The Golden Era of DVD ^ Right now we live in the golden era of DVD. When I first got into the format, the industry was so new and fresh that trailers, production notes, and interactive menus were highly-touted features. I remember being excited when “The Player: Platinum Series” featured motion menus, the first of its kind. Now we have complete cinematic sequences called menus, forcing movie lovers to wait countless seconds while an animation plays out before they are able to make a selection. They aren’t theme menus; they’re theme mini-movies.
In DVD, the online world is king. Websites such as The DVD Journal, DVD File, and The Digital Bits quickly rose in fame and readership as thousands of fans wanted to know about what discs were coming out and when. Since a new home video format has formed, classic films gain new life and perspective on DVD. Landmarks such as “Doctor Zhivago,” “Jaws,” “Rear Window” and “Halloween” now sport new digital transfers, soundtracks, and retrospective documentaries all in a neat, affordable package.
The DVD connoisseur of today is spoiled rotten with Special Editions that contain supplements two to three times longer than the film itself. And I’m not just referencing commentaries here. The theme in today’s DVD market seems to be “the more stuff on it the better.” The “Shrek” DVD touts 11 hours of extras. 11 hours! Even if you include the multiple language tracks, documentaries, and so far as the time it takes to read the actor bios, it got nowhere near that number. But regardless of the truth, it’s hyperbole like this consumers love to see. What’s next, twenty hours of extras? Maybe we can one day shoot for a hundred?
While this may come off too cynical, the approach is the same: there is too much sizzle and not enough substance. And those releases that do put forth solid material, such as Dreamwork’s recent “Almost Famous: Untitled The Bootleg Cut” and New Line’s “Seven: Platinum Series” will soon cease to exist thanks to the money-grubbers and ego-centric determined to not only get their say, but to get paid for it as well.
Get the rest of the story in the next part of THE DEATH OF THE SPECIAL EDITION DVD>>>
Posted on January 14, 2001 in Features by Evan Erwin
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