Fox Home Ent., $29.98
BAZ LUHRMANN is a gaudy, intrusive, pretentious braggart of a director . . . all the requisite qualities for a great showman. Nobody should be shocked then that a) this Moulin Rouge double-disc gala is as infuriatingly overstuffed as the film itself, and b) Luhrmann's patronizing dissections of its fatigued rich-poor-rich love triangle are inescapable.
In a feisty commentary track, he takes pride in "slapping the audience around" before Nicole Kidman's grand entrance as untouchable courtesan Satine. You have to dig deeply through the extras to find anything similarly off-the-cuff. The cast sleepwalks through high-gloss promotional interviews that can be summarized thusly: Baz is the Second Coming of Christ.
Multiple featurettes on the inspired, anachronistic song-and-dance numbers don't offer any new insight into the premise but do let Fatboy Slim employ the word "hedonistic" four times in describing them.
Skip to the sublimely ridiculous screenwriting workshop with Luhrmann and co-writer Craig Pearce. They read through an unused scene, which I would gladly describe were it not as entirely impenetrable as anything that actually made the cut. Regardless, Luhrmann's impression of Ewan McGregor is golden, and he delivers Kidman's lines in a husky baritone that essentially marries Kathleen Turner and Chewbacca.
Pearce details a discarded subplot in which baddie Richard Roxburgh was to lead the star-crossed Ewan and Nic through a whirlwind of balloon trips, the occult, morphine addiction, and orgiastic dinners with Oscar Wilde. The tangent was cut because it "distracted" from the main story. Right. Moulin Rouge is all about restraint.
SCI-FI GEEKS may shed their restraint at the collector's edition of 1981's Tron (at last!), which arrives Jan. 15 with five (five!) hours of extras on two discs. Glitter, Tombstone, Bubble Boy, and 1992's Newsies debut on disc at the same time for no apparent purpose. (Well, Christian Bale fans may have some interest in revisiting the then-pubescent actor—before he became American Psycho.) Better bets are The Sixth Sense (reissued with new extras), 1966's very creepy Rock Hudson picture Seconds (with director commentary by John Frankenheimer), and Wet Hot American Summer, a guilty pleasure with Janeane Garofalo.