5.6 C
New York
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Advertisement

Ken Burns: Prohibition Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Video Description, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 6 Hours.
  • Discs: 3 (3 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: PBS
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 4, 2011
  • List Price: $44.99

[amazon-product]B0052YDO3O[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com
Ken Burns: Prohibition (3 Disc) - Widescreen

Purchase Ken Burns: Prohibition on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Prohibition was a period in the United States that has still left a mark on its history. Organized crime is still a problem, dry counties are still in existence, and the labyrinth of drinking laws and alcohol distribution laws is staggering. The latest PBS documentary from Ken Burns may not be as broad in its scope as, say, The Civil War, Jazz, or Baseball, but it is an immensely interesting and revealing documentary series nonetheless.

Ken Burns joins forces with Lynn Novick to direct this three-part documentary series that, despite the collaboration, has Burns’ stylistic imprint all over it. An engaging and thought provoking tale of how the supposedly freedom-loving American society succumb to societal pressures from religious, racial segregation, and anti-immigrant groups to enact an outright ban on alcohol, Prohibition uses photographs, archival footage, and voiceovers from Tom Hanks, John Lithgow, Patricia Clarkson, Blythe Danner, Paul Giamatti, and Oliver Platt to deliver its story.

Part One, “A Nation of Drunkards” begins from the 19th century and the increase of the use of hard spirits and the growing “dry” movement driven by religious groups and women’s organizations. Part Two, “A Nation of Scofflaws” delves into the eventual passing of Prohibition and its resulting in the the growth of organized crime. Finally, “A Nation of Hypocrites” deals with the weakening of support for the amendment and the growth of a new movement, ironically aided by women, to help repeal prohibition.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

One can hardly expect a documentary made up primarily of archival film footage from the early 20th century and old photographs from the same period and earlier to look amazing, but this 1080i/60 AVC encodement does tend to show some motion artifacts in the pans across those photographs, and the high definition interview footage is very heavy with video noise.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

I’d complain about this being provided with nothing more than a lossy Dolby Digital soundtrack, but the mix itself is not very compelling in and of itself, making little use of the surrounds and having hardly any low frequencies. At least the narration and voiceovers are clean and there seems to be a good sense of stereo imaging across the front.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

At 6 hours long, its amazing that there is was still so much material left over to fill up the deleted scenes and extended interviews provided as supplements on the first disc of this set. Additionally, there is a pleasant featurette that offers a behind the scenes look at some of the celebrity voice overs and the recording of the musical score.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • In the Studio with Florentine Films (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:07:39) – A behind-the-scenes look at the voice overs and recording of the musical score.
  • Bonus Scenes:
    • Owled, Edged, Jingled, Piffed…
    • Kentucky Bourbon
    • And I caught Hell
    • He Never Did Get Caught
    • San Francisco Welcomes Visitors from Italy, 1921
    • Hoover’s Medicine Ball Cabinet
    • An Object of Ridicule
    • Ten Nights in a Bar Room
  • Interview Outtakes (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:57:47)
    • Saloons
    • The Notion that Man is Perfectable
    • It’s Better to Know the Judge
    • That’s Just the Way Life Was
    • Rebels of New York
    • Somebody Got a Pineapple
    • Kentucky
    • Capone
    • Roy Olmstead
    • Tabloid Heroes
    • You People Were Thirsty
    • Gangs
    • Bad Booze
    • Lessons

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A wonderfully insightful look at American history through the use of one of the most divisive topics of the 19th and 20th centuries, Prohibition can be marked as yet another feather in Ken Burns’ cap of thought provoking and engaging documentary series.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0052YDO3O[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com
Ken Burns: Prohibition (3 Disc) - Widescreen

Purchase Ken Burns: Prohibition on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Join the Discussion on Our Forum

Advertisement

Related Articles

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
724FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy is arriving for the first time on 4K Ultra HD remastered in Dolby Vision and overseen by Peter...
%d bloggers like this: