Kockenlocker | Portland, Oregon United States | 01/10/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have owned the director's cut of this on VHS for years and the VHS version is superb visually and the sound is excellent.I bought the DVD so I could have chapter access to each performance. Indeed, the DVD does have that, but it is all for naught.The picture on the DVD is vastly inferior to the VHS. Images that can be clearly seen on the VHS don't register many times at all on the DVD, i.e the outline and some features of a guy dancing are clearly visible on the VHS as they were on film in a theatre. On the DVD, you just see the outine of the figure with a hint of subtler visual attributes. The sound on the DVD is the worst I've heard on any release from a major company. I've seen and heard better on second-rate VHS's and DVD's from the likes of Laserdisc.Boy, will I read those ratings on visual and sound quality from now on. The review on Amazon's "technical information" for this DVD is absoulutely correct.I will never buy another DVD or VHS from Warner Bros without first renting and previewing it. So I still watch my 2-tape VHS of this landmark film of this one-time phenomenon.The DVD is on one two-sided disc, which doesn't even break at the intermission, to rub salt in this inexcusable mangling from Warner Bros. First, they blew their initial Kubrick set and now this disgrace.If you want this film on video, get in the well-done and tecnically superior VHS double tape. Incompent .... Jack Warner would have kicked who ever is responsible for this rip-off DVD most deservedly in the teeth..."
The extra footage is Great!...but
J. Bynum | 06/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Woodstock, the 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition is an wonderful box but far from perfect. If you have the 1994 Director's Cut you already have the meat of this box set. The extra songs are great (really!) but only worth paying for if you're itching for any new footage. Of course, if you don't already have a version of the Woodstock concert on DVD, then by all means get this box. The extra DVD contains three songs from the Creedence Clearwater Revival set which is fantastic to finally see (along with extra songs from another dozen groups). And PLEASE buy if from Amazon as they include their own exclusive DVD with a few very rare songs (limited time). The Life magazine reprint is fun but I would have preferred they replaced most of the "stuff" with another DVD. My personal peeve is the absence of Melanie. Even it you get this box set, it will still be worth the money to buy the 2 DVD set of +Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock+ and (if you still have a VHS player that works) its also worth seeking out the VHS tape from 1991 titled, +Woodstock: The Lost Performances+ which contains a hour of songs that are not in the new box set. The extra songs in the new box set are not integrated into the Movie, so you will have to change DVD's to see all the songs of a particular group. Perhaps when the 50th Anniversary rolls around we will finally get a box that puts all the performance footage together as it ought to be. If not, maybe we can have our Cryogenically frozen heads defrosted in time for the 100th Anniversary (don't count on it). Oh, as to the complaints of others about the songs being "corrected", just ignore them, the sound is great."
A Great Film Meets Blu-Ray, Amazing Results
Daniel G. Lebryk | 06/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"3 hours 44 minutes 19 seconds long (edit), probably the greatest music event ever, a remarkable documentary; finally meets the sound and visual treament it always deservered (Blu-Ray and Dolby TruHD).
For those familiar with the movie, you've never seen this film in such perfection. A pristine or incredibly well cleaned print of this film was lovingly transfered to 1080p resolution. The transfer is so good, you can actually see the grain of the film. There is no more that can be done to improve video at home. I'm pretty certain that the theater sound systems were nowhere near up to the level of home theater today. The addition of rear channels and subwoofers, and given the limitations of the original recording, just can't get better. Since this film is all about the music, what could possibly be better? There were times when the couch rattled with the power of the bass. The one nit, the surrounds tend to be a bit loud, so the soundstage gets a little confused. I'll take that any day of the week to hear this music the way it was recorded.
For those new to Woodstock - buy this version. The music: some of the best rock, folk, and blues music ever. Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane - the gods of rock and roll. Crosby, Stills and Nash, Joan Baez, John Sebastian, Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie - the crossover gods of folk music. Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Ten Years After - crossover blues.
The Jimi Hendrix' three songs are almost worth the price alone - the greatest guitar player ever, playing to a very small crowd at the end of Woodstock (that will teach people that leave early to beat the traffic).
