Impressions of the DVD

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Posted by Mike Zeares on February 25, 2000 at 18:47:11:

Hello all. First, a word of introduction. I was around when this site was just getting started, but I haven't posted or even lurked in a long time. Just too many other sites and newsgroups to keep up with. Anyway, I just purchased the LOTM dvd today, and I thought this would be a good time to pop my head back in and say hi. I see this place is still as nutty as ever. Really, it's quite amazing how such a community grew out of an effort to sell a book with pretty pictures. Also a little scary. You people are strange! :-)

So, on with my review. I've read down through the posts to see what others thought. My own feelings are somewhere between Rich's and Myrrh's. I think the film looks absolutely beautiful, and I appreciate the added footage, but I also miss some of the edited lines. I don't have a home theater system capable of doing the sound justice, but it still sounds very good. Whenever a "director's cut" or "expanded version" is released, I usually find myself preferring the theatrical version, but I also enjoy seeing a director's changing ideas, even if I don't agree with them completely. In the case of LOTM, my slight disappointment in the DVD is tempered by the fact that I felt the original release was flawed. Basically, I thought the movie was beautifully photographed and badly edited. I still think that after watching the DVD, but on the whole I think the new version is at least as good as the original. Some specific impressions:

I for one do not miss "I will find you." Even thought it's a pretty song, I rather dislike the use of songs in movies. They tend to take me "out" of the movie and think about the song, rather than about what's going on on-screen.

I loved the expanded courier scene when it aired on tv, but then I was watching it on a little portable with bad reception. It was great seeing it clearly, and it's my favorite part of the new version.

I didn't notice all of the added footage, and some of the missing lines, because it's been so long since I've seen it that I didn't clearly remember the original scenes. I also have never noticed a single blooper, for what it's worth. The brain fogs as the years advance.

The cave scene is STILL a mess.

I still lose it completely when Hawkeye reaches Cora in the ambush scene. It's those soaring French horns -- does it to me every time.

I was very glad it was letterboxed. The amorphic wide-screen that other DVD's use gives me a headache.

I would have liked director's comments, or historical background, or something. I usually don't buy DVD's that don't have a lot of extras, but I really wanted the expanded courier scene.

That's about all I can think of for now.

-- Mike Zeares

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