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THE MASK OF ZORRO Deluxe Edition

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 137 minutes, audio commentary, delted scenes, music video, Unmasking Zorro documentary, photo gallery, trailers, TV spots, and Legend of Zorro promo stuff

STUDIO: Columbia/ SPHE

RELEASE DATE: 10-18-2005

Zorro is always a fun character to watch. He is the swashbuckling hero who protects the poor and the innocent. THE MASK OF ZORRO gets better with each viewing, but unfortunately the Deluxe Edition DVD was made to cash in on the sequel out in theaters on october 28th.

The film starts out with the original Zorro (Anthony Hopkins) being jailed after his arch-enemy kills Zorro's wife and kidnaps his daughter Elena (Catherina Zeta Jones) as his own.   He escapes after twenty years and trains a young theif (Antonio Banderas) to be the new Zorro to get revenge and fight for the poor people when injustice occurs (this time being peasants being forced to work as slaves at a gold mine).   THE MASK OF ZORRO is a fun action adventure and it marks the first time a Spanish actor has played Zorro (maybe more Spanish/Hispanic actors will play the part after the original Zorro stories enter the public domain one of these days).

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

As far as I know, this transfer is probably the same one used for the first DVD Release. Since the extras are also on the same disc, the transfer is probably not as good as the Superbit. If SPHE planned this Deluxe Edition better, they should have made the Deluxe Edition a two disc set leaving the movie (a Superbiit transfer) and audio commentary on disc one and the extras for disc two. However that wasn't the case.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French, Spanish, Portuguese (Dolby Surround)

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese (delted scenes and documentary do have the option of Spanish and Portuguese subtitles)

The audio for the movie is stellar. Dialogue is clear and the surround sound won't disappoint. If you want a DTS track, buy the Superbit.

SPECIAL FEATURES: two new extras were added to this Deluxe Edition: a six minute promo piece on THE LEGEND OF ZORRO and a two minute scene from the sequel.

All other extras have been available on the first DVD release. The audio commentary with Director Martin Campell is full of information including the fact that Robert Rodriguez was attached as director before Martin came in. The almost 45 minute UNMASKING ZORRO documentary can be played as a whole as separate featurettes. Again the documentary isn't that bad. Also among the extras are photo galleries on Costume Design and Pubilicty Photos, a music video by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena, and it is a definite plus when the disc includes the TV spots and theatrical trailers for THE MASK OF ZORRO (a trailer for THE LEGEND OF ZORRO is also included).

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you don't already own the first DVD release of THE MASK OF ZORRO on DVD, the Deluxe Edition is the DVD to buy and you get a free movie ticket to use to see THE LEGEND OF ZORRO (or $7.50 toward one of five DVD titles including THE LEGEND OF ZORRO DVD due in 2006). If you want the best transfer, go buy the Superbit DVD.

this DVD review is (c)10-15-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content (and news/updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia