Dead Poets Society (Special Edition)

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Rating: PG

Starring:
Robin Williams as John Keating
Robert Sean Leonard as Neil Perry
Ethan Hawke as Todd Anderson
Josh Charles as Knox Overstreet
Gale Hansen as Charlie Dalton
Dylan Kussman as Richard Cameron
Allelon Ruggiero as Steven Meeks
James Waterston as Gerard Pitts
Norman Lloyd as Mr. Nolan
Kurtwood Smith as Mr. Perry
Carla Belver as Mrs. Perry
Leon Pownall as McAllister
George Martin as Dr. Hager
Joe Aufiery as Chemistry Teacher
Matt Carey as Hopkins

Special Features:
Commentary by: Director Peter Weir & his writing and cinematography teamUnknown Format

Raw Takes: A collection of uncut, deleted scenes

Dead Poets – A Look Back: A look back at the making of the film with acclaimed director Peter Weir. Featuring new interview footage with Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, and many others

Theatrical trailer

Master of Sound: Alan Splet – featuring new interviews with David Lynch and Peter Weir

Cinematography Master Class: Cinematographer John Seale conducts an intensive and inspirational lighting workshop

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language Track
Running Time: 129 Minutes

Synopsis:
Dead Poets Society was originally released in 1989. The following text is from the DVD cover:

“In an age defined by crew cuts, sport coats, and cheerless conformity, he not only broke the mold … he reinvented it. Academy Award® winner Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor, Good Will Hunting, 1997) delivers an extraordinary performance in one of the most compelling motion pictures of all time. Williams stars as English professor John Keating, a passionate iconoclast who changes his students’ lives forever when he challenges them to live life to the fullest and “Carpe Diem” — seize the day! Keating’s unconventional approach meets with irrepressible enthusiasm from his students, but the faculty at staid, exclusive Welton Academy prep school is, to put it mildly, not amused. Featuring a star-marking performance by Ethan Hawke and over three hours of never-before-seen bonus materials, this Special Edition of Dead Poets Society will captivate and inspire you again and again.”

Dead Poets Society is rated PG..

Mini-Review:
Touchstone continues their recent trend of re-releasing Robin Williams’ films in Special Edition format. They also continue to be without any additional footage in the film and with the glaring absence of Robin Williams in the bonus features. However, they make up for his disappearance somewhat in the featurette “Dead Poets: A Look Back”. In this documentary, Ethan Hawke, Kurtwood Smith (That 70′s Show, Robocop), and some of the other cast members reminisce about the making of the film. They all have fond stories to tell and fawn over director Peter Weir. At one point they were all singing his praises so much that I thought that he was dead. (He’s not.) It’s an interesting retrospective.

Also included is a raw take of a deleted scene where the kids and John Keating recite some poetry in a cave and then visit a frozen waterfall. That’s the only new footage you’ll see in this “special edition”. Then there’s “Master of Sound: Alan Splet” where David Lynch and Peter Weir sing the praises of their sound designer. (He actually is dead.) There’s also a commentary with Weir and another featurette entitled “Cinematography: Master Class”. They get heavy into the lighting of a set for a scene. If you’re into filmmaking and lighting, this will be of great interest to you.

If you don’t already own Dead Poets Society, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to check it out. Otherwise, if you already own it, there’s not a lot here that makes it worth buying again.

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