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Waiting for Super Special Editions…

I own DVDs. I own a lot of DVDs. However, I don’t have all the movies that I would like to have. Which seems odd, because I also own a lot of forgettable nonsense that was on special offer in some bargain basement somewhere – Kurt Russell’s Soldier, for example. So, how come I don’t own all those classic films I would love to get my grubby little hands all over? One reason: I know that there’s going to be a super-extra classy hyper deluxe edition coming at some point down the line. Am I the only person who does this?

Two years and counting on my Amazon wishlist...

The text book example is, of course, Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Kill Bill, Vol. I and Kill Bill, Vol. II have both been released on DVD and blu-ray, but only as “vanilla” discs, containing little by way of extras beyond a trailer and a music video. In the meantime, Tarantino is promising a special deluxe edition, Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, which will edit both films together (as they were originally intended), feature an additional sequence and a platter of extra features. However, between his promising a “Southern” and the one billion other projects playing out inside his head, it looks like that won’t be arriving for a while. And so I wait. Patiently, with a Kill Bill shaped hole in my DVD collection.

Trust me, it’s a compulsion. When Grindhouse was split up and sold over here as two separate, extended features (Planet Terror and Deathproof), I was upset that I couldn’t watch the movie as originally intended. In fact, I was so upset that I ordered a deluxe six-disc set from Japan. That included two-disc editions of the two extended feature and a two-disc edition of the film as it was originally designed by Rodriguez and Tarantino.

That’s perhaps the most exotic release in my collection, but I will frequently order from the States to find the version I’m looking for. Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Ridley Scott’s definitive version of his masterpiece, is available on blu-ray here, but only in a standard edition. I have to order from the United States to get the blu-ray version which includes not only that version of the film, but all five other versions as well – the definitive release of the definitive version, if you will.

Hopefully, I'll make some disc-overies...

However, it’s grand when there is a definitive version out there. Yes, I’m looking at Disney right now. “The Disney Vault” has to be one of the most sinister creations in modern home media – the arch nemesis of collectors and geeks such as myself. In order to increase the value of their media, Disney release their movies within a schedule running over a decade or so. They put movies into circulation, and then they take them out. It’s like a cruel game of cat and mouse.

I want to show my girlfriend Fantasia, the rather wonderful union of music and animation. I never got a chance to see Fantasia 2000 myself, so I want to see that too. However, it isn’t available on blu ray or even DVD because Disney want to raise the value of their product by creating false scarcity. I have the same difficulty if I’m looking for a decent collector’s edition of Beauty & The Beast, for example.

What really, really ticks me off is when studios release multiple versions of the same film in order to make a quick buck. Avatar is an example. There was a “vanilla” release on blu ray. There will likely be a 3D edition and a deluxe edition (and possibly even a 3D deluxe edition) released into stores as we come up to Christmas. The Lord of the Rings are three films which has been released time-and-time again in multiple iterations. Watchmen saw three different releases on home media.

I try my best not to double-dip. Primarily because of the shelf space, I’m not going to lie. So this is just one of those things which grinds me gears, if you’ll pardon the expression.

6 Responses

  1. Cannot wait for that Kill Bill release but I’m not holding my breath for it.

    • Yep, I can see it taking a while. Tarantino’s “to do” list must be a mile long at this stage.

  2. Half of the stuff on my dvd shelves are under dust and have since been [dv]de-commissioned. I have double copies of American History X, Aliens, LOTR trilogy: theatrical and extended (I only ever watch the latter, why do it in halves right? Plus the theatrical versions seem incomplete in light of their extended counterpart) editions. The point is, I acquired (and have since lost) the habit of stockpiling dvds in Uni and now I don’t really buy dvds. It seems odd to say that, also the majority of my collection has passed it’s ‘personal taste’ sell by date and languishes unwatched, destined for a charity shop.
    Organized precision, that’s what I’m shooting at. I made a nice little start at it recently with the Ghibli collection, If I can build a collection consistent with the standard of those films it’ll make the choice of countless variations of the same thing a lot less painfull and kinder to my wallet.

    • Nah, I’m still buying them. I just really try to avoid double-dipping because that would sour me. Fast.

  3. Actually just discovered my copies of Kill Bill 1 & 2 after thinking they had been stolen for five years, so I’m looking forward to checking those out again. Definitely holding out for the Grindhouse special edition, too.

    • You can order it from Japan (I think) via amazon, if you’re looking for a deluxe set of Grindhouse?

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