walker (Hartnett). Stationed in Pearl Harbor together, Danny and Evelyn fall in love after hearing that Rafe was shot down and presumed dead. But, Rafe resurfaces just in time for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (a spectacular effects-laden display of history and a backdrop to the love story), and the trio

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD exhibits a picture that nicely represents the time period from which the movie is set. Images are, at times, softly focused with an

The 5.1 soundtrack presentations are a truly remarkable artistic achievement, not only because of the poignant use of dimension and surround sound, but also because of the creativity in crafting the various sound effects for the warplanes, gunfire and the like, as well as recreating the sounds of a pivotal event that occurred 60 years ago. For the shooting of the film, actual artillery and aircraft, including the Japanese Zeros and American P-40s were restored and flown by pilots. These aircraft were subsequently used on special flying missions, for sound recording. Because the engines were authentic, the sounds of the airplanes were the closest possible to those that were actually involved during the war. The same applies to the various artillery, used by the Japanese and the Americans. Credit for this effort is due to the creative teams led by George Watters II at Walt Disney Studios and Christopher Boyes at Skywalker Sound. Some of the sound effects, such as the impact and fly-by of bullets were captured and crafted using more novel sound design approaches. The final re-recording was performed on the Sony Pictures Studios lot, with Kevin O

This Disc Contains The Following WSR-Rated Superb Qualities:
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  WSR DVD-ROM Review
DVD-ROM Enhancements Rating:

DVD-ROM Review:
After inserting the second disc of this two-disc release, you are brought to InterActual's DVD-ROM main menu, which has links labeled Pearl Harbor Definitive Bibliography, and Pearl Harbor Online. The "Definitive" Bibliography is actually just a collection of six links to sites containing information about Pearl Harbor. Even though the sites are actually quite interesting and very in-depth, I would hardly call it a definitive bibliography of the events. The creators were true to their word though, no actual Pearl Harbor information can be found in this listing of other works. Clicking the Pearl Harbor Online link will take you online to view the official Pearl Harbor Web site. At this site you can find information on the actual, and simulated, events that occurred in Pearl Harbor. You can also find information about the film, including still pictures, sound effects, the trailer, and 360-degree video taken during filming. The Web site has some neat features, but nothing too impressive. I was very disappointed with the Bibliography, but what can you really expect from features of that nature. Overall, I really would not suggest using the time to check out the DVD-ROM components. If you want to see any of it, just go online and save some time. (Danny Richelieu)