Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dogfights - The Complete Season One |
Actors: Phil Crowley, Frederick Blesse, Ralph Parr, Robinson Risner, Barrett Tillman
Directors: Jason McKinley, Robert Kirk, Wayne Weiss
Genres: Television, Documentary, Military & War
Harnessing the technology from the latest cgi video game flight simulators this puts the viewers behind the cockpit pitted against enemy aircraft in 11 of modern historys greatest air battles. Studio: A&e Home Video Rele... more »
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Great Program, Better Price Available
A Reader | Santa Cruz, CA United States | 04/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The History Channel's "Dogfights" series is a huge step forward for air combat documentaries. Rarely can gun camera footage capture what actually happened in a dogfight. Instead you just see the final couple seconds before the target explodes. The "Dogfights" episodes overcome this limitation by adding in computer-generated reenactments of the air battles that make you feel like you are there watching it all unfold right in front of you. You come away with a much better appreciation of the tactics. For archival footage fans, don't worry--there is still plenty of that in these programs. But because they also have the vivid computer imagery, the episodes don't have to rely on showing the same stock footage over and over and over. I especially appreciated this for the jet era battles, where there is generally a short supply of good footage. In particular, I thought the "Mig Alley" episode was a tremendous improvement over previous pre-CGI documentaries about the air war in Korea. And in that episode, the reenactment of Robby Risner's epic mission is the most incredible air battle story I have ever seen.
The whole series is amazing. It is absolutely essential viewing for anyone interested in air combat. That said, let me also offer three minor warnings:
1. Air battles in Europe during World War 2 get surprisingly little coverage in Season 1--only a episode of "Greatest Air Battles" bonus episode and a flashback in the "Air Ambush" episode about Robin Olds. Likewise, World War I air combat is not covered except at the beginning of the "Greatest Air Battles" episode.
2. There is a glitch on the "Greatest Air Battles" episode. When I hit 'play all' or 'introduction' for that episode, it starts with Rickenbacker's mission. It seems like the logical starting point, but that isn't actually the start of the episode. There is a lot of interesting material before that, but you have to manually rewind in order to get the real beginning of the episode.
3. When last I checked, you could get "Dogfights" for much less money from Deep Discount.
Finally, if you want to learn more about the dogfights of World War 2, I strongly recommend VICTORY ROLL by William Wolf. This massive book (460+ pages with over 600 photos) is the most comprehensive history of all the US aces from World War 2 that I have ever encountered."
Even better on DVD!!!
Lincoln 6 Echo | Harrisburg, IL USA | 04/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, you may wonder how I can say that this show is even better on DVD when it supposedly doesn't street for another 2 weeks as of this writing. Well, DeepDiscount already shipped out its copies 2 weeks ahead of schedule, if 24 April is indeed the street date.
Anyways, so if you've seen this show on the History Channel, you already know the quality of the show. Using state-of-the-art "computer game" style type graphics, and first-hand accounts from the veterans themselves, "Dogfights" chronicles some of the 20th Century's most famous (and infamous) dogfight engagements from WWI thru Vietnam and the 6-Day War.
The 3D models they use for the aircraft are some of the best I've seen outside a Hollywood feature film effects studio. They are highly detailed and use historically accurate paint schemes and markings. They even show the pilots in the planes themselves. The special effects used during the combat footage is also top notch, from the tracers, to the fire/smoke/explosions, to the pieces falling off the planes as they're shot.
The series was filmed in widescreen, but unfortunately, the widescreen transfers are not anamorphic. So we're talking just letterboxed 4:3 transfers. But the transfer is still very good despite being non-16:9 enhanced. The double length "bonus" pilot that was actually done a year before the series started is done in 4:3 so no worries there with regards to image quality.
The sound is also good despite only being in Dolby 2.0 surround. Just jack up the volume and set your receiver to 5-channel stereo (if available) and let'em rip and roar! The only con I have about the mix is that there's a low music track playing over the CG dogfight scenes which sometimes drowns out the sound effects, but still, it's a great sound track for just a 2.0 track.
This series brought in a lot of new fans of the History Channel it seems as this series is that well done. I'm hoping that the series continues later this year. I can't wait to see what other dogfighting areas they go into. I'm guessing some episodes on the Battles of Britain, Pearl Harbor, Midway, Coral Sea, Marianna's Turkey Shoot, and even some Eastern Front encounters. Hell, there's still probably several European engagements they could cover. Like the 8th Air Force's daylight bombing raids over Europe, once of course they got fighter cover with the P-47s and P-38s, and then the P-51s. And surely they'll touch more on some WWI engagments with the Red Baron and his Flying Circus.
An absolute-must own set for any military or aviation buff
Terrible Ted | Gilbert, AZ | 04/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen each of these episodes and TiVo'd them since this show's debut. This has to be one of the best-ever military aviation programs to hit the airwaves. The stories are riveting, most told from first-hand accounts using interviews with some of the original aces or their fellow squadron members. There are recounts told from several military conflict eras... WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Six Days War and more. The beautifully-done CGI graphics are better than any video game created... they are exhilirating. The usage of interactive maps, graphs and diagrams make it all much easier to comprehend - you really understand the strategy and tactics involved for all of the battles. The SOUND is unbelievable, the narration not overdone and even the music score is extremely good for a cable show - use surround and turn it up LOUD... wow. The whole show is woven into a tapestry of inside information, education and wholesome solid entertainment. It's so good, you almost forget you are watching a history program. I have all of these on DVD recorded from my TiVo, but this is so good and rewatchable, I will most likely purchase this set. I highly recommend this to any aviation fan or miltary buff, even the casual ones (such as myself) - or even for those slightly curious about the subject. Even gamers will enjoy this series as the reenactments feel like playing a high-end video game or combat flight simulator. My 10 year-old son watches these with me, glued to the tv and never gets fidgety or bored... that should tell you a lot. I am so happy these have been released in such a nice set... thanks, A&E and History Channel. Major kudos!"
The show is great, but there is no closed captioning or subt
Kraig Mcgann | Norwalk, CT United States | 04/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The History Channel's DOGFIGHTS is an outstanding action documentary series that masterfully and excitingly puts you in the cockpit to examine the evolution of air warfare. The computer effects are astonishingly "photo realistic" and simply amazing at keeping one riveted to a "documentary." I especially appreciate how each story's historical relevance is revealed and the series is packed with a lot more than just airplane and jet specifications. I have learned a great deal about our Country's major conflicts and the sacrifices of people far better than me. You will be moved by the excellent interviews with the American Heroes that were there and the perspective of their modern pilot/aviator counterparts. I share the quibble of the previous reviewer about the wide screen image not being enhanced for wide screen TVs, but am especially disappointed that no provision for subtitling or closed captioning was made. If only the DVD mastering reflected the care the filmmakers took in this project."