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Get movie: The Green Mile Widescreen Collector S Edition
The Green Mile: 2-Disc Special Edition : DVD Talk Review ... After the slow-burning success of his feature-film debut, The Shawshank Redemption (1994), director Frank Darabont followed up with The Green Mile (1999 ...
DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video C O N T E N T V I D E O A U D I O E X T R A S R E P L A Y A D V I C E Highly Recommended E M A I L this review to a friend P R I N T Printer Friendly After the slowburning success of his featurefilm debut The Shawshank Redemption 1994 director Frank Darabont followed up with The Green Mile 1999and while the films share striking similarities they complement each other instead of feeling like overly familiar territory The Green Mile Widescreen Collector S Edition Both are based on stories by Stephen King both are set in the first half of the 20th century and both take place largely behind prison walls They certainly feel as if theyre part of the same world thankfully were not constantly reminded of this as the stories unfold Darabonts first crack at the works of Stephen King came in 1983 with The Woman in the Room King reportedly liked it enough to grant Darabont the rights to The Shawshank Redemption some four years later All of this may seem a bit offtopic but heres the point its obvious that Darabont had been a fan of Kings long before either film was released Both The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile arent the typical frightfests that usually occur in a King production yet theyre still great stories that translate exceptionally well to film Our story introduces us to the men who live and work at The Green Mile a nickname given to the E Block of a Louisiana prison due to its faded lime floor color This is death row so the everchanging lineup of residents prevents the guards from getting to know the prisoners for better or for worse This all changes with the arrival a towering black man named John Coffey Michael Clarke Duncan who proves to be something of a special case Standing at roughly seven feet tall Coffey is a gentle giant hes scared of the dark visibly shaken by some of the other inmates and often moved to tears Coffeys been convicted of the rape and murder of two young girls but the mans unusual gift of healing leads warden Paul Edgecomb Tom Hanks to believe otherwise Nonetheless the story counts down the days of Coffeys life as hes already been convicted and sentenced to death Of course most threehour films dont revolve solely around one or two people luckily the ensemble cast of The Green Mile creates plenty of memorable characters A small cowardly man who befriends a small mouse Michael Jeter a cocky young guard who harasses the wardens and inmates Doug Hutchinson a wily prisoner who masquerades as a wet noodle Sam Rockwell an older warden whose wife is dying of a brain tumor James Cromwell and some of the fellow guards at the prison including David Morse and Barry Pepper among others These characters are the heart and soul of The Green Mile helping to bring depth and humanity to a story thats occasionally bleak and detached Some may complain of the films threehour running time while its hardly a problem once The Green Mile gets going there are a few spots that tend to drag The story is told in flashback by an elderly Edgecomb Dabbs Greer but its only the closing bookend that softly drags its heels While the earliest scenes set up the supporting characters very well the film doesnt really take off until Coffey arrives For this reason the second act shows The Green Mile at the top of its game There are plenty of powerful moments seen and heard here balanced nicely by the capable direction of Darabont and the skill of the ensemble cast The spiritual symbolism may be a bit thick at times did Coffeys initials really need to be J C to make the connection but the push and pull of such emotionally wrenching scenes shouldnt upset the viewer Our buttons are being pushed but The Green Mile is such a welldone film that we shouldnt mind Originally released on DVD some seven years ago The Green Mile has finally been given a worthy upgrade by Warner Bros Boasting a solid technical presentation and a wellmeaning assortment of extras this 2disc Special Edition really works its magic and supports the film well We can only hope Darabonts success continues with his upcoming adaptation of Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451 for now his back catalogue should be more than enough Quality Control Department Video & Audio Quality Though I dont have the original 2000 DVD release to compare directly its doubtful that it looks this good Spread across both discs with the break nicely placed just before the twohour mark this additional breathing room ensures that The Green Mile doesnt suffer from any compression problems Colors are bold and rich while only a few of the wider shots looked a bit on the soft