When our film reviewer says that Antwone Fisher is further proof that Denzel Washington has "a weakness for sentimental, idiotic drivel", you start to fear for Washington's commentary on the DVD release. The news that Fisher's script of his life is "poorly written" and "banal" doesn't bode well either for the Fisher interview on the disc. Are both going to be cloying horrors?
The truth is that both come across as humble in their new roles: Denzel as director, and Antwone Fisher as scriptwriter. If the movie struck a chord with you, then the extra features will give you further insight into the man behind the story. They also provide ammunition for critics, who may suspect that Fisher's background and driven personality affected the decision both to make the movie, and in how the story was interpreted.
The main extra feature is an audio commentary from Washington and producer Todd Black. It's just a touch on the dull side, aggravated by the fact that they spend most of the time talking about a shoot in which Washington was playing it safe as a director. You'd struggle to say that to his face, though, as a more pleasant and earnest man you surely couldn't hope to meet.
Todd Black tells how Antwone was the gate man at Sony Pictures and wrote the script longhand while working there. In the making of featurette on the DVD he expands on this story, recalling how Fox initially turned down the script as it had been written by a security guard. This is where you suspect Todd may have started to let his judgement slide, as his next three years were spent trying to make the point that a mere guard's script was worth a look.
As for the former guard himself, Antwone Fisher is open, brutally honest, and charms with sincerity when interviewed. Whatever you think of the script, you can see how Fisher's openness has been a persuasive force on the people who made the movie. The film may not manage it but you can see depths to the man thanks to the DVD.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.