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    War Of The Worlds - Laserdisc Review.

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    DGTWoodward
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    War Of The Worlds - Laserdisc Review.

    Post  DGTWoodward on Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:06 pm

    LASERDISC REVIEW : WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953)


    Format: Laserdisc
    Studio: Paramount Studios/Pioneer
    Year of Release: 1996?
    TV Standard: PAL Technicolour
    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (4:3)
    Sound: Digital Stereo
    Running Time: 82mins
    Discs/Sides: 1 Disc, 2 Sides, CLV/CAV
    Replay Equipment:

    PIONEER CLD-D925 Laserdisc Player, connected via the S-Video feed.
    SAMSUNG 46" 1080p LCD HDTV (calibrated using a Video Essentials Laserdisc calibration tool)
    PIONEER SR-609K A/V Receiver
    Ixos Gold Tos-Link audio cable, Belkin All AV-GOLD S-Video Lead.
    Eltax Speakers/sub

    Movie Genre: Nuclear Threat SF Thriller.

    The Movie

    A brilliant green/white fireball crashes into the hill of the small U.S. town of Linda Rosa. Many think that it is very far away, but some believe that it is much closer and so, go off to investigate. They soon find a huge, red-hot, warehouse sized meteor.

    In addition to the growing number of locals, a scientist from PACIFIC TECH, who by total coincidence had been fishing near by, is called to the crash site to investigate. Professor Clayton Forrestor (Gene Barry) agrees to observe. Whilst at the site, he meets Sylvia Van Buren (Ann Robinson) and her uncle, Pastor Collins (Lewis Martin). With pleasant company now established, the Professor joins them as they go back to town, waiting for the ‘space rock’ to cool down, and partakes of the local weekend square-dance. They leave three men on site, to make sure that there are no more brush fires.

    It is just before midnight and the three Deputies notice that they can hear a strange metallic scraping noise coming from the rock, it is an unscrewing, broad metal lid which is rotating upwards out of the meteor. It eventually drops off the top of the meteor and out of the gaping hole, extends a long thin arm-appendage with a cobra-like head…it hums and glows menacingly. The three men approach with the innocent desire to make peaceful contact with the ‘people’ inside. The hum increases to a horrifying shriek and with a blast of super-bright white/orange light, it burns the three men to ash.

    All the electrical power in town is suddenly shorted out, and Professor Forrestor soon decides that it is electromagnetic in nature and coming from the crash site. They return to it and quickly find the three charred corpses of the Deputies. After narrowly escaping a blast of the heat ray themselves, they call for help.

    The military move in in force and very quickly thereafter, the Martians begin to move out of their pit in machines that they have constructed.

    In a bid for peace with the non-human visitors, Pastor Collins sees his duty clearly. He bravely walks out to meet the aliens, his Bible in his hand, words of scripture on his lips, the desire for friendship in his heart.


    Without hesitation, the Martians burn him down to the ground. This is the death that truly triggers the war between Mars and Earth.

    This film remains a favourite of mine from my childhood, and along with films like THIS ISLAND EARTH, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THEM, THE THING, and FORBIDDEN PLANET, it was one of the staples of my youth. I have bought at least three different version of it over the years, but this my most recent one, is my favourite version. I cannot easily explain why, it just is. This being so, in spite of the superiority of more modern versions.

    WOTW is a lovely looking film, made in Technicolour, here used to great advantage. It is a very rich and colourful film. Though the actual story is really quite different in some aspect, to the book, it retains enough of the core story to essentially be an acceptable and important adaptation.


    The disk comes with sleeve notes and three unrelated trailers (STAR TREK, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and BARBARELLA)

    Marks: 9 out of 10

    THE DISK.

    The Picture.

    This has to rate as one of the best, if not the best Laserdisc transfer of a film, that I have seen. Framed in the 1.33:1 ratio, its richness of colour and sharp detail, make it a joy to watch. So much so that you can clearly see not only the wires supporting the War Machines, but also, in the one shot in the movie that shows the ’legs’ of the machine, the wires that had high voltage electricity running down them to create semi-visible legs, these wires are also clearly visible.

    There seems to be little-to-no print damage and the transfer has come off a great master. No kidding, this really is as sharp as my DVD copies of it.

    Marks: 9 out of 10

    The Sound.

    This disk gives us a great digital stereo mix. The eerie sounds of the Martian War Machines and their weaponry reproduced beautifully as well as dialogue and music. Generally, a great presentation of a true classic movie.

    Marks: 8 out of 10

    OVERALL MARK: 27 OUT OF 30




    Last edited by DGTWoodward on Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:18 pm; edited 10 times in total (Reason for editing : Cannot spell)


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    Re: War Of The Worlds - Laserdisc Review.

    Post  March on Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:23 pm

    Another awesome review! I'm gonna watch my LD tonight!! I haven't seen it since the 90s on VHS.

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    Re: War Of The Worlds - Laserdisc Review.

    Post  Earthtime3978 on Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:58 pm

    Yes your right, this is one of the greatest sci-fi-s to ever hit the silver screen. So creative. It's almost like a 1950s "Amazing Stories" comic come to life. Did Kane productions put out a Laserdisc Video Essentials for digital TVs? I know there is one to calibrate for tube sets. I like to use the composite video on a digital TV and shut off all the DNR on the player and let the TVs filter take over. If I run the player through a line doubler I can go from composite >in<, then >out< into component on the TV. Tweak it, looks awesome. Real nice review, thanks.
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    DGTWoodward
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    Re: War Of The Worlds - Laserdisc Review.

    Post  DGTWoodward on Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:33 am

    Earthtime3978 wrote: Did Kane productions put out a Laserdisc Video Essentials for digital TVs? I know there is one to calibrate for tube sets.

    Strictly speaking, no he did not...at least not that I know of. But that aside, the principle of the proper balance between brightness and contrast, and the way TV reproduce colour are still going to be the same regardless of what type of TV being used.

    I have used the Essentials LD, the Essentials DVD and the Spears & Munsil Bluray tools and they all emphasise this same prinicple in almost exactly the same way.

    In all honesty, I was surprised at just how much of a difference it made to the viewing of our LDs, I did not think that it would.


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    Re: War Of The Worlds - Laserdisc Review.

    Post  March on Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:33 pm

    I watched the LD last night. Classic movie and it looks great on LD. I especially enjoyed the random trailers at the end :-)


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