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Winstar Home Video presents
The Directors: Clint Eastwood (1999)

"...he ended the take by saying 'OK, that's enough of this sh--.'"
- Meryl Streep, on making The Bridges of Madison County

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: September 26, 2000

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Laura Dern, Geoffrey Lewis
Other Stars: Donna Mills, Meryl Streep, Ed Harris
Director: Robert J. Emery

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language)
Run Time: 00h:58m:30s
Release Date: September 05, 2000
UPC: 720917310220
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Clint Eastwood is, without argument, one of those great, legendary Hollywood figures who seems to have made a larger-than-life reputation for himself. Of course, he's earned every bit of it, being one of the most recognizable actors of his time, then moving on to directing with equal flair. What's really interesting is how his career has spanned so much time, entertaining generations of people. I can't say I've liked everything Eastwood has directed, but there is no film he's made I don't have at least a healthy amount of respect for. He's dabbled in almost every genre of film available and, even if the attempt failed, he puts a lot of effort into it, and it shows.

This latest Directors series disc discusses Eastwood's career as a director, which is an ambitious task as you might imagine. The majority of this one hour documentary is spent with Eastwood himself, using primarily interview material. Unfortunately, with a career as diverse and wide as Eastwood's, the film predictably focuses on his most 'commercial' films, spending most of the time on movies like Unforgiven and The Bridges of Madison County, as well as his time spent making westerns. I don't fault the style here, though. PBS recently aired a much longer documentary about Eastwood and even that couldn't really encompass Eastwood's career to any level of complete depth. With the sheer amount of material available, the piece does a good job trying to balance what are typically viewed as his most important films with those that are personal to him.

Made recently, the documentary also discusses some of Eastwood's newer works like Absolute Power, True Crime, and even Space Cowboys, which hasn't hit home video yet. Interviews with people he has worked with help support the normal footage, and they have interesting things to say. Of course, in general, most actors seem to share one sentiment: when Clint Eastwood asks them to be in one of his films—they rarely refuse. His directing style is also infamous in the world of filmmaking for being incredibly loose and relaxed, allowing for constructive improvisation and better performances.

Definitely one of the better pieces in The Directors series, this makes a good introduction to Eastwood's works for those not really familiar with him and tries hard to cover as much as possible despite being only one hour long. While many films are not even discussed or mentioned, it would take a four hour piece to even begin to really get into Eastwood's career.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Most of the disc consists of the interview with Clint Eastwood. This footage, on its own, is excellent; almost HD quality. However, the clips from his movies are awful, filled with tape transfer problems, grain, blurriness, and compression artifacts. This isn't particularly important since it's a documentary, but it is painful to watch at times. Having seen many of Eastwood's movies on DVD, I can certainly say the actual discs themselves don't look like this, so it must have just been bad source material in this instance.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: A Pro-Logic, center channel, mono mix is present here and delivers the interview dialogue well. The movie clips aren't particularly amazing, but then all of The Directors so far discs that I've encountered don't actually have major sound mixes. So, the audio is functional enough for the documentary, nothing more.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. DVD-ROM Weblink
Extras Review: A Clint Eastwood filmography and a weblink to winstarvideo.com is featured, and that is all. Six chapter stops works, but more would have been nice.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

This makes one of the top entries in The Directors series, and any fan of Eastwood and his work should find it a surprisingly good disc despite the short length.


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