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Shattered Glass (2003)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Screenwriter/director Billy Ray and former "New Republic" editor Chuck Lane Rating:7.6/10 (8 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by ratethatcommentary on October 17th, 2004:Find all reviews by ratethatcommentary
Whenever I watch a movie that was based on actual events, I always wonder which parts happened just like in the movie, and which are dramatic license. So, after I watched "Shattered Glass," I was very happy to have this commentary to listen to (as well as the 60 Minutes interview with Stephen Glass, Chuck Lane, and others that is also on this DVD).

Chuck Lane was the editor for The New Republic when Stephen Glass's fabrications were discovered, and was the primary person investigating what he had done (along with Adam Penenberg at Forbes Digital Tool). Throughout this commentary track, Lane discusses not only which scenes actually happened, but also talks about what he was thinking about Glass as the story unfolded. The film doesn't let you see Lane's complete feelings, and you're often not sure how much he knows or suspects; the commentary discusses all that in far more detail.

And, it turns out that most of the movie is shown as it really happened. In some cases, they were able to get transcripts of the recordings the participants had made of phone conversations, so what's shown in the movie is actually a word-for-word re-enactment.

Billy Ray occasionally goes on a little bit much about how great everyone was to work with (mostly the DP and composer), which isn't what I listen to a commentary to hear. But, for the most part, this is an excellent track. (I actually started playing this commentary just to hear what it was like, with no intention of listening to much of it, but wound up listening to the whole thing right then.)
Reviewed by Hoiles on December 18th, 2007:Find all reviews by Hoiles
One of my favorites. A ton of information is provided about the history regarding Glass and there is rarely a dead moment in the commentary. Truly fascinating if you enjoyed the movie and/or are interested about the subject.
Reviewed by Uniblab on June 21st, 2009:Find all reviews by Uniblab
Most of the commentary is Billy Ray and Chuck Lane cross-examining the movie, which is great until one realizes that the movie is pretty much accurate and the speakers are mainly narrating the plot and confirming the veracity of almost everything. That makes the listener want the speakers to talk more about something other than the movie's subject, but occasionally Billy Ray tells some great anecdotes about the making of it.
Despite that, this is clearly a case of a commentary whose deficiencies of content are perfectly mitigated by its speaker's candor and pleasantness to listen to. Billy Ray repeats the honesty and clarity of his commentaries for "Breach" and "Hart's War", and Lane gives us some sense of how much the movie hold up to the reality by being so comfortable to attest its accuracy.