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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and dirty
Although I was a teenager soon after this concert, I somehow never got around to seeing the moving until this year. (I guess concert films don't get screened frequently on terrestrial TV.) So over the years I've become more familiar with the triple LP of the movie and, of course, the many posters the rock stars in heroic poses that dominated the early 1970s -- i.e. the...
Published on June 26 2004 by Gavin Wilson

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the remaster and extra songs 3 for packaging and price
i hate unnecessary trinkets and filler and the ONLY way to get the extra songs is to buy either this collector's edition, or the blu-ray. i even went a step further and bought from amazon.COM to get the FOURTH disc (amazon.com ONLY) ....

this fourth disc contains 3 extra songs (& 3 extra featurettes) NOT INCLUDED
in the standard box set.

the...
Published on June 12 2009 by Paul Shikata


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the remaster and extra songs 3 for packaging and price, June 12 2009
By 
Paul Shikata (toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
i hate unnecessary trinkets and filler and the ONLY way to get the extra songs is to buy either this collector's edition, or the blu-ray. i even went a step further and bought from amazon.COM to get the FOURTH disc (amazon.com ONLY) ....

this fourth disc contains 3 extra songs (& 3 extra featurettes) NOT INCLUDED
in the standard box set.

the main feature is now split over 2 dual layered dvds (instead of a double sided, single layered disc - the previous dvd release)

the color and grain are much improved. the sound is great too, 5.1 for the extra songs disc as well .....

the standard extra songs are a delight, and one WISHES there were more ...
perhaps they're holding off for the 50th annivesary ???

while the 2 disc version (feature film only) is $19.99, THIS 3 disc version is $48.99 .....

what do you get for the extra 28.99 ????

3rd disc of extra songs (EXCELLENT)
a collection of 'featurettes' on the making of (ok, but still your classically 'bad' studio made filler-featurettes) a REAL doc, made in the spirit of the film would've been much more classier ....
a scaled down reprint of the LIFE magazine 'woodstock' issue (VERY NICE)
a 'woodstock' patch (I DON'T CARE)
an envelope with a few reprints of some of the original handwritten notes/announcements that were read over the PA and a reproduction of the 3-day ticket (I DON'T CARE)
a LUCITE display with images from the festival (I DON'T CARE)
i'll mention the 'featurette' on the bethel museum, but it's more like a pathetic COMMERCIAL for the place rather than something genuine that was made for THIS release.....(i believe you get that with the 2 disc version as well)

all packaged in this suede fringed box that contains another cardboard box inside that holds all the elements. i thought it impractical.

so you can decide. other reviewers on the web have noted that it is 'plenty classy' ......

obviously i wish that i could've had the choice to buy ONLY the dvds MINUS the 'trinkets' ..... for LESS.

i don't like being forced to pay for 'stuff'and'packaging' that i don't want, to get the 'stuff' i DO want .....

anyhow, i bit the bullet on this one because this STILL is one of the most important and best made documentaries EVER .....the camera work and editing are still a sight to behold ...... and i've been dying to see more concert footage ....

hope this helps.

