As for special features, Criterion has ported over a slew of terrific stuff from a previous 2007 DVD edition. Two commentaries are available, each featuring two participants—one who was involved in the actual film and one who wasn’t. The first track pairs director Hellman with filmmaker Allison Anders, while the other teams up screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer and film professor David N. Meyer. “On the Road Again” is not the usual retrospective piece. It’s an engaging road-based piece that finds Hellman and some of his film students visiting the old shooting locations. There’s also a nearly 40-minute interview with James Taylor and a half hour interview with Kris Kristofferson (whose “Me and Bobby McGee” was one of the few prominently featured songs on the soundtrack).
Various participants contribute additional thoughts in the “Sure Did Talk to You” interview featurette. Screen tests for James Taylor and Laurie Bird turn up as well. A couple of still photo galleries (“Color Me Gone” and “Performance and Image”) round out the features. As is often the case with Criterion releases, the booklet 37-page booklet constitutes a useful feature in its own right. This one has a couple good essays and a piece by filmmaker Richard Linklater, “Ten (Sixteen Actually) Reasons I Love Two-Lane Blacktop.”
Two-Lane Blacktop is certainly not for everyone, but what cult film is? Those viewers patient enough to adapt to its peculiar rhythm will be rewarded with a quirky character study.