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dvd commentaries
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do you listen to commentaries?
1. Yes
50%
 50%  [ 9 ]
2. No
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
3. Only my favorite films
38%
 38%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 18

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frankgrimes



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 5:39 pm    Post subject: dvd commentaries Reply with quote

Do you listen to commentaries when you rent or buy? Some commentaries will either tell you whats on the screen, high praise for everyone, and some makes the actors sound really dumb. There are those whose commentaries are informative and fun.

Few of my favorites are Lord of the rings trilogy(Peter Jackson), David Fincher and Brad Pitt in Seven and Fight Club, and Kevin Smith and Ben Affelck on View askew films.
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sporkgirl
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i found the commentary track on el mariachi to be very good.

most times i start out listening to the commentary, and more often than not turn it off because whoever it is is just patting themselves on the back and not telling me anything i didn't read on e online.

the best commentary track is on the final ep. of firefly. i could listen to it over and over again, and in fact, i have.
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TheAngryJew
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost always. Especially if it's a DVD I'm reviewing. Wink

But here's my approach:

The only way a movie is making it into my DVD collection is if A) I reallllly like the movie, and B) if I feel it actually has some "replay" value.

So if we're already talking about a movie I really adore, it's easy to understand why I'd want to check out the commentaries. They're often full of trivial bits, behind-the-scenes info and the sort of technical stuff that I love. So of all my discs that include commentary tracks, I've probably listened to 90% of 'em. (I let Jackson, Walsh and Boyens ROTK:EE yak-track lull me to sleep last night.)

My opinion on the finest commentaries? Hrmmm....

Off the top of my head: anything with Terry Gilliam. Anything with John Carpenter AND Kurt Russell at the same time. Anything with Kevin Smith. Ridley Scott, like him or not, generally does great commentary work. Ditto Paul Verhoeven, if you can decipher his heavy accent. (Rob Reiner, on the other hand, is just terrible at it. Ditto Mel Brooks.) Roger Ebert's superlative track for Dark City. Any of the historian commentaries found on Universal's Legacy Collections. Cameron Crowe and his mom on Almost Famous: Bootleg Edition. (Shit, ALL of Crowe's commentaries are great!) Fincher/Pitt/Freeman on Se7en. Fincher/Pitt/Norton/Carter on Fight Club. Either of the tracks found on the Monty Python and the Holy Grail SE. The first three tracks from the Alien Quadrilogy. Any of the cast commentaries from the LOTR EEs. ALL of the tracks found within the Simpsons and Futurama collections. Smallville and Arrested Development have provided me with a few great tracks recently. The Pixar guys do great chat-tracks. Paxton on Frailty. Coppola on Godfather 1 and 2. Anything where Joe Dante's involved. Quentin et al. in True Romance, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. The cast track and the writer's track on Pirates of the Caribbean. Most of the Disney classics (Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) have commentaries loaded with history and fascinating info.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoyed some of the Freaks and Geeks commentaries. One of them featured some of the characters of the show - in character - which was hilarious.

Also gotta give it up for the Greg the Bunny commentaries, which confirmed my belief that Sarah Silverman is the foulest mouthed, funniest beauty in the entertainment world.

And Hunter S. Thompson's commentary on the Criterion Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas... priceless.

"Why did he do that? I wouldn't do that to a midget! Jackass! ...Fwheeeeeeeee!"
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Erik The Movieman
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been very behind in my commentaries, which is odd because they are like a religion to me.

The commentary I've probably listened to the most times is actually the one on Used Cars featuring Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale and Kurt Russell. Almost as hilarious as the movie itself, it's chock full of great stuff. Notice a trend when Kurt Russell is behind the mike?
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TheAngryJew
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argh! I knew I'd forget some great ones. The F & G tracks are quite excellent, and I do remember the Used Cars one being quite jovial and fun.

Oh yeah. Danny Boyle does great tracks too.
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Ryan_A
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheAngryJew wrote:
(Shit, ALL of Crowe's commentaries are great!)...Any of the cast commentaries from the LOTR EEs. ALL of the tracks found within the Simpsons and Futurama collections.


What Scott said.

I loved the track for Say Anything, where it's Crowe, Cusack and Skye just talking for twenty minutes before the movie even starts.

And as far as Simpsons and Futurama go, I'll watch an episode without commentary first and then go back and watch it with commentary.

I'll throw in the commentaries for Buffy and Angel (haven't gotten to Firefly yet; sorry, rose) as being a fun listen. Whedon's commentaries are usually the best of the group, because he'll talk constantly, and very rarely get into the "he/she was so great in this scene" mentality that a lot of people doing commentaries seem to get into.
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David Cornelius
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best commentaries I've heard are on WarGames and Sneakers. Lasker and Parkes (and on Sneakers, Robinson) give a detailed take on how to build a script until everything's in the right places. Didn't think I could love Sneakers any more than I did, but hearing the writers discuss their variations on the story made me appreciate it so much more.

Oh, and any time Martin Scorsese has anything to say about anything, I'll listen.

As for fun commentaries, I got a kick out of the Goonies reunion commentary. Lot of fun, that one.

Dave
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frankgrimes



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved the commentarie from the cast of A guy thing with Jason Lee, Selma Blair and julia stiles. The movie sucked, but the commentaries was funny. I fell asleep listening to Robert Zemekis commentarie on Cast away.
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TheAngryJew
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Didn't think I could love Sneakers any more than I did, but hearing the writers discuss their variations on the story made me appreciate it so much more.


Good to know! I have this DVD and I've yet to check out the extras. Word.

Quote:
Oh, and any time Martin Scorsese has anything to say about anything, I'll listen.


Yeah, I'm kicking myself for forgetting. The tracks on Goodfellas and Mean Streets are seriously great.

