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Dreamworks' The Contender comes to DVD in an elegant special edition with a crisp 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, a choice of sound options (Dolby Digital 5.1, Surround 2.0 or DTS), and plenty of behind-the-scenes information. Beginning with a wide-ranging audio commentary by writer/director Rod Lurie and actress Joan Allen, they focus on the political ideas and morality that brought together a stellar cast and crew on a surprisingly low budget. Their conversation covers the technical and artistic aspects of the production, as well as their individual impressions of working with Hollywood favorites Jeff Bridges, Gary Oldman, and Sam Elliott. Another highlight is an extensive deleted scenes section, including Lurie's comments, which demonstrate how good scenes and story lines sometimes end up on the cutting room floor. "The Making of a Political Thriller" featurette thankfully sidesteps the usual co-star compliments and instead explores the history of political dramas, from classics like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and All the President's Men to modern satires Wag the Dog and Bob Roberts. Along with the expected extras of a theatrical trailer, production notes, and filmographies, the DVD package provides a thorough and thoughtful background to this intelligent political drama.
In-depth commentary with writer/director Rod Lurie and award-winning actress Joan Allen
Behind-the-scenes featurette: "The Making of a Political Thriller"