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Series 7: The Contenders (2001)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Screenwriter/director Daniel Minahan Rating:7.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by ratethatcommentary on December 22nd, 2004:Find all reviews by ratethatcommentary
This is a decent commentary track, although the flow is a little strange; it sounds like there was an interviewer asking him questions about the movie to encourage discussion, but that interviewer was then edited out of the track.

Minahan goes into all of the usual commentary track details: things that were changed in the script along the way; casting the film; the process of getting the production going; where scenes were shot, and so on. He spends a fair amount of time talking about the effort they put into making it look as much like a television show as they could, which involved using TV news cameras, hiring people with TV experience to do the promos, and so on. Minahan also discusses his background in television, and how he used that to his benefit in this film.

If you're interested in the technical issues, there's a good amount of discussion about that as well. He talks about the choice between NTSC and PAL, and how they didn't decide which format to shoot on until the last minute. He talks about the pros and cons of shooting on digital, and how the DVD is a direct copy from the original video, not from the 35mm film, and how that makes the DVD his preferred vision of the movie, since he's able to make it look much more like a television show.

The most interesting bits of trivia to me were about the characters' high school "Love Will Tear Us Apart" music video. The song was originally going to be David Bowie's "Heroes" rather than the Joy Division one they ended up with, but because of the cost involved in getting that one, they wound up with one that seems to work even better. And then, when designing their outfits, the costume person modelled them on Robert Smith (of The Cure) and Siouxsie Sioux. And to top it off, some of the clothes worn by Brooke Smith's character were clothes that the actress herself had worn in high school.

Overall, to me, a slightly above average commentary track, if a bit more technical than I'd prefer in some sections.