There are a lot of people out there who are big World War II buffs. And why not? This was a major portion of twentieth century history, a major portion that shaped the world for years to come even after its completion. This is where the twenty-first century got its start, and from the straightforward to the bizarre, World War II had everything a historian could ever ask for. So that’s why I was glad when the folks out at Entertainment One sent out a copy of their huge new box set, Apocalypse: World War II, for us to review for you guys fully a week before you can even find it in stores.
Apocalypse: World War II is the massive, three disc documentary that takes us through the second World War in all its many horrors and wonders. Using original footage–some of it not even seen on places like the History Channel–you’ll get a full, and occasionally downright horrifying, look at just what all was going on during those amazing, fascinating, and nightmarish times during one of the biggest events the twentieth century had to offer.
Seriously, this sucker’s a monster. This is a three DVD set, measuring in at just under five and a third hours. But at the same time, it’s a surprisingly well put together documentary–massive, well-edited, smoothly flowing. It covers huge amounts of material and presents it in an incredible fashion.
It’s powerful stuff, this is. Trying to watch it all at once may actually prove entirely too much for most people, and frankly, I don’t recommend you try. It’s a really well put together documentary, but it’s just entirely too much to take on all at once. Split it up over a couple days, though, and you’ll do pretty nicely.
What’s particularly impressive about Apocalypse: World War II is the video quality. Considering you’re dealing with what amounts to recovered footage, there’s not a whole lot of it with artifacts in the video (at least not that I noticed) and precious little black and white. They even go so far as to tell you that the black and white film has been colorized, and maybe one time in a hundred, you can tell that some doctoring has occurred. Most of this film looks exceedingly natural. Old–it’s from seventy years ago, after all–but natural nonetheless.
The Screenhead Ten Scale gives this impressive and extensive documentary of World War II a ten out of ten for taking found footage, cobbling it together, and still managing to produce an extensive and truly well done whole.