Jason Robards

commentary a boy and his dog

A Boy And His Dog is an odd duck in the world of post-apocalyptic cinema in that it’s neither pure action nor pure drama. It exists somewhere in between the two extremes with a dark yet playful sense of humor courtesy of Harlan Ellison‘s source novella. It tells the story of a young man (Don Johnson) and his telepathic dog trying to survive in a world devastated by a global five day war. Food, water and companionship are priorities, but sometimes you have to settle for two out of three. Shout! Factory’s new Blu-ray release includes a sharp HD transfer, a previously-recorded commentary, and a brand new conversation between Ellison and and director L.Q. Jones as they rehash the film’s production and their nearly forty year old disagreements. This is a must-buy for fans of Ellison, misogyny or sci-fi in general. Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary track for L.Q. Jones’ A Boy And His Dog.

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Over Under - Large

Once upon a time, Hollywood was king of the Western and the idea of anybody over in Europe making a movie about the American Southwest as successful as something like High Noon was laughable. Italian-produced films about the west, or Spaghetti Westerns, were largely low budget knock-offs where fading Hollywood stars went to die after their careers had peaked. But the work of Sergio Leone changed that viewpoint. His “The Man With No Name” trilogy wasn’t just a worldwide financial success upon release, the films have gone on to be seen as some of the greatest Westerns produced anywhere, throughout the history of film. And the final installment of that series, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, has especially become an important part of the fabric of pop culture. More than any other Western I can think of, it’s stood the test of time and achieved a level of awareness that rivals any other classic film in any other genre. Often it’s referred to as not just the definitive Spaghetti Western and Leone’s masterpiece, but as the definitive Western, period. That’s all fine and good, because I think The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is largely a great film; but I think he actually improved two years later when he made Once Upon a Time in the West, my pick for the greatest Western of all time.

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