Combustible Celluloid
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With: Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Dave Finnegan, Bronagh Gallagher, Felim Gormley, Glen Hansard, Dick Massey, Johnny Murphy, Ken McCluskey, Andrew Strong, Colm Meaney, Anne Kent, Andrea Corr, Gerard Cassoni, Ruth Fairclough, Lindsay Fairclough
Written by: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Roddy Doyle, based on a novel by Roddy Doyle
Directed by: Alan Parker
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 118
Date: 08/14/1991

The Commitments (1991)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

It's Gotta Be 'The... Something'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Alan Parker has always been more successful with music than he has with other kinds of drama, and he proves it in this energetic, passionate story -- based on the novel by Roddy Doyle -- of a group of Dubliners who form a soul band. The film does a remarkable job of balancing a feel of lower-class life with the sheer exuberance the music brings. It also manages to mix the recordings to the point that the live performances sound just as good as the studio performances. Colm Meaney, then known for his role on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," plays the loud-mouthed but lovable dad, and repeated the role in the next two Roddy Doyle-based films, The Snapper and The Van. Though the Commitments only perform cover songs, the movie and the soundtrack were so popular that the band began touring in real life.

DVD Details: Fox's new 2-disc set comes with a beautiful new transfer with crisp, vibrant sound. Parker provides a commentary track, and the second disc contains five featurettes, including a vintage "making of" documentary (22 minutes), as well as a music video, "Treat Her Right," trailers, two original songs by cast members, TV spots, radio spots and stills.

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