Circuit City will have Hustler for $12.99. .... Best Buy will have it for $12.99 too...Now, I ask you, HOW, oh HOW, could anyone pass up this excellent film when such a small amount of currency of the realm must be shelled out?!!
Might as well buy a boatload for these prices!!
In the words of a Jedi Master .... "The Hustler you seek...a better value you will find not....Yesssss."
I almost mentioned that the cover was my only negative about this marvelous DVD.I disagree. Your review glosses over it, but the ensemble commentary track (at least seven participants and a moderator; separately recorded comments) is a real chore to get through. Paul Newman is listed first among the participants on the back of the DVD, the special features menu and in your review, but he has only two or three things to say. Comments from people who have nothing interesting to add--the Time film critic, a bit actor droning on about how he didn't audition for the role he got--are included. Because people don't talk about what's happening onscreen, it ends up being an audio documentary--and not a good one.
Having said all that, the disappointment of the "commentary" doesn't diminish the fact that this is a wonderful DVD. The background featurette and Massey's contributions are a wonderful, unique idea. I especially enjoyed his picture-in-picture commentary for the great pool scenes. Most of the scenes in the making-of featurette are pan and scan, but they'll serve as a perfect example of what's lost when a widescreen film is modified. (There's actually one moment in the opening hustle when the pan-and-scan image cuts off both Eddie and Charlie as they go through their bit around the table; it shows just the bartender watching them.)
Your review glosses over it, but the ensemble commentary track (at least seven participants and a moderator; separately recorded comments) is a real chore to get through. Paul Newman is listed first among the participants on the back of the DVD, the special features menu and in your review, but he has only two or three things to say.You think the Newman problem's bad here? Check out The Verdict, which touts a track from Newman and director Sidney Lumet. The latter goes silent too much of the time - LOTS of empty spaces here - but at least he's around for most of the commentary. Newman shows up near the end, talks for literally about two minutes, and that's it! Calling this a commentary from BOTH of them is borderline false advertising.
That said, I liked the "audio documentary". I couldn't care less if a track is screen-specific. Many of those are good, but many others are quite dull - like Lumet's. Give me a well-edited and intrguing piece like the one for The Hustler anyday - I found it to be very interesting and informative...