As a medium, DVD is peerless—supreme picture quality and sound, compact portable size, capacity for loads of entertaining or informative extras that create an entire experience beyond simply watching and enjoying a film. It's unfortunate, then, that sheer greed motivates studios to re-release their popular titles over and over and bilk the cinephile public out of untold hordes of cash. The path of least resistance dictates you might own 50 copies of The Wizard of Oz in your lifetime; those of us who are wise to the trend hold out for that one true special edition, livid when the one we thought was The One turns out to be a prelude to something bigger and better.
Thus, we stoop to recommending one of these very extra-super-dooper-give-us-$20-more-dollars-please special editions this week: the all-new, two-disc Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Considering the '80s generation is a prime demographic for DVD collectors, it's shocking how paltry the existing John Hughes catalog is; a recent three-title collector's set featured no extras at all. But that most fantastical of teenage fantasies—the merry adventures of adored class clown Bueller (an iconic Matthew Broderick) and his friends as they ditch class and make mincemeat of hapless principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones, note-perfect)—at least included a Hughes commentary track. Those of us who were desperate for some tangible insight into the seminal canon of our childhood, we so bought it. And now . . .
No commentary here so hang onto that first release, but here's what you have to look forward to in the new package, suckers!: A cast documentary, "The World According to Ben Stein" (he's still working that cameo), deleted scenes, surely hilarious outtakes and bloopers, and more. As Ferris' put-upon pal Cameron might say: okay, I'll buy it, I'll buy it, I'll buy it . . w . . . I'll buy it! Shit!!!
Also recommended this week: The Constant Gardener; David Lynch Short Films; Eraserhead; Hustle & Flow; The Magnificent Seven: Collector's Editon; The Return of the Pink Panther; Stormy Weather; The Wild Bunch: Special Edition; Black Books: Series 1