silentfilm wrote:I've heard plenty of great commentary tracks by authors and historians. The best ones involve research and preplanning.
I agree with this, Bruce. Thad is also correct, in that folks who bother to rewatch with commentaries tend to do so once and then the commentaries are rarely listened to again.
IMO, what's most important is the film. Thad and Bret did an excellent job. Michael's commentary covers what is needed and he has the Hollywood credentials. Snagging legendary filmmakers for commentaries, or author Ed Hulse for that matter ...all of whom profess a passion for classic cliffhangers... would it have made the print any better?
As someone who has worked in film and a longtime fan of this genre, I'm persuaded that we should applaud efforts to bring us quality product. Projects like this provide a future for serials through Hi-Rez transfers. Deteriating 35mm nitrate negatives need to be preserved and restored. Extras are nice, but they're icing on the proverbial cake. This is just my opinion and I certainly respect the varied mileage of others.
The only promised extra mentioned that's missing from this release are serial trailers. If there are Easter eggs, I haven't found 'em, but this is no big deal. I suspect the distributor was up against a scheduled release date and those extras weren't ready at the time the label was printed. Maybe bonus trailers will be included with the Captain Marvel serial or some future release if more serials are licensed.
The shrinkage issue Jim mentioned should be of concern to serial fans as it's likely that there are a number of wonderful Republic serial negatives stored away facing similar issues. From the information I've been able to glean on this, it's doubtful that the rights holder has much interest in investing capital to restore these for future release. Apparently that will be up to the licensee. The clock is ticking.