Brokeback Mountain

September 20th, 2007 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

It’s not a gay cowboy movie — got that? It’s a tragic story about a love that cannot be. And there’ll be no questions about why — if that was the case — they didn’t just remake Romeo and Juliet for the umpteenth time.¬ Nor snide remarks about how controversy equals box office.

Based on E Annie Proulx’s short story, Brokeback the movie was a great idea and lyrically emotional under the megaphone duties of Ang Lee, but overlong and tended to prompt a few laughs where there weren’t supposed to be.

But the biggest problem with ‘issue’ movies is the circle jerk the DVD package invariably turns into to. When you just want to know how they made the movie, three quarters of the extras (and there’s no commentary) involves everybody ranting about how beautiful generous, talented, focused and dedicated everyone else is. Just once it’d be great to see a DVD from a production plagued by calamity, backstabbing and dummy spits over the size of co-stars’ trailers where they pull no punches.

The features are all pretty short and give you more of a taste than satisfy your appetite for information. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal tell us about cowboy school and we learn about translating the short story to a feature film from two screenwriters who look like they’ve just come from a funeral.

There’s a feature about Ang Lee’s directing style that descends into another round of empty back-slapping, and the Making Of is ripped off from a movie industry TV series where we see some of the same information repeated and where everyone congratulates each other again.


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