86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Wicker Man (2 DVD + CD Collector's Edition) (DVD)
I won't bother reviewing the film itself, as I'm sure most of you reading this are already fans, so I'll just stick to describing this new 3-disc release.
As many of you probably know, the film was considered too long for a commercial release by the typically clueless studio execs of the time, and was summarily hacked-down by about 15 minutes. In a depressing turn of events, the original negative of the film was lost, leaving no high quality method of restoring the missing footage.
Luckily for us, they were able to clip the missing footage into the main print, via the only full, unedited version in existence...a print owned by Roger Corman, the American king of exploitation pictures no less!
The quality of the missing scenes is not nearly as good as the rest of the film, making a list of "restored scenes" entirely unnecessary (you'll be able to tell), but it's probably the best we will ever get.
The package contains both the edited and newly restored versions of the film. The edited theatrical version has a very good transfer and 5.1 dolby sound mix. The Director's cut is presented in the aforementioned spotty video and mono audio.
The excellent commentary from the previous U.K. version is also included here (even if Christopher Lee comes off a bit cranky), as well as the original 35 minute featurette "The Wicker Man Enigma".
What's new is the freshly produced 60 minute documentary hosted by Mark Kermode. It's a wonderful and informative documentary, that suprisingly covers mostly different ground than the "Wicker Man Enigma", paying more attention to the genesis of the project and it's filming, rather than the "unfortunate fate" of the film covered in "Enigma".
You also get a soundtrack CD, which is something I've been waiting for forever. The sound quality is excellent, suprisingly so, although "The Landlord's daughter" is a different version than the one from the film. They must have lost the original. Also, there is no tracklisting for the CD, but that's a minor quibble.
This is a big upgrade for North American buyers, as we gain the new documentary as well as the soundtrack and commentary. U.K. buyers are only gaining the documentary, and soundtrack, but either way I think it's well worth the upgrade. Job well done!
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Initial post: 14 Dec 2008 01:25:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Dec 2008 01:30:47 GMT
Staggering Elephant says:
Should anyone be interested, the version of "The Landlord's Daughter" in the film which is, as the reviewer says, not the one on the disc in this package, is actually available on an older CD release - it's not the one released in about 2003 in a nice little package with a booklet, it's older than that and I've forgotten the label but it is out there and it's existence is fairly well documented I believe.
Has to be said it's not a massive difference but it's certainly discernable. The whole disc is straight off the film soundtrack, with all the sound effects included obviously but as it's off a truncated version of the film it has some of the music missing - notably "Gently Johnny". It's worth having. (By the way, I've just had a little look round and the C.D. with the film "Landlord's daughter" is on Trunk Records and came out in 1998).
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