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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Do you have a “holy grail” DVD?

Suggested by reader Patrick:

I don’t know how much of a DVD collector you are as a film buff does not necessarily mean one collects them. If so, do you have a “Holy Grail DVD,” a really rare or out of print one that you value amongst others? (For instance the “Dread Pirate”/“Princess Buttercup” editions of “The Princess Bride” are out of print.)

Short answer: Nope.

Long answer: I’m not at all sentimental about DVDs. Movies, yes, but particular conglomerations of bonuses and extras and commentaries and packaging, no. For the vast majority of the DVDs I’ve ever watched, I’ve never watched anything other than the movie.

You?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • JoshDM

    I own a copy of Criterion Spinal Tap and the first printing of the Flash Gordon DVD.

    Did not know their value till last year when I happened to be checking other things and ran into the info.

  • Patrick

    Well, I admit I’m a fiend for *good* special features if its a *terrific* movie first and foremost. (I’m mean I would get the hypothetical “Battlefield Earth” 5 disc collection, or something…) Anyway:

    This is Spinal Tap (Criterion)
    The Silence of the Lambs (Criterion)
    Robocop (Criterion)
    Rushmore (Criterion)
    1984
    Lenny
    Matinee
    Dark City (theatrical cut)
    Manhunter (2 disc LE)
    Almost Famous: Untitled (2 disc)
    United 93 (2 disc LE)
    Transformers: The Movie (2 disc)
    E.T.–The Extra Terrestrial (3 disc plus soundtrack)
    Ray (2 disc LE)

    You, know, I better stop, I don’t want to come across like some obsessive nerd. It’s not too late, right? RIGHT?!

    ;-)

  • Martin

    The Little Shop of Horrors special edition DVD with the alternate ending.

  • Left_Wing_Fox

    Most of the “Holy Grail” things I have are still on VHS; movies that I recorded off First Choice/Superchannel (An early Canadian HBO), and then finally found legit copies of to replace the decaying SLP recordings. Some, like “The Wizard of SPeed and Time” and “Animalympics” are so obscure that there are no plans to bring them out officially on DVD, and would be unlikely to get any special features if they do. “Felidae” was never released in the US, so the tape I have is a 2nd generation bootleg; the DVD is only available in Europe.

    The last is “Warriors of the Wind”, one of the aforementioned SLP recordings. Disney has released the original movie “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” on DVD, with an all-new english dub, the original japanese, and completely uncut. But the original mangled english dub still has a place in my heart. =/ Which probably shows that I have no taste.

  • j4yx0r

    I have a copy of Mirrormask signed in person by both Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean.

    ~j

  • hoptoad

    I know it’s not a classic film but I do have the limited edition Cloverfield with the metal “military style” casing. Its also one of the few films I’ve watched the special features for over and over. as an aspiring special effects artist, the making of “Clover” features are better than most classes I took in computer animation.

    Other DVD treasures? Black Hawk Down 3-disc edition, valued especially for the film commentary with the actual soldiers who’s role in the battle were depicted in the film.

    Firefly and Alien trilogy dvd sets autographed by the cast are also proudly displayed among my DVD collection.

  • JoshDM

    The Silence of the Lambs (Criterion)
    Robocop (Criterion)
    Dark City (theatrical cut)
    Manhunter (2 disc LE)

    I own these too. Didn’t realize they were grail-worthy.

  • Andy

    Unless Patrick is talking about something other than the cardboard-cased Dark City that hung around (and I have a copy of) on the cheap for I don’t know how long, I wasn’t aware of its rarity, either.

    I bought a copy of the original MST3K: The Movie DVD for cheap once before knowing of its rarity. I wonder if it’s still worth anything since the newer, much better (for example, the original was letterboxed instead of anamorphic) DVD of it came out recently.

  • Bill

    The closest thing I have to a holy grail dvd is my copy of “My Dinner With Andre”. Great movie. Out of print.

  • I have a Holy Grail that I’m still searching for–LA Without a Map. I have a PAL videotape of it but haven’t gotten it converted yet and would much prefer to just find a DVD. Can anyone point me to one?

  • my holy grail is a VHS as well… an original on VHS, han-shot-first, set of Star Wars… it’s starting to sound a little stretched out and blurry, but i won’t give it up for anything.

    Weimlady: i ordered LA Without a Map from Amazon.co.uk and it came to me via Germany… Region 2 only, but that’s what i’d try. a region-free dvd player is a great investment.

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