on June 9, 2009
Woodstock, the 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition is an wonderful box but far from perfect. If you have the 1994 Director's Cut you already have the meat of this box set. The extra songs are great (really!) but only worth paying for if you're itching for any new footage. Of course, if you don't already have a version of the Woodstock concert on DVD, then by all means get this box. The extra DVD contains three songs from the Creedence Clearwater Revival set which is fantastic to finally see (along with extra songs from another dozen groups). And PLEASE buy if from Amazon as they include their own exclusive DVD with a few very rare songs (limited time). The Life magazine reprint is fun but I would have preferred they replaced most of the "stuff" with another DVD. My personal peeve is the absence of Melanie. Even it you get this box set, it will still be worth the money to buy the 2 DVD set of +Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock+ and (if you still have a VHS player that works) its also worth seeking out the VHS tape from 1991 titled, +Woodstock: The Lost Performances+ which contains a hour of songs that are not in the new box set. The extra songs in the new box set are not integrated into the Movie, so you will have to change DVD's to see all the songs of a particular group. Perhaps when the 50th Anniversary rolls around we will finally get a box that puts all the performance footage together as it ought to be. If not, maybe we can have our Cryogenically frozen heads defrosted in time for the 100th Anniversary (don't count on it). Oh, as to the complaints of others about the songs being "corrected", just ignore them, the sound is great.
on June 19, 2009
Since Amazon is ALWAYS very lacking in details about their DVD or Blu-Ray products, here is the press release that gives more detail (was on The Home Theater Forum):
WHV Press Release: Woodstock 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition (DVD/BD)
"Few documentaries have captured a time and place more completely, poignantly, and ... entertainingly." -- Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert
"Not just a great slice-of-time documentary but the ultimate rock concert movie."
-- Los Angeles Times, Chris Willman
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music
The Director's Cut
40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition
Celebrating the Greatest Rock Concert in History!
On Blu-ray and DVD June 9 from Warner Home Video
Three hours of enhanced content includes two hours of
bonus performances, some unearthed after four decades,
with five groups who performed but never appeared in the film
Burbank, CA, March 11, 2009 - Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music - the four-hour director's cut of the 1970 Oscar®-winning documentary about the landmark music event that featured some of the greatest rock 'n' roll performers in history -- will be released June 9 in a spectacular new limited, numbered Blu-ray and DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition (UCE). With two extra hours of rare performance footage -- some of it newly-discovered, some only seen in part and some never seen at all -- the UCE is destined to make its own history. Details of the new releases will be featured at the South by Southwest Music + Film Festival where Warner Home Video will offer festival goers a first look at the new high definition picture and sound on March 21.
Today, four decades later, Woodstock still resonates deeply with those that attended and those that wished they had. Director Michael Wadleigh notes, "Based on the vast e-mails and calls I've received, many from young people, it's very evident that people still relate so much to the film and view the '60s as an age when anything and everything was possible, mostly good. Many hope for a new Woodstock generation since what people loved back then was spontaneity, originality, innocence and honesty - even in superstars; that's why Woodstock, with its open and natural philosophy, has become timeless."
The two extra hours of rare performance footage features 18 new performances as never before seen from 13 groups, including Joan Baez, Country Joe McDonald, Santana, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Joe Cocker and five (Paul Butterfield, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Winter and Mountain) who played at Woodstock but never appeared in any film version.
A third hour of bonus material also on the UCE includes a featurette gallery showcasing interviews with Martin Scorsese, producer Michael Lang, director Michael Wadleigh, Hugh Hefner, Eddie Kramer (the concert's original chief on-site engineer and producer-engineer for Jimi Hendrix) and others who chronicle the making of the festival and the film. Included are such segments as 3 Days in a Truck, No Rain! No Rain! and Living Up To Idealism. Additionally, exclusive to Blu-ray a Customize Your Own Woodstock Playlist from the 18 bonus performances and other special features like Media Center, My WB Commentary and Live Community Screening.
The UCE will be packaged in a unique giftbox, numbered as part of a limited run with an array of collectibles that include a 60+ page reprint of a Life magazine commemorative issue, a lucite lenticular display of vintage festival photos, festival memorabilia and an iron-on patch with the classic dove and guitar Woodstock emblem.