The movie is what documentary film making is all about, capture the moment, render the feeling, place the audience in the event. The opening, pristine fields, interviews with locals, traffic rolling in, and the gorgeous CS&N singing Long Time Gone; followed by Canned Heat Going Up The Country; ending in CS&N Wooden Ships. The feeling is almost surreal as the site gets more and more crowded. Richie Havens opens the concert with his great acoustic guitar playing and protest songs. It's not straight linear time filming, but uses shots from different times to support the story line. Arlo Guthrie sings 'Coming into Los Angeles', a song about flying on an ariplane with a couple of keys (drug running); the visuals are of people enjoying that drug. It's almost a McGyver for how to enjoy that drug. The film cuts back occasionally to Guthrie singing at night. The director Michael Wadleigh uses split screens (twos, threes and fours) at just the right moments. The Who play and what is more important, Roger Daltry singing or Pete Townshend playing guitar? We get both with a 3 screen split, because they are both incredibly important to the performance. Wadleigh knows what is important and gives it to the viewer.
The soundtrack to the main film was reworked in a few places. Santana's Soul Sacrafice is very obviously altered - the marachas emit sound when they are nowhere near a microphone, and the sound is specifically placed in surrounds or specific channels. It's pretty clear when this enhancement was done. Is that a crime? On the one hand, yes - it isn't what was really performed at Woodstock exactly that way. No its not a crime - you can think of these as sound effects that don't alter the feel of the performance. Purists already know what they think about this. Personally, I don't have a lot of problem with the changes.
Disc 2 - Bonus Features. Two parts, more music and a look at behind the scenes / snapshot of life in the late 60's early 70's.
The music - for one reason or another these performances were not included in the movie. Some, the sound wasn't recorded very well, some the film was underexposed, some acts just weren't popular enough, or some just didn't fit the story line. Frankly, pick your reason for the clip you happen to love. The description of this disc includes the play list, it's long. The great part of Blu-Ray, the music is presented as a table and you make your own playlist that you then play. It can be saved, skipped around, whatever. Great way to watch the clips. The three Amazon bonus tracks are excellent.
The Film bonuses. This is a bit less great. In some ways it's a view at television / life in the 60's / 70's. The Hugh Hefner bit was interesting, but there was too much talking head for my taste. Playboy After Dark was an icon of the era, and it would have been way better to just play the 20 minutes of that show - instead there's only about 3 or 4 minutes of super young Hugh Hefner (and glimpses of the gorgeous young Barbie Benton next to him). Mostly these featurettes are like what you see in most movies anymore, talking heads, some clip back to the film or examples. It runs long, it runs deep. If you are addicted to Woodstock - you will enjoy this more than you can imagine. For normal humans, probably pass on this whole featurette section.
The film is rated R for good reason. Strong language, drug use (almost a how to film), and nudity are all there. No, younger viewers should not see this. Up until the Arlo Guthrie song, would be acceptable (almost the first half of the film).
This edition with all the funky packaging. I've posted some pictures of a more or less unboxing. The pictures inside the acrylic frame is lame - the frame is actually kind of cool (use it for another picture - it's held together with magnets). The reprinted Life Magazine is sweet. The best, in my view, is the reprinted ticket on heavy ticket stock. Frankly, all the extras aren't really worth much extra money. I would have gladly bought this as a straight no extra stuff, blu-ray edition with the two discs alone."
The Complete Content
R. C. Harris Jr. | Oslo, Norway | 06/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since Amazon is ALWAYS very lacking in details about their DVD or Blu-Ray products, here is the press release that gives more detail (was on The Home Theater Forum):
"Few documentaries have captured a time and place more completely, poignantly, and ... entertainingly." -- Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert
"Not just a great slice-of-time documentary but the ultimate rock concert movie." -- Los Angeles Times, Chris Willman
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music The Director's Cut 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition
Celebrating the Greatest Rock Concert in History! On Blu-ray and DVD June 9 from Warner Home Video
Three hours of enhanced content includes two hours of bonus performances, some unearthed after four decades, with five groups who performed but never appeared in the film
Burbank, CA, March 11, 2009 - Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music - the four-hour director's cut of the 1970 Oscar®-winning documentary about the landmark music event that featured some of the greatest rock 'n' roll performers in history -- will be released June 9 in a spectacular new limited, numbered Blu-ray and DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition (UCE). With two extra hours of rare performance footage -- some of it newly-discovered, some only seen in part and some never seen at all -- the UCE is destined to make its own history. Details of the new releases will be featured at the South by Southwest Music + Film Festival where Warner Home Video will offer festival goers a first look at the new high definition picture and sound on March 21.
