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on December 1, 2000
First of all, I love this movie. I was quite surprised to discover it's release on DVD, and needless to say, I grabbed it. There is no doubt that this disc is loaded with extras, but sadly, the claim that the film has been "fully restored" is extremely misleading. The advantage of these review forums, is to provide insight, from someone who has already bought the product, to those interested. And, that's what I'm here to do.
Here are the DVD's special features, as listed: LETTERBOXED PRESENTATION (1.85:1), REMASTERED SOUNDTRACK (in Dolby 5.1 and DTS), NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN FOOTAGE, AUDIO COMMENTARY: Jack Vacek (Cinematographer) and Warner Leighton (Editor), 3 TRAILERS (The original theatrical trailers for "GONE IN 60 SECONDS" and "THE JUNKMAN", and another for the remastered version of "GONE IN 60 SECONDS"), EXTENSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTO GALLERY, DVD-ROM CAPABILITIES, INTRODUCTION with Denice Halicki (H.B. Halicki's widow) and "Eleanor".
Sounds very enticing, right? That's what I thought. Hell, to be honest, I really didn't care about the extras, as long as I could get H.B. Halicki's original classic on DVD! Naturally, I immediately put the DVD in. Then, my dissapointment began.
Now, what the packaging WON'T tell you, and what I'm about to, is that this isn't, in fact, a "fully restored" version of the film, but rather, one that has been doctored. Unfortunately, the entire film has been RE-SCORED with crappy music, supposedly aimed at "updating" this classic film, thereby dumping ALL the music from the original cut. Yep, the catchy opening title "GONE IN 60 SECONDS" tune is gone, along with the "SUPERMAN" tune, and everything else, as well. Needless, to say, I am very disappointed. Why do people feel the need to mess with movies, like they do? I don't think H.B. Halicki would have been proud with what his widow has done with the rights to the film, so far.
I probably wouldn't have minded this DVD release, if it had offered the original mono soundtrack on a separate audio channel, like most other remastered DVD's offer. Then, I would have been fine with it, as long as I could have the version I wanted to see. Instead, anyone with hopes to get a brand new copy on either DVD or video of this classic car theft film, in it's original format, are pretty much screwed. And, that's too bad. So, my advice is to stick with the original out-of-print MEDIA Home Entertainment release. Believe me, that tape will still be in great demand for years to come.
One more thing, there is a website: [...] Perhaps, this would be a great place for true fans of the film to file their complaints. And, who knows, maybe someday we will see the original version released in a respective manner on DVD.
1111 comments| 239 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 12, 2000
First of all, I've loved this movie since I was 6 years old. My mom and dad saw it in the cinema -- more than once -- while they were dating in 1974. To say the least, this title holds special significance in my whole family. Which is why it's great to see it re-released on both VHS and DVD for all to enjoy.
For those of you who, like me, have every scene, every line, every sound effect of the original movie committed to memory, you will be shocked when you play the "remastered" version. For one thing, the picture is beautiful. It's never looked so good. And the soundtrack has never sounded so good, either -- because it's been completely redone from scratch. That's the other thing. The sound effects are all new. Gone are the authentic, live-recorded engine sounds, tire screeches, and other hard effects. Gone also is the original music, including my favorite tune, "I Do Hope The Man Doesn't Catch Me", and the title song, "Gone In Sixty Seconds". For someone looking for a true re-release of the authentic, original film, this is disappointing. But for me, someone who already owns an original copy of the old MEDIA videotape release of the film, I see this remastered version just as a fun modernization of one of my favorite flicks.
The new sound effects are beautiful. I am a sound designer among other things, and some of the new crashes and guttural V8 engine sounds made me drool. They may not be true-to-life anymore, but they are great in their own right. It's almost surreal, seeing all these old muscle cars, but hearing crystal-clear digital stereo effects. By contrast, the disturbingly mono original dialogue track underlaid beneath them sounds almost ridiculous! Fortunately, there is no need for much talking during the 40-minute chase, easily the highlight of the film.
In short, to really enjoy the remastered version of Gone In 60 Seconds, you've got to take it for what it is -- a modern "refreshment" of the original film. It's been remixed to appeal more to the same young crowd who enjoyed the 2000 remake with Nicholas Cage. If you are a true Gone In 60 Seconds fan, however, don't stop here. Go in search of the original 1974 film in all its glory, on its original video cassette. A true fan must indeed have both, for the audio differences between the two versions are so distinct, you could almost consider them two separate films.