Jeff Baker, WHV's Executive VP and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, stated, "As I reviewed Woodstock interviews and some of the newly discovered concert footage, it struck me how historically relevant this project has become to all of us who have been privileged to be a part of it. The new 'content' we have created, almost 40 years later, and the live performances we've restored in high definition, some in extended cuts, will live on as studio assets forever, and as a testimony to a time and a set of circumstances which will never again repeat themselves."
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music was newly remastered from original elements and scanned at 2K with an audio 5.1 mix. Eddie Kramer, Woodstock sound engineer, assisted with the 5.1 audio mix of recently found additional footage. The Ultimate Collector's Edition will be available in Blu-ray(tm) Hi-Def ($69.99 SRP) as well as DVD ($59.98 SRP). Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music will also be available on DVD as a Two-Disc Special Edition ($24.98 SRP).
About Woodstock and the Film
Woodstock alumni David Crosby noted, "Woodstock was more than just a concert; it was an event. It was a time for our generation to speak up and let everyone know we had a voice. Whether you were there or are discovering the film for the first time, it still holds up 40 years later and now will speak to a whole new generation."
The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York on a sometimes rain-soaked weekend from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Half a million people of all colors, shapes, sizes, ages and sexes attended this historical event. They came by car, by truck, a few even by helicopter, but the majority walked to what turned out to be the most famous festival in history, an event that was hailed by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the "50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock 'n' Roll."
Created by promoter Michael Lang with Artie Kornfeld, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, 32 legendary musical acts appeared which, in addition to those mentioned above, included Crosby, Stills & Nash, Santana, Joan Baez, The Band, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, Country Joe McDonald and The Fish, Richie Havens, Jefferson Airplane, John Sebastian and Sly & The Family Stone.
Said Michael Lang, "It's gratifying to me that Woodstock remains so relevant today as does the great work that documented it. Artie and Joel join me in congratulating Warner Home Video for putting together this brand new and exciting look at our event and for unearthing more of the historic performances that electrified us all at the time."
Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature (and nominated for Best Editing and Best Sound), Woodstock was produced by Bob Maurice and directed by Michael Wadleigh, who assembled an outstanding crew that included young filmmakers at the start of their careers Academy Award® winners: director Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and editor Thelma Schoonmaker (The Aviator).
The critically acclaimed Museum at Bethel Woods, located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY, tells the story of the Sixties and Woodstock through state-of-the-art multi-media exhibits, engaging programs and educational events. The Center provides artists with the opportunity to perform on one of music's most legendary grounds, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is committed to being a world-class cultural destination in the heart of New York State. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts | Official Site
WOODSTOCK Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD Contents:
· Film (Director's Cut), Part 1 128:38 min
· The Museum at Bethel Woods: The Story of the Sixties & Woodstock
· Film (Director's Cut), Part 2 95:34 min
· Woodstock: Untold Stories 18 Performances as never before seen
· Woodstock: From Festival to Feature Interviews of the sights and sounds of the 3 day event, from concert goers, promoters, crew and musicians
Blu-ray Hi-Def Exclusive:
· Customize Your Own Woodstock Playlist (from the18 bonus performances)
o This feature allows you to customize your own personal jukebox playlist from more than a dozen live Woodstock performances as never before seen.
· BD-Live features include Media Center, My WB Commentary, & Live Community Screening
o Media Center is a hub for trailers, features and content
§ You can get sneak peeks of upcoming Warner Bros. films, and rate trailers
§ You can access to Exclusive Content such as interviews, featurettes, and more only seen through WB BD-Live
§ You can access Photo Galleries and other special features
o Live Community Screenings allow you to send invitations to fans and friends across the country for virtual screenings at a specified time and chat online with each other as the movie plays on each person's Blu-ray player. You can host your own Live Community Screening with your buddy list or participate in a WB hosted Warner Bros. BD-Live community event
o My WB Commentary lets you record and post a Picture-in-Picture commentary right over the film, then share it and rate it. Using a web-camera, you can record your own comments and play them back as a Picture-in-Picture feature over the film scene you have chosen and share it with your friends or the entire Warner Bros. BD-Live Community
See below complete description of new performances and featurettes
Woodstock 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition will be supported with promotional partnerships and a national media and publicity campaign spanning TV, print, online/viral, events and grassroots efforts targeting music fans of all ages.
VH1 Rock Docs and History are co-producing the definitive two-hour documentary, "Woodstock: 40 Years Later." Fender®, known worldwide for producing the musical instruments that started the rock revolution will create a limited amount of special ""Woodstock 40th Anniversary Stratocaster®" guitars. In addition, the spirit of Woodstock re-emerges with a vast array of products -- from apparel to guitar straps -- from Signatures Network, exclusive worldwide licensing agents for Woodstock Ventures.
