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Romance isn't dead
True Romance: Director's Cut (DVD)
Member Name: christianfilm
True Romance: Director's Cut (DVD)
Advantages: Good Story, great cast, good performances
Disadvantages: Over graphical violence
Panicking that he may get caught for the murder, they leave town and after a brief visit to his father, Clifford (Dennis Hopper), they travel across country to Hollywood to stay with Clarence's old friend, Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport), an aspiring actor. With the help of Dick, they plan to sell the drugs to a big Hollywood producer, but unknown to them they are being tracked down as the drugs belonged to an Italian gangster who wants them back.
True Romance comes from the pen of Quentin Tarantino, and like his other screenplays, it is full of action and violence which at times over shadows a reasonably good story. What makes this film slightly different is that it has been directed by Tony Scott, who has tried to focus on the story rather than the violence. Although the story is a bit far fetched and the ending seems to pander to the audience rather than staying true to the story, the film is still very enjoyable. Most of the enjoyment comes through the brilliant performances from Slater and Arquette, but the plethora of stars that make up the supporting cast all put in great performances.
As you would expect with a Tarantino movie, there is a lot of violence in this film. With numerous shootings and physical beatings, the number of overly graphical scenes is very high. At times, these scenes come over as quite disturbing, as personally I don't get pleasure from seeing a woman getting viciously beaten. But one scene of violence which does work is the shoot out, which is a great bit of cinematography and is not overly graphical.
In the lead role of Clarence Worley is Christian Slater (Pump up the Volume) who is really enjoyable as the hero of the film. Although he does a very good job in this film, at times his character is a bit inconsistent as he goes from shy loner to Mr. Confident with no real explanation. Opposite Slater is Patricia Arquette (Ed Wood) who again puts in an enjoyable performance but also suffers from a character who changes to dramatically in the film. Amongst the notable names who appear in the film you have Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman,, Chris Penn and Samuel L. Jackson who all provide excellent performances no matter how much screen time they get. Probably the one which sticks out the most is Gary Oldman as Drexl the pimp and drugs dealer. Casting Oldman as a white man who acts as if he's black is quite funny.
The film is directed by Tony Scott (Top Gun) and has done a very good job, all but a little bit violent. Saying that, he has tried to make the story the focus of the film, rather than let the violence take center stage. Under the hands of a less experienced director, this film could have gone down the route of an all out blood bath, which in my opinion would not have made for a good film. The soundtrack to the film is mainly very soulful but just at the right moments it picks up and becomes heavier for the actions scenes. There is a very beautiful piece of music which runs through out the movie (sounds like it is played on a glockenspiel), if anyone knows what it is called, please leave a comment telling me what it is.
Christian Slater .... Clarence Worley
Patricia Arquette .... Alabama Whitman (Worley)
Dennis Hopper .... Clifford Worley
Val Kilmer .... Elvis
Bronson Pinchot .... Elliot Blitzer
Gary Oldman .... Drexl Spivey
Brad Pitt .... Floyd
Christopher Walken .... Vincenzo Coccotti
Michael Rapaport .... Dick Ritchie
James Gandolfini .... Virgil
Samuel L. Jackson .... Big Don
Length: 121 mins
"Audio Commentary" - There is a choice of 3 different audio commentaries. The first one comes from Slater and Arquette and sadly to say this is a waste of space. Most of the time they don't say anything and when they do open their mouths it is not really very informative. Next we have the director Tony Scott, which as you would expect is much more informative and explains things such as the casting and choice of camera angles. Then we have Tarantino, which is more of a rambling about how the film came about rather than what is happening on screen, to be honest this was a disappointment.
"Directors Storyboard track" - This was unusual but a bit pointless. As the film plays you get too see the storyboards appear in the bottom left hand side of the screen. This just felt like unnecessary padding and I can't see the use of it, myself.
"Screenplay Viewer with Storyboards" - This is a feature for your PC, where you can watch the film in the top half of the screen, with the story boards in the bottom left, and the script on the right. Again I found this to be padding and of no real use.
"Behind The Scenes" - This is exactly what you would expect, with a mixture of interviews and behind the camera footage. Always enjoyable but doesn't really reveal much. This does have the unusual feature that every now and then a little heart appears on the screen and if you press enter it shows you more behind the scenes footage. Although a bit quirky, I have no idea as to why they did it this way.
"Selective Commentaries" - This is where we see some of the scenes with commentaries coming from Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Michael Rapaport and Brad Pitt. This is really hit or miss, as Hopper doesn't offer much of any interest, where as Pitt is very good.
"Deleted Scenes" - There are 11 scenes which run for about 30 minutes and offer a range of extended scenes and completely new ones. All of which can be viewed with or without an audio commentary from the director.
"Alternate Ending" - This is how Tarantino wanted the film to end and is a mixture of footage and story boards. You can watch this with or without audio commentaries from either Tarantino or Scott.
"Additional Extra Features" - I've grouped this together as it is all the unnecessary stuff they bung in too just pad out the section. You get the usual photo gallery, 2 TV features, the trailer, an original promotional feature and filmographies for the cast and crew.
Conclusion & Rating
True Romance has me in two minds as to whether I really like it. As a gritty action drama, it works really well and holds your attention, but some of the over graphical violence puts me off. I suppose I would recommend this film purely because it has so much more to it rather than just the violence. It has a very good cast, who all put in very good performances, the sound track is great and it does keep your attention. The DVD package in itself is a bit hit and miss, as some of the extras work really well but a lot seem like unnecessary padding and at £19.99 on Amazon I would definitely recommend you shop around for this.
The scene on the roller coaster was filmed over two days. 'Michael Rapaport (I)' unfortunately has a fear of roller coasters, and suffers from acute motion sickness, facts which no one knew during the first day's filming. By the second day, the crew was prepared for this, and they gave him something to calm his nerves. As a result, one can easily tell from cut to cut on which day a particular moment was filmed by watching his face in the background. His expression goes back and forth from apprehensive and nauseous (the first day) to bland and oblivious of his surroundings (the second day). - courtesy of IMDB
Summary: Sex, Drugs and Violence