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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Studios Are Really Pushing the Envelope With DVD Special Features

13 Dec, 2000 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Studios are really pushing the envelope when it comes to special features on DVD. You've got Universal's brilliant make-up documentary on Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and exclusive Internet chat with the cast and crew of Jurassic Park 3 on the original Jurassic Park and The Lost World DVDs.

You've got Disney's incredible boxed sets of Toy Story/Toy Story 2 and Fantasia/Fantasia 2000, each with a third disc of nothing but extras.

You've got Artisan, putting three different versions of Terminator 2 in the same Ultimate Edition package. And you've got Fox's new X-Men DVD, with a detailed chronology of the special effects, from concept to execution.

I can hardly wait to see The Grinch DVD when it comes out next year. My prediction is that with this disc, Universal will raise the bar even higher, adding such extras as the original Grinch animated classic, a start-to-finish documentary on Jim Carrey's make-up and fly-around virtual "tours" of Whoville and the Grinch's lair.

In light of all this, it rankles me to no end that some studios still don't get it. They persist in passing off as "extras," cheerily advertised on the packaging, some basics that really aren't special features at all.

Alternate language tracks aren't special features. Neither are subtitles. Surround Sound and widescreen are enhancements, not special features.

And please, please, PUH-LEASE give me a break! Trailers for other movies are not special features--they're blatant commercials for other titles the studio is hoping to sell.

So please, studio executives, if you happen to read this, promise me one thing: Try to keep special features special. I'm getting sick and tired of unwarranted hype--and I have a feeling consumers are, too.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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