For more information visit: Woodstock 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition on DVD and Blu Ray and be sure to check back in April as many new features will be added, including exciting performance clips, an image gallery, wallpapers, screensaver and much more.
Woodstock 3 Days of Peace & Music
Street Date: June 9
Ultimate Collector's Editions
UCE Blu-ray $69.99 SRP
UCE DVD $59.98 SRP
Two Disc Special Edition
DVD $24.98 SRP
With operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video and New Line Home Entertainment.
Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.
WOODSTOCK ULTIMATE COLLECTORS EDITION
BAND ROSTER - 22 BANDS TOTAL
· Arlo Guthrie
· Canned Heat
· Country Joe & the Fish
· Country Joe McDonald
· Creedence Clearwater Revival
· Crosby, Stills, Nash
· Grateful Dead
· Janis Joplin
· Jefferson Airplane
· Jimi Hendrix
· Joan Baez
· Joe Cocker
· John Sebastian
· Johnny Winter
· Paul Butterfield Blues Band
· Richie Havens
· Sly & The Family Stone
· Ten Years After
· The Who
FULL DESCRIPTION OF 18 BONUS PERFORMANCES
· Joan Baez "One Day at a Time"
· Country Joe McDonald "Flying High"
· Santana "Evil Ways"
· Canned Heat "I'm Her Man" and "On the Road Again"
· Mountain "Beside the Sea" and "Southbound Train"
· Grateful Dead "Turn On Your Love Light"
· Creedence Clearwater Revival "Born on the Bayou", "I've Put a Spell on You" and
"Keep on Chooglin'"
· The Who "We're Not Going To Take It" and "My Generation"
· Jefferson Airplane "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds"
· Joe Cocker "Something's Coming On"
· Johnny Winter "Mean Town Blues"
· Paul Butterfield "Morning Sunrise"
· Sha Na Na "Teen Angel"
FULL DESCRIPTION OF
WOODSTOCK FROM FESTIVAL TO FEATURE
· The Camera: The Éclair NPR was the best camera around in 1969; Michael Wadleigh talks about why the Éclair was the right camera for this film.
· 365,000 Feet of Film: The stories of how Dale Bell and his crew begged, borrowed and stole just enough film to document the festival.
· Shooting Stage: Those up-close shots of performers didn't just happen by magic; see how Wadleigh and his cameramen got those up close and personal shots of the performers.
· The Line Up: The Who, Sha Na Na, Santana, Ten Years After, Jefferson Airplane and many more; how did all these bands get on the roster for the festival of a life time?
· Holding the Negative Hostage: What does a filmmaker do when Technicolor is sending a copy of your negative to the studio without your permission? Well, you lock up the film and hire a lawyer.
· Announcements: "Don't take the brown acid" or maybe it was green. We'll hear about all the strange and informative announcements heard during those three days of peace, love and enlightenment.
· Suits VS. Longhairs: The clash between the hippie filmmakers and the Warner executives who didn't understand what this film meant.
· Documenting History: Find out from Michael Wadleigh and Dale Bell, along with filmmakers, where the idea of capturing this event on film came from.
· Woodstock: The Journey: Some came by car, others by truck, a few came by helicopter but most walked to the most famous festival in history.
· Pre-Production: We'll find out how this production got off the ground and meet the members of the crew that made it happen.
· Production: How many cameras were used? How much film did they go through? Did anyone sleep? All these questions and more will be answered here as we explore how Woodstock was captured on film.
· Synchronization: How do you sync all this material with out any slates? No slate, no problem. With the help of an upright Moviola, Dale Bell, Michael Wadleigh, Eddie Kramer and the editors were able to make magic from miles of tape and film.
· The Crowd: Half a million people of all colors, shapes, sizes, ages and sexes attended this historical event. We'll hear stories about the number of people and how they all coexisted for three days with only minor incidents.
· No Rain! No Rain!: Everyone talks about the rain at this event as if it were a character. It was. It set the tone, provided moments of danger, fun and disgust.
· 3 Days in a Truck: Eddie Kramer heard some of the most amazing performances as he recorded this historic event. But during those three days of peace, love and music, he didn't get to see any performances because he was stuck in a truck.
