#1  
Old 06-14-2006, 05:58 AM
Commentaries - yes or no?

I'm not sure if this was discussed before, but I was inspired by the "pesky special features" thread, and so here is my question.

Do you ever listen to the commentaries on DVDs you purchase?

I can safely say that I have listened to almost all of the commentaries on the various DVDs I own. I am deeply disappointed when a DVD is released WITHOUT a commentary - it's one of the things I look forward to the most on a DVD set. I find the commentaries (most of the time, at least) to be incredibly insightful and particularly fascinating, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the film that is more insightful and scene-specific than the featurettes (usually).

My favourite commentaries are cast commentaries, because they speak less techically and more about the experience itself, which is great. Of coruse, when you have a cast commentary in which multiple people are in the room, it's an extra bonus. Feels like you're sitting with a group of friends. Director's commentaries are, of course, also excellent, as the director is usually the one who knows the most about his movie. Director/screenwriter and Director/producer combos are also good and probably even more insightful, and you have the bonus of a few people working off one another, and not just one person sitting in a dark room explaining about his movie on his own.

Of course, sometimes it's hard to watch all the commentaries, the prime example being on the LOTR extended cut DVDs. The movies are quite long and it takes a while to get through the commentary, that's one. The other is that there are FOUR full-length commentaries, which is quite a feat to listen to. I have listened to the cast commentary and director/screenwriters commentary on all three fims, but have to admit that I have not listened to the design team and production team commentaries.

So again... do you schmoes listen to your DVD commentaries, or are the commentaries just one of those "pesky special features" that aren't worth listening to/taking a look at?
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2006, 06:11 AM
ive not listened to a commentary for a long time, i'll start doing so after ive seen all the films i currently own but have to watch

i generally like commentarys though, as long as the people doing them are informative and lively (if the person is dull i generally get very bored and just turn it off)
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2006, 06:14 AM
Another note:

One of my all-time favourite commentaries is on the Almost Famous "Untitled" DVD - Cameron Crowe along with his MOTHER! How great is that!! At once both incredibly informative and very entertaining and hilarious.
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  #4  
Old 06-14-2006, 06:49 AM
I like listening to commentaries, though I'll admit that it's been a while since I've listened to one on my DVDs - something I intend to remedy. I prefer director commentaries myself; though it is better when the director is with somebody else - preferably part of the cast - like in Se7en - great commentary!!!

I, also, am disappointed when a commentary is not included on a DVD - you listening, Spielberg!?!
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2006, 09:36 AM
I really enjoy commentaries. They are my favorite special feature.
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2006, 10:37 AM
The Matrix films did some with critics that hated the films. CLASSIC.
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2006, 10:42 AM
i've listened to a fair share...it's probably my fav special feature..i haven't listened to one in a while tho...i started to listen to the Boogie Nights SE one and it sounded kinda funny...i sounds like it's at PTA apartment and cast members come in and out all the while he is making breakfast...gotta listen to it all the way through
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2006, 11:00 AM
have you guys ever listened to a Terry Gilliam commentary. His are a hoot.
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2006, 04:32 PM
Yes, the last one I listened to was the Toy Story one.
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  #10  
Old 06-15-2006, 12:48 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Funnyman
The Matrix films did some with critics that hated the films. CLASSIC.
I loved that ballsy move, I checked out commentary for the first and it was awsome, people who loved and hates the series. Really puts it in its pop cultured perspective. I'll be checking out the commentary for the sequals some time soon.

I usually dig commentaries, sometimes i start them and never finish if the talker is bollocks. Some fellas just were made to talk while their films are playing (Ridley Scott, Scorsese). My favorites have been from Ebert, great commentaries for Casablanca and Dark City.
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  #11  
Old 06-15-2006, 03:01 PM
I just listened to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang's commentary, and it was really good. I think I'm going to start listening to more commentaries after the wonderful "Dazed and Confused" and "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" tracks.
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  #12  
Old 06-15-2006, 04:09 PM
* Me too.

I suppose I'm in the camp where movies are demystified when talked extensively by the people behind the movie.


