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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

‘X-Files: I Want to Believe’: 1-disc, 2-disc, or 3-disc DVD?

Geez, you practically need to be a federal agent to get the scoop on what’s available in what DVD package these days. It’s almost as if the DVD companies want you to be confused, so that, perhaps, you’ll just spring for the most expensive set they’re offering just so’s you don’t miss out on anything.

Like the multiple new DVD offerings just out last week concerning The X-Files: I Want to Believe. I received, from Fox Home Entertainment, a two-disc screener set of the Region 1 release. That is, not a commercial package — which is sometimes what the studios send for review, simply a prerelease copy of what everyone will be able to go and buy in a store on the street date — but instead sample versions of the discs that would be in those consumer sets (and none of the liner notes or cover art or any explanatory material). One DVD contained both the theatrical version of the film as well as a director’s cut, plus some bonus material, like audio commentary by writer-director Chris Carter and writer-producer Frank Spotnitz. The other DVD contained more bonus material (a three-part making-of documentary).
But when I went to Amazon U.S., I saw not a two-disc set for sale, but a single-disc package and a three-disc set. Say what? What was on the single disc was easy to figure out: it’s that disc with the two versions of the movie and the audio commentary. But what was on that third disc of the other set? I mean, Amazon says that three-disc set is the “Three-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy.” That says to me, “You get three discs of stuff, plus a digital copy you can upload to your iPhone or laptop or whatever.” It turns out, though, that that third disc contains the digital copy, and not additional material that I was not given to review. I think that’s a bit of a cheat on Amazon’s part, making it sound like you’re getting more than you’re getting, but never mind.

It gets weirder.

Head over to Amazon U.K., and you find a single-disc version of the film (and another single-disc package that includes an “exclusive free” poster), and then a “2 disc Special Edition including Bonus Digital Copy”! As far as I can tell (I was not offered Region 2 discs to preview), this is, in fact, the same as the “three-disc” set for sale in Region 1, even though Amazon U.K. is calling this one (more accurately) a “two-disc” set.

You’d think the company could get itself on the same page about the same product. But then I guess I’d be out of a job.

Anyway, this is all in aid of pointing out that if you’re trying to decide whether to buy the single-disc version of the movie or the two/three-disc version, I’ve got a piece up at Film.com on The X-Files: I Want to Believe on DVD that you might want to check out. I offer some advice about whether you really need that extra disc.

Oh, and my giveaway of an X-Files DVD and blu-ray runs through the end of the week. Funnily enough, I have no idea whether the winners will get single-disc or multidisc copies: I’ll just pass their names onto the contest sponsor and ya gets what ya gets.

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