– Double the DVD

When it was revealed Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill volumes would be released on DVD without any extras to speak of so Special Editions could be released sometime in the future, fans were decidedly livid. I’m quite surprised a studio would be so honest in its double-dipping nature, outwardly admitting they were going to put out bare-bones editions to make more money. Oh sure, they claim the separate releases are meant to serve both the casual and hardcore fan bases of Tarantino, but unless you’re a regular Internet surveyor you would not be aware of these plans and thus would find yourself cheated whenever the beefier edition appeared in stores.

Now personally, I’m not as bothered by the double dip practices of studios as other movie collectors because I usually give DVD extras little notice. As long as the movie features a commentary, then it can be assumed my needs are handled. However, for the rest of the film community these extras are very entertaining, so their frustration is highly understandable. No one wants to feel as if they made a mistake in a DVD purchase, and by double-dipping the studios have basically tricked their customers into buying the lesser product. Luckily many DVD aficionados have become fully aware of their underhanded practices, opting not to buy certain movies with the assumption that a better version will come along within a few months.

There is a tendency with some studios to not only double-dip but triple and even quadruple-dip, and this is the habit I cannot stand. Spider-Man alone has been released four times, starting with the traditional DVDs and concluding with a Limited Edition Collector’s Gift Set, 3-Disc Deluxe, and a Superbit Collection disc. Men in Black has been cloned four times, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day has both an Ultimate and Extreme version (the latter rendering the former completely redundant), proving just how far marketing is willing to go in order to obtain another buck.

Studios are also getting more creative with their double-dips, giving them clever titles to make them seem more exciting than the boring versions you might have at home. The Fast and the Furious: Widescreen Tricked Out Edition, American Psycho: Uncut Killer Collector’s Edition, The Transporter: Special Delivery Edition, and Catwoman: Nine Lives Special 9-Disc Edition are just a few examples of this silly trend. Oh, and just for the record, if they ever do come out with a nine-disc version of the Halle Berry train wreck, I would so put up the change.

Double-dips are sadly not going to go away any time soon, so I highly suggest people just save their money and wait these studio heads out. If you look at the list of special features on a DVD and are just not satisfied, do some research, see if a better version is coming, and be patient. But if you’re like me and have only a passing interest in the extras, you might be just as better off buying the film upon its initial release. It’s your money, so be educated and think about where it goes.

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