side Overall this fantastic 1 781 anamorphic transfer wont disappoint in the least Though its not quite as attentiongrabbing as the visuals the included Dolby Digital 5 1 Surround mix also available in French certainly gets the job done Dialogue and music are crystalclear while the rear channels and subwoofer are occasionally put to good use for atmospheric purposes The Green Mile Widescreen Collector S Edition Optional English French and Spanish subtitles are included for the main feature only along with Closed Captioning support Menu Design Presentation & Packaging Seen above the moody sepiatoned menu designs capture the films somber moments perfectly The 188minute main feature has been divided into over four dozen chapters on two discs while no apparent layer changes were detected during playback This doubledisc release is housed in a standard black hinged keepcase and includes no inserts of any kind The new cover painting by Drew Struzan is a vast improvement over the waxy original Bonus Features Spread evenly over both discs fans will enjoy the original and retrospective extras included here First and foremost is a fulllength Audio Commentary with director Frank Darabont who does an excellent job of flying solo for the threehour session His commentary during The Shawshank Redemption was articulate and entertaining here Darabont follows suit with plenty of interesting anecdotes and other tidbits He goes into plenty of detail about adapting Kings original serial novel pulling off plenty of production tricks the films casting and much moreand though youll definitely notice some overlap in the extras to come its certainly interesting the first time around Disc One also contains a few other goodies including with a pair of Deleted Scenes Bitterbucks Family Says Goodbye and Coffeys Prayer 335 total with optional commentary by Darabont Both are brief and minor moments but worth watching while Darabonts comments help explain why both were left on the cutting room floor Also here are two preproduction extras Michael Clark Duncans Screen Test 822 and Tom Hanks Makeup Tests 2 clips 524 total The former shows exactly why Duncan was chosen for the pivotal role the latter shows us Hanks in oldage makeup before Dabbs Greer was chosen to portray the elderly Paul Edgecomb The disc closes with a trio of promotionalrelated extras a pair of Trailers for the film as well as The Teaser Trailer A Case Study 645 This short but interesting featurette shows us glimpses of an unused teaser trailer for the film highlighted by comments from the director producer and storyboard artist noted comic artist Bill Sienkiewicz Disc Two kicks off with Walking the Mile 2527 above left a 1999era featurette that summarizes the production With comments from author Stephen King Frank Darabont mouse stunt coordinator Boone Narr visual effects supervisor Charles Gibson and members of the cast and crew its quite good for a promotional featurette The video quality is noticeably lower than some of the other extras but the footage certainly makes up for it The extras conclude with a more current sixpart documentary Miracles and Mystery Creating The Green Mile 14228 total above right which covers the story adaptation casting process set design shooting CGI effects and mouse training Though the overlap reaches a head here theres a decent amount of new and interesting stories presented Of particular interest is the CGI featurette highlighting the subtle visual tricks used to great effect though Darabont already hinted at several during the commentary we get a few onscreen examples this time around The mouse training featurette is a light and unusual way to end things as we get a glimpse at the delicate process used to make Mr Jingles come to life All are worth browsing at least onceand even with all the overlap at least we didnt get shortchanged All bonus features are presented in 1 331 and widescreen aspect ratios curiously some are 16x9 enhanced the sixpart documentary and some are not one of the trailers As mentioned earlier Closed Captioning and subtitle options arent inlcuded for any of these extras which is hopefully a dying trend Final Thoughts For fans of Frank Darabonts work this new 2disc Special Edition of The Green Mile easily deserves a spot right next to the rerelease of The Shawshank Redemption The film itself is extremely polished and wellexecuted though it slightly stumbles along the way The Green Mile holds up well and should continue to do so Warners doubledip is a thoughtful package combining an excellent technical presentation with a wellrounded assortment of bonus material Overall this modestly priced upgrade is an easy choice for fans of great drama and comes Highly Recommended Randy Miller III is an affable office monkey based in Harrisburg PA He also does freelance graphic design projects and works in a local gallery When hes not doing that he enjoys slacking off secondguessing himself and writing things in third person What Do You Think