Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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In an era where film can be exchanged freely over the wires, the way movie studios and filmmakers can add value to a packaged product is to include additional expertise and material.

DVD extras

One thing you'll notice when you watch DVDs, a few of them have "extras" - including any of the following:

Commentary
The director, writer, cast, crew, or film expert speaking about the film as the film plays. It's a fantastic way to learn about film, the choices that go into making a film, and if you love a movie it's an unbeatable way to get deeper into the film, to come to know it's boundaries and history. The creation process! This represents the greatest potential for cinematic education DVDs bring to otherwise ordinary moviewatching.
Cast/Crew Biography
After you see a film, if you're familiar with the participants, or even if you aren't, it's nice to see where their careers have taken them. These bios typically include filmography information and some have a brief biography. Some even include film clips or stills from other appearances!
Coming Attractions
One of my favourite things about the Deathrace 2000 disc is the string of Roger Corman previews that comes included - "Big Bad Mama" "Cellhouse Babes" "Hotrods and Cool Cars" - previews are like mini-movies, and they're fun to watch.
Also, Hardboiled has some great coming attractions - including a preview for the only Chinese Opera John Woo ever directed - it's a funny thing to watch compressed into 30 seconds.
Deleted Scenes
Deleted scenes appeal to the fan in me, but I must say that most deleted scenes were deleted for a reason. If you're not really deep into the film or one of the participants, deleted scenes are often eminently skippable.
Art
Sketches of concepts and preliminary direction
More relevant in movies with art direction or animation - Lain had some sketches and Alien has some Geiger art.
Widescreen
It's amazing - after watching a few letterboxed/widescreen DVDs, you realize that all the movies you've ever watched on VHS were only 2/3s a movie, or sometimes even half a movie.
For the best DVDs, these are just features, built into an entire movielover's product. Some are tacked on carelessly as an afterthought. There's an art to interface design for DVD movies, and there's few films that bowl you over with care and craftsmanship. When they do it's a real treat!

Criterion Films do some of the best DVDs - here's an interview with their president thanks to Steve Rhodes

Check out my catalog to see which films I enjoyed most.

DVDs | flix | ritteds

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