The Commitments Blu-ray Review
“The Commitments” is a winner.
In director Alan Parker’s “The Commitments” (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary), a young broke dreamer (Jimmy) decides to manage and help start a soul band in Dublin, Ireland. After a rough audition process, Jimmy manages to form a group that later becomes known as The Commitments. The rest of the film follows the band’s gigs, struggles, backstage drama, their popularity, and, well, I’ve probably said too much.
Right off the bat, “The Commitments” wastes no time as it moves at a breakneck pace. The film immediately introduces you to Dublin, the characters, the plot, and never slows down from there on out. While the fast pace is beneficial, it can be a bit problematic at times too as it feels like its in too much of a hurry and or like a long montage. Once you adjust to the editing style, however, you’ll likely settle in to the film and go with the flow as you embark on a fly-on-the-wall esque journey with this up-and-coming band who jive on stage but are at each other’s throats off stage.
One would think that the prospect of seeing a band gripe and argue would be irritating, but it’s not. Granted, I wish there was a little more in the way of characterization, but the band’s feuds play a key role in the story. The characters also happen to be extremely well written thanks to the snappy dialogue (and the amusing strong language) written by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, and Roddy Doyle (who also penned the novel).
Where “The Commitments” really shines though is on stage during the music performances which feature covers of soul classics like “Mustang Sally” and “Chain of Fools.” The group of largely unknowns at the time all shine here especially Glen Hansard, Angeline Ball, Johnny Murphy and singer Andrew Strong. The real star here though is Robert Arkins as the manager Jimmy. It’s a real shame he wasn’t in more films as he steals the show.
Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This is a tremendous transfer. Fans will not be disappointed.
Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is a lively track that really comes to life during the music numbers.
* A booklet featuring a piece titled “The Making of the Film” by Alan Parker.
* Behind-the-scenes and production still galleries.
* A “Treat Her Right” music video with an introduction by Alan Parker.
* “Dublin Soul Featurette” contains background info about Ireland and Dublin in particular.
* “The Commitments: Looking Back”- An in-depth older 47 minute retrospective featurette.
* “Making Of The Commitments”- An old school 8 minute making of featurette.
* “The Making Of Alan Parker’s Film The Commitments”- Another older bonus feature.
* “25 Years Later: Interview With Alan Parker And Cast”- A new 19 minute extra that contains interviews with the cast and crew. Discussions include filming experience, casting experiences, memories of the time, etc. Best extra on the disc.
* An informative solo commentary by Alan Parker.
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