The Machinist

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Steve Harwood

Read Josh Morrall's film review of The Machinist

The picture quality on this DVD is decent, with a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer presenting the colour-drained, atmospheric cinematography of the film to good effect. Three audio mixes are also provided – Dolby 2.0 stereo, Dolby 5.1 surround and DTS 5.1 surround – more than doing justice to Roque Baños’ excellent score.

Thankfully, The Machinist has been given more than just a bare-bones release. As well as an audio commentary from director Brad Anderson, a making-of documentary and a collection of deleted scenes, there is also an exclusive UK interview with Anderson.

Copy picture

The commentary is an interesting one, and although it features Anderson on his own, he carries it well and there are rarely any silences during the 98-minute running time. While some of the conversation inevitably follows the on-screen action, Anderson also explains why he was first attracted to the script, and talks about how difficult it was to find funding in America. This eventually led to the film being shot in Spain, and it is fascinating to hear about the difficulties and challenges of filming in Barcelona, whilst giving the impression of a Los Angeles setting. Particularly interesting are the influences of Hitchcock on Anderson’s directing style, something that can be seen throughout the film with the many references to Psycho, and the Bernard Hermann-inspired score.

Expanding further on some of these points, the 25 minute interview with Anderson is also worth watching. While it repeats some of the material from the commentary, it also highlights how the low-budget noir films of the 40s and 50s were a key influence during filming. Christian Bale’s weight loss is also discussed in length, both in the interview and on the audio commentary; although it’s disappointing there isn’t more input from Bale himself, other than in the on-set interviews featured in the Making The Machinist documentary.

There are eight deleted/alternative scenes on the DVD, though in most cases it is understandable why they were removed, as they may have revealed too much of the story too soon. Two scenes have a commentary track from Anderson, in which he gives his reasons for filming them in the first place, and also why he felt they should be cut.

Completing the extra features are trailers for four other releases: Mean Creek, Mysterious Skin, Silver City and Dig.

Reviewed on: 08 Oct 2006
Share this with others on...
The Machinist packshot
Christian Bale lives in the subconscious of a mentally frail insomniac.
Amazon link

Product Code: PPA1731R

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35:1 anamorphic letterbox

Sound: Dolby 2.0 stereo, Dolby 5.1 surround and DTS 5.1

Extras: Commentary by director Brad Anderson, interview with Brad Anderson, Making The Machinist documentary, deleted scenes, trailers

Search database: