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Great fun but a disappointing presentation
on 25 May 2004
There is no questioning the brilliance of Way Out West and the two supporting shorts - featuring the always watchable Jimmy Finlayson - are pretty good as well.
But this release is a missed opportunity; I'm sure the DVD producers could have located some interviews, documentaries and even a commentary from a film historian for a proper Special Edition. Furthermore, absolutely no attempt has been made to clean up the picture quality so that this DVD is not much better than a good quality VHS recording. The colour version of the main feature dates from 1985 and this too now needs a digital "clean-up". In any case, I don't think the colour versions of Laurel and Hardy films have much more than curiosity value.
On the plus side, the sound quality is good and if you listen through a decent centre speaker (the sound is digital 1.0) there is plenty of bass while you enjoy the Oscar-nominated tunes of Way Out West. Also, this version of WOW is the original theatrical release with over 5 minutes of footage before L&H appear. It's funny too!
I was hoping to pick up some of the other DVDs (there are some very rare films included in the 20-disk release) but the picture quality and overall lack of initiative with this release has put me off. Laurel and Hardy had appeared on DVD before so if you are only interested in their most famous offerings, I recommend shopping around to pick up some of these (now presumably) cheaper options.