Our guide to the Manchester movement 1976-1992 is Tony Wilson (a mesmerizingly goodSteve Coogan), TV personality and would-be music impresario. Blown away by an earlyperformance by The Sex Pistols, Wilson sets about forming his own music club and record label(The Factory). Central to his enterprise’s rise and fall are Joy Division/New Order and the HappyMondays. Wilson addresses the camera constantly, as if we were watching a documentary onhis life, and the result is as fun…y as it is sharp. I did sometimes find it difficult keeping allthe characters straight, so the more familiar you are with the music scene, the more pleasure youwill derive from the film.
As you might imagine, the music plays a big role in the film, and it sounds magnificent. Themix is powerful and expansive. The music swirls around the entire room, and does so at highvolume. The effects are pretty good too — the environment is pretty thoroughly recreated.
A very nice 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The film mimics video, older film, 1970sTV, and so on, and all these forms come through well, deliberate grain and all. There is theoccasional edge enhancement problem, and the layer transition is rather awkwardly placed.Otherwise, fine work.
The menu is fully scored and animated, and is very much in the spirit of the music and thefilm (especially its credit sequence). There are two commentary tracks. One is by the real TonyWilson, who provides interesting background to what we’re watching, though there aresome long gaps between comments. The other track is by Steve Coogan and producer AndrewEaton, and is pretty interesting stuff, combining personal anecdotes and making-of information.There are two featurettes. Though not radically different from the usual thing, they do benefitfrom having a specific focus (one considers Manchester, the other Tony Wilson himself) and arerather more informative than many of these are. We also have 11 deleted scenes, the trailer,and a photo gallery.
Packed with extras, hilarious, smart, and very loud. Not to be missed.
Special Features List
- 2 Commentary Tracks
- 2 Featurettes
- Deleted Scenes
- Photo Gallery