Quote:
I got a kick out of the Goonies reunion commentary. Lot of fun, that one.


I remember listening to this one when the DVD first hit, but it's probably due for a re-listen. Didn't Astin leave the track halfway through to go shoot scenes for that Rings movie?
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David Cornelius
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheAngryJew wrote:
I remember listening to this one when the DVD first hit, but it's probably due for a re-listen. Didn't Astin leave the track halfway through to go shoot scenes for that Rings movie?


Yeah, he just kind of disappears. Weird.

Best part of that commentary is how Chunk, who apparently never acted again and therefore lived an entire teen life obsessing over his character, has become some encyclopedia of the movie. The dude knew everything.

Changing gears: The tracks on the Universal monsters discs are for the most part pretty good - especially Rudy Behlmer, who's always a treat to hear, even if he's reading a script.

(And Weird Al's UHF commentary, while obviously written to fill every second of movie, is a hoot. Love his lyrics to the Orion theme.)

Dave
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JaySeaver
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very, very rarely. I tend to look at time spent listening to commentaries as time that could be spent watching a movie I hadn't seen before.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Listening to the director's commentary on Possession actually gave me a better isight into why the film sucked. It was kinda neat to get to see inside Labute's head, and how it mattered a lot more to him that he cram as many interesting buildings into the film as possible, than the actual story, characters or pacing of the flick.

It's a heck of a boring commentary, but I learned a little from it... 'what not do do'...
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natasha_theobald
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the commentaries. They feel sort of intimate, like the director is whispering his or her secrets into your ear. For that reason, I like the boring ones as well as the informative. A couple I can remember as good:

Election

Donnie Darko

"Boomtown"

drawing a blank....
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Kand El
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will typically listen to the commentaries if they feature both a director and an actor. there are a few I am willing to let slide, but that is my general rule- and I only listen to ones that I purchase. Highlights:

Star Trek II Wrath of Khan- Nic Meyer has some great stuff to say, particularly how he got the sublime performance out of Shatner, and how Nimoy would only do the movie if they promised to kill Spock.

Goonies- its been mentioned already- but man- they got THE WHOLE DAMN CAST on the thing. Lots of fun.

Family Guy Collection- The majority of these tracks are very entertaining, and some are just as funny as the cartoons themselves.

The Howling- Joe Dante has some fun things to say.

American Werewolf In London- Now this is some fun- David Naughton and Griffin Dunne both talking about how badly they wanted to fuck Jenny Agutter and how she barely registered their presence when the cameras turned off.

That's all I can think of for now.
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sporkgirl
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great. now i have to get wargames and sneakers on dvd.

damn you, extensive but now useless vhs collection!
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Nick Sievers



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very rarely as well. Like Jay I usually find the time to watch something I haven't seen. A lot of the time i'll listen to excerpts but I think i've only listened to maybe 5 commentaries all the way through.
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David Cornelius
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz wrote:
It's a heck of a boring commentary, but I learned a little from it... 'what not do do'...


You know what commentary should'be been fun? Glitter. You'd think after all the worst-movie-ever hype it got, the director could've made some sort of apology, or a defense, or even just a discussion about the movie's bad reception. But no, he just drones on about how they shot this scene, or how Mariah was so good in that scene, or blah blah.

What's the point in talking about your movie if you can't talk about your movie? (So to speak.) It's why I stopped listening to commentaries on bad movies. (Although I'm psyched to finally get to listen to those tracks on the new Matrix set...)

Dave
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Nick Sievers



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
(Although I'm psyched to finally get to listen to those tracks on the new Matrix set...)


I was looking forward to those as well but there are so many dead spots. I nearly yelled at the screen "for gods sake speak". Big disappointment. Kind of makes me wonder if WB cut some of it out.
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laura
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Goonies was a good one. I like the You Can Count On Me commentary. I actually enjoyed the Phone Booth one, but I think that's just because despite his shortcomings, Colin Farrell is kind of entertaining. American Beauty was a decent one. I think Sixth Sense was a good one too... been a while. I was pissed when I bought the Shawshank Redemption before the special edition with commentary got released. Also, liked 28 Days Later, About a Boy, Donnie Darko, Good Will Hunting, and Stand By Me. Hey, those are all mostly movies I own and have time to dig into, what do you know.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sporkgirl wrote:
damn you, extensive but now useless vhs collection!


Sporker, put them on eBay. People will pay stupid money for VHS tapes, even now. I don't know if I ever mentioned it on the boards, but I paid a buck for an ex-rental VHS copy of Better Off Dead, thinking it was the Cusack flick when in actual fact it was a Lifetime drama starring Mare Winningham.

Sold it on eBay for $9. Plus $4.50 postage. Mm-hmm.


Last edited by Oz on Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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David Cornelius
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz wrote:
People will pay stupid money for VHS tapes, even now.


I met a guy who said he was trying to buy as many VHS box sets as possible, because "when they stop making tapes, people are going to want to pay lots of money for these!" Feeling dicky that day, I "forgot" to inform him that no, they wouldn't.

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Boris



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was reading a neat little idea about a different way of listening to audio commentaries the other day. Those who own an iPod just rip the commentary track off the DVD, convert it into a suitable file and listen to it on their iPod on the way to work, school, etc. Thought that was pretty neat idea but I've never got around to trying it out yet.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a smart idea, because many are the times when I'll forego a commentary just because I don't have the spare two hours to watch the same movie over - again.
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the Grinch
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always at least check out the commentaries to dvd's....even shit movies like D & D.

My favorites are John Carpenter's, Conan the Barbarian (hilarious, you can play a drinking game, take a drink everytime Arnold says "exactly"), Dark City, Cannibal the Musical, King of New York, and episodes of Futurama.
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