As you may be aware, I like DVD extras. I frequently buy DVDs for those extras. And I'll often wait for a special edition to something instead of buying the bare-bones edition that's currently out. Unless, of course, I'm not expecting one at all. Not all movies deserve the special edition treatment, or even a simple featurette or commentary track. Sometimes they do, but it's just not gonna happen. So I bit the bullet and bought the cheapie version of The Truth About Cats and Dogs... but I've said too much.
There are those cheapie DVDs, however, which are a crime against humanity (warning: I have a tendency to blow things out of proportion). Here then is my personal Top 5 movies that deserve the Special Edition treatment, ASAP!
5. City Slickers
I'm not asking for much, maybe just a commentary track or a "Whatever happened to Norman?" feature, and I think the movie's enough of a comedy classic to warrant it. If I have a lot of affection for City Slickers, it's because of a single scene: The one where they discuss their best/worst days. I'm not generally big on comedies. The stupider they are, the more I hate them. But give them an emotional core, make it about something, and don't be afraid to make it dramatic without resorting to Family Matters-style sentimentality (...and the music swells highlighting the lesson to be learned), and you've got me. I'm a real sap. City Slickers makes me cry and I don't care who knows it (apparently).
I don't go to the movies a lot. Theaters just get my pet peeve meter from 0-100 in no time at all. But I also have the unerring ability to just know what's good and what's not (read: what I'll like and not) and will buy films sight unseen. So while I loved Being John Malkovitch and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I'll be damned if I'll buy a Superbit DVD! I'm not sure who the clarity freaks are that simply NEED all the extra space on a DVD to be used for even better picture and sound. My god, isn't the DVD format good enough for you? Can your TV screen even keep up? You got some gold cables, didja? Anyway, I have yet to see Kaufman's Adaptation because it only exists as a bare-bones Superbit edition. When I think about it, Malkovich doesn't have anything truly great on it (unless you count Spike Jonz throwing up by the side of the road), so I shouldn't expect Adaptation to get any special treatment.
3. Kill Bill
It took YEARS for Tarantino's other films to get Special Editions, and then they all came out in a matter of weeks. And what great packages! Imaginative documentaries, fancy boxes, and plenty of fun features. So should I expect Kill Bill to come out in a combined edition repleat with bells and whistles? The more time it takes, the more I expect great things from it. An actual full-length commentary? A Sonny Cheba retrospective? A gift eyepatch? I don't know, but I won't be suckered into buying the 2-fer cheapies. Which means I also can't get my groove-on watching Kill Bill. Good thing my roommate got it for Christmas...
2. Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare movies
Yes, that's more than one film, but my blog, my rules. The tragedy here is that only Love's Labour's Lost has any extras, and it's the very least of Branagh's efforts. Only cheapie versions of Oscar winners Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing, and Hamlet does not even exist as a DVD!! (Sorry, Mel Gibson's version just doesn't cut it - maybe if he'd done it in Olde Danish...) So what's taking so long?!? I'd love to retire my VHS copies before their tapes snap. I can't help but think that these could be a major Shakespeare resource for teachers and students alike, discussing language and stageing, showing excisions and changes, etc. And might as well throw in Branagh's charming A Midwinter's Dream (which he directs, but does not act in), and Othello (in which he only acted - best Iago EVER). Those DVDs better be 400 years in the making.
And the number 1 crime against humanity?
1. Blade Runner
This is the one that makes the least sense to me. Blade Runner! One of the greatest SF movies ever made, a cult classic and a huge influence on the medium. It's got Harrison Ford. It was made by Ridley Scott. I think the commercial viability and historical importance are there. Possible DVD extras? I know I've said that Ridley was a bore on Gladiator (not the reason I don't own it, mind you), but he's perfectly acceptable on Thelma & Louise (yes, I own that one, leave me alone, it's COOL). In any case, this is a film with more than one version. There's the definitive Director's Cut, the terrible voice-over/happy-ending version that you might still see on late night tv, and there's a European version that features some gory eye-popping action! So the material is definitely there. I'm aware of the (out-of-print) boxed set, but it's just the same cheap DVD with a bunch of promo posters. NOT THE SAME! I am politiely sending vibrations over the blogosphere to get whoever is holding up production on Blade Runner Special Edition. Philip K. Dick estate? Warner Home Video? Mr. Ford sir? I know you hated making it, but they can't all be Regarding Henry. Blade Runner for president.
So that's my personal wishlist. How about you? Which movies deserve the Special Edition treatment?