COLUMBIA TRISTAR has released “THE ENDURANCE”, a sensational documentary
depicting Sir Ernest Shackelton’s attempt at mastering Antarctica.
After getting within relevant reach of the South Pole, their ship, the
Endurance”, became trapped in ice. Unable to break free, Shackelton and his men,
27 of them, met daily challenges of survival, before the ship finally sank,
leaving them in an even more perilous situation.
While Shackelton and his men didn’t reach their initial goal, much like the crew of Apollo 13, meeting their new challenge in surviving, was far more of an accomplishment!
There have been other features about Shackelton’s journey, including
a feature film, but this documentary is certainly the best of them.
The film’s narration, delivered with eloquence by Liam Neeson, was written by the author of the book from which it was derived. By carefully mixing actual footage from the expedition with paintings and modern footage, a captivating story unfolds. It’s never less than captivating.
COLUMBIA TRISTAR has provided a wonderful looking image. The 1.85:1 aspect
ratio is intact, with 16:9 enhancement. While the original footage varies
in quality, it has been restored to its best potential, and is impressive
considering its age. The modern footage looks terrific, with great
detail and color balance.
COLUMBIS TRISTAR has provided a Dolby Digital Stereo mix, which offers a surprising range of depth. There is no need for extensive surround effects, but the separation provided manages to enhance the imagery and make a great story even greater!
Filmmaker George Butler provides a running commentary for this release.
It’s worthwhile and offers even more history than the film does, as well as
explain his approach at documentary filmmaking.
Two documentaries are also included. One is basically a summation of
Shackelton as the role model he was, and another about the making of
the documentary. Both are fine, but offer little to get excited about.
The best extra is “PAST AND PRESENT”, a mini-feature wherein descendents are gathered and provide their reflections on the man. A theatrical trailer is also offered.