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International GOD BLESS THE CHILD - TV on German DVD (1 Viewer)

Dick

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This review is made possible with the help of www.DaaVeeDee.com


Notes on my reviews: I do not offer plot summaries in most cases, as these can be found on a million other sites, but rather focus instead on what people want to know: the image and sound presentation, default playback settings, subtitles, audio choices, etc. My equipment: Panasonic TC-P55UT50 Plasma monitor (3-D capable); Panasonic DMP-BDT220 3-D Blu-ray player; LG BD-360 all-region Blu-ray player; Denon AVE-E200 5.1 Surround receiver. All aspect ratios are physically measured on the Panasonic screen, which has been set to eliminate overscan.


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In the 1960's right through the 80's, Network Television channels (ABC, NBC, CBS) were broadcasting some excellent movies that they produced themselves. This activity gradually dissolved with the emergence of cable, and now it is HBO, SHOWTIME, and others who are giving us quality movies, quite frequently better than what we are offered by Hollywood in our local theaters. Hundreds of the network-produced films remain unreleased on DVD or Blu-ray, and some never even showed up on VHS. Once in a while we are thrown a bone (DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, THE PROMISE, THE LEGEND OF LIZZIE BORDEN, DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, DUEL), but most are nearly forgotten.

One of those productions that had a powerful impact upon me was the 1988 film GOD BLESS THE CHILD. This film is infinitely even more relevant now than it was then, considering the socio-political climate in our country. The story involves a young single parent (Mare Winngingham) of a young girl (Grace Johnson) who is evicted from her cockroach-infested apartment and forced to beg on the streets and whatever else she has to do to keep her child from starvation. The "system" is of little help, and employment is seemingly non-existent. This movie is not a pleasant movie-of-the-week story, and does not end with everyone dancing into the sunset. It should really be released in the U.S. on a decent DVD and shown again on t.v. The acting is so good that the movie can really break your heart.

But, acting as a loyal guinea pig for these foreign releases that others have not yet reviewed, I discovered that what we get, and only very recently, is this DVD from Germany. I had high hopes for it, but these were dashed.

First, the film is stretched to 1.78:1, whereas is should be 1.33:1. One can adjust the ratio manually, but it remains almost unwatchable. This appears to be a VHS copy thrown onto DVD with no regard to the final product (who actually approves these awful transfers?) It is blocky, horribly soft, and full of every kind of artifact you can name. The sound is ok, but what good is it if you can't stand the PQ?

Stay away from this!! Let's hope a better release of this and many other "lost" network t.v. movies will happen one day.

This review was made possible with the help of www.DaaVeeDee.com
 

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