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DVD with The Best Features


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The Indy Boxset that was releaesed in 2003(?) have great special features.

I'm glad you think so but IMO they were sadly lacking and could have, SHOULD HAVE, been so much better. The same goes for the Original Trilogy Star Wars.

I haven't got the version of King Kong you refer to, Mark although I do have a single disc, cheaper copy of it. I recall seeing something a while ago about a (then) newly discovered print that is lighter than the standard print commonly available and shows much of the details hidden by the darker prints. Is this THAT print?

Kingdon of Heaven (4 discs) is another DVD choc-a-block full of features. Well worth it in my books.

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The Indy Boxset that was releaesed in 2003(?) have great special features.

you have got to be kidding, absolutely kidding, that is one of the worst ever, EVER. Its extras are crap. We deserved so much better.

Ben Hur, and Aliens are superior.

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The Indy Boxset that was releaesed in 2003(?) have great special features.

you have got to be kidding, absolutely kidding, that is one of the worst ever, EVER. Its extras are crap. We deserved so much better.

Ben Hur, and Aliens are superior.

I liked Ben Hur because it also included the 1925 Ben Hur as well and probably wouldn't be otherwise available. I'm also glad that they released this version because Charlton Heston does some of the commentary.

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The Indy Boxset that was releaesed in 2003(?) have great special features.

you have got to be kidding, absolutely kidding, that is one of the worst ever, EVER. Its extras are crap. We deserved so much better.

The only thing it's missing is deleted scenes.

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The Indy Boxset that was releaesed in 2003(?) have great special features.

you have got to be kidding, absolutely kidding, that is one of the worst ever, EVER. Its extras are crap. We deserved so much better.

The only thing it's missing is deleted scenes.

A little over one hour of special feaures for three movies didn't really have me jumping with excitement.

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Which DVD's have the best features and is better value for money? The expanded LOTR DVD's instantly come to mind here but I would like to know more.

You nailed it right there. I've yet to find a DVD with better features than the expanded LOTR sets. In some ways I think those documentaries are better than the actual movies!

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The Indy Boxset that was releaesed in 2003(?) have great special features.

you have got to be kidding, absolutely kidding, that is one of the worst ever, EVER. Its extras are crap. We deserved so much better.

The only thing it's missing is deleted scenes.

A little over one hour of special feaures for three movies didn't really have me jumping with excitement.

I think it's quality, not quantity with Indy. I agree that there isn't a huge amount, but what is there is really good.

I think the battle for the top spot is probably between each of the LOTRs, ALIEN, and BLADE RUNNER. SE7EN and FIGHT CLUB are also incredible DVDs.

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First off: yes, the extended Lord of the Rings DVDs are treasure-toves. Gold-standard stuff. So is the extended version of Jackson's King Kong, for that matter.

Apart from that, I'd have to put the Alien Quadrilogy box set very near the top of my list. The first two movies are genuine classics, and while (in most people's opnions) the second two are extremly flawed, the presentation of them on this set is terrific. I have no idea what the box set is going for these days, but if it's $100 or less, then it's WELL worth it.

I also at some point last year was able to find a box set of all ten Star Trek movies for $100. That's ten two-disc special editions, and the two discs are pretty well stuffed with behind-the-scenes stuff and commentaries. That one was practically a steal, even if only about four or five of the movies are particularly good.

I should also second the mention of the Blade Runner set. It's just as good as the Lord of the Rings sets, and the movie is arguably better than any of them -- if you're into that kind of movie. I am, but many people aren't.

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The Indy Boxset that was releaesed in 2003(?) have great special features.

you have got to be kidding, absolutely kidding, that is one of the worst ever, EVER. Its extras are crap. We deserved so much better.

The only thing it's missing is deleted scenes.

A little over one hour of special feaures for three movies didn't really have me jumping with excitement.

A little over ONE hour??

the featurette lasts 2,5 hours and there are 4 featurettes extra to that.. it is not that short!

For me it is the LOTR. SE Editions

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No one releases better DVD's than Ridley Scott.

Agreed, though I do wish he'd just settle on one version of a movie and leave it at that!!

Having said that - us in the UK have yet to see the longer cut of Hannibal, which I have heard bits and bobs about...

