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4.4 out of 5 stars128
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 June 2009
I don't think anyone can expect a film made over 40 years ago to have the same picture and sound quality as one made in recent years however the 4 hour directors film is much better than the standard DVD version was. To me, this is more about the content than the picture quality and the real benefits of buying the Ultimate Collectors Edition is the film content and extras that include:

The 'Woodstock: Untold Stories' feature which includes all of the never before seen performances:

Joan Baez - One Day At A Time
Country Joe McDonald - Flying High
Santana - Evil Ways
Canned Heat - I'm Her Man
Canned Heat - On The Road Again
Mountain - Beside The Sea
Mountain - Southbound Train
Grateful Dead - Turn On Your Love Light
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Born On The bayou
Creedence Clearwater Revival - I Put A Spell on You
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Keep On Choogling
The Who - We're Not Gonna take It
The Who - My Generation
Jefferson Airplane - 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds
Joe Cocker - Something's Coming On
Johnny Winter - Mean Time Blues
Paul Butterield - Morning Sunrise
Sha Na Na - Teen Angel
Canned Heat - Woodstock Boogie
The Who - Sparks
Jimi Hendrix - Spanish Castle Magic

These performances have variable video quality and are in 4:3 format but are great additions to what's already been formally released. The Grateful Dead's 'Turn On Your Love Light' is one of those that the picture quality isn't brilliant but its 36 minutes long and a great performance.

There are several other bonus extras that include:

Woodstock from Festival To Feature
Reflections Of An Era
A Farm In Bethel
Cinematic Revolution
Woodstock Generation
.... and more

The new bonus material is more than 3 hours long and makes this a great value for money set.

You have to make your mind up as to whether the Blu-Ray quality is stunning enough for such old footage but I'm giving this a 5 star review having seen the film and all of the extensive footage which is greater than 7 hours overall.
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on 19 September 2009
A must have for any Woodstock fan. This is worth getting just for the extras and to have the full extended version. If you already have the directors cut and are not too bothered about extra features then it's not essential to have this. If you've never seen the film but are a fan of the era or the music from that era it's great to watch and well worth buying. It really gives you a sense of being there.
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on 25 October 2012
As above.

All the footage of the 'big hitters' is in here: Richie Havens, Crosby Stills & Nash, Joe Cocker, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, etc, but what this DVD lacks is the 'incidental' footage which made the original documentary so watchable.

There was so much footage that the screen had to be split into three to get it all in, resulting in many "WTF?" moments. Anyone catch the man dancing with the sheep? Or the naked couple 'getting it on' in the grass?

No, thought not. Almost none of the incidental footage is included in this DVD version.

To describe this DVD as a 'Director's Cut' is simply laughable: in many circumstances where the original footage split into three, on this version the 'side panels' have just been filled in with identical duotone vignettes of the main act. An irritatingly clunky cinematic device which isn't faithful to the original documentary, and doesn't tell the story.

All in, a disappointment.
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on 6 July 2009
I am from the States and picked this up because I assumed that it had the stateside 'Target Store' extras. As it turns out all 6 exclusive songs and all 7 featurettes from AND Target are included. As far as I know this is the only place to pick up a version with all these extras. A great version of this blu-ray!!! Highly recommended.
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on 16 June 2013
I love this DVD for it's really excellent value for money and because there is so much content (4 separate DVDs in total). The first couple of discs have the main editor's cut of the filming of the event. Starting from the crew setting up the venue (building the stage, lighting rigs etc.) in the rolling green countryside, then watching as thousands of people turn up for the event (with all the associated problems) and finally the scene after it's all over and the acres of litter and mud. Interspersed throughout the film you get to see some of the acts from the likes of Richie Havens, The Who, Crosby Stills and Nash and the awesome Jimi Hendrix. You get a glimpse also of how the event affected the local residents of Bethel Woods. You really feel the atmosphere and what it would have been like to have been there, including the moment when there is a huge rainstorm and people get soaked and some of them have fun making a mud-slide. In many places the screen splits into 2 or 3 individual shots, so you get even more content! There is also a short film about the museum that has been set up in recent years.
The second couple of DVDs have individual acts that you can listen to in any order, accessed through a number of screens with individual links. Some of the acts are a bit long-winded and a little unrehearsed, but on the whole there are some cracking performances.
My only wish was that I could have been there.
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on 27 June 2008
Surely this was filmed 100 years ago? It was certainly another world. The innocence and kindheartedness of nearly all the people in the film is what strikes this cynic the most.

The promoters who accept they are going to "take a big bath" when they realise they have to take down the fences and make it a free concert for safety reasons.

