Schindler’s List is perhaps one of director Steven Spielberg’s most powerful films. The 20th anniversary marks a brand-new Blu-Ray release of the film, with a transfer supervised by Spielberg himself, along with all of the previously released bonus material, plus a DVD and digital copy. Schindler’s List is one of the most important films of all-time and this new release is simply a must-own.
Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) will forever be known as the Nazi member that was responsible for saving the lives of over one thousand Jewish people. It started out as a cheap way for increasing labor at a factory, but eventually turned into a full-fledged rescue of so many innocent lives.
The story of Oskar Schindler will go down in history as one of the most important human stories to come out of the horror and terror of World War II and the Nazi’s unforgivable rounding up and mass killing of the Jews. Oskar’s story gives humanity hope in hopeless times and shows that there are good people in the darkest of hours.
Steven Spielberg directs this moving drama with an incredible amount of uplifting hope, which counteracts the realistically depicted violence revealed on screen. Spielberg maturely presents the film through an honest and sometimes disturbing lens, but it’s completely necessary in telling the story with complete authenticity. The horror on display in this film exceeds anything I’ve ever seen, because of the painful reality. It sickens me as a person to know that this sort of thing actually happened and watching Schindler’s List is not only an experience, but a history lesson that we should never forget.
Liam Neeson’s talent does not go to waste, in fact his performance as Oskar Schindler is perhaps one of his finest ever. He’s able to transform a semi-likable businessman that’s mostly interested in money and bettering himself into a caring and compassionate person that risks more than his life to save so many souls. Neeson holds back for most of the film, but eventually lets out a handful of memorable speeches and extended sequences of dialog that cement his performance as a very vital piece of the film.
Ralph Fiennes gives an equally important performance as the Nazi soldier known as Amon Goeth. Fiennes expresses his true ability as an actor by playing one of the most detestable characters ever to grace the silver screen with an enormous amount of heartless rage and pain. Watching Goeth gun down an innocent human being is no easy task and I can’t imagine it was much easier playing the sick individual, but Fiennes manages to give the character exactly what he needs to be considered more than just a killer, but an actual living and breathing monster.
It’s great revisiting a timeless film like this years later, because it still holds up as a very important piece of cinema history. Spielberg will go down as one of the best filmmakers to ever pick up a camera and Schindler’s List will no doubtingly be one film to remember him by. His ability to sculpt a compelling universal human drama that’s uplifting and positive in the light of such darkness is next-level filmmaking that many today still haven’t managed to scratch the surface of.
Universal transfers this one to Blu-Ray with a brand-new 1080p video transfer that was supervised by Steven Spielberg himself. The film starts out softer than one might expect, but as soon as the introductions are over and the film digs deeper into the subject material you’ll almost instantly notice an increase in quality. Clarity is high, with finer details such as coat textures or dirt and grime sticking out in excess. The film is mostly presented in black and white and not once does that cripple the high definition look. Black levels are rich and deep. White levels remain balanced and smooth.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track opens up the film to a whole new level of uncompressed detail. Dialogue is present on the front channels, while surround activity soaks up the rear channels. Subtle things like rain, feet stepping on uneven pavement or even the lighting of a cigarette comes through with an impressive amount of clarity and concentration. Gunfire becomes even more haunting and the film’s motivational score rarely has a quiet spot.
The film unfortunately only comes with a limited amount of bonus content, which is presented on disc 3 (the second DVD). This means that everything is presented in standard definition. Here’s a full list of bonus content below:
- Voices From the List (SD)
- USC Shoah Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg (SD)
- About IWitness (SD)
- DVD Copy
- Digital Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
Schindler’s List is an achievement in filmmaking that has stood against the tests of time for over twenty years. This new anniversary edition release marks another Spielberg classic finally getting the Blu-Ray treatment that it deserves.
It’s releases like this that make me a proud supporter of the high-def format, because being able to relive a film as powerful as Schindler’s List is an experience that cannot be topped. Seeing it in high definition almost feels like watching it for the first time, with all of those initial emotions and reactions rushing back into the mind, causing one to realize just how important and informative the medium of film can be.
Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List is a monumental film that has been released on Blu-Ray in spectacular fashion. The picture and audio presentations alone are worth the upgrade, even if the film’s bonus material is simply re-used material from previous DVD releases. Schindler’s List is too important of a film to not own over the lack of bonus material, which is why this one comes highly recommended to anyone and everyone.
Schindler's List is one of Steven Spielberg's most powerful films, capturing the tragedy and horror while still finding room to inspire and move generations. A nearly perfect film on every level.