Wednesday, April 06, 2005

DVD Announcements...

Kurosawa fans will be elated/annoyed to hear that one of the master's great films, Ran, will be recieving a pumped-up Criterion edition by the end of the year. This follows a lame, bare-boned disc that was followed by a better special edition. Still, although I bought both, its hard to avoid triple-dipping when Criterion is involved. I'm sure the Drunken Republican agrees with me.

Extras for the new 30th edition Jaws DVD have been announced (per "The studio is now indicating that the release will include "thrilling bonus materials", including a "never-before-available interview with Steven Spielberg during the production of Jaws... a feature-length documentary, deleted scenes, archives and more." The set, which will be available in both full frame and anamorphic widescreen editions (SRP $22.98 each), will also include a "commemorative photo journal" likely in booklet form. Audio on both versions will include English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, 2.0 Mono & DTS 5.1 Surround, as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Subtitles will be available in both French and Spanish, along with English captions. We suspect that the "feature-length documentary" is indeed the full version of DVD producer Laurent Bouzereau's original The Making of Jaws, but we'll have to wait for official confirmation of this. We'll post more specific details on the extras as they come in from the studio."

Why anyone would want a 'special edition' in full frame is beyond me.


At 9:02 AM, Blogger Gaftrhjhj said...

Oh, man. Another 30 bucks.

On the bright side, I was just recently wishing that the Ran disc had one of those "It is Wonderful to Create" documentaries. It's a deeply flawed artwork, but a magnificent piece of cinema.

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous KurtVon said...

There is one reason a full-frame special edition could be warranted. It's entirely possible the original film was recorded in 3:4, and just cut back to widescreen by blocking the top and bottom.

If that is the case, I think they should add a "letterboxed" option that just puts in the black bars on a subtitle track. It would barely take up a fraction of the disk and could be useful.

And yeah, most films are shot knowing the bars will be there, but it rarely has an effect beyond a few "revealing" shots.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Brad said...

One thing I read, I think at DVD Verdict, which I agree with: it should be considered mandatory that a movie be available in its original aspect ratio, no matter what, and it should have its original audio as an option, no matter what. Good to hear that the new Jaws DVD will finally have the original sound mix, which I for one prefer to the new mix.

As to whether a full-frame version is warranted, I can think of two - and ONLY two - instances: if the filmmaker specifically requested a full-frame version (a la Stanley Kubrick) or if it's a computer animated movie that was able to recompose its images for 4:3. Even then, the original widescreen version should be available. (Also, if anyone's wondering why matting in a 1.87:1 movie is preferable, go watch Schindler's List or Raging Bull full-frame. I can see at least one scene in each where a boom mic is in full view, where it would be hidden by the black bars in the widescreen version.)

Okay, done rantin'.


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