Acclaimed director Alan Parker's landmark musical comedy is back for a spectacular encore in this all new widescreen collector's edition release of The Commitments. Fueled by raw talent and driven by dreams of glory, a doz... more »en dead-enders from Dublin's gritty North side share a passion for soul music that takes their band on a wild roller-coaster ride from the streets to the stage...to superstardom! Packed with over 4 hours of extras, including audio commentary, brand new songs, and a never-before-seen retrospective documentary, this exhilarating 2-disc DVD is your backstage pass to experience the "world's hardest working band" as never before. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome once again - The Commitments!« less
David Kusumoto | San Diego, CA United States | 01/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the better part of four years, I've complained about this fantastic movie going in and out of print, but ALWAYS ONLY available in the lousy pan-and-scan (instead of widescreen) format. This film, masterfully directed by the great British musical/drama cinematic maestro, Alan Parker (e.g., Evita, Angela's Ashes, Fame, etc.), deserved better treatment, and finally, let's thank the good executives at Fox Video for listening! A double-disk widescreen presentation with plenty of bonus features! Hooray!Keep in mind that this is one of the greatest films ever made in the 1990s, so influential and original to the extent that it made the British Film Institute's list of the best 100 films ever made in Ireland and the British Isles during the last century. Yet eerily, I can only count on two hands the number of people who've seen it! This has gotta change!Now the film is issued on DVD as it was meant to be seen -- in full stereo and widescreen glory. I like the fact that Fox Video gave this "little" picture a chance, that it heard the complaints from rabid fans for years and finally did something about it!..."
GREAT movie, HORRIBLE dvd edition
John Scott Sutherland | Dinuba, CA United States | 11/21/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"an excellent movie with a talented cast--especially a surprisingly amazing 16/17 year old lead vocalist who
puts meat loaf and other vocal screechers to shame.
this guy actually has pipes!by now you know what's great about the movie itself,
what you may NOT realize is that this dvd edition is
FULL-SCREEN, and is NOT in its ORIGINAL ASPECT RATIO.
unfortunately, i doubt there is the kind of 'willy
wonka and the chocolate factory' movement behind a
small relatively unknown gem like 'the commitments.'
'willy wonka' was recently, to much outrage, release
in fullscreen format, but the studio release an apology
and a street date for a widescreen edition.were it a dvd with better sound quality (come on,
it's about music, after all) that wasn't cropped
into a fullscreen format, i would rate it 4 stars...(i mean, would you want to have the original mona
lisa (or other favorite work of art) given to you,
but because you only have 8 x 10 frames, have somebody
cut an 8 x 10 section of the painting and frame it
for you? would you write a poem but have somebody
tell you, 'sorry, i only have room in our publication
for 5 lines of it--we'll just trim everything else'?
when are people going to realize that it's a waste
of movie buyers money to release any film in any
format other than its original aspect ratio? 'chariots
of fire' is another excellent example--only available
fullscreen. go figure...)i would even rate this dvd higher than 4 stars
if there were any added features, bonuses, etc.
if you've got a clean vhs or laserdisc copy, stick
with that until they do this movie justice and release
a better than average dvd edition."
Say it Once, Say it Loud!
M. Casarino | Wilmington, DE United States | 05/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Commitments" is a raucous and joyful celebration of music. It's a gloriously simple and lovable tale, told with passion, profanity, and a deep understanding of how music can infect even the most despairing life with joy. About time the movie got its proper release on DVD.If you've never seen "The Commitments" because you cringe at the notion of white Dubliners singing American soul tunes, well, I hear ya. I fully expected watered-down music along the lines of Michael Bolton butchering Percy Sledge. However, I was wrong - the music, in the context of the movie, is pure and genuine, and performed by young actors who understand that you don't have to pretend to be anything you're not to get soul. Besides, Jimmy Rabbitte, the mastermind behind the band, gives them all a thoroughly convincing speech that assures the lads and lasses from Dublin that they, too, are qualified to sing soul.The movie - well, it's wonderful. Hilarious, free, sometimes moving, life-affirming. I almost wish the movie let the characters develop a little more before the inevitable and mythical ending, but then Joey the Lips gently reminds me (and Rabbitte), "this way, it's poetry." He's right - this is the proper ending for these guys, and the movie.The DVD offers some great extras, including a revealing making-of doc, where we learn that director Parker combed the nightclubs of Dublin nightly, looking for fresh talent. I also love the 10-years-later feature, where we get to revisit our old friends again. These are suitable extras for a movie that just plain makes you feel glad to be alive - how much more can you ask of a movie than that?"
DVD: Disappointing Video Disk
John Scott Sutherland | 07/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Commitments" is an exceptional movie that holds up very well through repeated viewings. It is exactly the kind of film you would want to own in your DVD collection, because you could enjoy it for many years. That's why I was very disappointed that the DVD version is available only as pan and scan (1.33:1 aspect ratio). This is the equivalent of taking a 5-channel audio theatrical release and making a DVD that's available only in mono sound.As much as I like this film, I will not buy a DVD that has been degraded from the original theatrical release. Apparently the film companies don't yet understand what motivates buyers to pay extra for DVD quality and home theater systems. I hope that "The Commitments" will be available soon as a re-released DVD in its original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical version."
I'm sorry you doubted me, brother Rabbitte ...
Irving Forbush | Davidson, NC United States | 06/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my all-time favorite films. If you love blues/R&B/soul, you'll find plenty to like in this film, even if you don't listen to anything else except the music. Andrew Strong is great as the "bollix-for-brains" lead singer of the Commitments, and was only 16 (!) when the film was made (shades of Johnny Lang!). But don't overlook some great performances by the female vocalists as well; "Natalie" (Maria Doyle) does a fantastic job with "I Never Loved a Man (the Way that I Love You)" and "Imelda" (Angeline Ball) really shows her stuff on "Chain of Fools"). The film also features great background classics by performers such as Delbert McClinton ("I've Got Dreams to Remember"). Yes, it's Irish, and you do have to listen closely in a few spots to understand the dialogue, but it's definitely worth the effort. The film is down-to-earth without being gritty or depressing, and accurately portrays the trials and tribulations of a band in the making. The music is superb, the dialogue is honest, funny and just wacko enough to be believable, and the plot (such as it is) doesn't really matter -- there's enough going on with the characters to keep things moving for the duration.Recommended -- and when it comes out on DVD -- highly recommended."