Sunday, September 23, 2007

DVD review: Face/Off 2-disc Special Collector's Edition

Face/Off is one of my all-time favorite action movies. I saw it with my grandpa shortly before he passed away, and we certainly saw John Woo at the top of his American career - tons of explosions, great acting and a unique (if somewhat implausible) plot.

Ten years later, I've grown up a bit and don't find the action film quite as fascinating as I once did, but it's still a great non-stop thrill ride with plenty of over-the-top action. However, to no great surprise, Paramount Pictures has decided to release a 2-disc Special Collector's Edition DVD, a surprisingly good set that fans of Woo especially may want to pick up.

In addition to director commentary, there are seven deleted or alternate scenes that are some of the better deleted scenes you can find these days. They are most interesting with the optional commentary, as you can hear why the scenes were cut. The crew talks a bit about how some scenes (like one of Travolta crying) were cut after poor audience reactions. An alternate ending is also included, which is quite interesting as well.

The real strength of the 2-disc set are several featurettes, including an extremely interesting documentary called John Woo: A Life in Pictures. The mini-film basically has Mr. Woo talking about his struggles as a child to get out of poverty, what kinds of films inspired him (musicals!) and so on and so forth. This is one of the more interesting featurettes I've seen on the DVD.

The other big chunk of special features comes from several chapters of a making-of documentary for Face/Off, which goes fairly in depth and includes actor and crew interviews and other insight. The most interesting thing I learned was that Face/Off was originally planned to be set in the future, but due to budget cuts and a fear that some of the emotion would be sucked from the film, the story was rewritten to take place in modern day.

Read more information about Face/Off.

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