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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More, With Feeling (2001) [DVD]
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A musical episode of the cult television series featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar as the teenage huntress of the undead, Buffy. Buffy and friends are once more on the trail of vampires during a visit to the graveyard. But a mysterious force takes over them and they begin to sing and dance their way through the entire episode. Soon the whole of the town is joining in...
"Once More With Feeling", a much needed shaft of lightness in Buffy the Vampire Slayer's dark sixth series, demonstrates that a "special" episode can be genuinely special. It preserves the show's continuity for its regular watchers and also delights people who have never experienced it before. This is creator Joss Whedon's tribute to all the masters of the stage musical whom he admires--most obviously Stephen Sondheim--and a chance for his talented cast to display their usual tight ensemble and sing and dance while doing it.
The premise is typical Buffy both in its whimsy and its emotional truth--a demon forces the inhabitants of Sunnydale to express their emotions truthfully and uncovers a variety of embarrassing secrets. The actual musical ability of the Buffy cast is variable--Amber Benson as Tara and Anthony Stewart Head as Giles are perhaps the only ones with enough musical talent to carry purely lyrical tunes, but Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy is a game little trooper who delivers her various patter songs with her usual efficiency and charm. Emma Caulfield as the ex-demon Anya is the big surprise, her short paranoid riff on the subject of that ultimate evil, bunny rabbits is quite extraordinary; Broadway hoofer Hinton Battle is fabulous as Sweet: "I can bring whole cities to ruin and find time to get some soft shoe in." --Roz Kaveney
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Top Customer Reviews
HOWEVER!!! DO NOT BUY THIS DVD!!!
While I may be hailing this episode as a must see, this DVD is NOT a must-buy. Buy the season six DVD instead. On the season six DVD you get a commentary for the episode and a half hour documentary on OMWF, plus 21 other excellent episodes. This one episode DVD seems to have taken special features from the season five DVD boxset, not even the season the episode is from! So great episode, just don't buy it as the special features are not even slightly related! Save up for the whole boxset, you'll thank me.
As a result of its amazing success as a CD and book of lyrics, the DVD of the episode has now been released on its own on DVD. For this you get the episode complete and unedited - this is your chance to see the episode in full.
The one reason this has not been given 5 stars is the very disappointing features. I am not a fan of Dark Angel so could not understand why there were so many Dark Angel features. There is a quite interesting feature on the first season of Angel - which completely avoided the question of why Doyle was killed off. There was a feature on the music in Buffy - but I expected this to be about the making of the musical episode - so I was very disappointed in this. The trailers for the other DVDs are fine - but just trailers. - So a very disappointing package of features.
So I would still implore people to buy this DVD if you do not want to buy the whole of season 6. But if you do wish to buy the whole of seson 6 - I would wait for the release of that!
But this DVD publication itself was a big disappointment. What I would have wanted would have been some extra material about the musical - at least making of and/or commentary track, but neither of them were included. There were only some trailers, and a short featurette of music in Buffy, which concentrated on bands playing in the Bronze during earlier seasons, and did not have any reference to the musical, probably because the featurette was made already before the musical.
Five stars to OMWF and one star to this package :)
Instead I feel I must point out that this particular episode is just about the biggest waste of money in the history of DVD. The disc features one episode, an episode that is also featured on the season six set, a set that costs four times more but features 22 times the episodes. The season six set also feautures many more extra features (a great deal of them relating to this particular episode) rather than a couple of features stolen from the older sets, the Angel sets and, for some reason unknown to me, the Dark Angel sets.
Quite simply this DVD is not worth your money. If you're a Buffy fan there are far better things you should be looking at and if you're not then you probably stopped reading after the first sentance.
There are, thankfully, a couple of standout performance to help the transition into music go slightly more smoothly than you would perhaps imagine. Anthony Stewart Head revels in his solo songs, and his duet with Amber Benson's Tara is particularly accomplished. And there's always Anya's "bunny" interlude.
All in all, the episode is a joyous romp with all the Buffy trademarks - sparkling dialogue is seemlessly transformed into accomplished lyrics, and Whedon keeps the whole thing on the right side of self-aware. The DVD, however, is incredibly sparse, with no special features of any note - so it's probably only worth buying if you are a truly die hard Buffy fan.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't feel like this item is brand new. Looks more like repackaged old stock or even second hand. Case had dirt underneath the sleeve and dvd is scratched. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mr Luke
Great fan of the series, this episode definitely the best!Published 15 months ago by Julie Elizabeth Powell
Fast arrival, good value for money love the cheesey dbd coverPublished on 16 July 2014 by victoria clarke
Then, like me, you've no doubt been watching Season 6 of Buffy on your Region 1 DVDs. Now you've come to the wonderful seventh episode, only to find - how could Fox do such a... Read morePublished on 1 Jun. 2014 by Nat Whilk