For me, the ultimate in DVD Extra Geekdom was the Alien Quadrilogy which, apart from it's name (it's a Tetralogy, not a "Quadrilogy"), is pretty much perfect in every way. The only thing missing was David Fincher, but I think we can probably gather why.....

As far as the original Star Wars trilogy goes....well, yeah, it was pretty light on extras....but the Empire Of Dreams doc was worth the price of the set alone....

EDIT - sorry, just read Bryant's post above....didn't realise the Alien set (which, incidentally, retails for £15 in the UK at the mo) had been mentioned.....glad I'm not the only one....

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Which DVD's have the best features and is better value for money? The expanded LOTR DVD's instantly come to mind here but I would like to know more.

The answer is quite simple: any d.v.d. with an isolated score by John Williams ("Superman", "T.W.O.E."), preferably in 5.1, which both are. Failing that, any d.v.d. with an isolated score by anyone!

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Apart from that, I'd have to put the Alien Quadrilogy box set very near the top of my list. The first two movies are genuine classics, and while (in most people's opnions) the second two are extremly flawed, the presentation of them on this set is terrific. I have no idea what the box set is going for these days, but if it's $100 or less, then it's WELL worth it.

You may weep: Play.com has it (the RC2 version) for EUR 18.49. That's USD 23.45.

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Hearing Darth Vader's true voice (i.e. the Bristolian accent) was worth the price of the OT box alone.

Incidental trivia: Prowse went to school about two minutes away from where my son was born.

Noooooooo!

I was a Filton Avenue Junior School man myself....and then swiftly followed by Filton High.....

Which was Prowse's school?

Greg

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The Indy Boxset that was releaesed in 2003(?) have great special features.

you have got to be kidding, absolutely kidding, that is one of the worst ever, EVER. Its extras are crap. We deserved so much better.

The only thing it's missing is deleted scenes.

there is so much missing, the Raiders documentary, and what we got isn't that good, and there isn't and hour for each movie but 30 something about one, 40 something about another. Spielberg could learn a thing or 3 about a great dvd set from James Cameron.

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Well, compared to other releases like the Alien Quadrilogy, Terminator 2, and even the 2DVD-sets for the Star Wars prequels the extras of the Indy DVD box are really rather poor. That never really bothered me, though. I was not tempted to buy the new sets earlier this year.

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Definitely the Alien Quadrilogy. Every part of each film's production is covered, with some very cool bits focusing on the composers too. And of course, you get two versions of each film.

Blade Runner (the newest release) is also outstanding.

And I quite enjoy the extras on the special editions of the Batman films. I like the way the "making of" is just like one big documentary spread across the discs.

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Movies: LotR EEs. And I agree with Bryant, the 2 disc Star Trek movies are quality releases as well. The Star Wars releases have been well done extra wise too (at least the original OT release, I haven't seen the newer ones). The 2 disc Python movies have lots of good stuff as well.

TV: Red Dwarf and classic Doctor Who. 2entertain makes the best DVD features, including exceptional commentaries.

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The Indy Boxset that was releaesed in 2003(?) have great special features.

you have got to be kidding, absolutely kidding, that is one of the worst ever, EVER. Its extras are crap. We deserved so much better.

The only thing it's missing is deleted scenes.

there is so much missing, the Raiders documentary, and what we got isn't that good, and there isn't and hour for each movie but 30 something about one, 40 something about another. Spielberg could learn a thing or 3 about a great dvd set from James Cameron.

He doesn't have incredibly in-depth features probably for the same reason that he doesn't do commentaries; wanting to keep some mystery.

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I haven't got the version of King Kong you refer to, Mark although I do have a single disc, cheaper copy of it. I recall seeing something a while ago about a (then) newly discovered print that is lighter than the standard print commonly available and shows much of the details hidden by the darker prints. Is this THAT print?

I have no idea about the prints. These are the only two DVD releases I know of:

2 Disc

Single Disc

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The WB KONG print I believe was a newly discovered one from Europe. Not sure about the darkness in it, but it's certainly spectacular.

While I love some of this fourteen hour documentaries, it depends who's talking through them. ALIEN is brilliant because no one talks about film better than Ridley Scott. ALIENS, well it's good, but very much of it is Gale Anne Hurd and the like saying OMG CAMERON IS FANTASTIC (and occasionally Cameron himself), which gets a bit old after a while, as good as Cameron was. Also, English teabreaks are awesome. LOTR are the same. I could listen to PJ for hours on end, but I can only stand so much of Richard Taylor's nasally tones.

