Written & Directed by: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Tom Cruise, RenÃ©e Zellweger, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Kelly Preston, Jerry O’Connell
- Running audio & video commentary by Crowe, Cruise, Zellweger and Gooding
- Deleted scenes with commentary by Crowe & editor Joe Hutshing
- Rehearsal Footage with commentary by Crowe & Hutshing
- Rod Tidwell Commercial
- How to Be a Sports Agent with agent Drew Rosenhaus
- Making-of Featurette
- Music Video: “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen
- Maguire’s “Mission Statement”
- Theatrical Trailers
- Photo Gallery
- DVD-ROM links
Released by: Sony Pictures
My Advice: Own it
This is a very sentimentally over-the-top movie, but it works. It is also an honest look at the nature of a business that some fans have become disenfranchised with. Cruise is wonderful as the overly optimistic Maguire. He had a difficult task to play a leading character whose main job it is to get out of the way and let his client take the spotlight. It didn’t hurt that he had such a great script from Crowe to work with. There is a very real sense of ensemble among every one of the cast members; you don’t get the idea that this is a Tom Cruise Movie, instead you get the idea that all of the cast members had equal pull in making it a success.
It’s about time that this one was given a special edition release. Crowe always puts together a great DVD presentation and this one is no different. Across the two discs, there are two different ways to view the commentary track which features group commentary from Crowe, Cruise, Gooding and Zellwegger. On the disc with the main feature, you can listen to the commentary as the movie plays…you know, like a traditional commentary track. On the second disc, however, you can watch the four of them as they record the track. This happens while the movie plays in a much smaller window at the bottom of your screen. They are both the same in terms of content, and with this group of actors, I really got the sense that they wanted to share a little bit of the making of the film with their audience rather than getting together and rubbing in what a great time they had.
As usual, the deleted scenes prove why they wound up in that pile on the cutting room floor. The rehearsal footage has to be the most interesting part of this DVD. We get to watch Cruise and Gooding in the same room rehearsing the famous “Show me the money!” scene as well as a few other bits of rehearsal footage. It’s just very refreshing to see them putting in the work that leads to these performances.
The Rod Tidwell Commercial is a fake thirty second Reebok commercial that they shot with Gooding to use in the film. In my opinion, it’s really not all that special, although I can understand why they included it–since the kitchen sink is in here too. There is a really annoying How to Be a Sports Agent segment that looks like it was shot in a hotel room. This is done with Drew Rosenhaus, Real Sports Agent. It starts out with him going through the essentials of his briefcase, but it turns into a sort of “locker-room” speech about getting out there and winning the big contract. For the sake of research it’s great, but as a piece of material for special features on a DVD, it’s just annoying.
I think it’s really cool that Crowe decided to put Maguire’s full Mission Statement in as a special feature. It’s actually a pretty interesting read, and it definitely tells us how much depth Crowe went into to create this character.
The DVD-ROM content is pretty well done, too. There are the obligatory links to Sony Pictures and Columbia/Tri-Star Pictures websites, but the most impressive feature here is the availability to view (or even print) the entire screenplay. It’s a great feature to put on the DVD, and I wish more companies would do this. The menu system for the DVD-ROM stuff is very well laid out, too. It’s interesting to use, and even though it makes you use the InterActual Player, it doesn’t make you register the DVD to access the content.
I think this one should be on the purchase list. The movie is worth hanging onto, and the special features, for the most part, are too.