I've been checking into this more. Your right, the new version is anamorphic. It has been cropped at top and bottom but more can be seen to the left and right of the frame. It was intended to be shown in 1.85:1 matte.
Critical Mass' first release was accidentally transferred from the negative open matte and the result was a full screen presentation and boom mics are visible in some scenes which weren't seen in the theatrical release.
The next release, Critical Mass' Collector's Edition, came closer to the intended aspect ratio with a 1.77:1 nonanamorphic transfer.
This latest release was retransferred from the original negatives into hi-def and given a 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer that was approved by cameraman Bert Dunk.
Here's a good link to see stills of both prints (25th Anniversary & the new Special Edition) and too see how much different they look plus other differences between them.
But the graininess to the new version is unbelievable.
Last edited by DemonToSome (2006-12-19 12:52:01)