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Windtalkers (2001)

NOTE: These commentaries are only available on the 3 disc "Special Director's Edition" release.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director John Woo and Producer Terence Chang Rating:7.3/10 (3 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Pete on June 12th, 2004:Find all reviews by Pete
It's a shame really, Woo is such a great director, but his verbosity sucks. He will literally ramble on forever unless someone shuts him up.

Enter: The Chang man. He has a vastly superior grasp of the english language, and he doesn't ramble. He really should be on all of Woo's commentaries, or maybe just do them himself.
Reviewed by pat00139 on December 17th, 2007:Find all reviews by pat00139
Like the two other commentaries, the participants are together, although the editing makes it feel otherwise. They both start by telling you how they got the project. They shopped it around to Disney, of all companies, and a few others before ending up with MGM/UA. They give out their thoughts and intentions of various scenes throughout the track. There's nothing really surprising about what they say about that, so I'll skip it. If you've seen the movie, you can guess at what they say. Not surprisingly, they talk a lot about the stunts (Mr. Woo's primary concern is safety, he doesn't like CGI, stuff like that). They also give out interesting tidbits. Most of the movie was shot in LA. The butterfly at the beginning of the movie (on the Solomon Islands) is a reference to 'All Quiet on the Western Front'. Mr. Woo wanted to do that entire scene in one take, but the technicality of such an undertaking was insane and the area was too small to move the camera around, so he ultimately dropped that idea. If he'd decided to do that in one take, it would've been something. In the first battle of Saipan, 1000 extras, 13 cameras, 7 tanks and 280 explosions were all in one shot. Two-thirds of the action sequences were done without storyboards. The village about 90 minutes into the movie in the script wasn't really a village, but a barn. Mr. Woo made it a village so the ensuing action sequence would be better. Mr. Woo also talks about the chocolate thing. This track starts out a bit slow but gets really good. This is easily the best extra of the set.
Commentary 2: Actors Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater Rating:7.5/10 (4 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Pete on June 7th, 2004:Find all reviews by Pete
Somewhat flawed, but this is the disc's best commentary. It starts off pretty slowly with Nic and Christian adding a few comments here and there; it takes about 20 minutes before they kind of let down there guard and begin to really chat about the movie. Once that happens it is very enjoyable. Nic talks the most. He covers his method of acting, the music he listens to to get in the mood for certain scenes, and the nature of life and death. Pretty interesting. Christian takes a back seat--which isn't bad at all. It's not like he doesn't say anything; what he does is let Nic pose the questions then they both discuss it.

This is a wonderful commentary that is really only hurt by the number and length of silences it contains. It seems like the actors were watching the theatrical cut when they recorded the commentary as there are many instances where they just disappear (this almost always occurs during the added scenes).
Reviewed by pat00139 on December 17th, 2007:Find all reviews by pat00139
These two start off nicely enough, I suppose, but they take some strange tangents here and there, like talking about Akira Kurosawa early on. They give out their impressions on the movie and on their characters and the action. It's nice enough, but there are many, many times where they don't talk. I think the editor had some fun. On the plus side, they never seem to be straining to talk. They talk when they have to and when they have nothing to say, they keep silent. It's a very laid back, and has some nice funny bits, but it can get long in a movie this length. The do provide a lot of anectodes, and those are always nice to hear. It's nice to listen to once, but probably not more than that.
Reviewed by Station51 on July 26th, 2016:Find all reviews by Station51
These two are an interesting combination. After a while it seems like Cage is trying his best to stay serious while Slater keeps derailing his plan. They both have interesting things to say and there's some funny moments. Nicholas is fairly revealing as well.

I wish more lead characters would do commentary but as Cage says here in reference to himself, they might be afraid of exposing their process and destroying the 'magic'.
Commentary 3: Actor Roger Willie and Navajo Consultant Albert Smith Rating:4.0/10 (4 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Pete on June 12th, 2004:Find all reviews by Pete
Bah. A good portion of this commentary is in Navajo, but even the parts that are understandable bore the socks off. The advisor tells a couple stories about his time in WW2, but mainly speaks of things like Mother Earth being hurt by violent movies. Snore.

Willie goes into detail about his time in the service. He talks about the movie a bit more, but he soon ends up along the same lines as the advisor.
Reviewed by pat00139 on December 17th, 2007:Find all reviews by pat00139
These two start out talking about their tribe and who they are. They also talk about the military the history of the codetalkers. Mr. Smith talks about his experience while being a codetalker and gives out some nice personal stories. Mr. Smith couldn't speak Navajo in Mission school or else he'd be punished, for example (and the filmmakers used that in the movie). They also talk about the Navajo heritage and give out their thoughts about the movie. Mr. Willie talks about how it was acting for the first time. His emotional scenes were very tough to do, apparently, but he got through them. They also get into some Navajo beliefs, which I found most interesting. For example, the ash ritual they do is to reconnect the person with the spirit of life (which might be disconnected after being in war). There is a lot of dead air, but at least both men are together. It's an okay track, worth listening to once, I find.