..

TROY:  UNEARTHING THE LEGEND

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Trojan Horse (Just kidding)
Director: Various
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Surround
Studio: A&E
Features: See Review
Release Date: May 25, 2004

Film ***

The Greeks had their fire, and the Vikings had their ships, but the Trojans will forever be known for their horsie!

Who was Helen, was their really a place called Troy, and in the episode Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts, did Xena really help Helen escape before Troy became just a memory along hitching post lane?  Well, I can say that significant light is shed on at least two of these questions in the two disc DVD box set Troy: Unearthing The Legend!

There are many lessons that history can teach us, and thanks to this box set, I now understand more about the mysteries and myths surrounding ancient Troy, itís culture, and itís people.

Disc 1 contains two main features that chronicle the rise and fall of classic civilizationsí most elite warriors, the Spartans.  This first disc was very detailed and informative.  You really do get a sense that the Spartans, whose motto was ďcome back with your shield or on itĒ, were born for war, and if they werenít, they didnít last very long.  

The Spartans held lands and enslaved thousands of people, with a minimal amount of man power.  How did they do it?  Easy, through fear and intimidation, which was most beneficial since the people they enslaved outnumbered them significantly. 

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this unique group of people. The Spartans separated themselves voluntarily from the rest of society in order to maintain their warrior purity.  However, when the whole of Greece came under attack by the mighty Persian Army, the Spartans wasted no time shoring up the Grecian defenses with their might and men!

The Spartans were also attributed with helping their fellow Greeks once again during the Trojan War.   If the myth is to be believed  they were the glue that held the fabric of the Grecian campaign together. 

The first disc was about the warriors of legend that helped deal the Trojans a heavy handed loss.  However, the second disc takes the legend and breaks it down, into smaller pieces.  It goes beyond asking the question was Troy real, and forces you to view Homerís Iliad in a whole new light. 

One of the most interesting parts of the second DVD was the amount of time spent on businessman turned archeologist Heinrich Schliemann.  From a young age Schliemann was obsessed with Homerís Iliad and The Odyssey.  Using only the works of Homer to guide him, Schliemann made one of the biggest discoveries in historyÖhe changed the myth of Troy from fiction to fact!  

Also, if you know your history, youíll have no problem figuring out where the term Schliemannís gold came from!  If you canít figure it out, no worries, you can learn all about it in Troy, Unearthing The Legend, disc two!

I really loved this box set.  There were so many history lessons based on fact and fiction that youíll be asking yourself if the myth and mysteries surrounding this fabled city can ever truly be solved. 

I strongly recommend finding this box set and taking it home, because the wealth of information contained within it will more than make up for the amount youíll pay at the cash register. 

Video ***

The vivid colors and wonderful reenactments used by A&E in all of their presentations are one of the reasons that I enjoy them so much.  The 1.33:1 standard Fullscreen formatting on the discs in this box set seemed very fitting.  I didnít feel like I was missing anything with it not being presented in Widescreen. 

There was little to no dirt or graininess visible on these prints.  The lighting was used to good effect in the reenactments, and again the colors were extremely vivid. 

Audio ***

The Dolby Digital Surround on these discs was really very good.  The levels remained even and constant throughout. There were no dips or dropouts in the audio during any part of either disc.  The dialogue was balanced nicely against the underlying music bed, which help both discs achieve a high audio rating from me. 

Features Ĺ*

Interactive menus and scene selection are the only extras hiding in this Trojan horse! 

Summary:

Hop on board and let that pony run all the way to your DVD player, because this history lessonís got more horse power and more entertainment than youíd believe.