Gary Sinise (who also produced and directed) is George, the smart one. John Malkovich (in arole light years from his usual creepy venom) is Lennie, child-like but enormously strong. Thetwo best friends wander Depression-era California, looking for work. They find what seems likea long-term gig at the Tyler Ranch, but trouble rears its head in the form of the unhappy SherilynFenn, trapped in an abusive marriage. It isn’t long before everything goes to hell.
This is the same transfer as the original release, so we’re still at the Dolby 2.0. Still a goodmix, though. There is distinct separation of sound on the left and right, and both music and soundeffects have strong mixes both front and back. The music, in particular, shines. For all the powerof the music, however, the dialogue is never obscured.
The picture is presented in its original 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen format. The transfer islargely trouble free. The night scenes are perfectly clear without sacrificing the deep tones of theblacks. The colours seem ever-so-slightly muted, but my sense is that this is the result of anartistic decision rather than a technical hitch. Still, the picture could be a little bit sharper, andthere is the occasional bit of speckling and grain.
In reviewing the original disc, I complained that we don’t get to hear what Sinise might haveto say about his labour of love. Problem solve here, in spades. Side A features a commentary bySinise, one that is very scene-specific. There’s also a trailer. Side B has a conversation betweenSinise and screenwriter Horton Foote, and Sinise talks at some length about why he wanted to dothis film. Though a featurette, this talk is not uninteresting or uninformative. The “Making Of”featurette is much more standard. Sinise provides commentary for 9 deleted scenes, an alternateending, and a montage of cut nature scenes. Finally, there are Sherilyn Fenn screen tests andmake-up tests. Frankly, I don’t feel there is enough material here to justify the inconvenienceof a double-sided DVD. Surely this could have been squeezed onto a single side. The menuon Side A has an animated and scored main page, a distinct improvement over the initialrelease.
A significant improvement over the initial release, one that more accurately reflects GarySinise’s clear love for this project.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer
- Converstion with Gary Sinise and Horton Foote
- Deleted Scenes with Director
- Making-Of Featurette
- Screen and Make-Up Tests