head
head head head
Home Contact RSS Feed
News   •   Features   •   Reviews   •   Podcasts   •   Contests   •   Contact Us   •   About Us
1971 James Taylor/Dennis Wilson Road Trip Film ‘Two-Lane Blacktop’ Gets Deluxe Criterion Blu-Ray
Stoogeypedia   |  

Two Lane Blacktop

Two-Lane Blacktop, the cult classic film which stars the unlikely pairing of musicians James Taylor and the late reckless Beach Boy Dennis Wilson (in a non-musical setting) finally comes to Blu-ray today in a handsome deluxe edition via The Criterion Collection, which is loaded with extras and commentary by director Monte Hellman.

The film, which was originally released in 1971, came on the heels of other “road/youth” films at the time which were largely from the AIP (American International Pictures) Studios in the mid to late 1960s and showed young people in a more uninhibited light (bikers, juvenile delinquents, transient hippie types) than was standard fare that showcased people of that stripe in movies released by larger film companies. With the 1969 release of Easy Rider, which was distributed by Columbia, a major Hollywood studio, and to massive critical and financial success, suddenly there was an interest in these this type of genre picture, hence where Two-Lane Blacktop came in.

But the film was a decidedly different one than the low-budget cinematic products that were playing on double and triple bill theaters coast to coast. It almost had a European sensibility about it, with a richer story, superb direction and cinematography, sparse dialogue that was almost seemingly improvised, and had three non-actors as its stars (Taylor, Wilson, and the late Laurie Bird, who plays the hitchhiker transient who almost splinters the two men). Only the late, great character actor Warren Oates (The Wild Bunch, Dillinger, Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia, Stripes) was experienced in films, and his presence lifts the majestic beauty of Two-Lane Blacktop to another level altogether, delivering a performance that although was almost largely forgotten and pretty much ignored during the film awards season that year, still stands as one of the great, wondrous, whimsically quirky performances of all-time.

Two Lane Blacktop

The plot of Two-Lane Blacktop basically plays like this: Two teenagers get their kicks drag-racing cars in early 1970s California. They don’t even have “proper” character names. Taylor is simply known as “The Driver” and Wilson is “The Mechanic.” They pick up Laurie Byrd, a free-spirited hitchhiker, along the way. Their communication is limited to cars: it’s all they know, it’s what pumps through their blood. While they have obsessive control of the direction of their car, a 1955 Chevy souped up to the max, the direction of their own lives is aimless. They meet up with “The GTO” (played by Oates) and challenge him to a cross-country road race. Oates, who is also experiencing his own kind of aimless path, via a mid-life crisis, agrees. The film then becomes an allegory and statement on alienation, loneliness, and vapid life as it progresses.

The film is helped by breathtakingly shot vistas and panoramic views of mid-America that are straight out of an Ansel Adams photo. Hellman directs the film in a one-two punch of being detached, but yet uses close-ups to illustrate the warmth, yet alienation of the characters. Two-Lane Blacktop remains more than just a cult film only, it remains a grand piece of cinema, which is highly recommended.

The Criterion Blu-Ray release sports a high definition transfer, with a 5.1 remix of the soundtrack, which includes Kris Kristofferson’s version of “Me and Bobby Mcgee” which later became a number one smash for Janis Jopin and The Doors, among others. There’s audio commentary by Hellman himself and interviews with the surviving cast and crew members, Taylor included. There’s also outtakes, trailers, still photos and a deluxe booklet in which artists ranging as wide as director Richard Linklater and musican Tom Waits trumpet the film.

Two-Lane Blacktop is absolutely essential viewing and now with the new deluxe version, it stands as even more of a reason to check out all it has to offer.

Two Lane Blacktop

Director-Approved Special Edition

- Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Monte Hellman, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, supervised by Hellman and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
- Two audio commentaries: one by Hellman and filmmaker Allison Anders and one by screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer and author David N. Meyer
- Interviews with Hellman, actor James Taylor, musician Kris Kristofferson, producer Michael Laughlin, and production manager Walter Coblenz
- Rare screen test outtakes
- Performance and Image, a look at the restoration of a ’55 Chevy used in the movie and the film’s locations in 2007
- Color Me Gone, photos and publicity from the film
- Trailer
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones, appreciations by director Richard Linklater and musician Tom Waits, and a 1970 on-set account from Rolling Stone by Michael Goodwin; the DVD edition also features Wurlitzer’s screenplay

Trailer

[Source: Criterion via Ultimate Classic Rock]

