Plot: What’s it about?
A lot has happened in the past one hundred years and though most of it remains a distant memory to us, the effects of the past are always visible in the modern times. We’ve gone from tinkering with simple automobiles to advanced machines that defy the laws of speed and physics, we’ve even grasped the basics of mastering the skies in flight. To previous generations these ideas would have seemed impossible, but to us, they are little more than commonplace events, usually taken for granted. We’ve seen evolution in the arts, such as music and film that have changed the way we look at them, while some might say we’ve gone backwards these days. The past hundred years has seen miracles cures discovered that ended dangerous diseases, while new, even more destructive viruses spring up in place. World leaders have come and gone, wars have been fought on several fronts, technology has grown in leaps and bound, who would have guessed we’d have something like the Internet? A lot of good has happened and of course, a lot of bad has happened, but now we can explore an overview of the last one hundred years with this release from MPI Home Video, The 20th Century: A Moving Visual History.
This double disc release from MPI Home Video spans the entire century, and I doubt much is missing from the presentation. Of course some things had to be left out here and there, but this one covers all the major events and personalities from this era. As I mentioned, this is a two disc release and both discs are dual-sided and dual-layered, or DVD-18s. This means that there is a load of information on the discs, but the presentation never suffers because of the bulk. With almost thirteen hours of material on these discs, I think this was the smartest and most efficient fashion in which to handle the release. I think many will appreciate the space this double Alphapak saves also, as opposed to a larger boxed set which would hog shelf space like there’s no tomorrow. You’ll have no problems navigating this massive sea of footage and information either, as MPI has included a nice guide to all the materials. Using this booklet, you can locate any piece you’d like, arranged by places, people, events, and even wars. No matter what you’d like to find, this booklet will steer you in the right direction every time. If you’re a history buff or just want a record of all the events and people that drove the 20th century, then this release is made for you. I highly recommend this terrific release and commend MPI Home Video for releasing such a solid and expansive title.
Video: How does it look?
The 20th Century: A Moving Visual History is presented in a full frame transfer, which is the intended aspect ratio of the feature. Since the clips have been drawn from varied sources, the visual quality varies from clip to clip. Some footage is old, some is new, some in great shape, and some in poor shape, but it all looks as good as it can. Whether it is older black & white footage or clips from the millennium turn, it all looks as good as you’d expect it to.
Audio: How does it sound?
While the audio varies a great deal from clip to clip, the overall dynamic is pretty good and a little better than I expected. Some of the footage is very old, while some is in poor condition so the audio is not always pristine, but it never sounds bad in the least. The narration sounds clean and crisp, while the other audio is solid though it does vary somewhat. You don’t watch a feature like this to show off your home theater, but I think this is a fine mix.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This material doesn’t allow for much in terms of supplements, and with almost thirteen hours of material, I doubt anyone will be disappointed.