Commitments, The: Two Disc Collector's Edition DVD Review

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by AVForums Apr 1, 2004 at 12:00 AM

    Commitments, The: Two Disc Collector's Edition DVD Review
    SRP: £26.98


    Framed at 1.85:1 and anamorphically-enhanced the image is remarkably good for a film of 1991 stock. Most impressive is the complete lack of video noise, or grain, leaving a very solid and natural looking video image. If I were to be extremely picky the picture would have benefited from a touch more contrast, but like I say that's me being very picky. Colours are a little grey and muted, but this simply adds to the feel of being in a dank, dreary and working classed area of Dublin and seems quite deliberate. Overall this is an excellent transfer.

    I haven't been able to compare the original full screen DVD release with this new version, but from what I've read image quality here will undoubtedly be vastly superior.
    Commitments, The: Two Disc Collector


    Audio wise things fare a little less well. Although by no means poor, the Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbps) soundtrack is a little bass light and front soundstage heavy. There is very little for the surrounds to do, but when called upon - usually as the band finish their songs and the audience show their appreciation - they do a good enough job of placing you in the pub/club with the band. The lack of real oomph to bass levels tends to leave vocals sounding a little strained at times, especially when the actor's get going and are screaming obscenities at each other... which is often!

    Despite not blowing you away the Dolby Digital track is vastly superior when compared to the stereo tracks included - just have a listen to the French and Spanish versions which are completely lifeless, soul-destroying entities. It is also capable of being quite subtle at times... for instance there is a moment when Felim Gormley, who plays saxophone player Dean Fay, takes a puff of his cigarette as he stands on stage - listen carefully and you will hear the cigarette smoulder as he sucks... well it impressed me! I should also mention that any comparison with the original DVD release will likely leave you mightily impressed with what has been achieved here.
    Commitments, The: Two Disc Collector


    Disc one has the movie and an excellent, if a little dry, audio commentary from director Alan Parker. Disc two has the bulk of the extras, consisting - The Making Of Alan Parker's Film The Commitments - a 21 minute look back at the trials and tribulations involved in the movie-making process and most of what has been included is repeated in the excellent director's commentary.

    Next we have The Commitments - Looking Back. This feature lasts just over the three quarter hour mark and sees Alan Parker, author Roddy Doyle, who wrote the novel, and most of the band members reminiscing about their time on the movie thirteen years ago. It is a little strange seeing the actors looking so much older - but this is an insightful and interesting look back in time. is fifteen minutes of tedium focussing on Dublin strife. Which leads us into Making Of Featurette which is just a rehashed eight minutes worth of the first feature. Hmmm - things started off pretty good, but they've started to take a dive, quality wise, and that's a shame as this movie deserves better supplemental features than have been delivered thus far. But there's more to come and I'm still hopeful that things can be turned around.

    The Treat Her Right - Music Video With Introduction By Alan Parker & Robert Arkins is a short tete a tete from afar between Alan Parker and Robert Arkins who sings lead vocal on Treat Her Right.

    A couple of Original Songs By Cast Members comes next with a song by Andrew Strong, which is actually quite listenable, and another track by Robert Arkins, which isn't. In fact there is something quite sad listening to this song whilst the screen displays a still of Robert and Andrea Corr, who plays Jimmy Rabbitte's sister in the film. Ah well, none of us are getting any younger, I guess.

    Rounding things off is a Theatrical Trailer, a few TV & Radio Spots and a Still Gallery.

    I would have liked to have seen a complete reunion of the actors and heard more from author Roddy Doyle. What has been included here has left me feeling disappointed. This movie deserves better, and the “Collector's Edition” tag, hidden away on the spine of the DVD as it is, is a bit of a nomenclature... “but the crowd called out for more...”
    Commitments, The: Two Disc Collector


    The Commitments is a simple, honest and great movie. Image quality is excellent, audio is adequate and despite being pushed as a two disc “Collector's Edition” supplemental features are very samey. The DVD will be finding its way into my collection, but it could, and should, have been so much better.
    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £26.98

    The Rundown



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    Sound Quality






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