· Woodstock Effect: The film, the event and the album catapulted many musicians into the limelight, changing their lives forever.
· Living up to Idealism
· World's Longest Optical
· Critical Acclaim
· Courtesy of The Museum at Bethel Woods: The Hog Farm Commune
· Hugh Hefner and Michael Wadleigh: The Woodstock Connection
3 hours 44 minutes 19 seconds long (edit), probably the greatest music event ever, a remarkable documentary; finally meets the sound and visual treament it always deservered (Blu-Ray and Dolby TruHD).
For those familiar with the movie, you've never seen this film in such perfection. A pristine or incredibly well cleaned print of this film was lovingly transfered to 1080p resolution. The transfer is so good, you can actually see the grain of the film. There is no more that can be done to improve video at home. I'm pretty certain that the theater sound systems were nowhere near up to the level of home theater today. The addition of rear channels and subwoofers, and given the limitations of the original recording, just can't get better. Since this film is all about the music, what could possibly be better? There were times when the couch rattled with the power of the bass. The one nit, the surrounds tend to be a bit loud, so the soundstage gets a little confused. I'll take that any day of the week to hear this music the way it was recorded.
For those new to Woodstock - buy this version. The music: some of the best rock, folk, and blues music ever. Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane - the gods of rock and roll. Crosby, Stills and Nash, Joan Baez, John Sebastian, Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie - the crossover gods of folk music. Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Ten Years After - crossover blues.
The Jimi Hendrix' three songs are almost worth the price alone - the greatest guitar player ever, playing to a very small crowd at the end of Woodstock (that will teach people that leave early to beat the traffic).
The movie is what documentary film making is all about, capture the moment, render the feeling, place the audience in the event. The opening, pristine fields, interviews with locals, traffic rolling in, and the gorgeous CS&N singing Long Time Gone; followed by Canned Heat Going Up The Country; ending in CS&N Wooden Ships. The feeling is almost surreal as the site gets more and more crowded. Richie Havens opens the concert with his great acoustic guitar playing and protest songs. It's not straight linear time filming, but uses shots from different times to support the story line. Arlo Guthrie sings 'Coming into Los Angeles', a song about flying on an ariplane with a couple of keys (drug running); the visuals are of people enjoying that drug. It's almost a McGyver for how to enjoy that drug. The film cuts back occasionally to Guthrie singing at night. The director Michael Wadleigh uses split screens (twos, threes and fours) at just the right moments. The Who play and what is more important, Roger Daltry singing or Pete Townshend playing guitar? We get both with a 3 screen split, because they are both incredibly important to the performance. Wadleigh knows what is important and gives it to the viewer.
The soundtrack to the main film was reworked in a few places. Santana's Soul Sacrafice is very obviously altered - the marachas emit sound when they are nowhere near a microphone, and the sound is specifically placed in surrounds or specific channels. It's pretty clear when this enhancement was done. Is that a crime? On the one hand, yes - it isn't what was really performed at Woodstock exactly that way. No its not a crime - you can think of these as sound effects that don't alter the feel of the performance. Purists already know what they think about this. Personally, I don't have a lot of problem with the changes.
Disc 2 - Bonus Features. Two parts, more music and a look at behind the scenes / snapshot of life in the late 60's early 70's.
The music - for one reason or another these performances were not included in the movie. Some, the sound wasn't recorded very well, some the film was underexposed, some acts just weren't popular enough, or some just didn't fit the story line. Frankly, pick your reason for the clip you happen to love. The description of this disc includes the play list, it's long. The great part of Blu-Ray, the music is presented as a table and you make your own playlist that you then play. It can be saved, skipped around, whatever. Great way to watch the clips. The three Amazon bonus tracks are excellent.
The Film bonuses. This is a bit less great. In some ways it's a view at television / life in the 60's / 70's. The Hugh Hefner bit was interesting, but there was too much talking head for my taste. Playboy After Dark was an icon of the era, and it would have been way better to just play the 20 minutes of that show - instead there's only about 3 or 4 minutes of super young Hugh Hefner (and glimpses of the gorgeous young Barbie Benton next to him). Mostly these featurettes are like what you see in most movies anymore, talking heads, some clip back to the film or examples. It runs long, it runs deep. If you are addicted to Woodstock - you will enjoy this more than you can imagine. For normal humans, probably pass on this whole featurette section.
The film is rated R for good reason. Strong language, drug use (almost a how to film), and nudity are all there. No, younger viewers should not see this. Up until the Arlo Guthrie song, would be acceptable (almost the first half of the film).