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on January 28, 2001
Like the early CD releases of classic albums, sometimes technology gets a little overzealous and tries to re-invent something that doesn't need re-inventing. Unfortunately the DVD release of Gone In Sixty Seconds is about the worst example I've seen yet of the phenomenon, taking the bottom spot away from the botched remixes of all the old ZZTop albums of the 70's. This is a five star film for me, one of the ten greatest films of the seventies. A DVD edition should be a boon to all fans of the film, and while it does provide some insights with the director's commentary and the additional features, for some reason the "restorers" seemed to be trying to compete with the new (and extremely mediocre) Nicholas Cage version of the film. The totally redone musical sound track is utterly awful. It doesn't fit anything in the film at all, doesn't befit a film of the 1970's, and stomps all over some wonderfully scored moments in the original. Even the title theme song has vanished, replaced by an electronic mumbo-jumbo that sounds as if it was lifted from a bargain porno film. The plusses are that the movie can be seen for the first time in letterbox format, the visual looks fabulous, and the commentary and extras are interesting, but I was so disgusted with the opening scene I immediately jumped ahead to discover that the entire sound track had been doctored. This is not a restoration, it's just a mess. I am still hoping for, and waiting for, a true DVD restoration of the film. I doubt if we'll see a Dolby surround-sound version of "Citizen Kane" any time soon... heck even my kids know that high-tech sound wasn't around back then and certainly not on Halicki's budget. Some films, horrific as it may sound, were actually recorded in monophonic! This DVD release is as much of an insult to the original as if Hank Williams Jr, Garth Brooks, and Barbara Mandrell re-did all of the songs in Robert Altman's Nashville. It is an insult to the fans of this film who have kept it alive all these years. My pan n' scan VHS copy is in a safe place for now, just in case I want to see the real thing.
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on September 9, 2002
This is one of the all-time greatest car movies every made. the chase scenes are spectacular. Unlike some other reviewers, I found the plot plausible and intriguing.
HOWEVER, the dvd RUINED this movie. Although the bonus features are great, they cheaped out and didn't include the original score. Instead of the funky 70s music that totally fit the mood (stuff) that I could have whipped up on my home pc in about 10 minutes.
The missing songs and score totally ruined this otherwise terrific movie. You also get to see Halicki's widow insert herself all throughout the special features to the point of nausea. She even credits her own PARENTS with the making of the dvd! WTF???
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on October 17, 2012
BEWARE THIS HAS THE MODERN GENERIC DVD DUB SOUNDTRACK ONLY AND NOT THE ORIGINAL THEATRICAL/VHS 70'S SOUNDTRACK

One of the best low budget films ever made and with a 40 minute REAL car chase. Forget the poor Nicholas Cage remake this original has NO CGI whatsoever!!! all real driving. shame Denise still refuses to release this film with Tobys orginal ending and song choices...
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on March 26, 2001
The Muscle Car era is not gone. It's recorded for history by H.B. Halicki. This film is about the cars. No blood, no nudity, no cursing, minimal plot and acting, just good clean action fast and gritty. If you want a "slick" production featuring excellent acting and subplot with totally dubbed sound (a high-tourqe Chrysler starter on a Shelby GT? PLEEEAAAAAASE)see GI60S (2000) with Nick Cage. If you want to see (and in the original MegaVHS release "hear") those muscle cars in action in the wild this is your film. Put down that wrench, have a seat, turn up the subwoofer and understand why hot-rodding a Honda in Y2K doesn't compare to a wound-up big block in 1974.
NOTE: For maximum viewing pleasure I recommend pulling the mono sound track from the original MegaVHS release and dropping it over the "new enhanced" stereo soundtrack on this release and burning it to a new DVD of VHS. That way you can have the great new wide screen digital video with the original sound and get all those sweet engine sounds. The dubbed stereo sound effects and the new "Music" on this aniversary edition steals some of the original 70's flavor of this classic.
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on February 5, 2001
After learning that the 2000 movie was actually a remake of a 1974 movie, I got the bug to watch the original. I had a hard time finding it.
