'Deliverance - Deluxe Edition'
(Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, et al / DVD / NR / (1972) 2007 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: 'Deliverance' (1972) is British director John Boorman's gripping, absorbing action-adventure film about four suburban Atlanta businessmen friends who encounter disaster in a summer weekend's river-canoeing trip. It was one of the first films with the theme of city-dwellers against the powerful forces of nature.
DVD Verdict: This DVD is the 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of the film. One of the great things about Deliverance is that, even though it is an adventure filmed in the 1970's, it has managed to not age like a 70's film. It is both depressing and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful at the same time. The four leads do a tremendous job of playing the parts of urban dwellers who want a weekend of adventure in the wilds of Georgia and wind up getting far more than they bargained for.
It has much to say about what it takes to make a man uncivilized and whether or not there is a bit of savagery in all of us, despite how domesticated we may be in predictable situations. Past these observation I won't rehash the plot elements since just about everybody on earth knows the details, and if you don't I won't spoil it for you.
I have the 2004 release of this DVD, and quite frankly it looks fine now. I guess the primary reason to upgrade would be for all the extra features and the commentary, which are all new with the exception of "The Dangerous World of Deliverance", which was on the 2004 version of the DVD.
Oh, and in case you don't know the story (!), Deliverance revolves around four "city boy" friends: Ed (Jon Voight), Lewis (Burt Reynolds), Bobby (Ned Beatty), and Drew (Ronny Cox); whose trip down the treacherous Georgia river turns into an incredibly violent nightmare when they run afoul of a couple backwoods hillbillies. What happens next turns into a fight for survival, that will test all of them in ways they never thought possible. As said before, Deliverance still holds up even after all this time since it's initial release, and with this Deluxe Edition DVD, the film can be appreciated even more so by a wider (and younger) audience. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
4-Part 35th Anniversary Retrospective with the Film's Starsbr>
Commentary by Director John Boorman
Vintage Featurette: The Dangerous World of Deliverance