it WAS great seeing that CCR footage for the first time !!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and dirty, June 26 2004
By 
Gavin Wilson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Although I was a teenager soon after this concert, I somehow never got around to seeing the moving until this year. (I guess concert films don't get screened frequently on terrestrial TV.) So over the years I've become more familiar with the triple LP of the movie and, of course, the many posters the rock stars in heroic poses that dominated the early 1970s -- i.e. the Who's Roger Daltrey, Jimi Hendrix and Ten Years After's Alvin Lee.
Despite the mud and the squalor, this is an extraordinarily beautiful film, with the screen often breaking up into two or three segments. (Note on the closing credits the name of Martin Scorsese on the production team.)
It's well worth contrasting this movie with the DVD of the 1970 Isle of Wight festival. Only a year separates the two concerts, but the late 1960s idealism of Woodstock gets replaced by prototype British vandalism. The Who perform at both concerts, and make an equally good account of themselves. Daltrey's emotional delivery of 'See Me, Feel Me' helps to explain why 'Tommy' became such a phenomenon in America. Hendrix also performed at both, but his meandering solo at Woodstock was not of the highest standard.
The other highlight of the show was Santana, a Latino band only just beginning to establish themselves in California at the time. As others have noted, the drum solo by Mike Shrieve is impressive for one so young. As with the Who, Santana's album sales will have multiplied as a result of their Woodstock performance.
It's interesting how many great acts weren't at Woodstock -- e.g. Joni Mitchell (despite her song about the concert!), the Doors, Bob Dylan or the Stones. The first two clearly realised how important these festivals were in the breaking of artists into markets, and so they appear on the Isle of Wight DVD.
For most of my life, Woodstock has been a set of static images, largely taken from the cover of the album. But as this film reveals, there is so much more imagery than pictures of beautiful women bathing in the lake. Quite apart from all the idealism of passing whisky bottles and reefers around, of sliding in the mud, the film shows the flip side: of people queuing in the mud to phone home, of helicopters rescuing the sick, of helpers cleaning toilets, and of barefoot stragglers looking for a pair of shoes amid a post-concert site that looks more of a wasteland than the trenches of the First World War.
Enjoy it in all its glory and all its grime.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I felt like I was there, April 14 2004
By 
This review is from: Woodstock (VHS Tape)
This isn't your run-of-the-mill concert video packed with edited performances. This is loaded with performances from the original (and, as far as I'm concerned, the ONLY) three-day festival of peace, love, and music. (...)it's loaded with interviews of kids coming into town for the festival, enjoying it, and leaving it (I felt really sorry for the cleanup crew). A lot of the time, it's a split screen so you'll find yourself using the rewind button quite often to catch anything you may have missed.
Interesting to find out that Woodstock was the second performance for Crosby, Stills, and Nash (in the days before Young). Ritchie Havens was out of sight, Jimi Hendrix far out, and Country Joe McDonald a blast. Rock and roll and folk music came together for a once-in-a-lifetime event that could never be duplicated (why did people botther trying?) and, truth be told, I'm deeply jealous of the people who were there.
The coolest part of all was when Max Yasgur, owner of the farm the festival was held on, got on stage and said that Woodstock was proof that young people could get together and have three days of peace, love, and music and nothing but three days of peace, love and music.
This video is a first hand glimpse into the turmoil that was the 1960's (e.g. older people arguing amongst themselves that the festival was wrong because the young kids were having sex and getting high while others thought it better that they were there instead of being in Viet Nam). You can feel the tension and the too cool atmosphere of the festival through the TV.
Ah, nothing like the 1960's. What a decade!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular account of the event that deffined the era, July 30 2002
By 
"devilzclawz69" (New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
No words can describe how wonderfully this film has captured the moment in the event which defined the Hippie Movement, which amazed the world by truley and fully living up to its catch phrase: "Three days of peace, love, and music", and which made those who did not attend wonder what they were thinking.
The music, first and foremost, is truley wonderful. Spectacular performances by CSN, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Ten Years After, Richie Havens and so many more. I most especially enjoy watching Joe Cocker's rendition of "With A Little Help From My Friends". His voice and the energy which radiates from him as he performs is truley mesmerizing. And of course who could forget Jimi Hendrix famous performance where he tore up his guitar with his captivating version of the National Anthem. I also love Country Joe's performance of "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die-Rag". A wonderful performance, it truley captivates the peace and love of the event as, toward the end of the song he encourages the audience to stand and sing to end the war...and the majority of the 500,000 or so audience members stand and sing along.
