The American

The American

DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

This solid release from Universal relies heavily on director Anton Corbijn, who is, thankfully, pleasant company through most of the extras on the disc.

Once you get past the five minutes of five deleted scenes - for purists only - the meat of the package is represented by 10-minute featurette Journey To Redemption - The Making Of The American and a commentary from Corbijn.

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"I'm a Dutchman and you're going to watch Italy and Swedish landscapes and it's a British story," he says. In the featurette the director talks of the film being a modern Western and notes the inflluence of Sergio Leone - themes he will pick up in more detail throughout the commentary. The making of is one of the better ones, in that it shows plenty of on-set action - it's interesting to see both Corbijn's enthusiasm and the swiftness with which George Clooney moves from the seriousness of his role to being a knock-about clown in between takes. Clooney, however, is conspicuous by his absence as one of the talking heads here and it's a shame he couldn't have been persuaded to give a line or two of input.

The commentary is thoughtful and showcases Corbijn's dry sense of humour. He talks, among other things, about the colour coding of the film, its butterfly/metamorphosis motif and of his love of analogue film. He emerges as something of a perfectionist - several scenes seem to have been returned to on different days "to get the right light". Corbijn does occasionally become too absorbed in 'talking to the film' too much but overall this is an entertaining and informative addition. Certainly scholars or fans looking to further explore the themes, motifs and motivations of the film will not be disappointed.

Reviewed on: 07 Apr 2011
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The American packshot
An assassin tries to escape his past.
Amazon link

Product Code: 828 172 0

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Journey To Redemption: The Making Of The American, deleted scenes, director


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