Most of the supplements have been ported from the 2-disc DVD release, one rather big feature being the only thing missing. Most of this portion of the review has been copied from the DVD review for this film.
Criterion has included an audio commentary by director Nicolas Roeg, performer David Bowie, and actor Buck Henry, which has been ported over from the original Criterion laserdisc release. Overall, I liked the commentary, but I think it's Bowie and Henry that save it. Bowie is recorded with Roeg, and Henry is recorded on his own but unfortunately Roeg has most of the track. I can't really say I find Roeg a terribly interesting commentator for his films, this really only based on his track here and then one included on Criterionís DVD for Walkabout. His portion comes off really more technical than I probably would have liked. He only touches a little on the themes and never gets too deep into them. Henry was probably the most interesting as he talks a lot about acting in the film and acting in general and he does have quite a bit to say. Bowie is also good, as he adds some much needed levity to a few sequences. Plus the guy does an amazing Rip Torn impersonation. It is overall a good track, but I guess I was hoping for more insight into the film. The film welcomes a lot of analysis and I donít feel we really got that. But I should probably be thankful that Bowie was even willing to participate in a track, and he, along with Henry, do at least make the track worthwhile.
The rest of the supplements are aptly found under the menu heading of ďsupplementsĒ.
The first is a 26-minute interview with screenwriter Paul Mayersberg, presented in anamorphic widescreen. He covers the novel, working on the adaptation of the book, working with Roeg, and then goes into great detail about the themes of the film, even touching on Tevisí other works like The Hustler. It's a pretty good discussion and a great analysis of the movie.
Next you will find a 1984 audio interview with author Walter Tevis, which covers his early years (including his drinking), his science fiction writing and the themes he enjoys writing about. It lasts about 25-minutes and is quite interesting. He's a good interview subject and those who are fans of his work and/or the novel of The Man Who Fell to Earth will want to listen to it. The interview plays over a chapter list with four stops.
Performance: Candy Clark and Rip Torn is a 25-minute interview with Candy Clark and Rip Torn, who both talk about working with Roeg and Bowie, and then offer insight into their characters. They both have some rather interesting things to say (Clark had one or two surprises). Decent look back to the production and some slight insights into the film. This has also been presented in anamorphic widescreen.
Production and Costume Design presents a few sub-sections. First you get a 24-minute interview with production designer Brian Eatwell. The interview is an audio one playing over images and sequences. He discusses Roeg and the intended look of the film. It concentrates a lot on the opening sequence and the sequences on Newton's home planet, as well as the end in the labs. Next is a 19-minute audio interview (playing again over stills and clips) with Mary Routh discussing the costumes, showing sketches, and even getting into the sex sequences. There's even time for Buck Henry's rather humourous glasses. You then get an actual sketch gallery with images. Both interview segments are presented in anamorphic widescreen.
Then closing off the supplements you get a collection of theatrical trailers (one with a voice over by William Shatner,) all presented in anamorphic widescreen, and a TV spot (not in widescreen.) Thereís also a gallery of photos that include production shots, continuity shots, and a poster gallery for Roeg's Performance, Walkabout, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Don't Look Now, and Bad Timing.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray release (and all Blu-ray titles from Criterion) is the Timeline. You can open it from the pop-up menu, or by pressing the RED button on your remote. This is a timeline that shows your current position in the film. It lists the index chapters for the film and the commentary track, and you can also switch to the commentary track from here. You also have the ability to ďbookmarkĒ scenes by pressing the GREEN button and return to them by selecting them on the timeline. You can also delete bookmarks by pressing the BLUE button. This is pretty common on Blu-ray (also common on HD DVD) so itís nothing new, but a nice presentation still.
One notable feature missing is the complete novel by Walter Tevis, which was included with the DVD. Itís a shame since the novel is quite good and actually helped in improving my understanding of the film (Iíll be honest and admit I was lost at certain points when I first viewed this film.) This aspect is the only thing the DVD has over the Blu-ray.
And thatís about it. Pretty much the same as the DVD except for the missing source novel, which was a rather thoughtful inclusion for the original DVD. 7/10