This edition with all the funky packaging. I've posted some pictures of a more or less unboxing. The pictures inside the acrylic frame is lame - the frame is actually kind of cool (use it for another picture - it's held together with magnets). The reprinted Life Magazine is sweet. The best, in my view, is the reprinted ticket on heavy ticket stock. Frankly, all the extras aren't really worth much extra money. I would have gladly bought this as a straight no extra stuff, blu-ray edition with the two discs alone.
on July 8, 2009
I also have this movie in it's many various incarnations. The Blu Ray 40th Anniversary, the original VHS and DVD release, as well as the director's cut DVD. So I go and by this 40th Aniversary DVD for my office (which unfortunately does not have a Blu Ray player) specifically because I wanted the extra performances that are on the other 40th Anniversary discs. Creedance, Johnny Winter, The Who, Canned Heat, Airplane, etc. Wrong! Not here. Even the extra documentary footage that's on the other 40th Anniversary release of Wadleigh, Dale Bell, Scorsese and many others speaking on the events surrounding the filming of the movie is not here. Just some cheesy Story of the Sixties film. Totally dissapointed. What really made me angry is that there's no disclaimer stating that there's huge differences between this "40th Anniversary Edition" DVD and the others that are available. I just gave it away.
In a time when music videos have reached epic high-tech proportions twenty-four hours a day with the flick of a switch it was a delightful afternoon for me as I sat back to re-visit a piece of high-life history with the jaundiced eye of the political cynic. I loved this video. I loved the music. Indeed, I studied the undercurrent, with the interest of political science as I've been studying it, in hopes of gaining more insight, and I did. I also had fun, and I'm sure I will have fun every time I watch it. Why is it that everyone looks so YOUNG? (sigh) From Arlo Guthrie to Richie Havens to Joan Baez to Carlos Santana to Janis Joplin to Sly and the Family Stone ah, youth is wasted on the young! And the side interviews and shots of young people wading their way through the crowds, and the over riding theme of peace, love and anti-war...anti-capitalism as well, which more recent Woodstocks have not been able to copy. Woodstock I still has much to teach us, it's not just a walk down memory lane. If you do decide to pick this up, I can only hope you have as much fun with it as I am!
on June 23, 2010
At first sight and after reading the press release I was disappointed with this commemorative box set. On a second thought when I bought the DVD I changed my mind but I still think that the ultimate release of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair is yet to be done, period.
Woodstock Music and Arts Fair (1969) along with Monterey Pop Festival (1967), Atlanta Pop Festival (1970), and Isle of Wight (1970) are the only festivals of the sixties and early seventies that were properly recorded both on audio and video formats. Nevertheless it has been more recently that parts of the recorded material has been released after being stored for almost 40 years, while another bunch still remains unreleased.
Woodstock is not only one of the best known festivals of all the times, but it is also the most complete testify of the summer of 1969 festivals in USA: Newport 69 (June 20 - 22), Newport Jazz Festival (July 3 - 6), Newport Folk Festival (July 16 - 20,), Atlanta International Pop Festival (August 1 - 3), and Texas International Pop Festival (August 30 - September 1). Almost all the music performed at Woodstock was carefully recorded (hello Eddie Kramer) and filmed (when rain and humidity allowed to), something that didn't happen with the other 1969 festivals (maybe "Got no Shoes Got no Blues" film for the Texas Festival but this one is of an inferior quality).
I have reviewed previous re-releases of this film and its soundtrack and most of my comments refers to the music, the missing artists, the wrong order of featuring (with no indication of which day actually is) and cut short performances. I do understand the amazing work done over the film and it really deserves the prizes and recognitions won over the past, but I think it's time to go a step ahead and dust off the unique material stored for 40 years (D. A. Pennebaker did something about it with the Woodstock Diary DVD set).
I think it's really a shame that Warner Home Video had lost the chance to do a DEFINITIVE edition of the festival. It should have been a fantastic opportunity to have included long forgotten artists and to expand even more those already known performances, even though there is a large quantity of officially filmed material that still remains unreleased and it has only been partially available as bootleg videos. By the way you need more than a source to get all the video music available (Woodstock Film in all its incarnations including this box set, Woodstock Diary, Woodstock Lost Performances).
There are artists not included in any of the releases of the festival: Sweetwater, Quill (just seconds of film on Woodstock Diary), Incredible String Band (same quote as for Quill), Ravi Shankar (same quote as for Quill) and Keef Hartley Band.
