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Pleasantville (1998)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Gary Ross Rating:8.3/10 (14 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Elijah Sullivan on April 21st, 2005:Find all reviews by Elijah Sullivan
It's one of those commentaries where it doesn't matter what your opinion of the film is -- by the end, Ross will have you half convinced you just watched a total masterpiece. A great sales pitch, at the very least.
Reviewed by oluckyman1973 on April 2nd, 2012:Find all reviews by oluckyman1973
In the wake of THE HUNGER GAMES' success, I returned to Ross' directorial debut and it moved me the 20th time as much the 1st time. Ross elaborates, as opposed to explains, on his process and how he approached the project and answering critics. This film is an underrated masterpiece and, speaking as an educator, I used this as an example of satire. While I think some of the themes were over the student's heads, they actually enjoyed it all the same. Like in the theater, there was a mild hush when Whitey refers to Bud's "colored girlfriend." Best of all, we had a great discussion afterward. This is a great movie!
Reviewed by ipatrick on April 2nd, 2015:Find all reviews by ipatrick
ross proves to be a tremendous speaker and a very confident director and screenwriter, speaking with authority about his own work. he talks incesantly until well into the credits and offers no gratuitous praise. like a previous reviewer mentioned, it doesn't matter what your opinion on this movie is, it's just a very informative and engaging track from an excellent filmmaker.
Reviewed by Station51 on February 16th, 2016:Find all reviews by Station51
Gary Ross brings his love of history, politics and culture to this. Talking about the film as being a reperesentation of the age of enlightenment, the fall of Adam and Eve and the transition away from victorian values that existed in the 1950s to the more bohemian ideals of the 60s.
I was always expecting to see more turmoil, divisiveness and disintegration happen to the people in the town who had now been liberated and transformed to absolute freedom. He doesn't get much into these aspects and neither does the movie which ends up feeling a little flat for offering nothing except its own sense of existentialism. The improvements feel like a series of incomplete ideas. If anything, the most complete idea is that change is good and tradition and routine are bad. Sure, sometimes but when and why? The town was grossly oversimplified from the beginning and it becomes self-actualized. Now what? Oh... that's it? O.K.
What he does delve into, in detail, is really interesting and he had some nobler ideas with this movie. His ideas in fact may be more interesting than the movie itself.
Reviewed by thegibson99 on January 31st, 2017:Find all reviews by thegibson99
I had to get past Gary's less-than-lively manner of speaking in order to dig in to his content. That said, he has a lot to say about themes in the film and technical choices with color and camera positions. It's a fairly continuous, intelligent commentary.
Commentary 2: Composer Randy Newman, with isolated score Rating:7.2/10 (5 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by musíl65 on July 24th, 2017:Find all reviews by musíl65
This is an unusual commentary. Newman talks in detail about the music for this movie. Good points are working for a big studio, the time pressure, the style of the music, the volume of the music in the film, the power of music in movies, music of the fifties, old TV themes, working with the director etc. He talks also about his work for movies in general. The pressure is high, but the money is very good. Ragtime is mentioned. His Uncle Alfred Newman (9 Oscars!!) is also a topic.

His soundtracks are more important for him than his songs. He explains the use of source music. There are gaps so you can listen to the score. Sometimes you can hear unused music.

If you are interested in film music or Randy Newman don’t miss this track. If you are a big fan of this picture, you are better off with the other track on the disc. 7 out of 10!