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Special Features DVD menus that we lost

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Online streaming of video is great, but the Special Features part of some DVDs made were pretty darned cool.

Above is the DVD main menu for Total Recall Special Edition. While most DVDs just give you plain ol' boring menus, this one steps it up a notch with a rather generous Special Features section:

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There's a lot going on here.

The conceptual art gallery is actually interesting. These are few of those images:

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...and if you know this movie, WOW they really nailed it going from concept to screen. It almost looks like the images follow the movie and not the other way around. Very impressive.

Back when I used to buy DVDs regularly, oh yeah, I'd listen to director commentary if available (which the Total Recall disc absolutely does have), go through the other features and just look around. Sometimes it would take 30 minutes up to an hour to go through it all, almost as if you were getting another movie for free with your movie.

The only thing that sucks with DVD is the low resolution. If you want better, you go Blu-ray, but there's a problem with that. Not all Blu-ray discs copy what was on the DVD release. In fact, sometimes the Blu-ray is totally different where none of the special features of the DVD are present. Yeah, you get your movie, but you want the extra stuff too.

If you've got a collection of DVDs, pop them in your computer (or console player if you still have one) and check out the Special Features area. There's some real interesting stuff on some of those discs you may not have ever known was there.

Oh, and one last note. Some DVD movies even have hidden menus. I remember the Serenity DVD having one. Back when I had the disc, I saw certain things going on the menu screens where I said to myself, "Wait a second.. I bet there's a hidden menu here", kept pressing the "next menu" button on the remote for the DVD console player I had and yep, found one, hidden menu. What I saw was a part of the movie where you only see a tiny clip of something for a moment, and on this menu was the full clip.

It's just neat when you discover things like that. And they're only on DVD movie discs as far as I'm aware.

Published 2024 Jan 23

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