The brand new Friends: The Complete Series Blu-ray set boasts more than 20 hours of bonus material, including three hours of never-before-seen features, but it's what's missing from the collection that has some fans disappointed: deleted footage.
The extras were included in previously released DVD versions of Friends, but producers opted to only feature the original broadcast episodes of the show on Blu-ray. "[The Blu-ray set is] more about seeing them again in a new way," co-executive producer/director Kevin S. Bright told TVGuide.com last week.
Friends boss on coming to Blu-ray, the episode that never happened and where everyone is now
In light of the fan reaction, we caught up with Bright again to get the full story behind the exclusion. Plus: What may bring the cast back together?
Friends, Kevin Bright
Now we can finally watch Green Acres Friends the way it was meant to be seen.
Friends: The Complete Series Blu-ray box set hits stores Tuesday for the first time, featuring all 236 episodes completely remastered, with 17 hours of extras from the original DVDs and more than three hours of all-new bonus features. Among the new content: New retrospective documentaries, a never-before-seen gag reel, and the original script and producer's cut of Season 8's "The One Where Rachel Tells Ross," which includes a Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) story line that had to be modified in the wake of 9/11. The 21-disc collection is must-have for any diehard Friends fan who has been there since Ross (David Schwimmer) grabbed a spoon or is just learning what the "Joey special" is now in syndication. "I think we have something that's going to make Friends fans really happy," co-executive producer/director Kevin S. Bright tells TVGuide.com.
Friends exclusive: Peek at an extra from the complete series on Blu-ray!
Working with Warner Home Video, Bright was "very involved" in ...
Echo the parrot
Good news for those who look to birds for entertainment: Echo, the parrot who killed his first America's Got Talent audition but clammed up with "stage fright" during the Vegas round, soared on the season's first live show Tuesday night. Fun fact: birds don't just fly "Over the Rainbow"; they sing it as well. I think we can all agree that Echo is a very nice analog alternative to all the CGI talking animals that populate pop culture...
CBS has given a pilot commitment to a modern version of classic 1970s cop series Hawaii Five-O, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The redo comes from Fringe co-creators and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and CSI: NY executive producer Peter Lenkov. Kurtzman and Orci are creating the story with Lenkov, who will write the script. All three will executive produce.
CBS first tried to launch a Hawaii update last year with Criminal Minds executive producer Ed Bernero. The original series ...
Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection (Blu-ray)
If you're anything like us, the recent theatrical release/franchise reboot of Star Trek probably made you a tad nostalgic for the original Kirk, Spock and the rest of the USS Enterprise. As luck would have it, Paramount is boldly releasing this mega collection of the six original films featuring Captain and Kirk & Co. on Blu-ray for the first time.
The Wrestler (Blu-ray)
All the praise that's been heaped on this moving tale of a broken-down pro wrestler struggling to remain relevant despite his failing body is deserved. (The Academy really snubbed this one in the Best Picture race.) The standout, of course, is Mickey Rourke, whose portrayal of Randy "The Ram" will have even the big boys searching for their hankies by the time this one's down for the count.
Rourke's masterful performance is beautifully matched by turns from Evan Rachel Wood as Randy's bitter estranged daughter and Marisa Tomei, whose aging stripper is — like Randy — struggling to stay in her own game. All of these characters are so vivid and real, and in the hands of Darren Aronofsky, they continually remind us that life must still be lived once the spotlight fades and the crowd stops cheering.
The bonus features on the release are scarce, but they pack a serious punch. In addition to ...
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Blu-ray)
While the multiple Oscar-nominated The Curious Case of Benjamin Button might have been overhyped during award season, it deserved every single technical accolade it received. It's those technical achievements — namely the amazing visuals that made Brad Pitt both an 80-year-old baby and a teenaged grandpa — that make this Blu-ray release really shine.
This wacky tale of a man who ages in reverse — based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story — doesn't seem all that wacky in the hands of accomplished director David Fincher. In fact, the bits about Benjamin Button's fantastical life are the movie's high points, thanks to stellar performances, particularly Taraji P. Henson as Ben's adopted mother. However, "real-life" drama of the impending landfall of Hurricane Katrina in the framing device is laughable. It's in those hospital deathbed sequences that the movie gets way off track and you start checking your watch. Plus, the real meat of the story is so interesting you don't need all that extra doom and gloom (especially since it really doesn't add much to the whole in the end.)
As is true with most of Fincher's releases, the bonus features are where it's at...
Dexter: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray
If you're a fan of Dexter, you're in for a bloody good time.
The second season of this acclaimed Showtime hit (still this reviewer's favorite of the series), comes to life in HD. Every drop of blood and city shot Miami leaps off the screen in crystal-clear high-definition that is matched with an amped up a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track. Mix that with our favorite blood spatter expert/serial killer nearly getting caught by Det. Doakes and fending off an attack from a beautiful-but-deranged new lover, and you have an excellent reason to spend a weekend on the couch with this one.
The bad news is...