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Ronin (1998)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director John Frankenheimer Rating:7.5/10 (17 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Blunt on June 7th, 2004:Find all reviews by Blunt
The late John Frankenheimer was pretty good at the commentary thing, and his track for the under-rated RONIN is a fine example. He's got a lot of useful stuff to say about the process, especially the techniques involved in filming car-chases (and RONIN has some great ones).
The tone is quite serious so it's hard to say whether casual fans will enjoy it unreservedly. But anyone interested in the job of directing should certainly give it a spin.
Reviewed by The Cubist on May 12th, 2006:Find all reviews by The Cubist
I would completely agree with the above reviewer's comments and add some of this track's highlights include how to seamlessly match a shot done on location with one done on a set and pointing out that the key relationship in the movie is between De Niro and Reno’s characters and how he made sure that their scenes together reflected this. I know this sounds like pretty obvious stuff but its the way Frankenheimer talks that is makes this such an informative track that is not bogged down by technology-heavy verbiage. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by clovenhoof on November 16th, 2008:Find all reviews by clovenhoof
Not a fan of this particular commentary. So much of it is filled with, "Oh that's Joe Blow, he's an amazing actor, one of the best I've ever seen, the nuance, the grace, did you see the way he pressed that elevator button? Boy, if I'd actually given him a line, or more than 2 seconds of screen time, you'd really see..."

Ok. He's an extra, John. Move on to something someone other than the guy's mother will care about. There were two or three instances of this.

A little candour might have been nice as well. Lots of stuff really doesn't work because they didn't have the budget to shoot it right. It wouldn't have killed him to shed some light on that, or at least to acknowledge it.
Reviewed by TommyT on March 11th, 2010:Find all reviews by TommyT
A pretty good commentary, most of the remarks above are right on, even the negative ones. One thing I wish Frankenheimer hadn't done was to use the word "TREMENDOUS!" when describing just about everything.
Reviewed by Kgprophet79 on June 20th, 2013:Find all reviews by Kgprophet79
John Frankenheimer gives some of the best commentary on his films. He sounds like he is teaching a film class. Must check out his other commentaries!
Reviewed by captainsolo on November 22nd, 2015:Find all reviews by captainsolo
A master commenting on his last great picture. You get a real sense of JF's thought processes and cinematic techniques and never once does he talk down to the listener--just as his films never treat the audience as half witted.