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Drenched in soul and big on laughs, The Commitments finally gets Collector's Edition treatment in this stunning two-disc release from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. With restored and remastered picture and sound, the film has never had a better presentation than the anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen image and wailing 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround track. By the time "Try a Little Tenderness" kicks in at the very end, you'll have tears in your eyes from the glorious mix and crystal picture quality. Bonus features are a dream as well, with a dry, but lengthy, Alan Parker commentary starting things off. While he may not be the most engaging sort to listen to, the stories he has to tell are -- especially when it comes down to the lengthy casting process during which he literally saw almost every single musician in Dublin at the time. Sure, what he has to say is often repeated in a few of the featurettes on disc two, but so be it -- there's still a whole lot of other hot stuff to jump into, starting with the all-new "Commitments: Looking Back" documentary. Clocking in at a hearty 45 minutes, "Looking Back" catches up with most (though sadly, not all) of the Commitments crew as they reminisce mainly about the shoot and what they've been up to lately. This is really the heart and soul of the disc, since all of the cast members have virtually vanished from the public's radar, making each reveal of who they've caught up to next that much more exciting. While most are still connected to the music scene, they're all still very much Dubliners at their core and all seem to like it that way. (Needless to say, they look good enough for a sequel, if that forever-rumored project ever got off the ground.) Moving on, the "Dublin Soul" featurette centers on the working-class and changing face of Dublin, introducing a deep reality full of poverty and over-population that the film was only able to touch upon. Two behind-the-scenes featurettes are also included, though both are basically vintage making-of clips where you get most of the overlapping material. For more instant satisfaction, skip to the premiere of the "Treat Her Right" music video, a virtual gold mine for fans of the group. Filmed by Parker for the end credits (it was eventually cut before release), the clip is a virtual time capsule, where you can check out none other than the group's manager, Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins), singing lead on the track! For more Arkins goodness, you can listen to a new track from both him and the husky-voiced Commitments crooner Andrew Strong (who, if you can believe it, was only 16 years old when filming began) in the Original Songs by Cast Members section. Rounding out the extras is the original theatrical trailer, along with six TV commercials and four radio spots in addition to a stills gallery. For presentation alone, the disc is worth every penny, but the fact that so much time has been taken to include the extras just makes the package that much more sweet. This is the home-run Commitments release that most fans out there have been waiting for and with which none should be disappointed.
Full-length audio commentary by director Alan Parker
"The Commitments: Looking Back" documentary
All-new "Dublin Soul" featurette
Two behind-the-scenes making-of featurettes
Music video "Treat Her Right" with introduction by Alan Parker and Robert Arkins
Two new songs "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and "Taking on the World"
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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Excellent blu-ray of an Irish soul classic
Owned for 8 months when reviewed.
Alan Parker has a diverse directing career (Fame, Mississippi Burning, Evita, Angel Heart, Birdy, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone, Angela’s Ashes), but this tale of a scrappy Irish soul band is my favorite. Adapted from Roddy Doyle’s book, the first in his Barrytown Trilogy (followed by The Snapper and The Van, also good films), it’s hard to imagine the story without hearing the rousing music, most of which was performed by the actor/musicians. (Parker looked for musicians who could learn to act, since the reverse would take much longer! Look for Glen Hansard, who went on to Once fame.)
The blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic, and includes many more stories on the making of this unique classic. Highly recommended for fans of soul music, Irish humor, or anyone who ever wanted to start a band.
The Commitments is an old favorite. Dublin slum dwellers discover talents and a sense of community, and we get to enjoy their passionate cross-cultural celebration of Black American Rhythm and Blues. They are reborn, stretching their wings. Based on the Roddy Doyle novel of the same name.
The Commitments was a sleeper hit of sorts when first released, featuring a group of youths in third world Ireland trying to put together an American-style soul band. It fluctuates from being laugh out loud funny to emotional and dramatic, hitting closer to home than many films about the music industry. The struggles on display are real, and the fact that it was filmed on location in Ireland only helps this.
The Blu-ray looks and sounds great; this does not look like something that came out way back in 1991. The bonus features from the old DVD are carried over, along with a new retrospective featurette, but those who already owned the DVD will wish there was more new bonus content.
The Commitments is a great film and this release absolutely does it justice. Highly recommended.
Enjoyable film about forming a soul band in the late 1980s in Dublin. This film will be particularly enjoyed by musicians who have gone through the trials and tribulations of forming a band. The picture quality is very good as is the audio quality. There are plenty of informative special features as well. The music in this movie Is very good and there's even a CD soundtrack that was released (CD Not included)
Highly recommended for those interested in this subject.
This is an interesting and funny story about a group of Irish musicians and their struggle to make it big in the 60's. What surprised me was how great they sound as they come together as a band. The music is Soul/Motown and was so good I went out and bought the
CD, which I also recommend. Their version of "Try a Little Tenderness" is up their with Three Dog Night's version. Watch it, then buy it and thank me later!
Finally on blu-ray. This is such a fantastic film. I watched it often when it first came out, and was out on video. But then it's just been such a long wait, and I hadn't seen it in years. Santa dropped this off in my stocking, so you can guess what I was watching that night!
Great music, authentic acting (since the actors were actually mostly musicians from Dublin), and a fun story.
Classic movie. Great to have it out on blu ray. The extras are really interesting especially getting the directors comments on the cast and seeing what they did years after this movie was made. The music score will make you want to go out and purchase the cd. I'll be ready to watch this again sooner than later.