If the only edition of a product is labeled “Special Edition” it is per se not special. I really get pissed off when I see this stuff, most prevalent in the DVD market. I don’t see why there aren’t deceptive trade practice lawsuits against the major movie studios for doing this sort of advertising. Every DVD for sale at Best Buy is a “special edition” … and that’s usually the only version ever made. Yes sometimes there are true special editions (Terminator 2 has at least 5 or 6 different “special edition” dvd’s) but, for example, try to find a non-special edition of Spiderman [There’s a widescreen special edition and a fullscreen special edition, but they’re both “special editions” and both exactly the same except for the aspect ratio.] Labeling these unspecial, sole edition DVDs as “special” also allows the stores selling them to advertise them as brand new “SPECIAL EDITION!!!” which makes people think they better hurry up and get it now, because it’s special and won’t be around for long… and of course, it’s special.
If there’s no regular, unspecial edition, then the special edition isn’t special - no matter how many extras are in it - and it’s deceptive to advertise it as such. It’s like a store advertising a “going out of business sale” for 365 days a year, year after year.
It could be that the extras on the DVD make it “special” compared to the version in theaters, rather than to other DVDs. Usually when video cassette tapes have a “Special Edition” label on them, it indicates the DVD features (deleted scenes, music video) have just been tacked on to the end.
There is also the VHS edition which is, in fact, missing features that are available on DVD. If the DVD had no programming that was not on the VHS version then, certainly, the Special Edition moniker would be a lie.
The labeling of “special edition dvd” means to me that there is a regular dvd and then there is a special dvd. I don’t see how you could compare it to a video tape. If I find a special edition of a book does that mean they are comparing it to a audiotape. I have seen special edition cars, are they comparing the special edition to a motorcycle?
“Special edition” is a lame marketing ploy. What happens when people get used to special edition- will companies come out with “super-duper special edition” or “extraordinary choice fantastic edition.”
As for what is on a special dvd, I usually don’t watch the extras. I want to see a movie not “the making of”, commentary by( I really don’t know why anyone would want to listen to someone talking over a film),interviews,games… The only extra I like is filmologies so I can watch other films by actor or director.
I understand your frustration, kalt, but it’s still up to you to be an informed consumer so you don’t get burned.
Check The Digital Bits on a regular basis. They have info on DVDs before they’re released; they list the contents and features and sometimes reviews. You may not have to go to Best Buy; I certainly wouldn’t make it my first option, not with sites like Amazon (and their marketplace) and DVD Planet at your disposal.