Login | Register

Cliffhanger (1993)

NOTE: These commentaries are only available on the Columbia Tri-Star DVD Special Edition. The Stallone/Harlin Combo is ported from the previous Pioneer laserdisc special edition. The other two tracks are new.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Actor Sylvester Stallone and director Renny Harlin Rating:5.0/10 (10 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Brian Thibodeau on May 3rd, 2004:Find all reviews by Brian Thibodeau
Renny Harlin's audio gab on Cliffhanger, one shared by an independently recorded Stallone (who sounds like he's benig interveiwed rather than watching the film) is a tedious affair, in which he presumes the audience will never be able to figure out how he got Sylvester Stallone to hang onto the face of a perilously high cliff, when the matte lines are clearly visible in a little rectangle around the actor. That Harlin assumes this ingernious slight-of-hand will leave us puzzled long after the movie's over is one of the funnier moments in commentary history. I believe the track was ported over from the old Pioneer LD and is in no way aided by Harlin's monotonous baritone.
Reviewed by stuartbannerman on July 2nd, 2007:Find all reviews by stuartbannerman
This track is dominated by Renny Harlin. Stallone is in perhaps 20 percent of it.
They were recorded seperately. (which is a shame)
For me though this is still a great chat track. I did learn a lot about the effects, and casting and the problems and issues that crop up when filming in a very very very cold area.

I have listened to Renny Harlin tracks before and they are relaxed and informative. (Deep Blue Sea was a good one)
Reviewed by grimjack on December 27th, 2019:Find all reviews by grimjack
Quite the snoozefest! I still cannot believe this film got a 3 disc CAV laserdisc addition, with the third disc being nothing but extras. I doubt there were more than 5 interesting facts brought up during the whole commentary, with the majority of it, simply talking about the technical challenges and pointing out how high they really are, how cold it was, how brave the actors were, when a miniature is being used, and stuff like that. Stallone pops in for 10-15 minutes tops, to compliment everyone making it, but he too mostly talks about how hard it was to shoot.

I would say it is worth listening to if you are a big fan of the film, but I dont know if there are any.
Commentary 2: Technical crew Rating:4.6/10 (8 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on November 27th, 2020:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
An informative commentary covering the technical necessities. Most of the participants are recorded separately. Only the vfx guys are together, and probably have the most interesting information to impart, but they really only speak to bookend the film. They talk about how the shots and set pieces were created and realized. Their innovative ideas earned them the gig over ILM. This was early era CGI so they did most of the effects practically with some miniatures and front projection. Achieving much of the complexities at in isolated, remote and challenging to reach locations was a constant hurdle.

The production designer worked with director Renny Harlin previously and speaks to some of those experiences. He talks about the infamous Pacific Bell gaffe from Die Hard 2. His difficulty in this film was making the Italian Dolomites and hinterlands pass for the Rockies of Colorado. Except some aerial plane to plane shots, they shot almost exclusively in Italy. Finding buildings and vehicles to match those stateside was an endeavor. He recalls how he got his start in art direction while in high school. For this film, he elaborates on building sets, bats, stalactites, stalagmites, stage vs locations, working with an international crew. Much of the construction they did in the mountains was to allow placements for camera, equipment, or handholds for the actors to climb.

The editor talks about the importance of coverage, multiple angles, and transitions between shots. He provides his thoughts on temp scores and recounts his experience with Harlin and other directors. He reveals how some shot were shifted around and repurposed as a scene was moved. Most of the cuts he made were to appease the MPAA and for pacing.
Commentary 3: Director Renny Harlin Rating:4.4/10 (7 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review