The Ultimate DVD Easter Egg Guide: How to Access the Hidden Extras on Your DVD by Jo Berry

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The Ultimate DVD Easter Egg Guide: How to Access the Hidden Extras on Your DVD by Jo Berry

Category: Entertainment
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A book that does what it says on the tin - a comprehensive summary of British DVD Easter Eggs and how to find them. Such content is online, too, but this is an attractive alternative for the film-buff's reference shelves.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: November 2009
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 978-0752875200

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Consider the Easter Egg - at least in the way DVD collectors mean. Sometimes a pointless hidden add-on, that is there for no reason. Sometimes they can be a priceless bonus, seemingly gifted by the disc producers to those in the know, costing - at least in the case of some animated instances - many thousands of pounds. Some oik on set with a camcorder, they are not. I've been guilty several times of clicking away in directions the menus don't seem to encourage on the off-chance I find something (or, on a PC, just sweeping the PC mouse over any and every title card in case it highlights something previously invisible). Forcing several titles and chapters by going straight to them in case they're something secret is not a hobby I like to admit to.

But let's face it, if you google the name of the film you're renting and the phrase 'easter egg' you invariably get sent to a very unappealing website, full of commercial plugs and links you could never in a million years like the look of. So it's even more handy that this book, updated as much as possible since a much smaller initial edition by this author in 2003, collects the decent, worthy hidden surprises us British, region 2 DVD watchers are more likely to encounter.

I don't think the foreword, where Jo Berry attests to having tested every single egg, is of much use. She doesn't go too far to suggest she located them all for herself - I now know where to safely, and comprehensively look for them listed online. But she is soon entering her stride, and for every film, pop video collection (step forward, Duran Duran and The Cure), and several TV series box sets (Lost, Blake's Seven) she introduces us to, she details very well exactly how to get your eyes on the elusive content.

Her format is rigid. A mini-article about the product we're watching is first, which sometimes is entertaining but too often sticks to the status quo - nowhere here is a comment to stick out as against general critical opinion (except, surely, for Jack Black as always watchable - not true!), even for the more over-rated classics discussed. And then the required directions, however simple or complex they might be (National Treasure is an entire computer game, programmed I don't know how). Ultimately every Egg is rated, in case we're not too swayed to buy something we've rented in the past only to find it's a naff goof lasting ten seconds.

Some of the extras really do appeal, and the diversity of them here from a solid browse show why they're considered a regularly irregular feature of DVDs. "Open Water's Egg is a chance to watch as well as hear the commentary, with cameras on the cast and crew as they recorded it. It purely and simply provides a benefit for the film's fans, and - by probably getting you to sit through the same content slightly differently for a second time - ties you up and prevents you buying a rival disc for a couple of hours.

I know this as a paper entity will age, and who knows how Blu-Ray will pan out as regards Eggs and further content with its live, internet interaction? But for now I found this a very pleasant book to browse through for trivia. I haven't met many Eggs myself, but they were all in here, and thought has definitely been used in describing them - Berry gives nothing away (to such extent I am itching to discover quite what an outtake of a bendy nature entails).

It also had at least one more than my regular website - proving this does go as far as anyone would like, and with that and the rating provides a very friendly companion for the trainspotterish cineaste amongst us. It probably couldn't be improved, unless it lost the A-Z index (silly in an A-Z book), or listed all the American-only Eggs too - but that would be far too depressing.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

If you are a fan of all home viewing, we suspect you might have a copy of The Penguin TV Companion by Jeff Evans already. We're sure you'd like to browse through our list of Newest Entertainment Reviews too.

Buy The Ultimate DVD Easter Egg Guide: How to Access the Hidden Extras on Your DVD by Jo Berry at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Ultimate DVD Easter Egg Guide: How to Access the Hidden Extras on Your DVD by Jo Berry at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Ultimate DVD Easter Egg Guide: How to Access the Hidden Extras on Your DVD by Jo Berry at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Ultimate DVD Easter Egg Guide: How to Access the Hidden Extras on Your DVD by Jo Berry at Amazon.com.


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