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The Commitments

Blu Ray

  • Score
    75
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • The Commitments" shines in HD; a must-experience classic soul joy, beloved across time.

    The Commitments Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    77
  • 'The Commitments' Blu-ray captures Dublin's gritty ambiance with a technically superb 1080p transfer, maintaining natural grain and detail, featuring flashes of color amidst drab settings, and faithfully rendering the film's earthy palette.

  • Audio
    77
  • The Commitments' soundtrack shines in lossless DTS-HD MA, blending clear dialogues and vibrant musical numbers with authentic atmospherics, maintaining the film's essence without sacrificing clarity.

  • Extra
    72
  • The Commitments' Blu-ray extras, ported from a 2003 DVD, feature director Alan Parker's detailed commentary, diverse documentaries including cast interviews and behind-the-scenes, alongside a music video and production stills, albeit lacking some original songs and trailers.

  • Movie
    77
  • The Commitments' 25th-anniversary Blu-ray celebrates its timeless story of a Dublin soul band's rise and struggles, highlighting Ireland's vibrant musical talent against bleak prospects.

    Video: 77

    The Commitments" Blu-ray video presentation delivers a strikingly faithful rendering of director Alan Parker and cinematographer Gale Tattersall's visual storytelling, encapsulating the raw, gritty atmosphere of Dublin prior to its urban renaissance. The Blu-ray disc, presented in a 1080p AVC-encoded transfer, showcases a meticulous attention to detail; from the finely resolved grain that adds to the film’s texture without overwhelming it, to the authentic reproduction of the city’s worn-down façades and dimly lit locales. Despite the inherent softness linked to the era's filming techniques, this remastered version thrives in showcasing detailed close-ups that bring characters to life, reflecting the essence of their performances and the uniqueness of their environments. The film's deliberate color palette, emphasizing dull earth tones and deep blacks, complements the narrative's ambiance while carefully integrated flashes of color punctuate the visual monotony, accentuating key moments and elements like the red cap worn by a Commitment-ette.

    The video quality retains an impressive grain structure throughout, ensuring clarity and preserving the original cinematic feel without succumbing to digital noise reduction (DNR) artifacts. This balance between sharpness and grain contributes to an authentic viewing experience that aligns with the filmmakers' intentions. Color representation, while predominantly subdued due to the film’s atmospheric settings, shows careful calibration during performance scenes where warmer hues emerge without losing fidelity. Black levels and shadow details are executed with precision, maintaining depth and avoiding common pitfalls such as crush or contrast inconsistencies. The source print's remarkable condition further elevates the transfer, with only minimal signs of age indicating the film’s vintage. This release demonstrates Image Entertainment's commitment to quality, offering fans a visually enriched experience that pays homage to "The Commitments'" cinematic legacy.

    Audio: 77

    The audio presentation of "The Commitments" on Blu-ray is a treat for audiophiles and fans alike, boasting an impressive English DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track that remains faithful to its origins while enhancing the overall listening experience. Initially mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 for its DVD release, the Blu-ray’s audio has been encoded in lossless DTS-HD MA, offering a front-oriented soundscape. This setup prioritizes the clarity of dialogue and the vibrancy of the musical performances, ensuring that neither is lost amidst the fuller surround sound mix. The meticulous remastering eliminates any potential issues such as hiss or pops, contributing to an audio experience that’s as clean as it is immersive.

    The strategic use of the surround channels enriches the film’s musical numbers by expanding their presence, creating a palpable contrast with the more dialogue-driven scenes. This distinction emphasizes the film's dynamic range, from the intimate conversations in Dublin’s gritty streets to the exhilarating energy of the live performances. Background sound effects and atmospheric sounds are more pronounced during quieter moments, adding a layer of realism and depth to the film's setting. The mix manages to maintain a balance where the music and dialogue remain predominant, particularly through the front and center channels, ensuring that the essence of "The Commitments" stays intact.

    Furthermore, the inclusion of English SDH subtitles and a glossary on the Blu-ray jacket is a thoughtful touch, aiding viewers in fully appreciating the authentic Irish slang and accents. This attention to detail underscores the commitment to providing an accessible and enriching audio experience. Whether it's the unadulterated clarity of conversations or the raw power of musical performances, the Blu-ray’s audio track of "The Commitments" stands out as a meticulously crafted piece that respects the film’s roots while delivering a splendid auditory feast.

