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Customer Review

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Documentary Goes Blu--But It May Not Be An Essential Upgrade For Everyone, April 25, 2011
This review is from: Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The documentary feature, especially biographical portraits of entertainers, has really evolved through the years. The glimpse into Bob Dylan "Don't Look Back" was one of the earliest and the best to simply let the camera observe its subject without specific purpose. This fly-on-the-wall access to the behind the stage antics during a three week concert tour in England redefined the narrative feature documentary with its simplicity and observational tone. Dylan was an elusive entertainer and acclaimed documentarian D.A. Pennebaker knew that to get the truth from his artist was to leave him alone and report what happened. In truth, there is nothing especially revelatory going on and no high drama--just an intimacy that the low-key Dylan rarely allowed (either before or after). Now this classic documentary (purported to by the first feature documentary to enter DVD format in 1999) goes into the Blu-Ray realm.

Visual/Audio: Is it worth the upgrade? If you don't own "Don't Look Back" and you have an interest in Dylan or film history, this is a pretty significant film--so why not pick up the Blu-ray edition? If you have the earliest DVD release, this is also an easy recommendation for the added features and content. If, however, you have the 2007 standard issue DVD release--things might get a little more complicated unless you are just updating every film in your library. Mastered in High Definition, this new version looks fine, but not significantly superior. Based on the source material, the original aspect ratio is maintained (which it should be) so this will not be shown in widescreen format. The visual and audio presentation (in 2.0) isn't a leap from the 2007 presentation.

Features: The extra content on the two disc set is wonderful--but most is revamped from the earlier edition. Included on both are '65 revisited (comprised significantly of about an hour of extra backstage footage), commentary tracks from Pennebaker and the tour road manager, five additional uncut audio tracks, an alternate version of Subterranean Homesick Blues, cue card sequence and the trailer. EXCLUSIVE on this release: a new interview with Pennebaker and critic Greil Marcus.

I understand that most fans of the film will jump at the chance to add this to Blu-Ray--as well they should. My comments are geared toward those collectors that have to be more selective when upgrading due to financial constraints. If you own the 2007 release with the above listed features, this new edition will NOT change the viewing experience of "Don't Look Back." The exclusive interviews are interesting enough but they don't make or break the collection. So approach an upgrade based on the priority with which you value the film. New viewers, though, pick this up for a bit of rock history AND documentary history. KGHarris, 4/11.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 26, 2011 7:29:44 AM PDT
SS says:
Great review, thanks. I had this one preordered and it should be here soon.

Posted on Apr 26, 2011 5:57:14 PM PDT
Klak says:
Thanks for a concise-though thorough and thoughtful review: both on content, format and pocketbook considerations about this version of "Dont Look Back."

Lately I've been weighing whether to upgrade to BD capability. This post tipped my deciding to do just that, considering I have only the original DVD version of the film without most of the extras.

Posted on Aug 19, 2011 6:50:38 AM PDT
Just to double check, the Blu-Ray comes with everything that the 1965 Tour Deluxe Edition has?
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Review Details



K. Harris

Location: StudioCityGuy33 at Yahoo dot com

Top Reviewer Ranking: 52