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Hedwig and the Angry Inch
DVD disk
10.05.2004 By: Tony Pacemaker
Hedwig and the Angry Inch order
Director:
John Cameron Mitchell

Actors:
John Cameron Mitchell
Michael Pitt
Miriam Shor

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
This is a rock musical of a transsexual rock ín roll musician from East Berlin named Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell) who is attempting to find and confront Tommy Gnosis (Michael Pitt) whose risen to fame and fortune by plagiarizing his/her material.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This movie was originally an off-Broadway musical that started out small but quickly grew a huge following. And not to sound cliche-ish, but it does have a very ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW type feel to it. There are rock songs and off-beat humor, but where it differs is that there is a ďdeeperĒ story at its core. This deeper story is slightly moving, but thatís really only due to the songs through which it is told. And the songs are good. The score of this film is excellent. And Iím sure that if I had caught the stage version, I might very well have been blown away. But the movie itself leaves something to be desired. Whereas it makes sense to perform such songs on stage, it loses something on film.

And Hedwig? Hedwig has a wonderful dynamic that simply demands that you pay attention to him. He goes from insanity to drama in an instant, and it works. But that doesnít leave too much room for the other characters, most of which are easily forgettable. So, buy the soundtrack and hell, buy a ticket to the show if you can, but I canít recommend the movie as being the best call.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Actor/ Writer/Director John Cameron Mitchell and Directory of Photography Frank De Marco: These two guys sounded like they were commentating on a golf match, they were so quiet and subdued. On top of that, most of the comments which they made were already covered in the behind-the-scenes featurette, while the rest were pretty trivial ("Man, it was cold that day we shot that. Wow, donít I look great in that outfit? Etc.") There were a few interesting comments about the differences between the movie and play but overall...pretty boring stuff.

Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig (approx. 85 minutes): The first half of this documentary tells the story of the creation of Hedwig the character, and the inception of the play. The second half tells how the play eventually became a movie, and reflects on the movie making process itself. This is actually a pretty interesting featurette that gives quite a bit of insight to the story as well as the movie. There are several bootleg shots of the play as well as concerts from the Squeezebox, a drag show club in New York where the songs and the character of Hedwig debuted. There are interviews with Mitchell, Stephen Trask (Composer, Lyricist, and Record Producer), and several other people involved with both the stage production and the film. And Mitchellís parents even pitch in their two cents. Most of the questions that I had while watching the movie were answered in this extra.

Deleted Scenes : Alternate/Deleted Sequence (approx. 10 minutes): This was a chunk of the film, some of which was re-shot and made it into the final cut, and some which was left out altogether. There is some pretty funny stuff with Phyllis Stein, who plays the manager of Hedwigís band, and an ongoing joke about her cell phones getting progressively smaller. And thereís also a flashback sequence that gives some further insight into the relationship between Hedwig and Yitzhak (a band member). You may watch this with the commentary of Mitchell and Frank DeMarco (director of photography) or without. The commentary is about the same quality as the commentary of the film itself.

Bedroom Boogie (approx. 2 minutes): Some outtakes of Ben Mayer-Goodman (young Hedwig) dancing around insanely on a bed. Pretty funny stuff, but also pretty brief.

Select a Song: You can select all or one song from the movie, and it will play that clip of the film. You can pick the audio format for the song (DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1, or Dolby Stereo) and you can pick English subtitles for the lyrics. This is a nice feature as the songs are certainly a strong point for the movie.

And there is a Theatrical Trailer (2:30) as well as filmographies for the cast.

Yea! Easter Eggs. I found two (And I looked diligently, as I always do. Iím so lonely J)

On the main menu, if you move the cursor to the All Access Pass (The Extras section) and then click down once, the cursor will turn into a yellow dot. Select this dot and you will be taken to a screen that shows the credits for the DVD production team. I thought this was a marvelous idea as these are folks who truly deserve the recognition, but all too often donít get it.

On the deleted scenes menu, click right and you should highlight the hair on a sketch of Hedwig (it will turn orange). This will take you to a brief vignette with Emily Hubley (Animator) where she describes an alternative sequence of how Hedwig came to America. (Approximately 5 minutes)
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
While Hedwig is a fascinating character and the tunes did rock, the movie as a whole didnít sell me. The extras, in fact, were more interesting than the film itself. But even with that, I canít really recommend this to anyone that highly, save the most hardcore Hedwig fans. Maybe if they showed it at the dollar theater at midnight, and people dressed up as the characters...nah, that would never catch on.
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