By employing Jews in his crockery factory manufacturing goods for the German army, Schindler ensures their survival against terrifying odds. At the same time, he must remain solvent with the help of a Jewish accountant (Ben Kingsley) and negotiate business with a vicious, obstinate Nazi commandant (Ralph Fiennes) who enjoys shooting Jews as target practice from the balcony of his villa overlooking a prison camp. Schindler's List gains much of its power not by trying to explain Schindler's motivations, but by dramatizing the delicate diplomacy and determination with which he carried out his generous deeds.
As a drinker and womanizer who thought nothing of associating with Nazis, Schindler was hardly a model of decency; the film is largely about his transformation in response to the horror around him. Spielberg doesn't flinch from that horror, and the result is a film that combines remarkable humanity with abhorrent inhumanity--a film that functions as a powerful history lesson and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the context of a living nightmare. --Jeff Shannon
The picture here is impressive, although there are noticeable flaws. The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture showcases excellent detail and rich black levels; at times the picture looked so good I thought that the movie was remastered by Lowery Digital Services. But then minor flaws show up, such as excessive grain and minor print flaws (such as in the sequence where Schindler Jews are calling out their names, I spotted a vertical line). Flaws aside, the picture is still beautiful and Janusz Kaminski's photography is put to good use here.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Surround. All Dolby and DTS tracks give a sense of place to the film, and while the tracks aren't bass-heavy, they fit the movie's tone perfectly. It demonstrates excellent stereo separation and bass response, all the while not calling attention to itself. The two-sided disc cuts down on cost, and the menus allow one to access each part of the DVD with considerable ease. (The movie is also given French and Spanish spoken languages and subtitles, while the extras have optional subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.)
Now, the disadvantages. I know people were expecting an extras-packed version of this movie, but we only have two real extras included; the "Voices From the List" Featurette and "Behind the Shoah Visual Foundation" Featurette. Both are good extras detailing the various stories recounted by actual Schindler Jews, and while these are substantial enough, I had the feeling more could've been added.Read more ›