Das Boot [Blu-Ray] Wolfgang Petersen

Das Boot [Blu-Ray] Wolfgang Petersen
This Blu-Ray release of Wolfgang Petersen's Oscar-nominated WWII epic offers a stunning transfer of the film in both its original theatrical version (a manageable 149 minutes) and Petersen's director's cut (a lengthy 209 minutes). However, for Das Boot super-fans (if such a thing exists), it lacks the full uncut version, a staggering 293 minutes of film that was previously made available on DVD as Das Boot: The Original Uncut Version in 2004. Now, the thing about Das Boot is its magic is, quite honestly, in its boredom. Following the crew of a German U-Boat in a campaign in 1941, the film attempts to make the viewer feel like they've been trapped on the claustrophobic boat themselves for months, with only moments of sheer terror to break the monotony of staring at the sweaty, generally ugly Germanic faces of your crewmates. On that level, the theatrical version feels like an entirely pointless addition, as the only times you're really going to become uncomfortable are during the film's awkward stabs at critique (a sequence featuring fat, safe Nazi officers meeting the U-Boat crew is so naff my toes nearly curled backwards until they touched my ankles). However, even at three-and-a-half hours, the director's cut manages to play it very light on characterization beyond grizzled stereotypes. Outside of the Captain (Jürgen Prochnow), who is tortured and existential from the off, you never really feel like you get to know anyone. If you can survive without another hour-and-a-half of hot submarine action/intentional boredom, this Blu-Ray is an excellent primer on director Petersen's take on the film, with a full commentary and extensive documentary special features, including two different behind-the-scenes featurettes (one vintage and one recently produced). (Sony)