Return of Don Tracy, The

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Original Movie Title:
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Original Release Date:
1949 / 1995
Original Running Time:
87 / 99
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Time Cut:
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
'The Return of Don Tracy' is a side-by-side "Remix" of 1949's 'Criss Cross' and Soderbergh's own 1995 remake 'The Underneath', set to a new Pop soundtrack.
With both films side-by-side they can be compared for pacing, shot-length, rhythms, cinematography and composition. The new soundtrack also adds an extra new level to the experience.
Additional Notes:
Release Information:
Special Features
1.37GB 1280x720 MP4
Editing Details:
New Soundtrack Listing:

00.00.00 - Ray Anthony & His Orchestra - Rock-Cha-Rhumba (Medley)
00.04.08 - Brian Eno - Ali Chick
00.07.43 - The Webb Brothers - You Took It Wrong
00.10.08 - Brick - Dazz
00.13.43 - Sam Phillips - I Need Love
00.17.29 - Blur - There's No Other Way
00.21.26 - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - A Familiar Taste
00.24.47 - Billy Preston - Outa-Space
00.29.20 - Do Make Say Think - 1978
00.38.28 - The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Anenome
00.43.56 - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - Magnetic
00.46.13 - Liz Phair - Stratford-On-Guy
00.49.10 - Air - Clouds Up
Cuts and Additions:
The two movies are heavily edited, with them swapping from right-to-left frequently, sometimes both play in duplicate, and a few nature shots are added. The music is interspersed with SoundFX of telephones, typewriters, computers etc.
Cover art by TM2YC (DOWNLOAD HERE)

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1 review
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
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Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
Overview - This time out, Mr Soderbergh mixes 1949’s “Criss Cross” with his own remake, “The Underneath,” from 1995. A damaged male, longing for a corrupted ex, allows himself to get sucked into a caper. The classic Noir benefits from a powerhouse cast and superb pacing. The remake, though a bit sluggish, delves more into characters.

Video - 1920 X 1080 AVC. Burt Lancaster on one side, Peter Gallagher on the other. Both prints are sharp. The 1995 film is letterboxed, so takes up more of the screen. The 1949 version is more “active” so the eye gets drawn there.

Audio - 256 kbps AAC. Stereo? Both VLC and Spek Bitrate indicated stereo, but the experience through headphones seemed mono for most of the edit. Not a big deal.
As with a few of his other works, the editor has wiped the original audio and replaced with music cues, in this case, songs. In previous reviews, I have grumbled about this editor, his tendency to select music that has no bearing with screen proceedings. Here, the music pairs nicely. If I have an issue, he lets some songs play on too long. Example: during a “love scene” Sam Phillips croons in the background. The scene ends, she’s still piping. Dude, fade the track! You have no problem rearranging video elements, do the same for audio.

Narrative - This holds together pretty well. Sans dialogue, this is a fine example of “show don’t tell.” The basic story is easy to follow, and the editor has cut so that each film informs the other. Impressive work, this.

Enjoyment - A lot more than I thought I would. Would I rewatch? Probably not. This is not as good as the original, “Criss Cross,” but I found it better his own “The Underneath” remake. I also appreciate that he is editing one of his own works, something else I have mentioned. This edit is an arresting concept and I would recommend it.
Soderbergh does not provide a commentary, but his extension765 (still online 2020) offers insight.

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