What's It All About
"The Director's" is a series that looks at the works of big name Hollywood directors, in this case, Rob Reiner. This series is produced by Media Entertainment, Inc. in cooperation with the American Film Institute and distributed by WinStar TV & Video, a part of the FoxLorber Family (whew! d'you catch all that?) I've enjoyed the recent specials that the AFI has put together and this is no exception. This episode of "The Directors" was produced in 1997 and looks at Reiner's body of work up to that point. Ringing in at just under one hour, we are presented with some very good discussion of Reiner's best films (and they quickly gloss over North, his worst). There is a fairly in-depth analysis of Stand By Me (as in-depth as you can get in an hour-long episode) that gives us a good bit of insight into the art of filmmaking. Another highlight is Reiner's discussion of the Princess Bride's journey to the big screen. And don't worry, When Harry Met Sally gets its share of attention as well. The DVD features interviews with Reiner and many of his movies' stars including Wil Wheaton, Annette Benning, Meg Ryan & Billy Crystal among others.
How Does the DVD Look?
The interviews with Reiner and his actors are presented in non-anamorphic full frame and look better than what you'd expect out of a television broadcast of the same material and the colors are clean and bright. The film clip segments are, with only a couple of exceptions, presented in their original aspect ratios and look more crisp than the video taped interviews.
How Does the DVD Sound?
Presented in two channel mono, the soundtrack is acceptable with dialogue in the interviews being clear and defined. The film clips are a little more disappointing but only because you expect more out of the clips than you would a TV broadcast. Overall the sound is similar to the Saturday Night Live discs and is perfectly acceptable for this format.
Extras! Extras! Read All About 'Em!
There's not much to say here, as the only "extra" you get is a single screen filmography. Bleh!
This is a very interesting look at Reiner's career that goes into sufficient detail to make the viewing of the DVD worthwhile. Fans of Reiner's should rent this to get more background on the director and his work. Overall though, given the short running time and the lack of creative extras I'd have to say SKIP IT. If you do get to watch it though, in the tradition of Nigel Tufnel, turn it up to 11!