My DVD of the week, Make Way For Tomorrow (Criterion), was reviewed a couple of days ago here. Of slightly newer vintage is The Informant! (Warner), a film that straddles multiple eras: released in 2009, set in the nineties, directed with seventies flavor and set to a swinging Marvin Hamlisch score that channels the groovy sixties. I reviewed this lightfingered film, based on a true story but directed with a jaunty snap and a deadpan style that makes the absurd cascade of complications all the more astounding and hilarious, on my blog last year here. “Matt Damon is a constant churn of gee-whiz earnestness, righteous indignation, nervous exasperation and self-aggrandizing swagger as Whitacre,” I wrote. “It’s a brilliant dance of charm and delusion delivered with an amiable enthusiasm and wavering resolve and accompanied by a running stream-of-consciousness narration of constant distraction… “
The DVD features four deleted scenes which run about six minutes and were cut simply to move the film along; the scene with Damon and his FBI handlers, however, is a nicely understated bit that adds to a twist to their complicated loyalties. Exclusive to the Blu-ray release is commentary by Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns. Soderbergh is one of the better commentary track jockeys around, having talked not just over his own films but been a guest on other film tracks. He brings that talent as a moderator to bring Burns front and center in a discussion that ranges over all aspects of the film, from its inspirations (Burns initially heard the story told on the public radio show “This American Life”) to Soderbergh’s conscious shift in style to working with composer Marvin Hamlisch. Also includes a bonus digital copy of the film for portable media players.