Today, four decades later, Woodstock still resonates deeply with those that attended and those that wished they had. Director Michael Wadleigh notes, "Based on the vast e-mails and calls I've received, many from young people, it's very evident that people still relate so much to the film and view the '60s as an age when anything and everything was possible, mostly good. Many hope for a new Woodstock generation since what people loved back then was spontaneity, originality, innocence and honesty - even in superstars; that's why Woodstock, with its open and natural philosophy, has become timeless."
The two extra hours of rare performance footage features 18 new performances as never before seen from 13 groups, including Joan Baez, Country Joe McDonald, Santana, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Joe Cocker and five (Paul Butterfield, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Winter and Mountain) who played at Woodstock but never appeared in any film version.
A third hour of bonus material also on the UCE includes a featurette gallery showcasing interviews with Martin Scorsese, producer Michael Lang, director Michael Wadleigh, Hugh Hefner, Eddie Kramer (the concert's original chief on-site engineer and producer-engineer for Jimi Hendrix) and others who chronicle the making of the festival and the film. Included are such segments as 3 Days in a Truck, No Rain! No Rain! and Living Up To Idealism. Additionally, exclusive to Blu-ray a Customize Your Own Woodstock Playlist from the 18 bonus performances and other special features like Media Center, My WB Commentary and Live Community Screening.
The UCE will be packaged in a unique giftbox, numbered as part of a limited run with an array of collectibles that include a 60+ page reprint of a Life magazine commemorative issue, a lucite lenticular display of vintage festival photos, festival memorabilia and an iron-on patch with the classic dove and guitar Woodstock emblem.
Jeff Baker, WHV's Executive VP and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, stated, "As I reviewed Woodstock interviews and some of the newly discovered concert footage, it struck me how historically relevant this project has become to all of us who have been privileged to be a part of it. The new 'content' we have created, almost 40 years later, and the live performances we've restored in high definition, some in extended cuts, will live on as studio assets forever, and as a testimony to a time and a set of circumstances which will never again repeat themselves."
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music was newly remastered from original elements and scanned at 2K with an audio 5.1 mix. Eddie Kramer, Woodstock sound engineer, assisted with the 5.1 audio mix of recently found additional footage. The Ultimate Collector's Edition will be available in Blu-ray(tm) Hi-Def ($69.99 SRP) as well as DVD ($59.98 SRP). Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music will also be available on DVD as a Two-Disc Special Edition ($24.98 SRP).
About Woodstock and the Film Woodstock alumni David Crosby noted, "Woodstock was more than just a concert; it was an event. It was a time for our generation to speak up and let everyone know we had a voice. Whether you were there or are discovering the film for the first time, it still holds up 40 years later and now will speak to a whole new generation."
The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York on a sometimes rain-soaked weekend from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Half a million people of all colors, shapes, sizes, ages and sexes attended this historical event. They came by car, by truck, a few even by helicopter, but the majority walked to what turned out to be the most famous festival in history, an event that was hailed by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the "50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock 'n' Roll."
Created by promoter Michael Lang with Artie Kornfeld, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, 32 legendary musical acts appeared which, in addition to those mentioned above, included Crosby, Stills & Nash, Santana, Joan Baez, The Band, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, Country Joe McDonald and The Fish, Richie Havens, Jefferson Airplane, John Sebastian and Sly & The Family Stone.
Said Michael Lang, "It's gratifying to me that Woodstock remains so relevant today as does the great work that documented it. Artie and Joel join me in congratulating Warner Home Video for putting together this brand new and exciting look at our event and for unearthing more of the historic performances that electrified us all at the time."
Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature (and nominated for Best Editing and Best Sound), Woodstock was produced by Bob Maurice and directed by Michael Wadleigh, who assembled an outstanding crew that included young filmmakers at the start of their careers Academy Award® winners: director Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and editor Thelma Schoonmaker (The Aviator).