But it's not just the music that make's this film wonderful. The film show's the organization of the event, the building of the stage etc... We meet the people who made the event possible. And when the people begin to enter the site without paying for tickets....and the producers realize how much money they've lost...they shrug it off and say that they don't mind because the event and the people loving eachother and sharing everything is such a beautiful thing...and that the money doesn't matter. Do producers of rock concerts (or producers of anything for that matter) ever say that money doesn't matter these days? It truley shows what a wonderful generation it was. The audience is beautiful as well, everyone being themselves, everyone having a good time and sharing the experience that was the last bang (and what a bang it was) for the Hippie Movement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not just about the music, Jan. 1 2003
By 
Huwaryu "huwaryu" (Astoria, NY United States) - See all my reviews
A previous reviewer has made mention of the fact that so much of the best music from the concert doesn't appear in the documentary footage. I concur, and I advise anyone who owns the motion picture to buy the soundtrack as well. There were tremendous performances by Sly and the Family Stone, Paul Butterfield, Melanie, Mountain, Johnny Winter, Creedence Clearwater Revival and others that ended up on the cutting room floor. Time couldn't possibly allow all three days' worth of music, but the film was about so much more than the musical performances.
Aside from the atrocious weather that plagued the event, some of the performances were awful, including the Who's set, which sounded like they were playing in a cardboard box; Arlo Guthrie's, who stormed off in anger after constant helicopter interruptions; CSNY's, with their out-of-tune guitars and off-key vocals; and the Grateful Dead's (absent from both the film and the soundtrack), which ended when a rain-soaked Jerry Garcia was electrocuted by a mike-stand. Ironically, the thrilling conclusion to the festival, given by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was witnessed by only a few thousand stragglers, as many people had already gone home -- or never even made it to the show because of all the abandoned cars on the highways.
Some very poignant and very human moments were included in the film, especially those with the chief of police and the Port-o-San cleaner, as well as some difficult moments, such as the irate farmer who lost his milk supply and had his fences broken due to the massive crowds and blocked highways("It's a sh*tty mess!" he says). Joan Baez' protest-laden set was equally poignant, and Country Joe MacDonald's exhortation "How do you expect to stop a war if you don't sing?!?" epitomizes the attitude of the Nation's youth towards an unpopular conflict and "the establishment."
Most wonderful in all the film were the interviews with festival-goers and the impromptu stage announcements, interspersed between the concert footage and the stylistic, multi-screened editing. How they managed to dub all those various performance clips with the soundtrack is amazing in itself.
This tremendous work of art won an Academy Award, and gives great snapshots of popular culture of the late 1960's. It's an important piece of American film and also of American history. But once again, if you really want to experience the MUSIC, buy the film AND the soundtrack.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inexcusable DVD transfer, Jan. 9 2002
By 
Kockenlocker "Thrusting Greatness" (Portland, Oregon United States) - See all my reviews
I have owned the director's cut of this on VHS for years and the VHS version is superb visually and the sound is excellent.
I bought the DVD so I could have chapter access to each performance. Indeed, the DVD does have that, but it is all for naught.
The picture on the DVD is vastly inferior to the VHS. Images that can be clearly seen on the VHS don't register many times at all on the DVD, i.e the outline and some features of a guy dancing are clearly visible on the VHS as they were on film in a theatre. On the DVD, you just see the outine of the figure with a hint of subtler visual attributes. The sound on the DVD is the worst I've heard on any release from a major company. I've seen and heard better on second-rate VHS's and DVD's from the likes of Laserdisc.
Boy, will I read those ratings on visual and sound quality from now on. The review on Amazon's "technical information" for this DVD is absoulutely correct.
I will never buy another DVD or VHS from Warner Bros without first renting and previewing it. So I still watch my 2-tape VHS of this landmark film of this one-time phenomenon.
The DVD is on one two-sided disc, which doesn't even break at the intermission, to rub salt in this inexcusable mangling from Warner Bros. First, they blew their initial Kubrick set and now this disgrace.
If you want this film on video, get in the well-done and tecnically superior VHS double tape. Incompent .... Jack Warner would have kicked who ever is responsible for this rip-off DVD most deservedly in the teeth...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Document of a Feeling, July 12 2004
It's inevitable that arguments will take place, as they do in these reviews, about what the meaning of Woodstock really is -- many have evoked peace and anti-vietnam sentiments and a great social movement, while others take a more mocking tone and dismiss it as a kind of upper middle class fantasy camp, a sewing of the oats before beginning corporate life.
Not having been alive in the 60s, I only know what I've read and been told by those older than myself, but I'd guess that the first assessment is a bit idealistic, while the second is unfair, and that the truth is "somewhere in between," to fall back on the cliche.
What the film does successfully document, I gather, is what it felt like to be young and hippie and excited about music and social protest and all the things Woodstock at least appeared, at the time, to represent. The feeling is what's embodied in the filmic techniques, the scenes chosen, and the performances themselves, and this makes Woodstock a successful documentary.
The 60s were many things, and no film could capture all of them. Actually, in spite of the fact that it allows itself to get very much caught up in the excitement, I think the film has its moments of ironic distance and sobering reality, such as the port-a-san scene (particularly the extended shot of the average joe cleaning the things).
