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The Mask of Zorro (Superbit Deluxe, 1998) – DVD Review

Mask of Zorro Superbit Deluxe DVD


Written by: Ted Elliott, John Eskow and Terry Rossio, based on a story by Elliott, Randall Jahnson and Rossio, which was in turn based on the character created by Johnston McCulley
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stuart Wilson, and Matt Letscher


  • “Unmasking Zorro” Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Filmographies
  • Music Video by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena
  • Photo Galleries
  • Direct Weblink DVD-ROM feature

Released by: Columbia-Tristar
Region: 1
Rating: PG-13
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Own it

[ad#longpost]Alejandro Murrieta (Banderas) and his brother (Victor Rivers) are a pair of outlaws that have finally gotten a price on their heads. Their dreams of infamy are doused suddenly when his brother kills himself rather than be taken prisoner by the Cavalry. Murrieta crosses paths with a man named Don Diego de la Vega (Hopkins) who just happens to be the famous liberator Zorro. Further, Zorro just happened to be helped out by Alejandro and his brother when they were both kids. It seems that de la Vega was finally cought and imprisoned while Don Raphael Montero (Wilson) killed his wife and stole his daughter, Elena (Zeta-Jones) away from him. After years of imprisonment, a method of escape presents itself to him and he takes it. The two help each other plan their vengeance on those that wronged them, but learn a lot about themselves in the process.

This is just a fun swashbuckling movie. The swordplay and fights are downright elegant not to mention very well choreographed and the story actually helps them along (what a concept). It makes no pretense about being a deep movie with lots of social impact. No, this one goes straight for the “hang on to the edge of your seat” button and doesn’t look back. Banderas and Hopkins have a nice relationship as pupil and instructor and that certainly helps the story through its weaker (read “not so action packed”) moments very well. All Zeta-Jones had to do was show up and she could have done everything this script asked for, but she actually turns in a nice performance as well, helping the relationship with both men along nicely. And, you know, she’s wicked with a blade, man.

This Superbit transfer should not be missed and the Deluxe package is really the only way to get these Superbit editions. Not only do you get an amazing audio-visual feast, you also get some of the other special features that make a DVD worth owning in the first place. Granted, these Superbit DVDs really target the people who have absolutely killer home theatre systems (or at least the ones who have a decent TV and a surround sound system), but even regular Joes can reap the benefit of the clearer picture, because you can really see a difference even on older TVs. Sorry, you won’t get the benefit of the sound transfer unless you’ve got The System to play it on. But still.

The featurette is nicely done and goes into the history of the character of Zorro, from print to early films and beyond. There are only two deleted scenes on the disc and, as usual, all you really get out of them is that they were right to cut them. The music video is for the song “I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You.” As always, I don’t see the point in putting these on DVDs–because rarely are they any good. Anyway, after you get past that, the rest of the special features are pretty common nowadays: trailers, photo galleries, etc.

If you are a fan of this movie (and it’s really difficult not to be), you should definitely add this one to the collection. If you already own the other special edition release, it is even worth trading in for this one.

Note: This was released long before hi-def Blu-Ray was created…we recommend if you’re looking for a high definition viewing experience you go for the Blu-Ray instead of this one.