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Hard Candy (2006) Amazon
Director: David Slade

The controversial movie of the year. And Ellen Page’s masterful acting role. So, I saw this movie in a good sized Seattle theater and sadly I was the one of two people in the audience. It won 5 awards and 9 nominations but, looks like it only broke even. No matter—onto the extras.

One of the best extra feature sets I’ve seen. Thanks to the detailed commentary by a very articulate director David Slade.

Special Features

    • Commentary by director David Slade and writer Brian Nelson
    • Commentary by actors Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page
    • “Creating Hard Candy” featurette
    • “Controversial Confection” mini-featurette
    • Deleted and extended scenes
    • DVD-ROM: Production notebook (PC only)
    • Theatrical trailer

The best extra on this DVD is hearing David Slade talk about the twists and turns of making a quality movie on a low budget. Really fascinating stuff. 18 days for production and a one million dollar budget. He goes into all aspects of the craft that is film making. Two of my favorite cool things talked about is the fact that the film was made on Super 35 (which is basically 35mm sized stock using lenses made for 35mm film, but the image is cropped FROM the 35mm format) and the genius work of Jean-Clement Soret the colorist on the film. Love it when film makers push and pull technology to create art.

The running commentary by Patrick and Ellen is pretty much reminiscing about their time on the set. They do talk about the performances and the production of the movie. If you are big fans of these two actors, it is a nice extra feature.

The running commentary by David Slade and Brian Nelson is totally awesome, IMO. David does not miss a single aspect of movie making. And he goes into great detail with many of them. The cinematography, the production design, the scripting, the acting, and so much more. Really one of the best commentaries I’ve seen.

Too bad the Production Notes on the DVD-ROM is not supported by MAC OSX. BUT, it is accessible on a PC. And it is the best presentation of production notes ever. You get the entire 149 pages of the script on the right and on the left all the director’s notations and they are synchronized so as you flip to the next page of the script you get to see the corresponding director notes on the left. Very nice stuff.

The “Creating Hard Candy” featurette is presented by David Higgins Producer, Brian Nelson, David Slade, and the actors. A real treat – you’ll love it. And it is broken down into the following chapters:

    • Introduction
    • An independent idea
    • Casting
    • A Director’s visual style
    • Produciton
    • Post Production
    • Marketing and Release

The “Controversial Confection: The Soul of Hard Candy” mini-featurette is a nice 8-1/2 minute piece. David Slade, David Higgins, and Patrick talk about the controversial nature of the film’s wild plot. I especially liked Patrick’s view on his character.

After seeing the extras on this DVD you have got to give props to Patrick’s skill and dedication as an actor, David Slade’s incredible directing talent, the amazing writing skill of Brian Wilson, the heart and dedication of David Higgins as a producer, and the supreme acting talent of Ellen Page.

So, I’d say you have to check out the extras on this DVD.

I give it ★★★★★