[DVD REVIEWS]The city of light gets completely rewiredA big selling point of DVDs is the extras on each disk in addition to the actual film. Of course, some DVDs offer more extras, some less. The basics tend to be short bios of the actors, director and crew. But that information is usually available on the Internet; few DVDs take full advantage of the extras the medium allows. But here is one that does:
MOULIN ROUGE! (2001)
Directed by Baz Lurhmann. Starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.
Lurhmann started out by making the low budget and highly underrated comedy "Strictly Ballroom" (renamed "Dancing Hero" in Korea by people who I suspect did not realize the film was a comedy). From there he helped make Leonardo DiCaprio a star in "Romeo + Juliet."
But Lurhmann topped himself with the postmodern musical "Moulin Rouge!" With a Moby-arranged sound track and eye-popping cinematography, Lurhmann created a turn-of-the-century Paris unlike any ever seen before (certainly including in turn-of-the-century Paris).
Christian (McGregor) is a poor writer from Scotland. He landed in Paris the year before and has fallen into an odd group that includes the likes of Toulouse-Lautrec. He hopes to sell a show to the Moulin Rouge theater, but along the way falls in love with the starlet Satine (Kidman). Christian and the theater want a rich duke's patronage to sponsor the show. The duke wants Satine. And Christian and Satine want each other. Something's got to give.
This two-disk set comes with more extras than any other DVD I've run across. There are several commentary tracks, making-of documentaries and the standards. But there are also alternate takes. One major dance number can be watched from many different angles, and it pops from all of them.
by Mark Russell