WHEN: 8:08 pm EST, January 11th, 2013

WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME

FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV

COMPANY: None

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Full of Chinese food and about to slip into a food coma.

REACTIONS OF NOTE:

  • I’m still loving the cloud effects. I’m pretty sure it’s done with water, but I’d like to know for sure.
  • I noticed that Bastian is making the lunch he eats later while he’s talking to his dad. It consists of Skippy Creamy peanut butter, Wonder Bread, an unknown jelly, and a green apple, all encased in a Ziploc bag.
  • Bastian has 186 books at home. He lists that he’s read Treasure Island, The Last of the Mohicans, The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Tarzan, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I’ll probably have to read them this year, but I’m down with these titles.
  • Does Bastian ever return the book to Mr. Coreander’s shop? Is the book only for Bastian or are there more out there for other kids to save Fantasia with?
  • I’m not sure what the Rockbiter is made of, but he looks craggy. This makes me wonder if all Rockbiters are technically cannibals.
  • The Swamps of Sadness is a fantastic set. It looks like it’s mud and trees in a large studio. Where did the mud come from? How’d they deal with all the water? I wish I knew more about its construction and the other set designs.

Swamps of Sadness

  • Bastian’s dad is interesting because of his non-presence. Bastian stays out well past school dismissal and we have no idea if his dad realizes his son is holed up in an attic. What are you up to, Gerald McRaney?
  • What is that knight doing at the entrance to the Southern Oracle? I’m pretty sure the most important quest going on right now is Atreyu finding a cure for the Childlike Empress.
  • Argh! Bastian, don’t be throwing books around, especially books that you’ve stolen. Punk.
  • Again, I wish I knew more about the visual effects. Space looks awesome. I want to know more, dammit.
  • As much as I liked the bullies getting their comeuppance, Falkor flying around in the ordinary world is breaking the magic of Fantasia for me.
  • Ah-ha! There’s a whole crew just for cloud effects.

cloud unit 2

THOUGHTS:

I’ve been a bit frustrated with my Blu-Ray copy of The NeverEnding Story. The selling point of a Blu-Ray is that it can hold more information than your standard DVD. This means a greater viewing experience, especially for movie-lovers. The picture quality is better, sound is improved, and you get tons of extra features that are easily accessible. But not for The NeverEnding Story. I can’t understand why. What makes me even more frustrated is that I bought a DVD copy. A bad DVD copy. In fullscreen. As a double feature with The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter. But it has special features!

This DVD, which should be just a bare bones presentation of the movie, actually has extra stuff. Some of it is a bit lame, but someone put effort into it. There was no effort put into the Blu-Ray. The Blu-Ray menu has no music and only offers Play Movie, Languages, and Scene Selection. Look at the DVD’s Special Features:

NES Special Features

I can actually watch the trailer, guys. Which, of course, I did, and found this little gem:

Who is Mr. Geschichte and why does someone want him dead?

I’m a movie nerd for this film. Little shit like this means something to me. This is like having an original copy of Star Wars before it got Lucased. I don’t even care that some of the special features give away plot points, because at least I have something to ridicule.

A coming-of-age story about a “boy” and his “luckdragon.”

I know, I should probably be concerned with the movie itself, but I love this film. I want all the supplemental information. If Showgirls gets a bitching boxed set, why can’t The NeverEnding Story? At first, I thought it might because it’s a movie from the ’80s. Then, I remembered that retro is cool and anything from the ’80s gets a free pass to “awesome.” So, nostalgia should actually  increase the value of this film. Maybe since it’s a children’s movie, Warner Bros. thought, “Meh, children don’t care about special features.” But parents watch these films, too, sometimes by virtue of the movie always being played. Plus, most Disney movies come with a ridiculous amount of featurettes, sing-a-longs, and games. Children do want to be entertained and more features keep them out of their parents’ hair for longer. Perhaps The NeverEnding Story just isn’t popular enough. Yet, in our Cinema 52 voting, The NeverEnding Story made Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade its bitch. This film has popularity with some group of people out there.

No, seriously. Check this out.

I’d love to have a Special Edition version of The NeverEnding Story. In my dream world, the Special Edition would include commentary from Wolfgang Petersen. And another commentary track that would be a special reunion between Barret Oliver and Noah Hathaway. There would be a documentary on the special effects, creature effects, and set design. And to keep things a little spicy, a featurette on Michael Ende, author of The Neverending Story, who hated the film so much he refused to have his name attached. Yay, controversy! The music would also need a featurette. A trivia track would be necessary, of course. Plus, chapter titles, dammit. The whole thing would come in a boxed set that looked like the book. The inside would include an AURYN, a stuffed Falkor, and a movie poster. Maybe some playing cards.

Boom! Get on it, Warner Bros.