Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★★★

Watched with the audio commentary by John Carpenter and Kurt Russell.

Somehow, I was still thinking of audio commentaries being a "new" thing - maybe because so many of them come with these lavish re-releases of previously pariah-like and (still pretty) obscure genre films. But just as I was thinking "Gee, how nice that John and Kurt still hang out all these years later" Russell says "Wow, this movie was filmed like... 15 years ago now, John?" Yikes.

Carpenter's audio commentaries are a reflection of his generally professional approach to film-making. He knows his shit and he knows exactly how every effect was achieved, regardless of which aspect of the technical craft was employed. Of course, this means you don't get many stories about things turning to shit, because they never really seemed to.

The main reason to listen to this is just to get a bead on the easy friendship between these two film legends. Russell in particular spends a lot of time laughing softly to himself as he remembers people and places from the shoot. The best story is probably the big gladiatorial bout with the huge wrestler dude who had trouble mastering the art of pulling punches and so basically spent two days beating the shit out of him.

In terms of content, this might have been one of the dryer commentaries, but not when you have these two delivering it. If you're a fan of them and this wonderful film, you really should make the effort to check this out.

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