Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music Director's Cut (40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition)
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The movie itself now weighs in at nearly four hours long, and is presumably the way director Michael Wadleigh wanted it in the first place. The transfer is definitely an upgrade, as is the soundtrack, which was originally recorded on 8-track tape under less-than-ideal conditions. (Using modern digital technology, audio engineer Eddie Kramer, who was hunkered down in what passed for a recording booth at the Woodstock site, has painstakingly restored the soundtrack--even bringing in some of the musicians to re-play their original parts, as on Santana's "Evil Ways," one of the previously unreleased bonus performances. Considering that the event is something of a sacred cow by now, this trick may strike some as blasphemous. Then again, this is hardly the first time that a live concert recording has been sweetened, re-recorded, or otherwise enhanced. In fact, it'd be hard to find one that wasn't. And the additions would have gone largely unnoticed if we hadn't been told about them.) In the end, though, there's only so much improvement possible, and Woodstock was never about technical brilliance anyway. Nor was it mostly about the music, either. Nor was it mostly about the music, either. There are some terrific performances, from acoustic numbers by Richie Havens and Crosby, Stills & Nash to powerful electric contributions from Santana, Sly & the Family Stone, and Joe Cocker. But the truth is that Monterey Pop, which happened two years earlier, was the more exciting concert, and of the several artists who appeared on both bills (including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who, Jefferson Airplane, and others), all of them made better music at the California festival. But Woodstock was always less a concert than an overall cultural happening, and Wadleigh and his crew, often employing an effective split-screen technique, do a superb job of corralling and conveying the remarkable atmosphere and spirit of it; you didn't have to be there to recognize that this was the zenith of the Age of Aquarius (it was also the twilight; with Altamont looming, things would never be this peaceful and idealistic again).
Of principal interest on the bonus discs will be two hours of additional musical performances, including both additional tunes by those who are in the main feature and appearances by five artists who for various reasons (ego, money, quality, time) never made it into the film at all; of the latter, Creedence Clearwater Revival is excellent, Paul Butterfield and Johnny Winter are good, Mountain is mediocre, and the Grateful Dead, with an interminable (38 minutes!) "Turn on Your Love Light," are awful. Meanwhile, "From Festival to Feature," a new, hour-long look at the making of the movie, is absorbing and minutely detailed. --Sam Graham
1969 was a year unlike any other. Man first set foot on the moon. The New York Mets won the World Series against all odds. And for three days in the rural town of Bethel, New York, half a million people experienced the single most defining moment of their generation; a concert unprecedented in scope and influence, a coming together of people from all walks of life with a single common goal: Peace and music. They called it Woodstock. One year later, a landmark Oscar®-winning documentary captured the essence of the music, the electricity of the performances, and the experience of those who lived it. Newly remastered, the film features legendary performances by 17 best selling artists.
Stills from Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music Director's Cut
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The picture and sound quality of the 1994 VHS tapes are clearly superior to the latest DVD release.Published 1 day ago by Raimund
Liked the old original better. The old original DVD showed a progression and story more than this segmented DVD.Published 3 days ago by SammiSnead
I never knew all the stuff that went on at Woodstock! This was super interesting and I loved how it was filmed and edited. The performances were amazing too. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Riley
Simply one of a kind, once in a lifetime , maybe even once a century, does such an event as this happen!!Published 8 days ago by Tracy
Was great, back to my youth. When music was great, not the rap cheap of today.Published 15 days ago by karl stowe
Great music and it showed how it was and explained more of what really went on and the preparation it took.
A very special moment in time, where nothing was impossible... and the flame still burns.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
How can you argue with this. People our age 50-60 just should watch it once every few years. What an event.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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