The critically acclaimed Museum at Bethel Woods, located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY, tells the story of the Sixties and Woodstock through state-of-the-art multi-media exhibits, engaging programs and educational events. The Center provides artists with the opportunity to perform on one of music's most legendary grounds, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is committed to being a world-class cultural destination in the heart of New York State. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts | Official Site
WOODSTOCK Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD Contents: Disc One · Film (Director's Cut), Part 1 128:38 min · The Museum at Bethel Woods: The Story of the Sixties & Woodstock
Disc Two · Film (Director's Cut), Part 2 95:34 min
Disc Three · Woodstock: Untold Stories 18 Performances as never before seen · Woodstock: From Festival to Feature Interviews of the sights and sounds of the 3 day event, from concert goers, promoters, crew and musicians
Blu-ray Hi-Def Exclusive: · Customize Your Own Woodstock Playlist (from the18 bonus performances) o This feature allows you to customize your own personal jukebox playlist from more than a dozen live Woodstock performances as never before seen.
· BD-Live features include Media Center, My WB Commentary, & Live Community Screening o Media Center is a hub for trailers, features and content § You can get sneak peeks of upcoming Warner Bros. films, and rate trailers § You can access to Exclusive Content such as interviews, featurettes, and more only seen through WB BD-Live § You can access Photo Galleries and other special features
o Live Community Screenings allow you to send invitations to fans and friends across the country for virtual screenings at a specified time and chat online with each other as the movie plays on each person's Blu-ray player. You can host your own Live Community Screening with your buddy list or participate in a WB hosted Warner Bros. BD-Live community event
o My WB Commentary lets you record and post a Picture-in-Picture commentary right over the film, then share it and rate it. Using a web-camera, you can record your own comments and play them back as a Picture-in-Picture feature over the film scene you have chosen and share it with your friends or the entire Warner Bros. BD-Live Community
See below complete description of new performances and featurettes
Woodstock 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition will be supported with promotional partnerships and a national media and publicity campaign spanning TV, print, online/viral, events and grassroots efforts targeting music fans of all ages.
VH1 Rock Docs and History are co-producing the definitive two-hour documentary, "Woodstock: 40 Years Later." Fender®, known worldwide for producing the musical instruments that started the rock revolution will create a limited amount of special ""Woodstock 40th Anniversary Stratocaster®" guitars. In addition, the spirit of Woodstock re-emerges with a vast array of products -- from apparel to guitar straps -- from Signatures Network, exclusive worldwide licensing agents for Woodstock Ventures. For more information visit: Woodstock 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition on DVD and Blu Ray and be sure to check back in April as many new features will be added, including exciting performance clips, an image gallery, wallpapers, screensaver and much more.
Woodstock 3 Days of Peace & Music Street Date: June 9
Ultimate Collector's Editions UCE Blu-ray $69.99 SRP UCE DVD $59.98 SRP
Two Disc Special Edition DVD $24.98 SRP
With operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video and New Line Home Entertainment.
Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.
WOODSTOCK ULTIMATE COLLECTORS EDITION BAND ROSTER - 22 BANDS TOTAL · Arlo Guthrie · Canned Heat · Country Joe & the Fish · Country Joe McDonald · Creedence Clearwater Revival · Crosby, Stills, Nash · Grateful Dead · Janis Joplin · Jefferson Airplane · Jimi Hendrix · Joan Baez · Joe Cocker · John Sebastian · Johnny Winter · Mountain · Paul Butterfield Blues Band · Richie Havens · Santana · Sha-Na-Na · Sly & The Family Stone · Ten Years After · The Who
FULL DESCRIPTION OF 18 BONUS PERFORMANCES · Joan Baez "One Day at a Time" · Country Joe McDonald "Flying High" · Santana "Evil Ways" · Canned Heat "I'm Her Man" and "On the Road Again" · Mountain "Beside the Sea" and "Southbound Train" · Grateful Dead "Turn On Your Love Light" · Creedence Clearwater Revival "Born on the Bayou", "I've Put a Spell on You" and "Keep on Chooglin'" · The Who "We're Not Going To Take It" and "My Generation" · Jefferson Airplane "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds" · Joe Cocker "Something's Coming On" · Johnny Winter "Mean Town Blues" · Paul Butterfield "Morning Sunrise" · Sha Na Na "Teen Angel"
FULL DESCRIPTION OF WOODSTOCK FROM FESTIVAL TO FEATURE
