I’m Not There DVD Review

I'm Not There DVD CoverI’m Not There, the acclaimed drama that stars Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Ben Whishaw and Marcus Carl Franklin all as Bob Dylan, arrives on DVD this Tuesday. Considering that Franklin is a young black kid, Gere plays a version of Billy the Kid and Blanchett is female, one can only imagine that the movie is not exactly a literal biopic, and in fact is one of the most unique and complicated movies I’ve ever seen.

Director Todd Haynes, amazingly, was not nominated for an Oscar for his masterful work here, and, almost equally shocking was the fact that Cate Blanchett, who turns in the best performance of her career, didn’t win for Best Supporting Actress.

You can read my full I’m Not There movie review here.

Regardless, for all of you who didn’t see I’m Not There in theaters, the Bob Dylan movie is now available on DVD. Here is my I’m Not There DVD review:

The DVD review is for the two-disc collector’s edition, a surprisingly weighty release for a movie such as this. The environmental side of me questions why this release is on two discs other than to market it as such; there are tons of special features, but quantity over quality is the name of the game.

The first disc contains I’m Not There along with a director’s commentary from Todd Haynes, along with some on-screen tie-ins to the songs.

The second disc is where the meat is, and contains such features as:

  • Deleted scenes
  • Alternate/extended scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Auditions
  • A Conversation with Todd Haynes
  • Making the Soundtrack
  • The Red Carpet Premiere

The deleted scenes are what you’d expect, nothing too substantial or memorable. With this type of film, where the story is essentially organized chaos, it’s hard to watch a single scene and appreciate it on its own. The outtakes are humorous but nothing spectacular. The auditions are interesting; it’s always nice to see actors in raw format and how they went about landing the part. “A Conversation with Todd Haynes” is pretty good, and basically is about the co-writer/director talking about how the movie formed in his mind – and how he made sense of it all. At times, it sounds like he didn’t even know what he was doing. The “Making the Soundtrack” featurette is also pretty interesting and offers up some good Dylan songs for a second listening.

Included on the second disc is also a “Tribute to Heath Ledger,” though it looks like it was put together at the last minute.

Ultimately, the I’m Not There Two-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD has some decent features, though of the ones they list on the back of the box, only a couple are really noteworthy. Still, this is the kind of the movie that, due to its complexity, requires some further explanation, and there is just enough here to satisfy that requirement.

The DVD set is good, but not great. However, the movie itself makes up for any deficiencies on the DVD.

By Erik Samdahl
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