Sunday, 21 July 2013

Things I've Learned From Dvd Commentaries 1: Commando

Selections of facts from dvd commentaries in the order they are said during the track.

Film: Commando- Director's Cut (1985)
Commentator: Mark Lester (director)

Commando is Lester's personal favourite film of all that he has directed.
Bill Duke was the only choice for the part of Cooke.
The log that Matrix carries during the credits was fake. Disappointingly.
Although there are three writers credited on the film, Lester never met two of them as they were off the project before he came on board.
Apparently, Arnie was afraid to play a father on-screen for the first time.
The original script was a straight forward thriller about a dude racing against time to save his daughter. Since this was the 80s, though, lots of action and violence was added. And it is glorious.
Arnie's hairstyle inexplicably became a craze after the film was released.
Another actor played Bennett for a day before he was let go. Lester then hired Vernon Wells.
The late Raul Julia was originally considered to play the Dictator. Well, I say 'late', he obviously wasn't dead in 1985 but I thought, as a sign of respect, I'd pointlessly mention the man was no longer alive.
A dummy was originally used for the scene in which Matrix jumps from the plane but it kept getting blown away in the wind. The finished shot is a combination of dummy, stunt man and an animated Arnold.
When Matrix is explaining the plot to Cindy, studios heads were nervous as Arnie delivers his biggest speech in the film. One dickhead, apparently, even went as far as to say 'I told you not to have him talk!'
The dude who performs the balloon swing in the mall was a circus performer half Arnie's size.
Lester was disappointed that Arnold couldn't really hold David Patrick Kelly (Sully) upside down by one leg.
When Matrix asks Cindy where she learned how to use the rocket launcher, she says 'I read the instructions'. The original line was actually 'I learnt it in High School' which is funnier in my humble opinion.
Lester has the rather annoying habit of calling everyone by their full name (especially Alyssa Milano). Except, Mr Schwarzenegger, who he simply refers to as 'Arnold'.
For the scene in which Matrix is gearing up for the last act, Arnie insisted on doing all the inserts himself as he claimed people would know if it wasn't his hand. Incidentally, it was shooting this montage where the star stabbed himself in the hand with a knife for real....
Lester is pretty naive as he claims he can't understand why anyone would think the character of Bennett was gay. The director thought the chain mail vest made the actor look macho.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is so great, blah, blah, blah.

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