HTF Review: National Geographic - Inside The White House

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Herb Kane, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]


    National Geographic: Inside The White House





    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Rated: Not Rated
    Film Length: 90 Mins.
    Aspect Ratio: Standard OAR
    Audio: DD 2.0
    Subtitles: None





    The Feature:
    National Geographic presents a 90 minute documentary on “The White House”. The White House is not only a symbol of freedom to all Americans but, a symbol of power around the world. They show us a home that is alive with the past and present and that embodies American history at its fullest. You cannot help but be drawn in by the mere mention of the great men and women who have resided within it’s walls. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this documentary takes us on an insider’s tour of the most famous, most recognizable, home in the world. We are even provided with a rare glimpse into the family’s living quarters and private offices.

    Centering on a State visit during the Clinton administration by past Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his wife, this documentary takes a personalized look at the people who are at the very heart of the White House. The cameras follow a small army of employees as they prepare for a State Dinner during the visit. We see everyone from the “Chief Usher” to the man responsible for winding all of the clocks and setting the VCR’s in the house.

    National Geographic has intertwined footage of past visits and major events during previous administrations with all of the anticipation of the current day’s events.



    Video:
    Well, what can I say here except, we must keep in mind that this was shot for television and not the big screen. Much of what has been presented is archived photos or video clips and is, therefore, not top quality (much of the older footage, I had never seen before and found it fascinating). The footage actually shot for this documentary is rather pleasing overall with a slight amount of grain. Colors look great.



    Audio:
    Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, the audio was excellent. Mr. Freeman is exceptional in his narration, and the dialogue comes across very clear. The beautiful airy score adds to the overall presentation.



    Special Features:
    On the main menu, we are given options for two sets of extras as from the feature. The first, titled “More From National Geographic – Recommended Programs”, features 3 advertisements for the following specials:

    Ambassador – Inside The Embassy. This is a look at the men and woman who serve as ambassadors as representatives of their country.

    Vietnam – The Unseen War (from the other side). This looks like an interesting documentary showing the war from a different perspective – the other side. While some of the footage looked poor, it does look extremely interesting.

    Inside The Pentagon. Takes a look at the building and includes coverage of the September 11th tragedy.

    Experience National Geographic. During this selection there are 3 options we can choose. Those being: 1. - a montage of various photos and clips; 2. Website Experience - this merely shows the web address and additional clips; 3. National Geographic Channel - advertising and more clips.

    Finally, there is an interactive White House Trivia Quiz Game with 8 questions all pertaining the history of the house. If you’ve paid close attention to the documentary you should have no problem. Each correct answer is briefly expanded on. If you didn’t pay attention, it doesn’t really matter because you are provided with the right answers anyway (isn’t that cheating?).




    Final Thoughts:
    From the moment the gates swing open you have the feeling that you are being allowed into a secret world. The personal memories of the staff and previous occupants of the White House serve to make your journey into this private world memorable. National Geographic have let us into a private world and have given us an up close look at that world in another interesting and thorough documentary. They have personalized it in such a way that you won’t soon forget it.



    Release Date: August 12th, 2003
     
  2. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    Whoever owns the rights should get it together to release Harry Truman's 1952 White House Tour (after the interior of the building had been gutted and rebuilt) and Jacqueline Kennedy's 1962 White House Tour (when she got rid of the crummy department store furniture and filled the house with genuine treasures of 19th century American crafts and artwork)!

    In barely one year this lady took a mediocre diplomatic hotel and gave Americans a world-class museum that they could be proud of.
     
  3. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Very interesting. I'm enjoying that fact that we're getting some plentiful DVD reviews from Herb...that range from top-name classics we all know and love to more obscure but worth-while disc that would normally drop off the radar of most review sites. Keep up the good work!

    dave [​IMG]
     
  4. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    OK.... I've come out for some fresh air and to let my eyes adjust.... Thanks Dave. I'm just finishing up two other NG specials (Air Force One & The FBI) and I'm afraid they're not on par with ITWH.

    Herb.
     

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