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"The Irish are the blacks of Europe, Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland, and the North Siders are the blacks of Dublin ... so say it loud -- I'm black and I'm proud!" Or so Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) tells his slightly puzzled friends as he tries to assemble a rhythm & blues show band in a working class community in Dublin in Alan Parker's film The Commitments. Jimmy is a would-be music business wheeler and dealer, and he's decided what Dublin needs is a top-shelf soul band. However, top-shelf soul musicians are hard to find in Dublin, so he has to make do with what he can find. However, after a long round of auditions, Jimmy makes two inspired discoveries: Deco (Andrew Strong), an abrasive and alcoholic streetcar conductor who nevertheless has a voice like the risen ghost of Otis Redding, and Joey "The Lips" Fagan (Johnny Murphy), a horn player who knows soul music backwards and forwards and claims to have played with everyone from Wilson Pickett to Elvis Presley. Before long, the band -- called the Commitments -- is packing them in at local clubs. But do they have what it takes to make the big time? Based on the novel by Roddy Doyle, who also co-wrote the screenplay, The Commitments is sparked by fine performances by its young cast and enthusiastic performances of a number of '60s soul classics; the cast, who play their own instruments, reassembled the band for a concert tour after the film became a hit.~Mark Deming
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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.