If every documentary was carried by Bill Bailey, however...

I liked the docs on THE PHANTOM MENACE and REVENGE OF THE SITH. The fly-on-the-wall one on TPM was surprisingly revealing, especially the shot of the moment after the first screening of the rough cut, where it seems like no one knows what to say because they don't want to upset George. Also, the "Within A Minute" one on ROTS is an effective look at the filmmaking process, and it's nice to see someone give props to the caterers.

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No DVD of a movie directed by Spielberg can EVER be considered a candidate in the category of "DVD with Best Features" simply because the man will not sit down and speak a commentary. It's like he doesn't want to give up his secrets. "I spent 35 years trying to figure out how to make movies, and if you want to know, you've got to spend that long too, if you want my secrets, F off." No one can deny that many the MOVIES themselves aren't golden treats, but with respect to other movies that do have commentaries and other lavish features, his DVD presentations all fall short.

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No DVD of a movie directed by Spielberg can EVER be considered a candidate in the category of "DVD with Best Features" simply because the man will not sit down and speak a commentary. It's like he doesn't want to give up his secrets.

I wholeheartedly share Spielberg's point of view on this. I don't listen to DVD commentaries for the same reasons why Spielberg doesn't do them. Even if they reveal no secrets, even if they don't want to kill the magic, I still don't want an obtruding voice to be a part of my favorite films. In a way, I have too much respect for the things I love.

Alex

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It's probably because he was a Kubrick fan. Kubrick didn't like that sort of thing, and didn't want special features on his DVDs (aside from things like his daughter's documentary on THE SHINING). It was only when he died that his Estate allowed them to do it.

However, I think a good documentary can negate the need for the commentary, and some of Spielberg's films have those, such as JAWS and CE3K. I have no need for a commentary on those, because the documentaries themselves are absolutely fantastic. I love commentaries, but they're not the be-all/end-all of DVD features. Having the film in front of you can be a negative sometimes, as some directors lose track of themselves, ramble, or just narrate what's on-screen.

Also, I think most commentaries now are recorded too early. If you do one before a film is out - as is often the case - the director is too close to the film, and doesn't really have a chance to reflect. I'd much rather see one a couple of years down the line where it's more a case of "I would have done this differently" as opposed to "All the actors were great and we had a swell time."

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No DVD of a movie directed by Spielberg can EVER be considered a candidate in the category of "DVD with Best Features" simply because the man will not sit down and speak a commentary. It's like he doesn't want to give up his secrets.

I wholeheartedly share Spielberg's point of view on this. I don't listen to DVD commentaries for the same reasons why Spielberg doesn't do them. Even if they reveal no secrets, even if they don't want to kill the magic, I still don't want an obtruding voice to be a part of my favorite films. In a way, I have too much respect for the things I love.

Alex

I pretty much agree with Spielberg on this too.

The film should say all that needs to be said.

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Also depends how well prepared the person is. Burton's commentary on Sleepy Hollow is boring and he's just describing stuff on screen much of the time. But I've read about other commentaries such as Shawshank and Mrs Doubtfire where the director either has well prepared notes, or records it in several sittings to make sure the best stuff is in there.

My favourite special features are actually those that show the technical challenges in making the movie, such as how a complex sfx shot was done, or editing demonstrations, or of course the all-time favourite, isolated score. In this regard, the 3 disc Panic Room is simply outstanding, with intricate explanations of key shots (there's some awesome camera work in the film), and 3 multi-angled sequences of the recording sessions, which is nice for Shore fans, although just watching the orchestra is enough for me, the OST is sufficient for this score.

I know the characters are the most important part of any movie, but I'm really 'into' the whole post-production area. Just finished a course on documentary editing in London which was truly eye-opening.

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No DVD of a movie directed by Spielberg can EVER be considered a candidate in the category of "DVD with Best Features" simply because the man will not sit down and speak a commentary. It's like he doesn't want to give up his secrets.

I wholeheartedly share Spielberg's point of view on this. I don't listen to DVD commentaries for the same reasons why Spielberg doesn't do them. Even if they reveal no secrets, even if they don't want to kill the magic, I still don't want an obtruding voice to be a part of my favorite films. In a way, I have too much respect for the things I love.

