The Good

Michael Powell gets solid treatment on DVD.

The Bad

One wishes there more films in this "collection."The Michael Powell Double Feature gives fans of this director (and newcomers) a chance to revel in the works of this cinematic master. While he may not be as well known as some, to masters like Martin Scorsese (who is featured prominently in this 2 disc set) this man had an enormous hand in developing the language of cinema. The two films featured in this set are:

- A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven)

- Age of Consent

In A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven) a fighter pilot is going down and meets the woman of his dreams over the radio. Upon his death, he is put on trial to have another shot at life and the woman of his dreams. Age of Consent showcases a burned out painter who ventures to Australia and begins a tryst with a much younger, open minded girl.

Features

Disc One - A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven)

Martin Scorsese on A Matter of Life and Death

Famed Director Martin Scorsese offers up his thoughts on this film. If you have never heard of this movie before, or if you have never heard Scorsese talk about a movie than you are missing out. Here he discusses the film, what he thinks Powell was going for, the nuances of certain things, and the overreaching themes that present themselves. While some people might wonder why one would want to hear anyone but the director talk about the movie, they obviously have never been treated to Scorsese's musings.

Commentary Track by Director Ian Christie

Disc Two - Age of Consent

Commentary Track

Historian Kent Jones takes on the commentary duties for this film but I sadly found what he said to be somewhat dry. Truth be told, I didn't really listen to everything that he had to say, but what he did have to say didn't grab me the way I thought it would. Sure there were stories, history and contextual information, but I guess I had hoped that it would've been presented better here.

Martin Scorsese on Age of Consent

Featurettes

The featurettes on this disc include "Making Age of Consent," "Helen Mirren: A Conversation with Cora," and "Down Under with Ron and Valerie Taylor." Since these featurettes all cover some aspect of the making of this movie (or how the story originated), I felt that it was only right to include them altogether within this section. My personal favorite was "Helen Mirren: A Conversation with Cora." I had never really thought of Mirren as anything but a classy actress. Since she is older it is hard to see her as a seductive sex symbol. Apparently, this is my problem because having seen "Helen Mirren: A Conversation with Cora" (and this movie) I will never look at her in the same way again.

Video

A Matter of Life and Death is presented here in 1.33:1 - Full Screen. Age of Consent is given to viewers in 1.85:1 - Anamorphic Widescreen. Both of these movies are in luscious color and Sony has done quite a nice job on readying the prints for DVD. I didn't notice many moments where the colors shifted around or where the DVDs looked overly baked in any one area.

Audio

These movies are presented in Dolby Digital. They are both subtitled in English and French and they are both Close Captioned. The sound was really solid on both of these releases. Never one to let things slide, I always got the feeling that Powell was trying to use the audio to get us more emotionally involved in the scenes. There was a visceral nature to this that really lent weight to both the films.

Package

Michael Powell is presented on this slipcase cover with images from his movie's below him. The back gives us an overview of the films, more images of Powell and the films, cast lists, and technical specs. Both of the disc in this set are stored in a pull out piece of artwork that contains more images for viewers to peruse. Sony gets a lot of credit for the solid job they did packaging this release.

Final Word

Michael Powell is presented on this slipcase cover with images from his movie's below him. The back gives us an overview of the films, more images of Powell and the films, cast lists, and technical specs. Both of the disc in this set are stored in a pull out piece of artwork that contains more images for viewers to peruse. Sony gets a lot of credit for the solid job they did packaging this release.

Age of Consent was released May 13, 1969.