Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Jacques Cousteau Odyssey - The Complete Series|
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
No Description Available. Genre: Television Rating: NR Release Date: 19-APR-2005 Media Type: DVD
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WARNING: HACKED VERSIONS OF THESE CLASSICS!!!!!!!
Ointment Covered Fly | 06/19/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"OH MY GOD! WHAT IS GOING ON? Who in Hell do these studios think they are, playing these games with the DVD releases of classic television? I swear it's time for a government investigation of a conspiracy to defraud the American consumer. What they're doing is selling us the same product multiple times, under the guise of giving us improved versions each time, when all along they have the resources to do it right the first time. It's not a new story. First they sold us LPs, then 8-tracks, then cassettes, then CDs, then digitally remastered CDs, then CDs with bonus tracks & expanded liner notes, then enhanced CDs with video playable on computers, and so on. And yes, we get what we deserve when we go to them, rushing up eager to get pushed around, as Rod Serling said, but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Okay. Specifics: Get your VHS and the new DVD of "Calypso's Search For Atlantis" ready to compare. Roughly half an hour into part 1, there's a sequence wherein the crew is shown readying their new breathing apparatus. In the original broadcast (the VHS version), the men are shown sampling the air before lowering the device. One calls it "mountain air", another judges it "antique". It's a great moment, humorous and memorable. Now watch the DVD. THE SCENE ISN'T THERE. IT WAS CUT OUT. IT APPEARED IN THE VHS VERSION, FOR GOD'S SAKE, BUT WAS EDITIED FROM THIS DVD RELEASE! Check the running time of the VHS version: 58 minutes. Now look at the running time on the DVD edit: 51 MINUTES!!!!! It's the same story on the rest of the DVDs, the episodes having been cut in some cases down to a mere 48 minutes!! WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY? The answer, in all likelihood, is that Warner Bros, those geniuses who cropped the top & bottom of the full screen Kung Fu in order to create some half-baked letterbox format of a tightly composed visual masterwork created for full screens, are planning to re-release the Cousteau Odyssey series in a remastered, complete & uncut form in order to bleed even more money from You & Me. As Col. Kurtz. said, "I hate them, I do hate them, those nabobs". They are guilty of Grotesque Stupidity and Heinous Evil. I condemn them. It's boycott time, WB."
Cousteau on DVD at last... A lacklustre effort from Warner
dooby | 04/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just as David Attenborough sparked for many an interest in wildlife and natural history, Jacques Cousteau's many televised voyages inspired in others a love for the sea and for exploration in general. Cousteau is famed together with Emile Gagnan as the co-inventor of the aqualung (SCUBA). His four-decade long series of voyages encompassed the globe and brought to homebound audiences the wonders and joys of the undersea world. The story begins way back in 1950 when he converted a WW2 minesweeper into what became the most famous research vessel of our time, the Calypso. Calypso not only sailed all the world's oceans but made its way right into the heart of America, sailing up the St. Lawrence Seaway and exploring the Great Lakes in the early 1980s, traversing the Mississippi/Missouri river system in 1986 and embarked on one of the great pioneering surveys of the Amazon in the 1982-83 season. Calypso's long journey finally ended on the other side of the world when it sank off the island of Singapore in 1996. In its day, it was so famous that Country singer John Denver wrote a song in tribute to it. In 1997, barely a year after the sinking of Calypso, Cousteau himself died.
Cousteau received numerous awards throughout his lifetime, including the Croix de Guerre during WW2. He was also made Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) for his work in the French Resistance. He was eventually elevated to the level of Commander of the Legion of Honour for his later services to science. He was one of the few foreigners inducted into America's National Academy of Science. In 1985, he was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. And in 1989 he was finally inducted into the prestigious Académie Française, France's highest recognition for lifetime contribution to the nation.
Cousteau's filmed voyages were originally meant for cinematic release and both "The Silent World" (1956) and "World Without Sun" (1964) won Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature. The Silent World also won the prestigious Palm d'Or at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. It was only later that Cousteau took to shooting for television. He made over 120 films in all. Warner has chosen one of his later TV series, "Cousteau's Odyssey" consisting of 12 episodes filmed between 1977 and 1981 for this initial release. This is where it belongs in the chronological list of Cousteau's TV series:
1966-68 The World of Jacques-Yves Cousteau
1968-76 The Undersea World of Jacques-Yves Cousteau
1977-77 Oasis in Space
1977-81 Cousteau's Odyssey Series
1982-84 Cousteau's Amazon Series
1985-91 Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World I
1992-94 Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World II
Cousteau's Odyssey was made for PBS and focuses on conservation and environmental destruction, unlike his more famous earlier series which focused mainly on the flora and fauna of the deep.
Warner's Cousteau's Odyssey comprise all 12 episodes filmed between 1977 and 1981. They are presented in broadcast order not in the order of filming.
1. The Nile, Parts 1 & 2 (On the communties and countries bordering the Nile)
2. Calypso's Search for Atlantis, Parts 1 & 2 (On whether the ancient Minoan civilisation on Crete could be the model for Atlantis)
3. Time Bomb at 50 Fathoms (On the attempt to salvage drums of toxic material from a sunken ship)
4. Mediterranean: Cradle Or Coffin? (On the slow dying of the Mediterranean Sea)
5. Calypso's Search for the Britannic (On the search for the sistership of the Titanic, sunk during WW1)
6. Diving for Roman Plunder (On the search for an ancient Roman ship carrying Greek Treasure)
7. Blind Prophets of Easter Island (Trying to uncover the mysteries of Easter Island)
8. Clipperton: The Island Time Forgot (Retracing the history of people shipwrecked on a lonely pacific island)
9. Lost Relics of the Sea (Searching for sunken ships in the Caribbean and Mediterranean)
10. The Warm Blooded Sea: Mammals of the Deep (The only episode dealing primarily with wildlife)
Spread over a generous 6 discs, it amounts to 2 hour-long episodes per disc. Each disc comes in it's own standard Amray keepcase with everything packed into a single cardboard box. All the episodes are transferred in their original TV aspect of 1.33:1 fullscreen, not widescreen as stated by Amazon. Sound is a basic 2.0 mono.
Unfortunately, Warner has done very little if any restoration on the films. The prints are serviceable. Colors are strong and well saturated. Black levels are strong and deep giving a richness to the image. However, the films are splattered with dirt specks, streaks and film nicks. There is heavy grain throughout. Some footage look decidedly worse off than others. For a videophile the picture quality would be unacceptable. For someone more interested in the documentary, it's passable. It's a shame that documentaries, no matter how good, are not given the same meticulous treatment as Hollywood movies or even sitcoms. Still I'm happy to finally get a chance to see Cousteau and crew on DVD and to relive the voyages once again."
Needs better picture quality
Bobby J. Truong | Philadelphia, PA | 05/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Five Stars for content from documentary BUT One Star for:
1. package is too bulky and needs to be slimed-down in a slim case packaging
2. picture quality and colors are terrible! I thought I was watching something from an old VHS tape rental. They could at least re-mastered it."