Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Which is Better? VHS or DVD?

I was unfortunately unable to see The Mask of Zorro in the theater, and so I obtained a copy from the library as soon as I could after the VHS release. I loved it and bought a copy right off the bat... several months before my family invested in a DVD player. I tenaciously purchased a DVD out of curiosity and can tell you without hesitation that the quality of the latter is far superior, both in color, sound, and picture. 

For the VHS, they "formatted the picture to fit your TV screen," which means that they cut off part of the film. Until I saw the DVD I didn't realize HOW MUCH they cut off... nearly forty percent (almost half) of the picture, the result being that us viewers miss out on a lot. (Such as Elena being present in shots where we couldn't see her before.) If you don't have a DVD player, I would severely suggest purchasing the tape in a widescreen form to get the full impact. 

As general information, the Standard DVD includes the original widescreen presentation, one theatrical trailer, a half-hour documentary on the making of the film (including interviews with the stars, director, producer, and composer), a photo gallery, scene selection, the film dubbed in Spanish, closed capturing feature, and stereo surround sound. I have this one, of course, and can say that it's very fulfilling and contains things you cannot find on the Collector's Edition.

Collector's Edition:

I preordered my copy with Amazon and was very pleased with the result. The first disc includes most of the "goodies," and the second has only the standard screen adaptation and commentary. I'll give you the let-down, but won't spoil anything since I know any true fan will want this masterpiece of packaging.

Deleted Scenes -- There are apparently only two finished deleted scenes, although there appears to be another one imbedded into the "Zorro Unmasked" feature. One is "The Thief," and took place directly after Alejandro first saw Tornado in the square. He lifts a wallet off a Spanish Don and Diego calls him a thief.

The second is the alternate ending, which originally took place directly after Diego's death, in which Alejandro and Elena (with the peasants) meet Santa Anna on his way to the mine. I won't give you any clues as to what happens, but Elena and Alejandro kiss as the film fades out.

The third, unfinished and embedded into the featurette, is apparently a competition between Elena and Captain Love. They are showing off their swordsmanship and fencing skills in sort of a medieval joust. I wish they'd completed this scene and left it in, since I love the ending line by Elena to her father. 

The scenes are widescreen and unfinished, meaning the quality is not half as good as it would be in a completed film. Still, they are great fun!

Theatrical Trailers -- There are two, one on the original disk and the second, a longer "preview" no doubt shown in theaters. Additionally there are 15-30 second TV spots, about a dozen in all, which each focus on a different element... "He will go from ZERO to Zorro!" "This summer, their fates will collide!" etc. They're a lot of fun.

"Zorro Unmasked" Documentary -- Excellent featurette, about an hour in length, with in-depth interviews, behind-the-scenes information, and moviemaking tips. We meet the sword master, the director, producer, costume designer, and many more of the people who worked in, around, and on screen, including the three stars.

Music Video -- Very nicely done, the music video features cuts from the film to the performers and to a little romance of its own being carried on by a bandito and his senorita, who eventually get together in the end.

The rest is excellent... the director does a beautiful job on his commentary, the production and costume information are very informative, and the publicity galleries are great. They have an excellent into-screen to the menu. All in all, it's worth the twenty bucks... and more.