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January 2004
DVD Reviews : Belly Special Edition DVD

By Julian Roman 

DVD Reviews: Belly Special Edition DVD

Belly Special Edition DVD

Distributor: WEA, Lightyear Entertainment
Director: Hype Williams
Format:: Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound
Cast: DMX, Nas, Tionne “T-Boz Watkins, Method Man, Taral Hicks
Rated:: Not for sale to persons under age 18
Studio: Artisan (Fox Video)
DVD Release Date: January 20, 2004
DVD Features:
  • Commentary by director Hype William
  • Theatrical trailer(s)
  • Newly remastered
  • Multiple spoken-word featurettes
  • "Grand Finale" music video with DMX, Method Man, Nas, and Ja Rule
  • Deleted scene
  • Music CD: Story to Tell (Ja Rule), Top Shotter (DMX/Sean Paul/Mr. Vegas), Crew Love (Jay-Z/Beanie Sigel/Memphis Bleek), Two Sides (Hot Totti), Sometimes (Noreaga/Maze), Tommy's Theme (Made Men/The L.O.X.), Windpipe (Wu-Tang Clan/RZA/Ghostface Killah), I Wanna Live (Braveheart)
  • Widescreen anamorphic format

Hype William’s rap gangster epic Belly is the latest film to get the special edition treatment. I was not really a fan of the movie, but did appreciate it for what it was. It brought movie fame for the East Coast crew, namely DMX. Belly was his launching pad and he’s never looked back. The same can’t be said for T-Boz or Nas. Their acting careers have been nonexistent since Belly dropped in 1998. The film has been remastered with the usual DTS and Digital Surround 5.1. The aspect ratio is in the wider 16 x 9 format, which is really the best for viewing. I would have gone for a full screen option also, but you can’t really please everyone. I’m fairly disappointed with the lack of goodies on the actual DVD. The greatest feature in the pack is the bonus music CD. The tracks are solid and would easily stand-up by itself. I just wish Artisan had boned up the movie disc. It lacks any real substance and is just packed with filler material. 


  1. The music disc is by far the best part of the special edition. Strong tracks are throughout with Top Shotter being my favorite. That’s a DMX, Sean Paul, and Mr. Vegas collaboration.
  2. The Hype Williams commentary is fairly interesting. I’m surprised by the lack of commentary from DMX or Nas.
  3. The remastered film looks great. Coupled with the remixed soundtrack, Belly has the feel of a hundred-minute music video. That’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective.


  1. The lack of any behind-the-scenes featurettes is pretty disappointing. Belly was a landmark Hip-Hop film and I’m surprised there are no features on its actual production.
  2. There are spoken word featurettes about the “sins” of Belly. These made no sense at all. I watched the first three and couldn’t stomach any more. This reeks of filler.
  3. The fact that there’s no commentary from the principal actors is a major downside. I would be very curious to hear DMX, Nas, or T-Boz’s thoughts while making the film. This was the first major film experience for all of them. It’s interesting that none of them came back to do a commentary, maybe the money wasn’t enough.
  4. The deleted scene is basically a shot of the club. This could have been taken from any video on TV. I can’t believe there wasn’t more stuff cut out. That’s not possible. Where are the acting scenes that were cut? 


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