For a good counterpoint, I recommend the Isle of Wight festival film, which captures the darker, more selfish side of the hippie generation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCERT OF ALL TIME., Feb. 29 2004
The original Woodstock without a doubt is the most important musical event of all time. After Woodstock, many festivals have tried in vain to copy this event, some of them have had a very good quality, but none has been as important as Woodstock. So this outstanding event deserved a high quality documentary, and Michael Wadleigh made the best rockumentary "Woodstock: Three Days of Peace & Music".
One of the best things that can be found on this Rockumentary, is the close attention to the details: we can see how the young people in 1969 were, their ideology, their habits and their way to dress (or undress). Michael Wadleigh also did that all the event details were recorded by his army of camera men: the concert organizers, the portable bathrooms used in the concert, the thoughts and commentaries made by the neighbors and owners of the nearby stores, the mud baths, the use of illegal substances, the rain delay, the nudity, etc.
But the most interesting thing in the Rockumentary without a doubt are the performers in Woodstock: Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Who, Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, among many others. Some performances are amazing, other performances are very eccentric, and in other performances the use of illegal substances is really obvious, but overall most of the performances are very good.
"Woodstock: Three Days of Peace & Music" is the best Rockumentary of all time, and also it's one of the best Documentaries overall. If you are a music fan, this is an essential video.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 3 Days Is All It Took..., Feb. 15 2004
By 
Mike (Philadelphia, PA, USA) - See all my reviews
I just recently purchased this on DVD, and it's the most stunning piece of music video, I have ever seen.
We are treated to 2 things about the 60's, in this video alone...
1. We are shown amazing performances of music from the era's greatest music performers: Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Country Joe & The Fish, Santana, The Who, Ten Years After, Sly & The Family Stone, etc.
2. We are shown a deep look at the counterculture. Whether it be a bunch of hippies trippin' out on Marijuana & LSD, people who enjoyed skinny-dipping, the spiritual side of it with Yoga and Trancendental Meditation, and what to do in the rain... Strip naked and roll around in the mud.
And nobody cared about it, because it was a place of peace. And peace what all that they wanted, and for 3 days everybody received peace.
There are a few downsides to this film, though...
1. No Performance from The Grateful Dead, just Jerry Garcia rollin' a few joints.
2. They don't have Sly & The Family Stone's Dance To The Music in the video, that was a song that got the whole crowd up and going, but all we get is "I Want To Take You Higher."
But they're only miniscule things, the video is amazing. The spirit of the 60's, will live on forever, thanks to this festival and movie.
And DAMN RIGHT! This movie did deserve to win the Oscar!!!
Buy the video if you want, but be warned, there will be an everlasting effect to wear tie-dye and put up the 2-finger salute.
-Peace-
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5.0 out of 5 stars Got To Get Ourselves Back To The Garden!, Oct. 7 2002
By 
Barron Laycock "Labradorman" (Temple, New Hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In a manner that must shock and amaze us all, this superb documentary catches the spirit and "geist" of the sixties counter-cultural movement like nothing else could. As a child of the sixties, and someone involved in all of the activities and social issues described herein, I find myself once again amazed whenever I catch this on TV, usually late at night. For through the space of this seemingly endless concert film are the continuing threaded elements of a very important story, the epic tale of how a separate and distinct subculture in attempted to stand amidst the blaring hostile spotlights of an overbearing and dominating mainstream culture.
The parts of the movie I love watching best are not of the performers, but rather are the threads connecting them, the bits and pieces of extraneous events, conversations, and interactions that helped to flesh out the details of exactly what the social ethos of the counterculture were, and how they would inform, describe, and detail its members. The first few minutes of the film, consisting of long and cinematically gorgeous shots of young "freaks" congregating to build the sound stage for the concert in an overgrown glen in upstate New York on tractors, horses, and in trucks and cars is breath-taking, and sets the stage for the kind of laid-back presentation that follows.
It is difficult to explain or to articulate what Woodstock meant, both to those of us who were lucky enough to be there and to the rest of us who experienced only vicariously through the countless stories and tales that emanated from it afterward, and from documentary evidence such as is provided by this film, that the so-called youth culture existed and thrived, by at least some 500,000 and most likely by many, many more freaks than that. For in truth reality was the coming of age of the youth movement in the same moment it became its funeral dirge, for the dominating mainstream culture recognized both its threat and its opportunity for them, in cultural and commercial terms, and the elements of the youth culture was quickly co-opted by advertising and business. Yet for all of that, what we had was a wonderful moment, however brief, in the warmth of togetherness in the sun. Watch the movie and celebrate. We've spent the last thirty years mourning our collective failure by letting the Woodstock in each of us die. Enjoy!
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Woodstock (40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
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