From what I've heard, the Peter Bogdanovich commentaries are awful. Hilariously described as, "he goes through his material within the first ten to twenty minutes, then spends the rest of the time laughing at the jokes on screen".
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2006, 05:28 PM
I love a good commentary. But I stress the word GOOD. Some are just horrible. Case in point? The first Simpsons season. I love Groening & Co., but they hadn't gotten in the swing of things yet. However, there are some great commentaries out there. The commentary for Evil Dead 2 is one of my favorites ever.
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2006, 07:03 PM
Ebert's Casablanca one, like AP mentioned, is classic.
I do get bothered by by extensive talking, but I do appreciate a commentary where there is some quiet where filmmakers actually reflect on the work.
Bogdanovich's commentaries don't sound too good - kind of like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang where everyone's pissing themselves over the funny jokes, except it's well made.
Like there's one comment where Black goes "how did you make that face" followed by incessant laughing over Downey Jr.'s face when he finds out he's pissing on a corpse (hope I didn't ruin the film for someone). It just fits.
I should see my Evil Dead 2 commentary - sounds good.
A thing I noticed though, from all the Criterion dvds I've seen (I haven't bought that many yet), I haven't listened to one commentary but my 8.5 () dvd. Oh, and Dazed and Confused. Does anyone listen to the Criterion commentaries, and are they any good?
I've never been interested, although now that I think about it, Brazil and the Royal Tenenbaums should have interesting ones.
Does PTA record commentaries?

Sorry if I'm going all over the place here...
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2006, 10:33 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by dman476
I should see my Evil Dead 2 commentary - sounds good.
Yes you definately should. The Army of Darkness commentary is good, too, but unfortunately, Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi & Co. are on seperate tracks on The Evil Dead, for some reason. But Evil Dead 2 is great just for Sam and Bruce going back and forth about the latter being "tormented" repeatedly. And the imitation of "The Force".
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  #16  
Old 06-15-2006, 10:38 PM
Absolutely, commentaries are the greatest. One of my favourite commentaries ever is listening to Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and David Fincher on "Fight Club". It's so awesome!
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  #17  
Old 06-15-2006, 11:39 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by dman476
Does PTA record commentaries?
he did one on Boogie Nights
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  #18  
Old 06-16-2006, 02:32 PM
I love commentaries - But only when they are done by director, or with director and some other crew member. Director/editor combos tend to be good. And so are director/cinematographer combos. Producer commentaries are generally completely useless, and they tend to grate my nerves the most. Actors can be funny, but rarely informative.

I'm mostly interested on why and how things were done like they were. So the more informative a commentary track is, the better.

Nowadays I'm hesistant to buy a DVD, unless it has a commentary.

Please Spielberg, start making them. Please.
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2006, 08:40 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka

I'm mostly interested on why and how things were done like they were. So the more informative a commentary track is, the better.
Oh yes, definitely. Anything else is like having a bunch of strangers talk while you're trying to watch the movie.
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  #20  
Old 06-16-2006, 09:52 PM
Does anyone else find it diffifcult to watch a documentary (albeit a good and entertaining one) if it's a film you don't love?
Try watching Van Helsing with the best commentary you can, and it'll still be tough.
Who likes what kinds of commentaries?
I personally like the off-beat strange ones more sometimes.
Like when it's a family friend, an admirer, a film critic - those can be very entertaining and insightful, more so than director commentaries.
Cronenberg makes good commentaries.
American Beauty had an interesting one.
And...does David Lynch have any film commentaries on his plate?
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  #21  
Old 06-16-2006, 10:24 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Monotreme

One of my all-time favourite commentaries is on the Almost Famous "Untitled" DVD - Cameron Crowe along with his MOTHER! How great is that!! At once both incredibly informative and very entertaining and hilarious.
That's one of my favorites as well.

I also enjoyed the commentary for The 40-Year Old Virgin VERY MUCH. It's almost as funny as the movie itself.

As for Steven Spielberg....well, a magician never reveals the secret to his tricks.
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  #22  
Old 06-17-2006, 05:06 AM
commentary is the most valuable special feature on a DVD, in my opinion. That said, I still haven't listened to a majority of my dvds that do come with commentary. Out of the ones i have listened to, probably the best commentaries (ie most informative/ filled with interesting facts) I've listened to were Francis Ford Coppola's commentaries on the Godfather films.

However, the most enjoyable commentaries I've sat through were the two on Boogie Nights. Actually PTA has got to be my favorite commentator, as his tracks on Hard Eight are also incredibly informative and lively. He always keeps things moving and really coaxes the actors into talking more than they regularly would.

P.S. Hunter S. Thompson's commentary on Fear and Loathing is priceless.
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  #23  
Old 06-17-2006, 07:51 AM
I thought the cop-and-crook commentary on the Goodfellas special edition was interesting. You hear the real Henry Hill talk about scenes in the movie and stuff.
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  #24  
Old 06-17-2006, 12:25 PM

CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE. Funny as hell, we can all relate to most of these
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  #25  
Old 06-17-2006, 05:48 PM
Yeah, I read that. It's awesome, and so true, although I have to admit I haven't listened to any of their "quintessential" examples of any of these types.
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  #26  
Old 06-18-2006, 03:09 PM
Kevin Smith commentaries are the best. I also liked the Carrot Top commentary on The Rules of Attraction.
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