I read some reviews that said to skip this 25th anniversary edition and watch the original Media VHS release. I was lucky enough to get my hands on both this weekend.
I liked this movie much better than I thought I would. True, the real highlight is the car chase, everything else is just filler, but it was still a fun movie.
I've read complaints about the remastered anniversary edition available on this DVD. Let me say that after watching both versions, this DVD has a much better, cleaner picture than the old VHS tape. The sound wasn't bad either. My only beef with the anniversary edition was the new soundtrack, everything else was just fine. The anniversary edition on DVD features a generic new pop synth soundtrack. Most of the time, I really wasn't listening to it. But, if you are going to have those 70's hair styles, sunglasses, clothes and sideburns, why mess with the 1970's music? Yes, it was dated, but the music went along with the movie and added to at least a couple scenes.
The original soundtrack should have at least been an available option as an alternate version to watch, even if it was recorded in mono. If that had been done, I'd have given it another star.
As is, it's not bad. The music is a little distracting because it doesn't go at all with the rest of the movie, but if you can get past that annoyance, this DVD is certainly watchable.
It left me wanting an old Mustang.
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on September 18, 2007
DO NOT BUY THIS. The movie is a classic but they have completely destroyed it on this release. As has been mentioned by other reviewers here, the sound effects and music have been redone and it sounds HORRIBLE. I am not lucky enough to have seen the original version; I watched this DVD with no expectations and was horribly disappointed. The horrible new music is throughout EVERY SECOND of the film- even parts when no music would have been ,much better. It often doesn't fit the mood of the scene. The music made the movie HARD TO WATCH, honestly- my friends left because it was so bad. You can tell the sounds have been rerecorded- they have much higher sound quality than the dialogue (plus they sound like they were digitally recorded!) and they're a little off. Much worse is the music, which was just thrown together on someone's computer- I could have made music like that in a day. Actually, I would have had a hard time making something that bad. You'd have to TRY REALLY HARD to make music that horrible. Don't buy this; instead, contact Halicki Films and demand their next release to be a genuine copy of this movie, which seems like it could be great. This copy is just awful though.

Halicki Films
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 823
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-4303
(310) 205-4115
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on October 15, 2001
This, the original movie from the 1970s, was the first movie produced and written by stunt driver Halicki (who unfortunately was killed early on in making a sequel). It is a lot less flashy than the remake, but this gives the movie a far greater sense of realism. The first part of the movie is almost like a documentary and is basically a behind-the-scenes look at an auto theft ring and how it operates, drawing from Halicki's great knowledge of all things associated with cars. This first part of the movie is quite interesting and has some great moments of humour and a few minor car chases, but mainly serves to set up the second half. The basic plot is that the ring has a limited time to steal a large number of very specific high-priced cars. For a reason I won't spoil, the head of the ring gets upset with one of his best men and sets him up so that the police can ambush him on his last job. This leads to the exciting second part.
The second part of the movie is one long, sustained car chase lasting about 40 minutes and is one of the best in movie history. Reportedly 93 cars got totalled during the filming of this sequence, and I believe it. It was all filmed on weekends without filming permits using a car collection Halicki built up partially from police auctions, including all the police cars that were used. Overall, not much of a plot, but it is a very humourous, exciting and educational movie filled with lots of great and/or funny 1970s cars and fashions.
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on April 2, 2001
I was expecting an amateurish, plotless film with no brain that was all about wrecking cars. Well, I was wrong. It's a slightly plotted, highly professional film with no brain that's all about wrecking cars.
This movie is no classic, but it's definitely in a class by itself. It's not really that violent, but it's obvious Halicki lived for wrecking cars. The last forty minutes of this feature are all astounding car stunts and chase scenes. And I mean ASTOUNDING, the kind of thing we haven't seen in American action movies for a LOOOOOOONG time. I don't want to give anything away, but suffice to say it's some stunning stuff.
Also to Halicki's credit, he isn't just mindlessly showing cool stunts whose results exist in a vacuum. You see the fire trucks, the cop cars, the ambulances, working to save people who got in accidents caused by Halicki's character and his wreckless driving. He's a lot more honest than a lot of American action producers, and it beats a little credit at the very end, saying "Kids, don't try this at home."
Dodge Bruckheimer's crappy remake. This is the car crash movie to buy. I'll definitely have a copy in my library when I have the cash.
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