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Hairspray / Pecker
     

Hairspray / Pecker

Director: John Waters, John Waters, Edward Furlong, Ricki Lake

Cast: John Waters, John Waters, Edward Furlong, Ricki Lake

 
This nicely-packaged double disc set from New Line focuses on two of John Waters' more lighthearted efforts, Hairspray and Pecker. Both films benefit from sharp widescreen video transfers and solid surround stereo mixes that capture Waters' trademark dialogue with high clarity and also make excellent use of each film's soundtrack of period pop songs. In

Overview

This nicely-packaged double disc set from New Line focuses on two of John Waters' more lighthearted efforts, Hairspray and Pecker. Both films benefit from sharp widescreen video transfers and solid surround stereo mixes that capture Waters' trademark dialogue with high clarity and also make excellent use of each film's soundtrack of period pop songs. In terms of extras, each disc offers a trailer and a commentary track. Waters is one of a handful of directors who have mastered the art of creating a fast-paced and witty commentary track so each is a joy to listen to: Pecker features a wealth of info on the Baltimore locations used in the film plus a great story about a battle with the MPAA over the film's title and Hairspray's commentary reveals just how autobiographical this film was for Waters as he chronicles the many real life events and people that inspired the film's plot and characters. The Hairspray commentary also features the film's star, Ricki Lake; it's easy to tell that her commentary was recorded separately from Waters' but the two tracks are edited together fairly well and its nice to hear Lake describe the Cinderella story behind her first film role. The only other bonus thrown in a nice short documentary on the Pecker disc about the photographer who shot the photos used in the film. The Hairspray disc could have used some more extras, like some retrospective interviews or shorts about the production design and soundtrack, but few fans will find fault with its commentary. In short, this double-feature disc is a nice way to get acquainted with these films and the commentary tracks make them a must for Waters fans.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Chas Turner
Whether one sees it as the first and greatest civil rights musical, a loving argument for teen liberation, or a fresh, fun-as-hell excavation of rock and soul arcana, Hairspray remains captivating. Set in Baltimore in 1962 -- effectively making it John Waters's first period film -- the movie follows "pleasantly plump" adolescent Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) as she goes from fan to star of the Corny Collins Show, a local version of American Bandstand. Her notoriety, outlandish teased hair, and deep love of soul music eventually lead her to revolt against the segregation practiced on the show. Hairspray shimmers with the two qualities that have always graced a Waters film: a bouncy, antisentimental playfulness and a sharp sympathy for rebels and outsiders. Still the director's most accomplished film, Hairspray sports an enviably catchy soundtrack of obscure tunes like "The Bug," "The Roach," and the lovely, Curtis Mayfield-penned rarity "Mama Didn't Lie." The audio commentary from both Waters and Lake is notable for its ironic humor, such as when Lake recalls having to eat to gain the weight she was losing in learning the dances.

Perhaps the story of Pecker is best expressed by a bubbling piece of hamburger seen through photobug Pecker's viewfinder. The heat has been on John Waters for years to decide whether he wants to be sizzling on the fringes of the mainstream or remain in a midnight movie ghetto that barely exists. The story is at once poignant and gently funny: Pecker (Edward Furlong) works at the Sub Pit, which the owner insists "ain't no art gallery." It becomes one, though, to the tune of New York gallery owner Lili Taylor dropping in to see Pecker's innocent snaps of rats coupling in a garbage can, of his girlfriend (Christina Ricci) at her laundromat, of a prostitute dry-shaving her legs on a bus. Before he knows it, his pictures are the art market's next big thing. A Vogue photographer is soon profiling Pecker with a self-satisfied smile, stating, "He's poor. He's white. But he sure ain't trash." Pecker ain't trash either, though its normalcy hoodwinked some people into thinking that the Trash Gourmet himself had suddenly switched to haute cuisine (this, in spite of despite the full-frontal presence of a very mean lesbian stripper). What Waters achieves here is a renewed sense of warmth and even, gulp, introspection. After all, Pecker does decide to stay in Baltimore.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/22/2001
UPC:
0794043523021
Source:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
2:58:00

Special Features

Widescreen version of the film; Audio commentary by John Waters; Original theatrical trailer; Interactive menus; Rikki Lake joins John Waters for commentary; Peckers Snapshot Gallery: on-camera interview with Chuck Shaccochis, the real photographer behind Pecker's portfolio

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Hairspray
0. Select a Scene
1. Main Title [3:29]
2. Cookin' with Corny Collins [5:48]
3. All About Amber [4:51]
4. The Record Hop [8:59]
5. In the Spotlight [8:45]
6. A Star is Born [4:09]
7. A Hair-Don't [4:24]
8. Dodge Ball Romance [2:05]
9. Hefty Hideaway Girl [2:59]
10. Motormouth Mabel's [4:35]
11. "Integration Now!" [5:13]
12. Black Baltimore [9:02]
13. Tilted Acres [5:05]
14. Race Riot! [1:42]
15. Film at Eleven [3:27]
16. Pickets and Pontiacs [6:15]
17. Free as a Bird [2:55]
18. The Bug [2:21]
19. End Credits [5:29]
Side #2 -- Pecker
0. Select a Scene
1. Main Title [4:15]
2. Slavin' for Others [1:31]
3. Shopping for Others [3:13]
4. Spin-n-Grin [2:10]
5. The Bargain Hut [4:15]
6. Peekin' in the Pelt Room [1:16]
7. Memama and Mary [3:50]
8. Tea Baggin' at the Fudge Palace [2:38]
9. I'll Make You A Star! [6:51]
10. Pecker Takes Manhatan [10:39]
11. We Were Robbed! [4:49]
12. Outside Help [3:41]
13. The Jig is Up! [6:11]
14. Darling, You Look Fabulous! [2:58]
15. Beaver Brutality! [3:08]
16. Fired From the Fudge Palace [2:50]
17. Do It for the Art [3:15]
18. Vote Pecker [4:24]
19. Welcome to Pecker's Place [10:20]
20. End Credits [3:53]

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