The Story of a Three-Day Pass
Melvin Van Peebles' first feature film has long deserved a release on DVD, and while this edition from Xenon Pictures is hardly perfect, it at least gives Story of a Three-Day Pass a much-needed digital upgrade. Story of a Three-Day Pass has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1; the source print shows some slight wear and speckling, but the image is clear and sharp, and the scale of grey tones is quite good. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, using the film's original monophonic sound mix; the track sounds good enough, though not quite up to the quality of the images. The dialogue is primarily in English, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options. The onscreen introduction Van Peebles shot for the film's previous VHS release on Xenon has been included, but it hasn't been given a separate chapter stop and can only be accessed by starting the film from the main menu. The only additional bonus material is a collection of trailers (including previews for four Melvin Van Peebles films, among them Three-Day Pass). While this isn't a major improvement over the film's release on tape in terms of extras, it looks and sounds noticeably better, and given the film's scarcity, this DVD edition is more than welcome.