We compare the old DVD to the new special edition of the Ethan Hawke film

Picture a future world where genetic engineering has created rampant birth-defect discrimination. A new special edition (PG-13, 106 mins., 1997) reworks the DNA of the original DVD. But is it a better breed?

The ’98 disc offered wide-screen and full-screen options. But some rental copies were full-screen only, which brutally cropped the images and sometimes made it impossible to see soon-to-be-married, now-divorced costars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman in the same frame. The extras — including a bland ”documentary” that’s just an extended commercial, deleted scenes (like an epilogue gallery of genetically ”in-valid” people), and set photos — were okay.

Needs more lab work. The same lame, low-quality menu pages frame basically the same old extras, garnished by two blah new featurettes: a brief segment on genetic-research history and a 21-minute paean to the movie that’s rife with platitudinous interviews. Hawke and costar Jude Law contribute, but there’s nothing from Thurman or, oddly, writer-director Andrew Niccol.

Gattaca‘s a smart, inventive sci-fi tale worth renting or buying if it’s new to you. But an upgrade if you already own? Test results say negative.

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