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Man on Fire (2004)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Producer Lucas Foster, screenwriter Brian Helgeland, and actor Dakota Fanning Rating:6.0/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by grimjack on September 3rd, 2020:Find all reviews by grimjack
It is not terrible, just not informative at all. Mostly fascinating to hear Dakota Fanning sound like a ten year old kid, when during the film the nine year old version of her seemed so mature and professional. The writer talks about some scenes cut that did not work, and the producer about some difficulties filming, but the track is mostly them just praising who and what they see on the screen.
Commentary 2: Director Tony Scott Rating:7.4/10 (7 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on January 27th, 2006:Find all reviews by The Cubist
This is a refreshingly candid and informative commentary by Scott who covers various technical aspects of the filmmaking process, like the various film stocks that he used, casting and how he works instinctively. Best of all, are the anecdotes he tells, including a hair-raising encounter while making the movie in Mexico that mirrored the scary action in the movie.
Reviewed by stuartbannerman on June 24th, 2006:Find all reviews by stuartbannerman
Sadly here on Region 2, we only got this commentary. The first commentery obviously falling into the Atlantic Ocean on the way over to the UK.
Tony Scott does another great job(i recently listened to his True Romance chat track) There are a few gaps of silence but seeing as this is a 2hr 30 min movie ill forgive him. As The Cubist said, its worth listening to this chat track just for the scary incidents alone, but the rest of the audio track is very entertaining and made me want to watch the film again (which i shall do)
Reviewed by Agressor on March 25th, 2012:Find all reviews by Agressor
Reasonably interesting commentary from Scott. It covers a wide gamut of topics from the aforementioned encounter to the techniques used in shooting the film and ideas behind certain scenes and the motivations of the characters.

There are som repetitions, like Scott proclaiming that he originally wanted to do this in the 80's and that it was based on an Italian original, that comes up a couple of times.

It's not a riveting listen (that probably depends on your enjoyment of the film though. I'm not a fan), but Scott covers every possible aspect of the production you might want to know so I give it props for that.
Reviewed by grimjack on September 1st, 2020:Find all reviews by grimjack
Like his brother, Tony Scott mostly talks about technical stuff, decisions made that could have led to a different film, and how the film came about.

He tells the story about first meeting Dakota Fanning, where he got her on the phone, and she insisted on meeting him one on one at a restaurant without her agent, and he could not believe that this was when she was only eight.

Talked about how he had used Christopher Walken once before, and how he could read the phone book and make it seem interesting.

I wish he talked even more about the subtitles, which he called the 4th star of the film, behind the two leads, and then Mexico City. What he did worked with Spanish translations so creatively, he decided to add some to English sentences just because he knew it would work. His guy said he got the idea from old Kung Fu movies, but when he saw the inspirations, he knew his guy far exceeded anything they had done in those films.

Said he likes technical tricks, but they almost always pull you away from any emotional content he is trying to show, but found he was pretty successful at using some tricks to enhance the emotion.

He referred to what he called a cheap trick to get Marc Antony in the right place to want to kill himself by hiding a photo of his daughter under the bullet Denzel gives him.

One uncomfortable scene with Denzel and his suicide attempt, and Scott says how the hardest thing to do is to try and commit suicide, which is heartbreaking to hear him say as only eight years later he himself killed himself.

He says, The toughest thing one can do in ones life is to try and take your own life, and when you get past that moment, the first person you see is someone you feel indebted to.

I was surprised by how much of the story was based on a true story of an ex-CIA guy who worked his way up the Mafia ladder of kidnappers in Italy in the 1970s.

One last interesting story was about during the finale a volcano in the background erupted, and they got it on film, but it looked like special effects and no one would believe the drama of it, so they could not use the footage.