Wild At Heart

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Nicky Falkof

Read Nicky Falkof's film review of Wild At Heart
Wild At Heart

There's always a danger, especially when dealing with a director as artistic as David Lynch, that the extras may turn into a luvvie fest. This package, while good-looking and crammed with stuff, falls squarely into that hole.

The DVD's creators have recorded interviews with the main performers - Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, Nicolas Cage, Diane Ladd, Crispin Glover - and as many of the off-screen staff as they could round up, including Lynch himself. Then they've separated these snippets into themes and created a series of ostensibly different featurettes using the same footage. The effect, to put in bluntly, is slightly boring.

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The Making Of featurette, Dell's Lunch Counter, the Focus On David Lynch and the Lynch On DVD spot all feature the same talking heads in the same positions with the same backgrounds, intercut with relevant segments from the film. They would have benefited from a more creative approach, although to their credit the participants do give a lot of time here. Sheryl Lee, bless her, is featured about 1000% more in the extras than in the film itself. The marvellous Harry Dean Stanton, however, is a noticeable absentee.

Undoubtedly the best section of the Making Of, which isn't really a Making Of at all, is Ladd talking about working alongside her daughter. This is a really potent peek inside the acting process. Dell's Lunch Counter has a sub-menu of memorable moments from the film, like the snakeskin jacket and Lula's mama, and gives little expositions on the genesis of each. Interesting, but hardly revealing, these seem oddly piecemeal, like they were cobbled together from the leftovers of the many interviews.

Unsurprisingly the Focus On Lynch segment is a complete love-in, with everyone from the cinematographer to the novel's author praising the vision, vim and vigour of our feted Hollywood hero. The insights on his work with actors are periodically enlightening, but the rest is composed of various members of the company extolling their director's genius in fairly nebulous terms. Lynch On DVD showcases the big man's amazing gawkiness - the agent he played in Twin Peaks was hardly a stretch, character-wise - and contains some valuable, if hardly in-depth, technical information on the change between media.

The original featurette repeats much of the information contained in the rest of the disc and serves to prove that while these sorts of outings have got glossier, they're not all that much more interesting. The image gallery, TV spots and trailer are tacked on to bump up the extras quotient, but none offer any new insight.

This package deserves praise for effort; there's a lot of material here, and occasional gems slip through (Lynch bizarrely chirping, "We tweaked that bad boy!" about the change from video to DVD is one). It's good to see so much of the director and good to see someone who's often been regarded as a maverick given this much respect by his peers. There's barely any mention, though, of the rest of his work, which will be a disappointment to fans.

For a film of such raw power, humour, passion, thrill, a film that inspires so much devotion, the DVD extras have a surprisingly blank, unemotional after-taste. Although inoffensive, they will hardly add to your appreciation of this great American love story.

Reviewed on: 07 Dec 2005
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Wild At Heart packshot
Sailor and Lula go on the run, after Lula's mum bids to kill her daughter's beau.
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Product Code: 8238434

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Love, Death, Elvis and Oz: the Making Of Wild At Heart; Dell's Lunch Counter; Sailor and Lula image gallery; Specific Spontaneity: Focus on David Lynch; David Lynch on DVD; original EPK featurette; original TV spots; trailer

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