The DVD for Scream 3 (1999, Dimension Home Video, 117 mins., R, $29.99) is the horror genre equivalent of ”Baywatch Nights: The Director’s Cut.” Sure, it was kinda fun watching the first time around, but it’s not exactly high art, and it doesn’t really hold up to in depth analysis.
In a way, the DVD has almost too many extras. Don’t get me wrong. I’m as curious as every other ”Scream” fan is about, say, the differences between the international and domestic theatrical trailers for the movie, but does anyone outside Miramax’s marketing department really need to see all 15(!) different ”Scream 3” TV spots? And while outtakes can be amusing, does it really add anything to the pop culture consciousness to watch Parker Posey flub some dialogue and say, ”What’s my line? I got lost in that.”
Of course, maybe it’s me. Maybe DVD technology really was invented so we could watch grainy, never-before-seen footage of David Arquette fake-crying his way through a surprise birthday party on set, or witness director Wes Craven sneaking up on Neve Campbell in a bathroom scene, as he does in one of the outtakes. But it’s hard not seeing the extras as anything but overkill, particularly since none of the special features add much to the overall understanding or enjoyment of the movie.
Consider all they’ve packed onto this disc: Behind the scenes footage from all three ”Scream” movies; ”Scream 3” outtakes and deleted scenes with extensive commentary by Craven and his crew; an alternate ending with commentary (big revelation: Liev Schreiber was supposed to escape through a skylight at the end, but ”he looked a little wimpy,” we are told, so they cut the scene); an entire feature film commentary track by Craven and producer Cathy Konrad (highlight: Craven pointing himself out in a cameo scene in which he plays a video camera toting tourist). There are the TV spots, the trailers, a music video, a French language track, and Spanish subtitles. All that’s missing is the video from Arquette and Courteney Cox’s wedding ceremony.
It’s not all flat, though. The Creed music video for the film’s theme song - ”What If?” – is really sexy and even a little scary with the ghost mask killer sneaking up on assorted gorgeous couples. And the behind the scenes montage is fun, if for no other reason than to watch Drew Barrymore jump up and down in her blond wig and bloody sweater.
But in the end, the makers of the DVD should have brought in mean Mr. Ghost Mask for one last edit. After all, he would have done the proper thing and slashed away all the extra features.
DVD Bonus Material: B-
Some other recent DVD releases.
(1975, Universal, 125 mins., PG, $26.98)
Fans have long been chumming the waters trying to lure a ”Jaws” DVD to the surface, and their wishes have been granted with this spiffy 25th-anniversary edition. Sure, there are minor points to quibble over – the documentary is culled from the same footage that was included on the 1997 laserdisc boxed set, as were the deleted scenes and outtakes, and there’s no audio commentary – but just to have this flick on DVD, with a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and anamorphic wide-screen transfer to boot, is enough to make a fella holler, ”Once more unto the beach, dear friends!”
Grade: B+ – Marc Bernardin
The Last Temptation of Christ
(1988, Criterion Collection/ Home Vision, 163 mins., R, $39.95)
This DVD allows one to, essentially, explore Martin Scorsese’s exploration of faith. You can sample some of the various research materials – paintings, texts, and other movies – that informed everything from ”Temptation”’s production design and cinematography to actual sequences in the film. (The similarities between Hieronymus Bosch’s painting ”Christ Carrying the Cross” and the sequence in which Christ proceeds to his crucifixion are a testament to both Scorsese’s inspiration and his technical prowess.)
There’s also a video journal Scorsese kept during the production that reveals just how much making this film took out of him, as well as commentaries by Scorsese, star Willem Dafoe, writer Paul Schrader, and Jay Cocks (who contributed to the script). Since the film’s soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, it’s only fitting that an interview with Peter Gabriel, who wrote the evocative score, is included as well, along with a still gallery of the exotic instruments responsible. This DVD peels back the surface of a ”blasphemous” film and offers a look at the workings of a director who has nothing but passion for his God. Grade: A- – Marc Bernardin
All About My Mother
(1999, Columbia TriStar. 102 mins., R, $29.95)
Acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, whose manic, English-challenged Oscar acceptance speech made him this year’s Roberto Benigni, brings humor and grace to a tale of a grieving mother searching for redemption. SPECIAL FEATURES Interactive menus, scene access, seperate film score audio track, cast/crew bios, production notes, interviews
Anatomy of a Murder
(1959, Columbia TriStar, 160 mins., unrated, $24.95)
Never has there been a jazzier courtroom drama, what with players like Jimmy Stewart, Ben Gazzara, Lee Remick, and George C. Scott, and a score by the inimitable Duke Ellington. SPECIAL FEATURES Production notes, theatrical trailer, photomontage, full-screen, Dolby Digital mono
(1999, Paramount, 145 mins,. R, $29.99)
Irish eyes aren’t smiling in the adaptation of Frank McCourt’s autobiography of his grim childhood in Depression-era Ireland, and the challenges his family faced in reaching the Promised Land, i.e., America. SPECIAL FEATURES Audio commentary, interactive menus, scene access, interviews, theatrical trailer
Bad Boys Special Edition
(1995, Columbia TriStar, 119 mins., R, $29.95)
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith beat the streets in this Miami vice adventure. SPECIAL FEATURES Commentary by director Michael Bay, special-effects featurette, behind the scenes documentary, theatrical trailers, anamorphic wide-screen, Dolby Digital 5.1
Harold and Maude
(1971, Paramount, 91 mins., PG, $29.99)
It seems like only yesterday that Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon struck up their peculiarly poignant friendship in this darkly comic cult classic. SPECIAL FEATURES Theatrical trailers, anamorphic wide-screen, Dolby Digital 5.1
(1989, MGM, 138 mins., PG-13, $19.98)
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s finest thespians enliven this, Kenneth Branagh’s first cinematic take on the Bard. SPECIAL FEATURES Theatrical trailer, wide-screen
(1999, Universal, 146 mins., R, $26.98)
Denzel Washington gives a fierce, forceful performance as wrongfully imprisoned boxer Rubin ”Hurricane” Carter in a film that drew fire over its faithfulness to the true story of Carter’s fight for justice. SPECIAL FEATURES Scene access, deleted scenes, parental lock, interactive menus, featurette, audio commentary
The Ninth Gate
(1999, Artisan. 133 mins., R, $24.98)
Johnny Depp ventures through the gates of hell in Roman Polanski’s dark thriller. Our hero confronts Satan face-to-face… and discovers that he has a striking resemblance to Marilyn Manson. SPECIAL FEATURES Interactive menus, photo gallery, production notes, scene access, featurette, TV spots, storyboards, separate film score audio track, theatrical trailer, audio commentary, cast/crew bios
Ride With the Devil
(1999, Universal, 139 mins., R, $24.98)
Friend of Leo Tobey Maguire and Johnny Depp replica Skeet Ulrich star in Ang Lee’s Civil War drama about battles for truth and justice in the Midwest. This film also marks the acting debut of pop princess Jewel. Rest assured, her acting is better than her poems. SPECIAL FEATURES Interactive menus, cast/crew bios, scene access, Web access, theatrical trailer, production notes, music videos
The Whole Nine Yards
(2000, Warner Bros., 98 mins., R, $24.98)
Bruce Willis puts the macho cool on autopilot as a hitman who moves in next door to sarcastic, jittery Chandler, er, Matthew Perry, in this mildly amusing comedy featuring notable supporting turns by Amanda Peet and Michael Clarke Duncan. SPECIAL FEATURES Outtakes, audio commentary, scene access, theatrical trailer, interviews, interactive menus