Is Braveheart Special Collector’s Edition DVD worth the money?

Braveheart Special Collector’s Edition DVDA new DVD edition of Braveheart comes to stores this Tuesday, December 18th, and with it comes some supposedly new special features that fans of the film might be interested in. From what I could find on, at least some of the special features haven’t been done before, though I can’t say for sure. Even with some new featurettes, it is clear that this DVD release is here just to make a few extra bucks around the holidays, but oh well – if you don’t own the movie, now’s your time to get it.

Braveheart is one of my favorite movies; even though it takes great historical license, it is funny, dramatic, entertaining, bloody and romantic all at the same time, and is easily one of Mel Gibson’s best movie, if not the best movie. But I don’t need to go on and on about how good Braveheart is, as everyone and their mother has probably seen it – or at least know it won Best Picture in 1995.

This new 2-disc, Special Collector’s Edition offers audio commentary by Mel Gibson (presumably the same commentary found on other versions), but the features I’m going to talk about are these:

  • A Writer’s Journey
    This is an interesting look at the creative process that brought Braveheart to light, based on an interview with the writer, Randall Wallace. Interestingly enough, Wallace first learned about the hero of his movie, William Wallace, when he traveled to Scotland to learn about his heritage. From there, he wrote the screenplay, but claims he doesn’t research his work until after he writes his movies. This interview definitely shows the passion Randall Wallace had for the film.
  • Alba gu Brath! The Making of Braveheart
    I think this is just a remixing of the making-of featurette found on the original Braveheart DVD, but it shows how Gibson approached the creation of the movie. Most interesting is that we get to see a lot of behind-the-scenes looks at the editing process as Gibson and his editor discuss how to make scenes work much better.
  • Tales of William Wallace
    This one explores the rather vague historical facts revolving around William Wallace. Not bad, but not particularly useful, either.
  • Archival Interviews
    There are some interviews with the cast. Nothing spectacular here, as it’s a bunch of actors saying what actors say about their “powerful” characters.

All in all, it’s a good DVD, but those of you who already own Braveheart should have no need to purchase this new edition, which only adds a couple rather meaningless special features.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movie Reviews, Movies
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