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Hard Eight (1997)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Phillip Baker Hall Rating:7.8/10 (26 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by AZtoCA on January 27th, 2008:Find all reviews by AZtoCA
This is a good track
the little PTA the could
talks about "sydney " and ego battles
he has an attention to detail thats nice
talks about the writing process "cigarettes and coffee "

if you are interested in making movies you should watch

8 out of 10
Reviewed by adduvall10 on September 4th, 2008:Find all reviews by adduvall10
After watching a series of comedy commentaries (Sideways, Knocked Up, Superbad) it was nice to finally watch one that took you inside the actual process of movie making. PTA talks in depth about his writing process and some of his biggest influences (it's great to hear some of the movies that he admires). Philip Baker Hall goes in depth on the acting process and what he did to prepare for the role of Sydney.
Reviewed by sedna on January 19th, 2013:Find all reviews by sedna
This commentary (along with Boogie Nights) makes me wish PTA continued recording commentaries for his films. He's akin to Tarantino, that comparison is not out of line at all. In listening to this, early on I spotted his writing process is no different that of Tarantino. When he mentions how he just writes two characters talking and the film just builds itself. Well...Tarantino mentioned something like this on Charlie Rose, as a matter of fact, exactly the same thing. Moving on, PTA talks a bit about his process and approach to writing and directing. You also get a nice bulk of Philip Baker Hall discussing how he approaching acting, the differences between stage acting and film acting (which he talks quite at length about). Overall, it's not a bad track at all.
Reviewed by wizenhymer on April 17th, 2014:Find all reviews by wizenhymer
Paul Thomas Anderson and Philip Baker Hall. Both talk semi-in-depth about their creative processes and share various anecdotes from the film's production. Anderson and Hall have a great chemistry together and are very enjoyable to listen to.

Commentary 2: Director Paul Thomas Anderson, actor Phillip Baker Hall, Michelle Sater (director of the feature program for the Sundance Institute) and other cast and crew Rating:7.0/10 (15 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on December 16th, 2020:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
I preferred the other commentary but this one has its moments. It is never scene specific, and has frequent gaps which are filled with the often loungey musical score by Michael Penn and Jon Brion. In between, you will hear about p.t.a. being invited to the Sundance Institute Lab ahead of filming, and taking some actors with him to workshop a few of the scenes, which are on the dvd. p.t.a. and Philip Baker Hall talk about doing table reads for investors ahead of filming. p.t.a. gives his thoughts on directing, how to get the best from actors, rehearsals, shooting with props and eating in scenes. He took a workprint copy of the film to Sundance and was subsequently invited to the festival in Cannes, resulting in a frantic 2 days of editing and recutting to finish the film. p.t.a. always wanted to call this film Sydney and still refers to it by that name, but had to compromise. On the set of Magnolia, p.t.a. interviews various crew members (ala the Boogie Nights commentary) who had also worked on Hard Eight, and they offer their memories on the experience shooting in Reno and observe how p.t.a. has evolved as a filmmaker.