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Excalibur [DVD] [1981]

Release Date:09/21/1999
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Excalibur [DVD] [1981]
Excalibur [DVD] [1981]


One thing that can be said about Warner Bros.' DVD library is that it's consistent; their discs rarely contain more than filmographies and a theatrical trailer or two. Fortunately, there are exceptions to that rule, and apparently someone within the studio saw fit to make John Boorman's epic retelling of the Arthurian legend one of those exceptions. The major addition here comes in the form of a commentary track by director Boorman, whose monologue is refreshingly insightful at a time when many commentaries are used up with friendly yet ultimately meaningless banter. Also featured are, as usual, the theatrical trailer, scene selections, and a cast and crew section that curiously contains only information on Boorman himself.Fans of the film who have until now only seen it on VHS will be amazed at the clarity of the audio mix. The soundtrack has been remixed into a digital 5.1 presentation that makes the best of its limited source material and manages to separate nicely. There is a prominent bass track which was certainly not present in previous incarnations of the film and which adds a great deal of weight and authenticity to the many elaborate battle scenes. The film has never looked so good; almost every instance of film grain has been removed and the colors, particularly the flesh tones, are well balanced. The picture is presented in a non-anamorphic letterboxed format at 1.85:1. Overall, Boorman's insightful commentary alone, not to mention the outstanding audio and video quality, makes this disc well worth owning.


Feature-length audio commentary by director John Boorman

Interactive menus

Production notes

Theatrical trailer

Scene access

Languages and subtitles: English and Français