Uwe Boll’s Far Cry
More Commentary Tracks Of The Damned
- Billy Crystal supplies the dad jokes in Parental Guidance’s mind-numbing commentary
- The commentary of Cougars, Inc. finds artfulness in a generic sex comedy
- The commentary track for The Coalition celebrates its own superficiality
- Paycheck’s commentary finds John Woo defending the film that stalled his Hollywood career
- The commentary for Alex Cross is just as numbingly generic as its film
- Keeping the crappy Uwe Boll videogame money-machine rolling
- Haplessly combining Postal’s clumsy comedy with Alone In The Dark’s incoherent action
- Looking cheap and slapdash even for a Uwe Boll movie
- Finding plenty of time for the improvisational antics of corpulent cut-up Chris Coppola
Defenders: Director-producer Boll, producer Shawn Williamson, associate producer Jonathan Shore, and Chance Minter, a former Boll critic and Ain’t It Cool News contributor whom Boll handily defeated in a boxing match after the eccentric filmmaker challenged his detractors to fisticuffs. Boll then gave his former enemy an opportunity to witness filmmaking firsthand, as an intern.
Tone of the commentary: Alternately nutty, self-deprecating, bitter, and frustratingly details-oriented. Boll, a master of audio commentaries, generally uses them to rant semi-coherently about a vast international conspiracy to sabotage his films, perpetrated by spineless studios, gutless distributors, and actors too cowardly to work with him. But his co-commentators keep the loopy auteur relatively on message.
Late in the commentary, one of his interchangeable co-commentators advises, “Don’t go into one of your tirades.” Boll replies, “Far Cry commentary is not fitting for that. To start on how bad the market is, or how bad other directors and producers are, or how much I get cheated on the distribution system, I think this is enough on my Postal commentary. Or Seed. This is not the kind of movie to do this for, necessarily.”
Still, Boll bitches and moans regularly, particularly about the stars of Alone In The Dark. He still apparently hasn’t gotten over Tara Reid not doing any nudity in Alone In The Dark, in spite of her long history as the world’s top nip-slip proponent. Here, he remarks bitterly, “In Alone In The Dark we tried to be serious, and people thought it silly. Here, I think we are on purpose silly. It makes it more fun, a better ride. [Pregnant pause.] And we don’t have Tara Reid. We used only her leftover breast implant for a prosthesis.” Later, Boll praises star Til Schweiger for helping keep costs down by using his own German cell phone. Boll observes of Schweiger, “You don’t have that ‘Stephen Dorff playing games’ type of stuff what we saw on Alone In The Dark, for example.”
When one of his co-commentators diplomatically adds that Dorff is a pretty good actor, Boll reluctantly agrees, then adds, “I’m happy Stephen Dorff never made it big out here. But it didn’t turn out so good for him. Also not for Christian Slater, who’s also a good actor.”
The easily distracted Boll feeds his dogs, eats a hamburger that makes him queasy, and at one point answers his cell phone, leading to the following exchange:
Boll: My Blackberry scrawl thing is not working any more, really.
Co-commentator: I don’t think people care, Uwe.
Boll luxuriates in his P.T. Barnum-like persona as the filmmaker whom geeks love to hate. While contemplating a potential sequel, he jokes, “We do a sequel. The two options: We do $20 million box-office in the U.S. and we do a real sequel, or sell 500,000 DVDs and do our typical cheap sequel. We do shoot Dungeon Siege sequel soon in China, where we use cheap children work, cheap children labor to manufacture all the costumes. Everyone gets two Euros a month. Then we can make Dungeon Siege 2 and make some money off it. And we help. We help the poor Chinese children with it. Why only Nike and Adidas make a profit out of children work from India or China?”
As always, the proudly tasteless, free-associating Boll proves more entertaining than the film he’s commenting upon.
What went wrong: Boll wanted the bad guys to move at a different speed than everyone else, but that proved prohibitively expensive. He also concedes that one of the lead roles was miscast, admitting, “I think we did two mistakes here: With Natalia Avelon, it was a mistake to have her in the movie, actually. She was very good with the weapons and the action, and she is a well-known actress from Germany… Vut destroyed ze thing for us here is her English. I think she can act in German, but her English, she’s from Eastern Europe, is not existing, let’s face it this way. Then she was insisting on synchronizing on her own. We wanted to replace her voice. It didn’t work out. She can hear the English commentary right now from me and not be saddened, because she doesn’t understand what I say.”
Comments on the cast: Boll is generous in his praise for Coppola, whom he mentions lived in Rob Schneider’s garage for a year upon moving to Hollywood. Surely a man who survived such a harrowing ordeal deserves better than supporting roles in a Boll movie, right? Accordingly, Boll complains that Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow don’t cast Coppola in their films in spite of what Boll describes as his “Dom DeLuise” quality.
Also, Schweiger, whom Boll heralds as a “young girl star” in his native Germany (that’s Boll-speak for “teen idol”), was apparently given free rein to edit his own fight scenes, and he chose to highlight his rippling physique.
Boll singles out chef/author/TV personality/bon vivant Anthony Bourdain when he pops up for a cameo—he was in town shooting a Vancouver episode of his travel show No Reservations—and misidentifies as him as the “cook who wrote the Hell’s Kitchen book.” Boll insists Bourdain (whose name he mangles in that inimitable Boll fashion, first as Antoine and then as Antony) asked Boll to look him up whenever visiting New York. Boll got to eat gratis at Bourdain’s restaurant, but the celebrity chef never returned his calls. “He’s an asshole, to be honest,” Boll grouses. When one of his co-commentators suggests that maybe Bourdain was just busy, Boll retorts, “He owes me big-time! I put him in movie!”
Inevitable dash of pretension: During a scene in a nondescript white hallway, Boll says the film “tried to be a little Clockwork Orange/2001.”
Commentary in a nutshell: One of Boll’s co-commentators wryly notes, “Logic doesn’t always enter into your films.”