Are New Blu-rays of 'Total Recall,' 'Full Metal Jacket' and 'Good Will Hunting' Worth It?

Are New Blu-rays of 'Total Recall,' 'Full Metal Jacket' and 'Good Will Hunting' Worth It?

Aug 29, 2012

Total Recall Mind-Bending Edition

More people are appreciating 1990's Total Recall directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger for its subversive humor and imaginative effects now that the PG-13 remake starring Colin Farrell failed to excite many. The original Total Recall was first released on Blu-ray way back in 2006 and now gets a double dip just in time for the remake's theatrical run.

What's New?: The 2006 release suffered from a not-so-out-of-this-world video transfer and included only one extra—a short history of Mars that had nothing directly to do with the movie. For the new Mind-Bending Edition, the film had a new high-definition transfer supervised by Verhoeven that is noticeable improvement over the 2006 release. Unlike its predecessor, this new version is also loaded with extras, including commentary by Verhoeven and Schwarzenegger, an interview with Verhoeven, a making-of featurette, a featurette on the special effects, a restoration comparison, photo gallery and even an older 31-minute documentary on the movie with interviews by people like the now-deceased Jerry Goldsmith.

Skip or Double Dip?: The 2006 edition of Total Recall came out during Blu-ray's first year and shows its age. This new version has superior picture and lossless sound as well as a nice supplement package. Erase your memory of the original issue and double dip.


Full Metal Jacket 25th Anniversary Digibook

Did someone say double dip? It's more like a triple dip for Stanley Kubrick's 1987 Vietnam War drama starring Matthew Modine. Warner Bros. first put out a bare-bones Blu-ray debut in 2006 using an outdated video codec and has since discontinued that edition. Next came a Deluxe Edition in 2007 that improved the picture and sound a bit, and included a commentary track and a new 31-minute feature. On August 7, Warner Bros. repackaged the film for its 25th anniversary.

What's New?: The new 25th Anniversary edition comes packaged in 44-page color digibook with behind-the-scenes photos and a personal letter with intimate reflections from Modine. All the extras on the BD itself are identical to the Deluxe Edition.

Skip or Double Dip?:  The 2006 original release is considered one of the very worst Blu-rays to date, so if you have that discontinued version please jettison it for the new digibook, which is clearly the most attractive edition. If you already own the Deluxe Edition, however, you might not want to double or triple dip just to get the digibook.


Spaceballs 25th Anniversary Edition

Mel Brooks' silly spoof of Star Wars stars Bill Pullman, John Candy, Daphne Zuniga and Brooks himself and enjoys a cult status in certain circles. The film made its Blu-ray debut in June 2009 and, this month, it got a 25th Anniversary Edition.

What's New?: The original Blu-ray release had a decent set of extras, including an old Brooks commentary track, a documentary, a tribute to John Candy, a way to view the film sped up in one minute, film flubs, photo galleries and interviews with Brooks and Thomas Meehan. All of those extras are included in the 25th Anniversary Edition, plus the "Farce Yourself! Spaceballs and the Skroobing of Sci-fi" featurette.

Skip or Double Dip?: If you buy this comedy again on Blu-ray for only one additional bonus feature, may the Schwartz be with you.


Good Will Hunting 15th Anniversary Edition

Here is the Gus Van Sant movie that won stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and an Oscar for Robin Williams for Best Supporting Actor. The 1997 drama made its Blu-ray debut in August 2011 and now, a year later almost to the date, Good Will Hunting gets a double dip for its 15th anniversary.

What's New?: The original Blu-ray release of Good Will Hunting arrived with decent picture and sound, as well as a few extras, including 11 deleted scenes, a commentary track, a music video, and several short behind-the-scenes featurettes. For this new anniversary edition, a much more substantial one-hour retrospective feature called "Reflecting on a Journey: Good Will Hunting 15 Years Later" is included that gives an honest look back at the film from Affleck, Damon, Van Sant, Williams and even Kevin Smith. There is also a separate 17-minute retrospective with Damon that recaps much of his material in the longer feature.

Skip or Double Dip?: If you're looking for Good Will Hunting to look or sound better, you're looking in the wrong place with this 15th Anniversary Edition that is just as good quality-wise as the one from last year. However, if you are really into the movie and want a fresh perspective on it by the people who created the Oscar-winning film, you might want to double dip for the new special features. With an Amazon price of only $7.99 for this new copy, Damon's Will Hunting, the math genius, will tell you that it adds up to value.

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