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Rounders (1998)

NOTE: These commentary tracks are only available on the September 2004 "Collector's Edition" DVD release. The original DVD release had no commentaries.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director John Dahl, screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman, and actor Edward Norton Rating:8.3/10 (13 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Bickle, T. on May 19th, 2009:Find all reviews by Bickle, T.
The only problem with this is overlapping dialogue. Everyone has a lot to say, but there isnít enough time to say it. At least everyone was in the same room when it was recorded. Levien and Koppelman do most of the talking in describing the geniuses of the film.

It may have been appropriate to give the writers their own separate track. I wanted to hear more from Dahl and Norton.

The best bits are Norton telling which lines he improvised (which happen to be some of the best lines of the film.)
Reviewed by Bakersfield on May 11th, 2016:Find all reviews by Bakersfield
One of my favorite commentaries. I really liked it. In a way it was expected, because I love "Rounders" and considering the talent involved I knew they'll deliver a solid commentary as well.

Dahl, Levien, Koppelman and Norton are watching together, and right from the start they dig deep into the movie, its themes, the main players, the locations, casting, all the card games, the screenplay and the improv by the actors.

The track was recorded in 2004, six years after the theatrical release of "Rounders", and it's a great reminiscing piece. What surprised me the most was how active and informative Norton was. He really has a lot to say, he's clearly proud of the movie, and he's the one who basically 'steers' the commentary.

There's a lot of talk about Norton's on-set improvisations, his approach acting-wise, and his on and off-set relationship with Matt Damon.

Levien and Koppelman are focused mainly on the script they wrote (it was their first one), how real-life card games affected their work and what was it like for them as first-timers to work with such talented group of people.

Norton talks about how quickly the project came together, how pleased he was to be in a movie with such great actors as John Turturro, Martin Landau and John Malkovich, and how the role of Worm affected him in real life.

All the participants talk about how happy and fortunate they were to be able to shoot the movie in New York instead of Canada, and Norton in particular provides a pretty detailed explanation as to why "Rounders" is such a "cool" NY picture.

Indeed, you'll get a lot of information from this commentary, and you will be pleased, especially if you're a fan of the movie. The only thing the group didn't talk about was the amazing score by Christopher Young. As a huge fan of the score I wanted the learn more about the working relationship between Young and Dahl, but there was no mention of that.

Oh well, you can't have it all.

Overall, this is a solid, packed commentary with only a few seconds of dead air. Check it out.
Commentary 2: Professional poker players Johnny Chan, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Phil Helmuth, and Chris Moneymaker Rating:7.3/10 (9 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on October 23rd, 2020:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
This track is not the greatest, although I do appreciate the novelty and the attempt. There are many silent gaps, and these become increasingly frequent as the film continues. Of course, these fellows are most talkative during the poker scenes. They offer some insights into smart hands and smart betting. They compare the lives of the characters to real life gamblers and to some extent, their own, sharing some of their memories playing in Atlantic City, and playing in games with non-professionals. They note which environments are best and safest for playing in unofficial games. They reminisce on
their own successes in poker tournaments, even recalling the participation of Matt Damon in some contests.