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We got nothin'
but beans

We got nothin'
but beans

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Brokeback Mountain debuts on DVD with a fairly bare-bones release. If you can't fix it, you gotta stand it--but let's hope for a more deluxe edition in the future

If there was any balm for Brokeback Mountain fans after the movie was robbed of a Best Picture Oscar, it was the thought that the passing of the years would be kind to the film and that future film fans would place it alongside Citizen Kane and Singin' in the Rain in the pantheon of great films that didn't win Hollywood's highest honor. Let's hope the future also provides a better Brokeback Mountain DVD, because the one hitting stores April 4 is kind of a letdown, extras-wise.

The movie, of course, is terrific and remains so on the small screen, even if Rodrigo Prieto's Academy Award-nominated cinematography is somewhat diminished. But given that the film generated so much adoration, so much controversy, and so much discussion in the popular culture, the DVD is fairly skimpy on the extras. We get three fairly puffy short documentaries on the cowboy training (everyone admires Heath Ledger's horseback skills), on director Ang Lee (everyone thinks he's a genius), and on screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana (ditto), along with Logo's Brokeback Mountain Special, which is basically an electronic press kit masquerading as a TV show. They're all fine, but they all just scratch the surface of what this collection could have included.

There's no trailer, no commentaries, no deleted scenes. No featurette about how a potentially controversial film was successfully marketed to a mainstream movie audience. You can't read the screenplay or the Annie Proulx story. No music videos to go with any of the great songs in the film. None of the Internet Brokeback parodies. Nothing about the parade of critics' awards and Golden Globes and guild prizes leading up to Oscar night. Any or all of this stuff is just the beginning of what you would expect to find on a Brokeback Mountain DVD. And with any luck, Universal will deliver the goods on a subsequent "Collectors' Edition" or whatever-they-call-it DVD in the next year or two.

In the meantime, just enjoy seeing the movie again. It's not given the platform it deserves, but Brokeback Mountain itself remains a classic.

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