The landowner who can't believe the amount of people who have come to his farm

The locals (most of them anyway) cheerfully giving food and water to the kids and commenting about how respectful they are

The kids going to a music festival but for some reason expecting and getting so much more - and then queuing to phone home and tell the parents they're okay!

The performers who knew something special was happening and did their bit to make history.

At more than 3 hours the film could have seemed too long but it doesn't as the performances and interviews with concert-goers mix perfectly. There are few interviews with the performers as the director recognises it was really all about the kids.

It would be interesting to see present day interviews with people in the film to see their current day view on what happened at Woodstock but in the meantime we can only enjoy this living piece of history.
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on 8 January 2010
So far I've only watched one performance and that's the mesmerising 37+ minute 'Turn On Your Love Light' by the Grateful Dead.
Okay, I'm a fan so slightly biased, but that performance along is enough for me to warrant this a 5 star rating.
Just another 6+ hours of sheer delight to go.
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Everyone has their own ideas about Woodstock: the high-point of a golden age of optimism, a chaotic, badly organized mess, an uneven mixture of performers and performances, a clash between the conservative townspeople and a vast invasion of hippies, a religious experience... the list goes on. This movie does an excellent job at capturing all these aspects (and others) of the event, sometimes using multiple images to represent more than one of them simultaneously. The intermingling of the performances with other scenes creates a well-rounded picture, and makes this much more than just a concert film. Sometimes the juxtaposition is magical - one of my favourite moments is, while one camera is showing Carlos Santana as he grimaces his way through a characteristically melodic guitar solo, another is focussed on a girl in the audience as she responds to - it seems - each and every note.

There are other buried treasures in here as well - for example, I'd never realised how beautiful Grace Slick was (probably because I'd heard so many tales about her unpleasant personality) or, for that matter, how much Janis Joplin reminded me of Ozzy Osbourne in his earlier days. To be sure, some of the music is more dispensible than others (and some of the performances have clearly been cleaned up - or completely overdubbed - after the event): I could never see the point of Sha Na Na, and I still find myself nodding off during Ten Years After's "Going Home" (sure, Alvin Lee's a fantastic guitarist, but he seems to spend 90% of the song not playing it). But they're more than made up for by the magic: Country Joe getting the crowd on its feet with his impromptu "Fixin' To Die Rag", Pete Townshend swaggering through "Summertime Blues", Joe Cocker's catarthic "Little Help From My Friends" and Hendrix's appearance right at the end, as if just descended from a spacecraft: "I see that we meet again, hmmmm...".
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on 27 July 2011
Just fantastic. The original movie had a profound effect on my life when i saw it on its first release in 1970 in Leicester Square, London... the audience sang along and I was hooked. It's a film to which i've returned time after time, being the essence of my hippie generation at its peak.

What this 4 disc DVD collection does (along with Woodstock Diaries) is give us glimpses of some of the sets the original movie missed, and it's fascinating stuff. Here'smy points to watch out for:

1) We get to see the Grateful Dead (who spent years not allowing their performance to be publically released) performing "Lovelight" and you can see why it was never part of the movie. Pigpen, their earthy singer before he died in 1973 and on-off lover of Janis Joplin, could not really command the crowd, and his usual facility with words fails him here ...he's reduced to repeating "now wait a minute" way too many times. Babbs, a Prankster,stumbles on stage to provide a stoned and pointless monologue, and Garcia looks discomforted, with Lesh virtually out of camera shot. The song rises eventually to a fiery climax, but its an opportunity missed.

2) Canned Heat are a revelation. Fantastic performance from them. They made it into the director's Cut, but here you see them in greater detail. What a band.

3) Bert Sommers shows up on the Woodstock Diaries. Worth checking out... a great missed Woodstock legend.

4) Hendrix? I'm one of those who thought his performance sloppy... which is what people thought at the time.

5) Joan Baez shines out, a great star of the era.

Lots of mini documentaries about the filming of the movie, its cultural significance and so on.

Cynics have scoffed, the entire hippie ideal rapidly became a sort of easy historical joke: but it was no joke, and all those flower children produced seeds...

Love it.
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on 5 April 2002
People gripe about the quality of the sound, the picture and about having to sit through too much footage on crowd scenes, etc. They are missing the point of this movie.
For starters, this was filmed towards the end of the sixties, the technology used at the time was as good as it could have been. Obviously by today's standards it falls short. Regardless, a momentous event was recorded. This was the last cry of the Summer of Love. The movie is a much about the people who attended as those who performed on stage. This is typical of a festival goer's experience. The world had not seen anything like if before and probably will never again. As Dickens would have put it: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".
Enjoy this movie for what it is, not what you would like it to be.
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