DVD REVIEWS: Comparison: Rebel vs. Rebel

The Essential Steve McQueen Collection Warner, 7 discs Movie •••½ Picture/Sound •••• Extras •••½ The Complete James Dean Collection Warner, 6 discs Movie •••• Picture/Sound •••½ Extras ••••
Films New to DVD: Never So Few (1959), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Tom Horn (1980). New transfer in two-disc set: Bullitt (1968). New edition: The Getaway (1972). Reissue: Papillon (1973). New to DVD: East of Eden (1955). New transfer: Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Same as separate edition: Giant (1956). All three are two-disc sets.
Notable Directors Sam Peckinpah (Getaway), Norman Jewison (Kid), John Sturges (Never). Elia Kazan (Eden), Nicholas Ray (Rebel), George Stevens (Giant).
Acting method or Method Acting Speak softly and carry a big shtick: long blue-eyed stares, animal ease at rest and in motion, unexpected grins. Languid with machines and women. Second that emoting: pleading stares, slouching stumbles, sudden outbursts. He hesitates, tears words from within, and strikes a perfect pose.
Range and power shown here Array of distinctive performances, from quicksilver kid who steals scenes from Frank Sinatra in Never to more meditative characters in Papillon and Tom Horn. Although all films were made over just three years, his thrillingly instinctual and magnetic acting grows rapidly richer with each movie.
DVD Quality Picture: Excellent contrast and rich colors. Sometimes overly grainy but detailed and bright, as if shot today. Sound: Crisp. The 5.1 mixes of Papillon and Never and the 4.0 mix of Bullitt are mainly front-channel. Picture: Rebel has saturated colors, Giant luminous tones, and Eden a brown/yellow period look. All are a little short on detail. Sound: Giant could use more breadth, but the 5.1 mixes of Eden and Rebel have clean separation and convincing effects.
Extras Commentaries: one for Bullitt, two each for Getaway and Kid. Documentaries: two (each feature-length). Featurettes: three. Commentaries: one for each film. Documentaries: one feature-length and five hour-long ones. Featurettes: four. Also: deleted scenes, interviews, screen tests, etc.