In the Mix - Movie

Remember when It’s a Wonderful Life was on every other channel from Thanksgiving to New Year? Cynics derided it as sentimental clap-trap, and those of us who aren’t heartless rightly proclaimed it a cinematic classic. Anyhow, it’s hardly on television anymore, so I decided to get in the holiday spirit and pick up the new DVD release. The picture quality is improved from the previous release, although only big-screen owners or obsessive film geeks will notice. The soundtrack, other than four loud pops at various points, is as good as one can expect for a film from 1947. Disappointingly, the bonus features are identical to the previous release: a vintage trailer, a brief featurette featuring Frank Capra Jr. and a retrospective. It seems like a film of such importance deserves more, such as a full-length commentary by a film scholar. Paramount needs to act less like Mister Potter and more like George Bailey when it comes to this film. Until then, I find it hard to recommend this DVD as a repurchase; but if you don’t already own it, this is an essential part of any well-rounded movie library.