Also there are artists with very well known extra material officially filmed not included in this box set: Richie Havens (3 extra songs, 2 of which are in Lost Performances), Country Joe (complete performance), John Sebastian (1 song), Swami Satchidananda speech, Arlo Guthrie (2 songs), Blood Sweat and Tears (4 songs one of which is available on Lost Performances), Janis Joplin, Credence Clearwater Revival (2 extra songs), Grateful Dead, The Who (the band has included various portions of their performance on The Kids are Alright DVD), Paul Butterfield Blues Band (1 song), Crosby Stills Nash & Young (at least 1 song with Young actually performing). These performances are one of a kind and the best recorded examples of the 1969 summer festivals in USA
The Box Set:
- Bonus Disc: Some of these performances are already released items. Jimi's Spanish Castle Magic is on the complete set of his performance. Canned Heat performing Woodstock Boogie is available on others DVD of Woodstock, but the main thing is that is totally abridge to less than a third from the the total time. The Who's Sparks is available on the Kids are Alright DVD.
The Who's full performance MUST be fully recorded and filmed but I think Mr. Townshend has not approved the release (see next comment). The Ox and Keith have passed away so what a great tribute should be an official release of their performance. I have asked The Who official site about it but no news about it. The featurettes are really interest but too brief in my opinion since they are from the people that actually made the festival.
-Woodstock: Untold Stories: All performances are amazing and worth to be seen, most of them are unreleased (40 years on the shelves!!) and a "must-have" to anyone interested in rock / blues music. Joan Baez is great but I missed the songs available on Woodstock Diary. Country Joe is fully filmed and same quality (I got the video!). Santana looks great and sounds incredible (I can't believe that only two numbers were filmed, I think the whole set is filmed as it is the soundtrack). Canned Heat is pretty well covered since Going Up the Country is included on Lost Performances (a terrible quality image indeed) and Woodstock Boogie is the only number still unreleased in its full length. Mountain's "Southbound Train" is finally complete (edited version on Woodstock Diary). The Deads number is really an invaluable example of a 60's live performance of the band (All the boys are here, Pigpen, Jerry, Bobby, Billy, TC, Phil and Micky). Creedence is fine and resurfaces in all its form.
The Who performance is a different matter since their portion shown on film has been always too abridged (on Woodstock Diary was added "My Generation"). They performed TOMMY!! and also Heaven or Hell. At least "We are not gonna take it" is finally included as during a long time its name was used for "Summertime Blues".
J Airplane looks fantastic (Oh! that's Nicky Hopkins on Piano). J Cocker appears singing the same song performed the day before by Blood Sweat & Tears. Johnny Winter number is edited as it is shown on Woodstock Diary (drum beat and guitar slide introduction are missing - the song lasts actually 8+ minutes), Paul Butterfield is excellent.
A special mention to The Who. They were one of the few British acts at Woodstock and Chip Monk introduction is very unusual and amazingly polite (Ladies and gentlemen please warmly show your appreciation for a band that came especially for this festival... a warmly welcome for The Who). Once again I think their whole performance is filmed and recorded (just take a look at "The Kids are alright DVD"). By the way there is a well known unreleased video (with time counter) of their set taken from the stage right camera that actually shows a handful of additional numbers, even Pete kicking the cameramen on stage and the seconds after the Abbie Hoffman incident (this same source was used for the additional Hendrix material included in the definitive edition of his performance).
About the interviews they are very interesting for those people that are really into the history of the festival and all the 60's events. Great stories about filming, setting the Eclairs and getting the proper lights on the stage. I missed some people that must be in any Woodstock related project: John Roberts, Joel Rosenman (the pair that actually put the money), Arthur "Artie" Kornfeld, and John Morris.
In all I recommend this box mainly for the extra material included which is really fabulous.
Please note that Sony is currently releasing the complete sets on CD performed at Woodstock by J Winter, Santana, J Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone and Janis. Rhino is about to release a mamooth like compilation of chronological assembled set of performances including more than 30 previously unreleased material.
on January 9, 2002
I have owned the director's cut of this on VHS for years and the VHS version is superb visually and the sound is excellent.
I bought the DVD so I could have chapter access to each performance. Indeed, the DVD does have that, but it is all for naught.