Alex

I pretty much agree with Spielberg on this too.

The film should say all that needs to be said.

You say that as if commentaries are meant to illuminate the film. I think that commentaries provide information peripheral to the film itself. One of the best things about them is that oen gets the chance to learn how films are made. Commentaries are wonderful learning tools. They're places for the people involved to express whatever they feel like in association with the film. I listen to commentaries by people whom I respect not only for their craft, but for their outlook (on the craft and other things).

@Alex: I think your assumption that commentaries are valued only when they're attached to favorite films is also incorrect. I can't speak for others, but I've listened to just as many commentaries to films I didn't care for or had problems with or just thought were good, nothing more. I don't do it to join the choruses of how great the film is, and how the filmmakers captured lightening in a bottle.

Probably most important to me, is that I often feel like I love a film, or like a film a lot, but find that I have a hard time remembering anything of import a few days later. I watch films as more than a recreational pastime, and I like it to sink in, which can sometimes be surprisingly difficult, even if I was absolutely thrilled with a film. Watching a commentary and/or behind the scenes stuff helps me mull over the film. Same reason I strated reading reviews. Not to grab onto someone else's more elegant critique, but so that I feel like the two hours I spent will actually register in the future. This I suspect is something rather more unique to me (or at least the worry about it is), but a commentary helps me process a film. I want to make the most of every film I see, and my memory isn't built to contain nearly as much information as I would like after one viewing (I'm not kidding when I say that I returned to a favorite film after a tenth viewing and rediscover it's greatness, as I do often).

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The voice of a director and other people never "obtrudes" over your favorite films unless you've accidentally selected the wrong audio track on your DVD. Otherwise, it's easy to forget there's even a commentary there. But if you want one, sometimes it's nice to have it. And truthfully, I rarely listen to the commentaries at all. So there.

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The voice of a director and other people never "obtrudes" over your favorite films unless you've accidentally selected the wrong audio track on your DVD. Otherwise, it's easy to forget there's even a commentary there. But if you want one, sometimes it's nice to have it. And truthfully, I rarely listen to the commentaries at all. So there.

What an odd post. Alex was describing why he doesn't like to listen to commentaries. Not that he was being forced into listening to them.

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I prefer to listen than read. It feels more personal and direct.

In terms of backslapping, I tend not to mind it when it involves the crew, rather than the cast. On the JPIII commentary, the effects guys do a little of it, but in a film like that I think it's appropriate. Unlike the debatable skills of actors and the almost embarrassing sight of someone saying 'oh this guy was amazing to work with, truly inspiring', I think the technical challenges involved are worthy of praise that you don't get in the usual making-of documentary.

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@Morlock: I'm not a film student. I'm just a film fan who fears that too much director's commentaries will spoil the magic. I think that I approach 'film' in the same way that I listen to music. I want film to be as indefinite as music. Maybe "illuminating" is against the purpose of DVD commentaries but I like to avoid them anyway. Perhaps Spielberg's aversion has strengthened my negative position on them. I admit, in my whole life I have not heard more than a few minutes of commentary. Anyways, hearing a voice rambling over my favorite films is simply not an option.

Alex

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Blade Runner: Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition :mellow:

I'll happily admit that this set is rather special, and, along with the Alien 9-disc set, just about THE BEST d.v.d. package ever! The only thing that is missing is all the wonderful music that is not on either the official 3-disc version, or the European (Rominian? Polish?) bootleg. Mind you, the Blu-ray Planet Of The Apes set looks great, with isolated scores on all but the first film, but since we all have that, c.d., anyway...

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The only thing that is missing is all the wonderful music that is not on either the official 3-disc version, or the European (Rominian? Polish?) bootleg.

*sigh* If only there could be another Blade Runner DVD/BD release with the rest of the intended supplements which had to be sliced because of disc space issues. Then maybe we could hear an isolated score in 5.1 on Blu-ray ;)

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As far as the best in terms of volume and quality:

The LOTR Extended Editions

The ALIEN Quadrilogy

Panic Room 3-Disc

Fight Club

The Ultimate Bond Volumes

There are also some films that are terrific special editions that have the just the right amount of features, without going overboard or being bare bones.

The WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? 2-Disc Vista Series is one of my all-time favorite DVDs with just the right amount of extras, great menus, and an overall solid presentation.

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