· The Camera: The Éclair NPR was the best camera around in 1969; Michael Wadleigh talks about why the Éclair was the right camera for this film. · 365,000 Feet of Film: The stories of how Dale Bell and his crew begged, borrowed and stole just enough film to document the festival. · Shooting Stage: Those up-close shots of performers didn't just happen by magic; see how Wadleigh and his cameramen got those up close and personal shots of the performers. · The Line Up: The Who, Sha Na Na, Santana, Ten Years After, Jefferson Airplane and many more; how did all these bands get on the roster for the festival of a life time? · Holding the Negative Hostage: What does a filmmaker do when Technicolor is sending a copy of your negative to the studio without your permission? Well, you lock up the film and hire a lawyer. · Announcements: "Don't take the brown acid" or maybe it was green. We'll hear about all the strange and informative announcements heard during those three days of peace, love and enlightenment. · Suits VS. Longhairs: The clash between the hippie filmmakers and the Warner executives who didn't understand what this film meant. · Documenting History: Find out from Michael Wadleigh and Dale Bell, along with filmmakers, where the idea of capturing this event on film came from. · Woodstock: The Journey: Some came by car, others by truck, a few came by helicopter but most walked to the most famous festival in history. · Pre-Production: We'll find out how this production got off the ground and meet the members of the crew that made it happen. · Production: How many cameras were used? How much film did they go through? Did anyone sleep? All these questions and more will be answered here as we explore how Woodstock was captured on film. · Synchronization: How do you sync all this material with out any slates? No slate, no problem. With the help of an upright Moviola, Dale Bell, Michael Wadleigh, Eddie Kramer and the editors were able to make magic from miles of tape and film. · The Crowd: Half a million people of all colors, shapes, sizes, ages and sexes attended this historical event. We'll hear stories about the number of people and how they all coexisted for three days with only minor incidents. · No Rain! No Rain!: Everyone talks about the rain at this event as if it were a character. It was. It set the tone, provided moments of danger, fun and disgust. · 3 Days in a Truck: Eddie Kramer heard some of the most amazing performances as he recorded this historic event. But during those three days of peace, love and music, he didn't get to see any performances because he was stuck in a truck. · Woodstock Effect: The film, the event and the album catapulted many musicians into the limelight, changing their lives forever. · Living up to Idealism · World's Longest Optical · Critical Acclaim · Courtesy of The Museum at Bethel Woods: The Hog Farm Commune · Hugh Hefner and Michael Wadleigh: The Woodstock Connection"
Beautiful and dirty
Gavin Wilson | 06/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I was a teenager soon after this concert, I somehow never got around to seeing the moving until this year. (I guess concert films don't get screened frequently on terrestrial TV.) So over the years I've become more familiar with the triple LP of the movie and, of course, the many posters the rock stars in heroic poses that dominated the early 1970s -- i.e. the Who's Roger Daltrey, Jimi Hendrix and Ten Years After's Alvin Lee.Despite the mud and the squalor, this is an extraordinarily beautiful film, with the screen often breaking up into two or three segments. (Note on the closing credits the name of Martin Scorsese on the production team.)It's well worth contrasting this movie with the DVD of the 1970 Isle of Wight festival. Only a year separates the two concerts, but the late 1960s idealism of Woodstock gets replaced by prototype British vandalism. The Who perform at both concerts, and make an equally good account of themselves. Daltrey's emotional delivery of 'See Me, Feel Me' helps to explain why 'Tommy' became such a phenomenon in America. Hendrix also performed at both, but his meandering solo at Woodstock was not of the highest standard.The other highlight of the show was Santana, a Latino band only just beginning to establish themselves in California at the time. As others have noted, the drum solo by Mike Shrieve is impressive for one so young. As with the Who, Santana's album sales will have multiplied as a result of their Woodstock performance.It's interesting how many great acts weren't at Woodstock -- e.g. Joni Mitchell (despite her song about the concert!), the Doors, Bob Dylan or the Stones. The first two clearly realised how important these festivals were in the breaking of artists into markets, and so they appear on the Isle of Wight DVD.For most of my life, Woodstock has been a set of static images, largely taken from the cover of the album. But as this film reveals, there is so much more imagery than pictures of beautiful women bathing in the lake. Quite apart from all the idealism of passing whisky bottles and reefers around, of sliding in the mud, the film shows the flip side: of people queuing in the mud to phone home, of helicopters rescuing the sick, of helpers cleaning toilets, and of barefoot stragglers looking for a pair of shoes amid a post-concert site that looks more of a wasteland than the trenches of the First World War. Enjoy it in all its glory and all its grime."