Good Tech & Good Photog, Poorly Edited
pinxet | USA | 03/11/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Both Volume I and Volume II of this series boast well-written and informative narration alongside really excellent archival film footage of the period comprising the entirety of visuals in Volume I, and the majority of them in Volume II.
Unfortunately, the footage only periodically has any relationship to the narration. While discussing the details of the rudder, fuel capacity, or engines on an American P-38, one is as apt to be viewing footage of gliders crashing into a muddy field as not. In Volume II, while offering initial experiences of the P-51 against the German Me-262 jets, the footage shows takeoffs of FW-190 prop fighters.
This occurs so frequently, I'm unable to escape the impression that either the producers were unable to procure sufficient footage to match the length of the spoken text, or that a well-informed editor took sick midway through production, and was replaced by someone unfamiliar with World War II aircraft.
Additionally, the narration often strays into lengthy side discussions. The bulk of the information about the Grumman F6F Hellcat for instance, concerns ship movements during the naval operations at Leyte, which ends with parenthetical mention that the Hellcat participated in that battle.
As a result of this poor coordination of footage to words, you can successfully walk away and just listen to the narration without watching the screen and miss little. Conversely, you can watch the footage with the sound off, and also miss very little.
If the subject interests you, this is really not a bad purchase. Despite the shoddy editing, either narration or footage in isolation are worthy inclusions to a documentary collection on the subject.