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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Sydney" or "Last Exit Reno (Germany)")

directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
USA 1996

The DVD of Hard Eight is compared to the Blu-ray HERE


On the audio commentary, Paul Thomas Anderson explains, that all you need, to get a film started, is coffee and cigarettes. What few know is, that this perhaps is one of the most important statements from a director in the last 35 years, as Godard's rule ("All you need is a girl and a gun") had been overused: With this simple statement, Paul Thomas Anderson, not only is honest in giving away his secret to how he gets the ideas spinning, but also steps out of the shadow of the past. Paul Thomas Anderson may fake it, as he did go to filmschool, but he still thinks that you can't learn people to make film by putting them into a classroom for four years: As he says on the audio commentary of "Boogie Nights": "I learned more from listening to the audio commentary of the Criterion Laserdisc of "Bad Day at Black Rock", than I did in four years of filmschool."

Paul Thomas Anderson wrote "Hard Eight", or "Sydney" as it probably should be called, especially for Phillip Baker Hall. It is the tale of a retired bigshot, who for some unknown reason helps a down and out loser, to perfection played by, according to Paul Thomas Anderson the best actor alive, John C Reilly. Sometimes feeling more like a play, as it was written for actors, the film introduces us to the world of gamblers and hustlers, where their rules are law and they are above everything else. That Paul Thomas Anderson is a talent beyond his age and experience is crystal clear. The film is directed with so much care and precision - The mise-en-scene is so controlled and elaborate set up. This is a film, by a guy, who not only knows film, but who can think and talk film - "Hard Eight" would be a masterpiece for some, but for Paul Thomas Anderson, it was just the beginning.
out of

Henrik Sylow



Theatrical Release: January 20, 1996, (Sundance Film Festival)

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DVD Review: Columbia/Tristar - Region 1 - NTSC

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Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:41:27

2.35:1 & 4:3 Super 35mm Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.29 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.



Full Screen

4.63 mb/s

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia/Tri-star

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1 & 4:3 Super 35mm

Edition Details:
• Audio commentaries
• Paul Thomas Anderson & Phillip Baker Hall
• Paul Thomas Anderson, Phillip Baker Hall & John C Reiley
• Deleted scene: The Kiss
• Sundance Institute Filmmaker Lab scenes
• Both 2.35:1 and 1.33:1 format

DVD Release Date: October 5, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Comments The DVD of Hard Eight is compared to the Blu-ray HERE

The DVD is a flipper, in that way, that Side A is the OAR (16x9) version and Side B is the Full Screen version. Both sides are otherwise completely similar. Notable is, that, typical for Super35, the Full Screen has more picture top/bottom, while it cuts in the sides, and that the 2.35:1 picture cuts top/bottom and has more picture in the sides. This is not Pan/Scan: It's Super35. You can watch the differences on the subtitles grabs.

This DVD is a must have for anyone seriously interested in making film, or anyone else who loves film, as all the additional material is build around the process of making the film. There are two audio commentaries: The first is with PTA and Phillip Baker Hall where they discuss the character, the film and things connected to it. The second is with PTA, Phillip Baker Hall and John C. Reilly, where they talk about the making of the film, the direction and just general stuff related to the film. Then there are three scenes from Sundance Workshop, where PTA directs Phillip Baker Hall and John C. Reilly, and we get a glimpse of how the scene was constructed and directed: Holding this back to back with the actual scenes teaches you a lot of both framing a conversation, editing it and writing / directing it.

 - Henrik Sylow



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