S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Generation War aka "Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter" [2 Blu-ray discs]
(Philipp Kadelbach, 2013)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: teamWorx Produktion für Kino und Fernsehen GmbH
Video: Music Box Films
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc One Size: 43,680,149,978 bytes
Disc Two Size: 27,028,920,826 bytes
Part One Runtime: 1:34:27.536
Part Two Runtime: 1:29:59.811
Part Three Runtime: 1:36:19.148
Part One Feature Size: 21,915,463,680 bytes
Part Two Feature Size: 20,861,147,136 bytes
Part Three Feature Size: 22,266,697,728 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.90 Mbps
Chapters: 8 X 3
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: May 5th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio German 2408 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2408 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
Extras: (Disc 1)
•Part 2 Recap (2:17)
Extras: (Disc 2)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:21)
• International Trailer (3:25)
• More from Music Box
Description: Valor, courage, and betrayal come to the fore in this remarkable epic that shows the everyday realities of wartime life from a deeply personal perspective. Billed as a German Band of Brothers, GENERATION WAR vividly depicts the lives of five young German friends forced to navigate the unconscionable moral compromises of life under Hitler. In Berlin in 1941, on the eve of Hitler s invasion of the Soviet Union, level-headed officer Wilhelm (Volker Bruch) is full of patriotic fervor as he heads for the eastern front with his sensitive younger brother Friedhelm (Tom Schilling). Charlotte (Miriam Stein) is a young nurse in love with Wilhelm who is serving in the Red Cross. Greta (Katherina Schüttler) is an ambitious singer who longs to become another Marlene Dietrich, while her boyfriend Viktor (Ludwig Trepte) faces a daily struggle for survival as a Jew in an increasingly oppressive regime. These five exceptional young actors infuse their characters with the certainty of youth, which drains away with each successive month of war as the true horrors of the Third Reich are slowly revealed. At nearly every moment, they are faced with choices between complicity and rebellion, self-preservation and self-sacrifice, blood on their hands and love in their hearts. Eight years in the making and filmed on over 150 sets across Germany, Lithuania and Latvia, GENERATION WAR insightfully reveals a country still grappling with how previous generations could have become so tragically misdirected. In Germany, the film has sparked a passionate discussion about personal responsibility and the legacy of guilt for Nazi atrocities. German critics have widely praised the film, with Der Spiegel calling GENERATION WAR a "turning point in German television" and national newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung describing it as "the first and last chance... to ask our grandparents about their true biographies, their immoral compromises...the missed chances to act.
Mr. Kadelbach, the director, has clearly studied the work of
Steven Spielberg. He crosscuts deftly between scenes,
alternating moments of tense violence with stretches of
solitude and tenderness. Battles are staged with “Saving
Private Ryan”-like intensity and precision, and the
whole narrative — shifting from the mud and ice of Russia in
winter to the wheat fields of Ukraine, the forests of Poland
and the streets of the German capital — has a sweep and a
vigor that recall “Gone
With the Wind” and other old Hollywood costume
Small acts of courage, mercy and self-sacrifice bob now and then to the
surface. But Generation War holds the line admirably in showing
how totalitarianism corrupts almost everything in its path, individual
responsibility included, and creates an appalling space where sadists
and conformists alike can flourish and break every rule of war at will.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Firstly, this is a gorgeously shot series by cinematographer David Slama and looks fabulous on Blu-ray from Music Box Films. The package features 2 dual-layered Blu-ray discs - the first containing parts 1 + 2, and the second containing the 3rd part and some extras. The total time is over 4 1/2-hours for the complete mini-series. Quality is consistent for all three parts with a similarly strong bitrate. Everything looks flawless in 1080P supporting a rich, saturated style with deep black levels. The series includes stock, and stock-like, black and white cinematography and looks quite different from the rest. The image is, as you might expect, pristinely clean. Colors are true without embellishment. The art-direction is meticulous. Contrast exhibits healthy black levels and some minor depth in the 1.78:1, broadcast, frame. It showcases impressive detail in close-ups and I see no noise or digital manipulations. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the TV presentation. It seems devoid of imperfections of any kind and can, frequently, look amazing.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio comes via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 2408 kbps in original German. There are plenty of the sounds of war from extensive gunfire to explosions and more. The aggression can be intense and the lossless track handles it exporting an effective punch with impressive depth. The score is by Fabian Römer, a composer who has done a lot of TV work in Germany. It stays fairly subtle in the background supporting the film and sounding clean and crisp. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified both discs as being a region 'A'-locked.
Supplements include a 2-minute Recap prior to part 2 on the first Blu-ray. On disc 2, there is a 20-minute Master Class Panel with the filmmakers answering question (in German with English subtitles.) There are also some trailers - a theatrical, an 'international' one and some from other Music Box Films offerings.
May 5th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS