The Stunt Man

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Read Gator MacReady's film review of The Stunt Man

Filmed in standard widescreen, the 1.85:1 anamorphic picture exhibits varying degrees of quality. Some scenes are a bit grainy and a tad awkward, while others are clear, with beautiful blue skies and fleshtones. Even the soft-focus scenes still retain a golden shine to them. It may not be perfect and consistent, but it's a good transfer, considering the source material.

Taken from the original mono tracks and fully remastered, the Dolby/DTS 6.1 soundtracks are fantastic. The awesome score comes through with full force and takes over the soundfield. Deep bass is reserved for explosions and the rumble of car engines. Dialogue is still mono in nature, but a good deal of surround effects, such as circling helicopters and planes, make the soundfield come alive. Certainly not up to the standards of modern soundtracks, such as JPIII or xXx, but still the best The Stunt Man will ever sound.

There is a Commentary taken from long interviews with the participants. Some of them speak together and interact with each other, but you can easily tell that the track has been edited to make a whole, rather than one continuous session. But it's a great track, full of info and stories. Usually, I hate listening to commentaries, but this one is cool.

The one thing missing from this R2 release is the 114 minute documentary, The Sinister Sage Of Making The Stunt Man, which was available as part of the Limited Edition, released by Anchor Bay in R1. It's a shame because this was a documentary directed and hosted by Rush as he explains every single (of many) problems he encountered from absolute beginning to absolute end. This is a movie in itself and features so many difficulties similar to those Eli Cross had to deal with and with just as much irony and tragic studio decisions as the WW I movie within The Stunt Man. It really is an interesting back-up story about what is happening on the flip side of reality. Or fiction. Depending on the angle you're watching from.

Without this documentary, the R2 release seems rather bare. Still galleries of the shoot and of the promotion art and original poster ideas and the full screenplay and three trailers are also included.

Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2003
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The Stunt Man packshot
An on the run criminal takes a job as a stuntman... and finds himself falling for the leading lady.
Amazon link

Product Code: ABD4194

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

Sound: Dolby Digital EX. DTS ES

Extras: Commentary with director/producer/co-writer Richard Rush and stars Peter O

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