How Are the Bonus Features?
Robert Rodriguez has always loved DVDs, so the bonus features are extensive. On the first disc, there is somehow room for the theatrical cut of the film with its DTS track (the extended versions have only Dolby 5.1), two commentary tracks, an alternate audio track with a live audience in Austin, Texas, an interactive map of characters and locations, and 47 minutes of featurettes covering Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino, cars, costumes, props, and special effects. The first commentary is Rodriguez and Miller discussing the concepts and the cast. The second commentary is mostly by Rodriguez, but Tarantino drops in briefly for the scene he directed (with Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro in the car), as does an enthusiastic Bruce Willis for his segment.
The Tarantino scene gets a lot of attention on the second disc as well, in a 14-minute take in which he can be heard coaching the actors. Also on the disc are Rodriguez's usual "flic school (among the topics is how scenes were created by merging footage of actors who never actually met), footage of Bruce Willis's band performing in Austin at the time of the shooting, and another Rodriguez cooking school (this time it's breakfast tacos). But the most interesting feature is the "green screen version" of the film: the entire film as it was shot in front of the green screen, sped up to play in only 12 minutes. You can see the actors (in color!) interacting only with the props and each other. Last, there's a DVD-sized complete comic book of The Hard Goodbye.
What's New in the Extended Version?
"The Customer Is Always Right" (the opening sequence with Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton) has no new footage, but now goes straight into the one-minute epilogue with Hartnett and Alexis Bledel that closed the theatrical cut. "The Hard Goodbye" (with Mickey Rourke as "Marv" ) has two new sequences totaling about two minutes: Marv encounters his mother and finds his gun, and talks to Weevil in the club. In "The Big Fat Kill" (with Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro), some short dialogue is restored, along with another wicked slice by Miho (Devon Aoki)--about a minute total. "That Yellow Bastard" (with Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba) has about 3.5 new minutes: there are more visitors to Hartigan's hospital bed, including his wife and a nurse; Carla Gugino's Lucille character comes to assist Hartigan when he wants to get out of jail (probably the best addition); and Mr. Shlubb and Mr. Klump have some more lines. --David Horiuchi