  • http://twitter.com/CLEANANDKRAZY64 CLEANANDKRAZY64

    I REALLY DIG THAT FLICK ^5

Topics: Blu-ray, Movies, News
Previous Article
Next Article
«
»
Around the Web
Geeks of Doom on Instagram Follow Geeks of Doom on Tumblr
Geeks of Doom on YouTube Geeks of Doom on Pinterest
Geeks of Doom Email Digest Geeks of Doom RSS Feed
Google
Amazon.com
Check out all of our current contests listings
Check out all of our current contests listings
space
space
The Drill Down Podcast TARDISblend Podcast Skull-Face Island Movie Podcast
BlendoveR
Get Geeks of Doom Gear on CafePress
BlendoveR   ·   Cinema Blend   ·   Collider   ·   Film School Rejects   ·   First Showing   ·   io9   ·   Latino Review   ·   Screen Rant   ·   Slashfilm   ·   The Mary Sue
2520 Clothing Company
Animated  ·  Apps  ·  Art  ·  Best-Sellers  ·  Bits of Doom  ·  Blog  ·  Blu-ray  ·  Book of Geek  ·  Books  ·  Cartoons  ·  Celebrity  ·  Charity  ·  Collectibles  ·  Comics  ·  Computers  ·  Contests  ·  Conventions  ·  Deals  ·  DIY  ·  Documentary  ·  Doom Deliveries  ·  DVDs  ·  Electronics  ·  Environment  ·  Fanatic  ·  Features  ·  Gadgets  ·  Games  ·  Gear  ·  Geek Finds  ·  Geek Girls  ·  Gift Guide  ·  Holidays  ·  Humor  ·  Interviews  ·  Movies  ·  Music  ·  News  ·  News Bytes  ·  Obit  ·  Photos  ·  Podcasts  ·  Politics  ·  Poll  ·  Press Releases  ·  Recaps  ·  Reviews  ·  Rumors  ·  Science  ·  Software  ·  Sports  ·  Technology  ·  Television  ·  Theater  ·  Theme Parks  ·  Trailers  ·  Travel  ·  Video Games  ·  Videos  ·  Web Games  ·  Week of Geek  ·  Zombie Round-Up
space
January 2014  ·   December 2013  ·   November 2013  ·   October 2013  ·   September 2013  ·   August 2013  ·   July 2013  ·   June 2013  ·   May 2013  ·   April 2013  ·   March 2013  ·   February 2013  ·   January 2013  ·   December 2012  ·   November 2012  ·   October 2012  ·   September 2012  ·   August 2012  ·   July 2012  ·   June 2012  ·   May 2012  ·   April 2012  ·   March 2012  ·   February 2012  ·   January 2012  ·   December 2011  ·   November 2011  ·   October 2011  ·   September 2011  ·   August 2011  ·   July 2011  ·   June 2011  ·   May 2011  ·   April 2011  ·   March 2011  ·   February 2011  ·   January 2011  ·   December 2010  ·   November 2010  ·   Octber 2010  ·   September 2010  ·   August 2010  ·   July 2010  ·   June 2010  ·   May 2010  ·   April 2010  ·   March 2010  ·   February 2010  ·   January 2010  ·   December 2009  ·   November 2009  ·   Octber 2009  ·   September 2009  ·   August 2009  ·   July 2009  ·   June 2009  ·   May 2009  ·   April 2009  ·   March 2009  ·   February 2009  ·   January 2009  ·   December 2008  ·   November 2008  ·   Octber 2008  ·   September 2008  ·   August 2008  ·   July 2008  ·   June 2008  ·   May 2008  ·   April 2008  ·   March 2008  ·   February 2008  ·   January 2008  ·   December 2007  ·   November 2007  ·   Octber 2007  ·   September 2007  ·   August 2007  ·   July 2007  ·   June 2007  ·   May 2007  ·   April 2007  ·   March 2007  ·   February 2007  ·   January 2007  ·   December 2006  ·   November 2006  ·   Octber 2006  ·   September 2006  ·   August 2006  ·   July 2006  ·   June 2006  ·   May 2006  ·   April 2006  ·   March 2006
space
Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.
space
Geeks of Doom is proudly powered by WordPress.

Students of the Unusual™ comic cover used with permission of 3BoysProductions
The Mercuri Bros.™ comic cover used with permission of Prodigal Son Press

Geeks of Doom is designed and maintained by our geeky webmaster
All original content copyright ©2005-2014 Geeks of Doom
All external content copyright of its respective owner, except where noted

Privacy Policy | Contact
space
space