The picture on the DVD is vastly inferior to the VHS. Images that can be clearly seen on the VHS don't register many times at all on the DVD, i.e the outline and some features of a guy dancing are clearly visible on the VHS as they were on film in a theatre. On the DVD, you just see the outine of the figure with a hint of subtler visual attributes. The sound on the DVD is the worst I've heard on any release from a major company. I've seen and heard better on second-rate VHS's and DVD's from the likes of Laserdisc.
Boy, will I read those ratings on visual and sound quality from now on. The review on Amazon's "technical information" for this DVD is absoulutely correct.
I will never buy another DVD or VHS from Warner Bros without first renting and previewing it. So I still watch my 2-tape VHS of this landmark film of this one-time phenomenon.
The DVD is on one two-sided disc, which doesn't even break at the intermission, to rub salt in this inexcusable mangling from Warner Bros. First, they blew their initial Kubrick set and now this disgrace.
If you want this film on video, get in the well-done and tecnically superior VHS double tape. Incompent .... Jack Warner would have kicked who ever is responsible for this rip-off DVD most deservedly in the teeth...
on October 28, 2001
Having been born in 1980, I missed the original Woodstock concert by 11 years (plus about another 18 as that's probably how old I would have been to go to a concert like that). However, through my constant viewing of VH1's special, I have become a huge fan of the music of that era. While I love listening to the music of Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and such, what I have always longed for is a chance to actually watch them perform. While seeing them perform live is highly unlikely (seeing as how Jimi and Janis have been dead for 30 years and JA did their big reunion a decade ago), watching this documentary is about the best chance I'm going to get. While I would have loved to have been there in person, one thing that I love about this movie is the view that you get. From seeing Ritchie Havens' foot tapping during "Freedom" to watching the expressions on the faces of JA's Grace Slick and Marty Balin as they traded leads on "Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon"), you definitely have the best seat in the house when you watch this movie. I watched the entire video in one sitting, glued to the t.v. the whole time (except when I got up to dance to Santana's "Soul Sacrifice"). From the interviews with the townspeople to the interviews with the hippies (my fav was the one with the stoned guy as he walked out of the Port-a-Sans) to the incredible music, I think this documentary captures the event very well. The only complaint that I have is not having more footage of the live performances. I would have loved to have seen Sweetwater at their best or Grace Slick belting out "Somebody to Love" or "White Rabbit". Maybe someday they'll release separate video versions of the individual sets played by the artists...that'd be awesome! In the meantime, buy and watch this video...you'll have a great time!!
on February 7, 2013
Purchasing the import Blu-Ray version of "Woodstock" was the right choice to make. Not only do you get the film itself on one disc but you also get all the extra footage from the expensive box set edition. So, if you love this film buy this wonderful Blu-Ray edition.
Review Update: April 26, 2014
According to the insert in the case it has the following exclusive content to this Blu-Ray edition.
Woodstock Untold Stories:
Canned Heat: Woodstock Boogie
The Who: Sparks
Jimi Hendrix: Spanish Castle Magic
Reflections of an Era
A farm in Bethel
Review Update: April 28, 2014
On a personal note: I don't remember the first time I saw the film. I either saw it on HBO at the early hours of the morning or it was on my local PBS station with all the naughty parts cut out. Either way Peace and Love to you all :)
on September 19, 1999
Having been in Vietnam in1969 i did not have a chance to actually go to woodstock.I waited almost 30 years before i saw this documentary.This is the kind of experience that one has to open the mind and heart and close off all pre-concieved ideas,prejudices,religious and any and all other ideas and thoughts and just (to quote the hippies)go with your feelings.This was a once in a lifetime experience that will likely never be back again.360,000 young people(and some not quite so young)brought together for three days love,music,drugs and rock and roll.Even disallowing all the illecit drug use(the reference to the "bad acid"(not poisoned)just bad.One can watch this movie and maybe get just a small glimmer of what was occuring those three days.I finished movie and for a good week could not quit thinking about what i had seen and heard.Young girls and boys swimming in a lake naked,people getting rained on and instead of griping and complaining making a game of it! Feeding each other,both physically and spiritually and emotionally and no one getting hurt.My God! Where has this country gone wrong in the last 30 years?Maybe only people from my generation can truly understand what happened then.I am passing this movie around to friends and people at work ,some whom are my age and others much younger and they seem to really get into it(oops another hippie slang-sorry)Watch this movie-if only for your own peace of mind!(Yeah i borrowed part of that last sentence also) P E A C E