    Extra: 72

    The Blu-ray release of "The Commitments" packs a comprehensive collection of extras that provide both an insightful retrospective and a nostalgic trip down memory lane for fans of the film. The standout is undoubtedly the "25 Years Later" interviews with director Alan Parker and selected cast members, offering personal recollections and affectionate memories of the production and its impact. Alan Parker's audio commentary from 2003 remains a rich source of detail about the filmmaking process, complemented by various documentaries and featurettes that cover the movie's origins, cultural context, and legacy. Notably, "The Making of Alan Parker's Film The Commitments" and "The Commitments: Looking Back" delve into the film's development and reception, enriched by contributions from a wide range of those involved. The inclusion of original production and behind-the-scenes stills offers a visual treat, while the absence of the original trailer and songs is a minor gap in an otherwise extensive package.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary with Director Alan Parker: Detailed account of the film’s production and technical challenges.
    • 25 Years Later: Interview with Alan Parker and Selected Cast: Cast reflections and Parker's fond memories of Ireland.
    • The Making of Alan Parker’s Film 'The Commitments': Original PR campaign documentary with on-set footage.
    • The Commitments: Looking Back: In-depth history of the film with extensive interviews.
    • Dublin Soul Featurette: Explores Dublin's cultural background with interviews and location tours.
    • Making of The Commitments: Contemporary promotional featurette with film excerpts and interviews.
    • Treat Her Right Music Video with Intro by Alan Parker and Robert Arkins: Insights into the video’s creation.
    • Production Stills: Collection of 13 high-definition images.
    • Behind-the-Scenes Stills: Set of 9 high-definition images.
    • Booklet: New essay by Alan Parker on the making of the film.
    • The Original Tosser’s Glossary: Guide to the film’s slang.

    Movie: 77

    Alan Parker's "The Commitments," marking its twenty-fifth anniversary, has been celebrated by Image Entertainment with a premium Blu-ray edition, enhancing its allure by keeping the essence of the 2003 DVD extras alive while incorporating a fresh retrospective. The movie, a vivid portrayal set against the dreary economic backdrop of late-eighties Dublin, marvelously captures the raw musical talent and ambitious spirit of working-class youth. Unlike Parker's earlier work in "Fame," these characters don't have the luxury of state-funded arts schools; their journey towards musical excellence is a self-propelled endeavor, making their fleeting success all the more poignant.

    At the heart of "The Commitments" is Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins), an ambitious soul with a dream bigger than his means, who embarks on forming Ireland's premier soul band. The ensemble, consisting of an eclectic mix from the experienced Joey "The Lips" Fagan (Johnny Murphy) to the vocally gifted but socially inept Deco Cuff (Andrew Strong), encapsulates a microcosm of Dublin's untapped potential. Their story, from humble beginnings rehearsing in an attic to achieving local acclaim, though short-lived, is narrated with a genuine affection for the characters and their environment. The film excels in showcasing live recorded performances that are not only pivotal to its narrative thrust but offer a nostalgic homage to soul music, effectively transporting audiences back in time while emphasizing the band's raw, unfiltered talent.

    Technically, the Blu-ray release does justice to the film's legacy. The integrity of musical performances is gloriously preserved, capturing the essence of Dublin's soulful heartbeat with remarkable clarity. Coupled with Gerry Hambling's Oscar-nominated editing, these concerts transcend mere musical showcases, evolving into moments of profound communal aspiration and individual brilliance. Despite its comedic undertones and portrayal of squabbles both personal and professional that ultimately hinder the band's progress, "The Commitments" remains an uplifting exploration of dreams and ambition overshadowed by socioeconomic constraints. This Blu-ray edition not only commemorates the film's artistic achievements but serves as a testament to the enduring power of music and storytelling.

    Total: 75

    For aficionados of classic soul music, "The Commitments" emerges as a must-watch, encapsulating the heart and soul of the genre through its authentic and lively musical performances. This Blu-ray release, overseen by Image and RLJ Entertainment, stands out not only for preserving the film's original charm and vibrancy but also for enhancing it with a high-caliber A/V presentation that breathes new life into the beloved classic. The digital restoration ensures that "The Commitments" remains as poignant and entertaining as it was upon its initial release, proving that the film's appeal is timeless. Furthermore, the inclusion of a broad array of extra features enriches the viewing experience, offering audiences hours of additional content that delves deeper into the making and legacy of this iconic film.

    Technical aspects of the Blu-ray have been handled with meticulous care, ensuring that both newcomers and long-time fans are treated to an exceptional viewing experience. The visual and audio quality of this release is a testament to the dedication behind preserving the film’s authenticity, while simultaneously updating it for modern home theaters. The crisp visuals and dynamic sound showcase the raw energy and emotion of the film's musical numbers, making it an indispensable addition to any collection.

    In conclusion, "The Commitments" Blu-ray release is an exemplar of how to treat a classic film with the reverence it deserves. Its stellar audiovisual presentation, coupled with an extensive collection of extras, makes it a compelling purchase for both enthusiasts of soul music and cinema alike. Whether you're revisiting this timeless piece or discovering it for the first time, this Blu-ray offers an enriching experience that reaffirms the film's status as a cultural touchstone. Highly recommended for its flawless blend of nostalgia and technical excellence, ensuring "The Commitments" continues to inspire future generations.