The Best of the Real West

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The history of the Old West is littered with fantasies and myths, but that doesn’t mean the truth about the period is dull, by any means. This series uses real accounts from records, various artwork from the time, and all sorts of other sources, in an effort to glean the truth about the Wild West and what went on there. Each of the four programs focuses on a unique aspect of the time, which include Sitting Bull, Texas Rangers, Wild Women (Whoo-Hoo!), and The Battle Of The Alamo. I found each piece to loaded with information and insight, but these are far from the stereotypical dull documentaries. These are rather quick paced and full of life, so I had no problems watching all four programs in a row. You’ll see all sorts of relics from this legendary age, as well as hear commentary from experts in their fields, all of which helps to shed light on what is the truth about this topic. Hosted by Kenny Rogers of country music and The Gambler fame, these programs offer a wealth of information and entertainment, very recommended!

As part of A&E’s new Collector’s Choice series, these four programs (which first aired on The History Channel) are presented in a nice two disc release. The result is two fifty minute programs per disc, which totals up two-hundred solid minutes of rootin’ tootin’ adventure in the Old West. How’s about those apples, eh? I think the content is top notch all the way through, with a knack for providing a lot of information, as well as managing to entertain the viewers. I know some folks get nervous when you mention documentary, but these pieces are by no means boring or dull, not in the least. I’m no Kenny “You got to know when to hold ’em” Rogers, but he does a fine turn here as host, as well as being a fitting choice, given the material the programs cover. This terrific two disc release packs a lot of value, with two-hundred minutes of content at a very reasonable price, so I think it would make for a wise purchase. If you’re a fan of the Old West and all that jazz, then make sure you don’t miss out on this more than solid release.

Video: How does it look?

These programs look better than they did on television, what more can you want? The image isn’t as defined as film, but as far as this material goes, this transfer is more than up to the task. Some of the clips look superior to others, but no real problems surface and I am pleased with this visual presentation. I saw no troubles with the colors or contrast, both were up to par and in fine form. No compression errors seem to be present either, this is as good as this material is going to look, folks.

Audio: How does it sound?

Not much to discuss here, as the included stereo track just covers the bases. This material doesn’t need much support aside from dialogue though, so the limits of the stereo format don’t detract much from this experience. This mix allows the material to sound as good as it did on television, which is good enough for me, in this case. You might not be blown away by the audio found here, but I don’t think anyone will be let down by this track, either.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release contains no bonus materials.

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