Monday, July 30, 2007

"Track 29"

USA Release: September 1988
Starring: Gary Oldman, Theresa Russell, Christopher Lloyd
Directed by Nicholas Roeg

Pussy Willow has already talked about this film on both BloggerParty and on BlogFeast. In fact, she raved about this movie, calling it “A True Pussy Willow Kinda Movie.” And I have to agree with her. I won’t bother repeating what my alter ego has already said (you can read those posts by following the links if you are of a mind) but I will say this much, this movie is fantastic! Fans of Nicholas Roeg will love it. It’s a great example of a Roeg mind-boggler with plenty of blind-alleys, twists and turns. Fans of Theresa Russell will love it as will fans of Christopher Lloyd. And Gary Oldman fans? Fuget about it! He’s over the top in this film.

True, true, as pointed out in a couple of comments on, Oldman’s style is a little raw in this film. He had not yet achieved the maturity and polish we see in later films. But frankly, I find this one of the most interesting aspects of the film. It’s a chance for us to see part of the journey Oldman has been on in perfecting his techniques and performances. But even as young and unpolished as he is in this film he still manages to give us an outstanding performance. I really cannot think of any other actor capable of giving us the kind of performance we see from Oldman in this movie. His performance is essential in maintaining the mood of the film, in keeping the viewer guessing, keeping the viewer doubting that what they have seen is actually what is happening. I loved every minute of it!

In fact, Martin is my favorite Oldman character. He really is remarkable in this role. In turns, he was strange and frightening, he was compelling and seductive, he was weird, he was affectionate, he was violent, he was friendly and likeable – and then again, sometimes he was all these things all at the same time. He pulled it off beautifully. In fact, Mr. Oldman’s performance is what made me keep doubting what I was sure the rest of the film was telling me. He was sooooooo believable. Or maybe he was just so compelling as Martin that I wanted to believe him.

Hmmmm…..compelling. According to
1 : to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly
2 : to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure

The character of Martin was certainly compelling. The scene where Martin shows up at the Henry house while Linda is in the pool left a lasting impression on me. You already know that Martin is looking for his mother and you have a good idea that Linda is who he is looking for. And yet Martin is seductive in his conversation and actions with Linda. Martin begins to apply overwhelming pressure to Linda with his insinuations about his mother and with his sexually charged behavior.

Honestly, watching this scene I didn't know whether to be totally creeped out or turned on. I think those are the exact feelings that Roeg wanted us to see in Linda and Mr. Oldman hit it dead-on. Linda was beginning to feel an irrestible urge where Martin was concerned. Martin was beginning to drive Linda in the direction he wanted her to go. But in what direction? What did Martin want from her? This scene set the stage for the entire film and Oldman's performance was absolutely magnificent.

So, here’s my question…..Why can’t I get a DVD of “Track 29” in USA format? Why???? What the heck is going on with Island Distributors that they can’t get the DVD released in the US? Spain can get the DVD, the UK can get the DVD – and it was never even released in theaters in Spain or the UK. But in the US you can only get a VHS copy of this film and sometimes you can’t even find a new VHS copy. When I first went looking for a copy of this film I had to settle for a used VHS tape. Today I went on another search to see if some new ones had popped up on the market and did find new VHS tapes available on and on at reasonable prices. The only new copy I found a few months ago had a price tag of $25.00 – not exactly reasonable when you can get a newly released blockbuster on DVD for less than $20.00.

So tell us, Island, when are you going to release the DVD of “Track 29” in USA format? There are more than a couple Gary Oldman fans who would really, really, really like a copy.


Huey said...

I have to agree, Dudette, this was a great flic. Of course, I think that had more to do with Roeg than Oldman.....

The Willow said...

Oh, I give Roeg lots of credit on this film. Lots! His vision is what makes it so fantastic. But I also think it never would have worked without Oldman. I can't think of one other actor who could have pulled off this role. Not one.

Admit it, you loved him in it. You know you did. LOL!

Richard James said...

Glad you finally got to see it, Willow. A must see flick, to be sure!

The Willow said...

You are so right, RJ! I just can NOT understand why it's not available in a Region 1 DVD.