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The movie itself now weighs in at nearly four hours long, and is presumably the way director Michael Wadleigh wanted it in the first place. The Blu-Ray transfer is definitely an upgrade, as is the soundtrack, which was originally recorded on 8-track tape under less-than-ideal conditions. (Using modern digital technology, audio engineer Eddie Kramer, who was hunkered down in what passed for a recording booth at the Woodstock site, has painstakingly restored the soundtrack--even bringing in some of the musicians to re-play their original parts, as on Santana’s “Evil Ways,” one of the previously unreleased bonus performances. Considering that the event is something of a sacred cow by now, this trick may strike some as blasphemous. Then again, this is hardly the first time that a live concert recording has been sweetened, re-recorded, or otherwise enhanced. In fact, it'd be hard to find one that wasn't. And the additions would have gone largely unnoticed if we hadn't been told about them.) In the end, though, there’s only so much improvement possible, and Woodstock was never about technical brilliance anyway. Nor was it mostly about the music, either. Nor was it mostly about the music, either. There are some terrific performances, from acoustic numbers by Richie Havens and Crosby, Stills & Nash to powerful electric contributions from Santana, Sly & the Family Stone, and Joe Cocker. But the truth is that Monterey Pop, which happened two years earlier, was the more exciting concert, and of the several artists who appeared on both bills (including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who, Jefferson Airplane, and others), all of them made better music at the California festival. But Woodstock was always less a concert than an overall cultural happening, and Wadleigh and his crew, often employing an effective split-screen technique, do a superb job of corralling and conveying the remarkable atmosphere and spirit of it; you didn’t have to be there to recognize that this was the zenith of the Age of Aquarius (it was also the twilight; with Altamont looming, things would never be this peaceful and idealistic again).
Of principal interest on the second disc will be two hours of additional musical performances, including both additional tunes by those who are in the main feature and appearances by five artists who for various reasons (ego, money, quality, time) never made it into the film at all; of the latter, Creedence Clearwater Revival is excellent, Paul Butterfield and Johnny Winter are good, Mountain is mediocre, and the Grateful Dead, with an interminable (38 minutes!) "Turn on Your Love Light," are awful (a special Blu-Ray-only feature lets users organize this material as they see fit). Meanwhile, "From Festival to Feature," a new, hour-long look at the making of the movie, is absorbing and minutely detailed. The Amazon-exclusive content (included on disc 2) is an additional 20 minutes of never-before-seen performance footage in high definition from Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Country Joe and the Fish plus three bonus featurettes. --Sam Graham--This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
It was good but not great, I expected far more music than it contained. What is on there is good, but for me, not enough. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Gary A Breakwell
This is a great movie, it has great quality and great music, I highly recommend this, well worth the watch.Published 13 months ago by anthony melaragni
putting this under the Christmas tree, was shipped here fast and arrived in good shape. Can`t wait to watch this and do some singing and dancing.Published 15 months ago by April Fletcher
I chose this rating because I was 15 years old at the time and love the bands and performers
yes I would definitly recommend this video
It brought out so much more detail of the reality of how it was. This is a great way to slide into the atmosphere and re-live an era long past.Published 20 months ago by Francis Pallier
I was there, from what i can remember the video is true to life so if you would like to know what life was about back in the
60's & part way into the 70's this is it,
I'm glad Woodstock resurfaced after so many years. I use to have the LP and VHS, but think it disappeared with the Ex. Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2012 by Jake