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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

We've met before, haven't we?

I recently blogged about stumbling across books and DVDs that I didn't know existed, and being glad they existed. Well, sometimes I get rather annoyed when I find out new editions of DVDs have come out stateside, mere months after I paid a pretty coin for an import version. Today's "a-ha!" was thanks in part to Keith's review of a new DVD version of Lost Highway.

When I saw Lost Highway for the first time last year, I was quite taken with it. Despite it being on DVD, it was in full-frame, pan-and-scan and looked awful. Regardless, I really liked the movie as a whole and wanted to see it in its correct 2.35:1 ratio. Hearing that the Region 2 version had the movie in widescreen, as well as a second disc of on-set interviews with Lynch and some of the film's stars, I had to get it. (I should add that most of Lynch's films in Region 1 have scant supplemental features or nothing at all.) So, my casual desire for a region-free DVD player so I could watch U.K. bands' video collections has had some nice side effects.

Seeing as how the new U.S. release of Lost Highway has the film in widescreen, but with no extras, there's a sense of relief for me as a supplemental features fiend. However, when I heard about the 3-disc version of Hot Fuzz coming out in the states, I was rather miffed. Miffed because also in the shipment that brought me Lost Highway was the two-disc version of Hot Fuzz.

Since the 2-disc version of Shaun of the Dead (complete with a commentary track by zombies, along with three other commentary tracks) has never been released stateside, I highly doubted the 2-disc version of Hot Fuzz would come out here as well. When this 3-disc version was announced (containing all the features from the 2-disc version, as well as a new commentary track with Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino), I decided to pass on getting it. Even after these months, I still haven't listened to all four commentary tracks or gone through all the extra features.

To me, a major part of the DVD-buying experience is the supplemental features. Hell, it's what I go to first before I watch the movie again. (Whenever I rent a movie I have not seen the first time, though, I go with the feature first, then extras.) I'm in the midst of going through this year's Stanley Kubrick box set with the extras first. Then I rope back around to the films themselves with the commentary tracks turned off.

Looking back ten years ago, home movie watching for me was buying or renting one version on VHS, with no supplemental features, only once. Now I can't imagine watching a DVD without supplemental features or reading trivia about the film online. Plus, learning what I've learned about DVD releases, they can be long-in-development, but can't be believed until they actually arrive. I guess I should check Largehearted Boy a little more often for the week in DVD releases for starters . . .

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