I won't go into any explanation of why Amadeus is a great movie; it is, and if you're looking into this new version you are probably already aware of it. What I do want to touch on is the new "Director's Cut":
First off, the transfer is excellent. Deep blacks. Not too much color in this film except when we are in the emperor's court, the opera stage and the robes of the archbishop, but in those more lit scenes the colors are vibrant. This is not going to be like Fifth Element as far as sharpness, but it pleases the eye. But then, the original Amadeus had a fine transfer as well.
As for the extra scenes: they fit into the whole seemlessly. These are not scenes that were cut because they didn't contribute to the story; rather these were cut due for reasons of duration and to avoid an R rating (really, there's only Constanza's breasts that threatened to put Amadeus over the edge--our rating system is stupid). The story is better than ever, and the quality of the footage is in no way inferior to the rest of the film. Seemless cut.
5.1: nice sound. Not too much use of the rear channels outside of soundtrack (enough reason there!) and applause during performances, but this is certainly a treat nonetheless. the LFE .1 channel got some good use. During Don Giovanni the heavy footfalls of Wolfi's Don/Father come booming to life.
The documentary is one hour, not 37 minutes as stated on the amazon description. It is excellent!!! Did you know that Meg Tilly was to play Constanza? No footage of her screentest but there is pics of her in costume. Beautiful. Milos talking about returning to his homeland after becoming declared persona non grata is worth watching.
The commentary: I wasn't able to get more than 20 minutes into it. A shame that Milos couldn't be accompanied by Zaentz or Hulce or the best would be F. Murray Abraham (fat chance on that one), or any minor character or any of the dogs or even the cat from the first scene...anyone would have been better than Schaeffer. All he could say was "That's Right" or simply repeat the last few words of whatever Milos said. What a bore. But as bad as that may be I'd still pay twice the cost for this cut. BRILLIANT BRILLIANT!!!
The trailor: great to see how such a great movie can have such a stupid trailor.
And then there's the awards. The usual.
All in all, this dvd is fantastic. Fully deserving of it's 8 awards. A shame that Hulce didn't get more recognition. many contend that he overplayed his part, but it's his presence that saves it from being a depressing epic. This film really has it all.
Oh, and lest I forget: the music. Mozart. 'Nuff said.