Lord of the Rings
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Only on the two-disc special edition.
Commentaries on this disc:
Film critic Stephen Farber, screenwriter Ivan Moffat and director's son George Stevens Jr.
Rating:7.8/10 (4 votes) [
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Reviewed by Uniblab on March 9th, 2009
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It's always great to listen to a commentary of a Golden Age movie by people directly involved with it, but this one isn't nearly as good as the great commentary Moffat and Stevens Jr. recorded for Shane. They seem to be mostly interested in telling reminiscences about Geroge Stevens; there are very few moments in which they really engage us with a steady flow of information. The worst about the track is is the annoying and unnecessary presence of critic Farber; he just does the usual routine of scene narration and underestimation of the audience's intelligence by offering explanations and observations that the audience can realize naturally by watching the movie. Also, when I see a movie from the 50's I certainly don't want to listen to someone pretentiously pointing out supposed feminist and incestuous overtones in the story (he is rebutted by Moffat, once). Stevens Jr. also cause the track to lose points, for one instance of "hollyweirdness" when he says something along the lines of "it's incredible that this movie was made on a time of fierce anti-Communism and suspicion of liberal ideas, given its strong emphasis on racial issues...". I don't know what he tried to infer by that, but most certainly not every single anti-Communist and conservative from the 50's was a racist.
Among its few great moments, the commentary has Stevens Jr. and Moffat explaining the reason for George Stevens' preference of the spherical format over Cinemascope; and even Farber telling that a final scene made him prove to a classroom that "...big budget Hollywood productions weren't as predictable as they are today".
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