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A Review Of The New 2-Disc, 'Special Edition' DVD of, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
on December 5, 2008
First and foremost, this is a review for the 1951, black and white, 1.33:1 aspect ratio, 2-disc, special edition DVD and NOT for the remake (Gort! Keanu barada nikto :)
Okay so here's the lowdown; as I now have both this new edition and the original single, flipper disc, version, and having watched all of the bonus features on the new 2-disc set, I can tell you this: keep the old disc!
Why, because the 73 plus minute, making of, on the original disc is gone, replaced with a new 23 minute fluff piece that only skims the surface of the story, of the making of this film.
Gone are the lengthy on camera interviews with the producer, director and female lead, replaced instead with film historian's inane babble, with the odd snippet of voice recordings of the director and producer, taken from the 73 plus minutes, making of, from the original disc (without the on camera picture).
Also gone, is the very interesting, "Collectors", segment, tacked onto the end of the original making of, which had several prominent collectors showing off such treasures as the original flying saucer model and Gort statue, used in the actual film, with anecdotes about the film, and where the props they now owned, had ended up after the filming.
As for the extra stuff added to the 2-disc set, nothing is worth the non-inclusion of the original making of from the first disc (most of the new stuff has nothing to do with the film, but instead conveys the political tensions of the world at that time, which, although slightly of interest, is not worth upgrading for).
And on a new extra note for the new 2-disc set, the reading of, Farewell To The Master, is poorly executed, with a static picture with simple playing instructions, present throughout the entire reading (where as they could of has stills from the film playing throughout the reading, while the soundtrack played quietly in the background) and trying to maneuver through the reading is a nightmare, as there are three chapter stops, which are about 10 plus minutes each, with no way of fast searching through the 10 plus minute segments, so if you stop playing the reading at 9 minutes, you can't start the playback where you left off but instead have to listen to the whole thing from the start of the chapter (I know this because I stopped the playback for a minute, and when I hit the play button on the remote, the film started to play, so I had to go back to the menu and start the reading again, and listen to the stuff I had already heard. I would have preferred that an onscreen text version of the short (45 pages - not so short in my books) story be included instead).
So unless you are a completes, then this 2-disc version isn't worth the money, and even if you are looking to buy this for the first time, I'd HIGHLY recommend that you pick up the original DVD release, as the picture quality is the same, and you get the far superior 73 plus minute, making of, along with the director's commentary, picture galleries and original trailer.