Battle 360º[Degrees] – The Complete Series + Nostradamus: 2012 + Patton 360º[Degrees] –
The Complete Season One (History Channel/A&E Blu-rays)
B- Sound: B- Extras:
C/C/D Episodes: B-/C/B-
somewhere between documentaries, special interest programming and some slightly
sensation programming angles, The History Channel has issued Blu-rays of three
series that are attempting to gain the network new audiences.
360º – The Complete Series focuses on key WWII fights in ten
hour-long shows that have their moments and try to freshen-up the endless looks
at the vast war that was WWII, but this is centered on the U.S.S. Enterprise
and has its moments. Fans of the classic
game Battleship will also find the show amusing. Episodes include Call To Duty, Vengeance At
Midway, Jaws Of The Enemy, Bloody Santa Cruz, Enterprise vs. Japan, The
Grey Ghost, Hammer Of Hell, D-Day In The Pacific, Battle Of Leyte Gulf and The Empire’s Last Stand. Though not a great show, it can be
entertaining if the basic CGI does not get annoying. Otherwise, it is not bad and somewhat
ambitious in wanting to put the viewer in the action.
2012 is a
somewhat tired retread of the old “how right and accurate was this guy”
programs about how the writer/predictor of world history events from centuries
ago. I never bought any of this much and
some of it fits too easy, but the next new thing is that December 21, 2012 will
be doomsday and if it is, we won’t have to put up with shows like this anymore.
As usual, some of this is laughable when
it is not boring, so watch it at your own risk.
Both the main program and bonus program are over 90 minutes each.
Patton 360º – The Complete Season One is much like Battle
above, but this is only the beginning of this show? Well, we get episodes like Blood & Guts, Rommel’s Last Stand, Baptism
Of Blood, Rogue General, American Blitzkrieg, Leading The Charge, On Hitler’s Doorstep, Siege
Warfare, Battle Of The Bulge and Crushing The Third Reich. I can go for all of them, but in this case,
major feature films on the subject (Patton
and Battle Of The Bulge, large-frame
film Hollywood epics that still work, both also on Blu-ray and reviewed
elsewhere on this site) tower over this show, but considering the budget limits
and simple CG, it is not bad. I just
wonder how long they intend to keep this show going.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on all the productions can have some
nice shots and even nice color, but they also all have the computer animation
that is only so good and even if these are 2K HD production, that still comes
with its share of limits. Still, this is
more watchable than many such productions and the vintage footage, even when
worn, is a plus. The DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) lossless 2.0 sound mixes on all the titles all offer some Pro Logic-type
surrounds and are good recent recordings, but not much more and A&E was
smart in all cases not to try and create 5.1 mixes, stretching out the original
recordings beyond what they should be. Like
BBC, being reserved was a good move.
include Additional Scenes and Making-Of featurette, while Nostradamus has the featurette The
Last Book of Nostradamus that is about the equal of the main program. Patton
has no extras.
- Nicholas Sheffo