Roger Dodger [DVD] [2002]

Dylan Kidd is a writer/director to watch for in the future, which can easily be seen by this film, now out on DVD. While the film stands up nicely, the disc is hit-and-miss. The 1.77:1 anamorphic image is not the top draw here. Though a fair reproduction of the theatrical presentation, the overall look of the transfer is drab and lifeless. Detail is good enough not to make it a wasted effort, but it certainly isn't memorable by any means. Equally, the 5.1 English Dolby Digital track is decent, but announces the films low budget, and doesn't really enhance the discs. Taking into account that this is a dialogue-driven film, a wide auditory field wouldn't be expected, but the very lack of anything imaginative is also quite apparent. The fact that dialogue is clear might just have to be enough. While the picture and sound leave something to be desired, the extra materials certainly do not. Artisan has loaded this disc with enough to keep independent film fans busy. First up are a number of featurettes, starting with an introduction from Kidd on his hopes to use this disc as a sort of film school. "The Composer and the Mixer," "The Producer," and "The Executive Producer and the Director" are just what they sound like: short interviews with these production members discussing their roles in making this film. Along with these is another featurette called "Explanation of a Scene: Opaline," as more crew members go over this specific scene. Next up are two scene-specific audio commentary tracks, one from Kidd and cinematographer Joaquin Baca-Asay, with the other from the director and actors Campbell Scott and Jesse Eisenberg. While the first is far more technical, and the later far lighter, both are chock-full of detail and worth a listen. "New York at Night: the Roger Dodger Walking Tour with Jesse Eisenberg," a seven-minute featurette would seems like a good idea, but it leads nowhere, including many of the locations used in the film. Finally, along with one interesting deleted scene with optional commentary, is a text "Player's Guide to Scoring with Women," taken directly from the script, and the theatrical trailer. This is a fine package for a very well-written and directed film that deserves a bigger audience that it originally found.
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Overview

Special Features

  • 16:9 widescreen version
  • English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
  • English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
  • French 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
  • Optional English & Spanish subtitles
  • Director's preface to the DVD special features
  • Examination of a scene: Opaline - the film's crew takes you behind the scenes
  • Deleted scene with optional director commentary
  • New York at night: the "Roger Dodger" walking tour with Jesse Eisenberg
  • Audio commentary by director Dylan Kidd and director of photography Joaquin Baca-Asay
  • Audio commentary by director Dylan Kidd, Campbell Scott and Jesse Eisenberg
  • Player's Guide to Scoring With Women
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Scene index
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Roger Dodger
Writer/director Dylan Kidd got a chance to make his script for Roger Dodger into a feature film when he boldly approached Campbell Scott in a café in Greenwich Village and made his pitch. Eventually, Scott would agree to executive produce and star in the film, and was responsible for bringing Jennifer Beals and Isabella Rossellini onboard. Scott stars as the eponymous Roger, a successful New York ad man and self-proclaimed master of reading and manipulating women. The film begins with Roger out for drinks with his co-workers and demonstrating his verbal gifts. "Words are my stock in trade," he explains as he expounds. But he soon learns that his boss, Joyce (Rossellini), wants to end their clandestine sexual relationship. Roger gets another shock when his teenaged nephew, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg of TV's Get Real), shows up unannounced the next day at his job. Nick explains that he's in town for an interview at Columbia and soon admits that he wants Roger to take him out and give him a crash course on women. Soon the pair is out carousing, but when they run into the lovely Andrea (Elizabeth Berkley) and her friend, Sophie (Jennifer Beals), Roger discovers that despite Nick's sexual desperation, the teen is temperamentally unsuited to Roger's transparent womanizing mode of operation. In short, Nick is a sweet, open, and sensitive boy, while Roger proves himself to be a misogynist pig. Their differences grow even starker when Roger decides to crash a party Joyce is throwing that night, and brings Nick along. Roger Dodger was named the Best Narrative Feature in competition at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Campbell Scott
    Campbell Scott - Roger
  • Jesse Eisenberg
    Jesse Eisenberg - Nick
  • Isabella Rossellini
    Isabella Rossellini - Joyce
  • Elizabeth Berkley
    Elizabeth Berkley - Andrea
  • Jennifer Beals
    Jennifer Beals - Sophie
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