DVD commentaries

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sirhansirhan
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DVD commentaries

Post by sirhansirhan » Nov 28th 2003, 2:29 pm

I just got finished watching the Criterion Collection release of Steve Soderbergh's Traffic with commentary by producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (it is one of three seperate commentary tracks on the disc). They share the commentary with another producer and two other guys, so they don't get a terrific amount of time to talk about much of anything, but they are still fun to listen to, and overall, the commentary is worthwhile.

Which brings me to my question: have you heard any good commentaries lately? So many that I listen to are really just awful and boring and sometimes make me like a movie less after having listened to them. In fact, I've gotten to the point where I generally don't listen to them, unless I know that the commentary-giver is an intelligent and well-spoken person, or at least funny as hell. A few of my favorite commentators are John Waters, Lloyd Kaufman, Neil LaBute, the aforementioned Steve Soderbergh, and Kevin Smith.

And while we're on the subject, unless I'm just retarded and missed some, the only commentary that Claire Danes has ever recorded was for Terminator 3. What the hell? Why? I haven't heard it (yet), but still. Who is in charge here?

But yeah, anyway, what are some good commentaries?

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Post by fnordboy » Nov 28th 2003, 3:02 pm

I have to agree, John Waters gives great commentary :D

Anyway, I always enjoy an Oliver Stone commentary.

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Post by andrewgd » Nov 28th 2003, 3:12 pm

I need to check my collection, but I know the cast commentary on the extended LOTR discs are great.

Oh! Best, ALL TIME DVD commentary:

Cannibal The Musical! Trey Parker, Matt Stone and friends all sit around getting drunk while watching it. Absolutely hilarous!!! You just cannot beat this commentary. Getting the dvd for this alone is worth it.

Mel Gibson's Braveheart was really good too. I have so much respect for him after listening to this. He really really knows how to make a movie. Good stuff.

I'm sure there's more, I'll add it if I can think of them.
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Post by sirhansirhan » Nov 28th 2003, 3:24 pm

I've never listened to any Oliver Stone commentaries, on account of the fact that he is a total douche. I loved Natural Born Killers, though, so maybe I should give it a shot.

I've heard before that the Trey Parker and Matt Stone commentary on Cannibal! is great, but I still haven't heard it. I look forward to the day that I do, though. You reminded me of how good Paul Thomas Anderson commentaries are, though--the commentary between him and the majority of the cast on the two-disc Boogie Nights special edition (and the Criterion Boogie Nights laserdisc release) is great, and they are all getting hammered while giving it. Maybe that should be a rule or something: do not do a commentary unless you are drinking.

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Nov 29th 2003, 3:27 am

That sounds like a good idea - at least that way it will be entertaining! There is nothing worse than listening to a commentary where someone keeps telling you, "This is the part where she walks in on her brother having sex with her boyfriend and totally freaks out." I have eyes, so there is really no need to summarize the movie WHILE I AM WATCHING IT.
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Post by andrewgd » Nov 29th 2003, 5:03 am

candygirl wrote:There is nothing worse than listening to a commentary where someone keeps telling you, "This is the part where...
The best example of this was listening to Ahnold watching Conan for the first time in 10 years. "Ah! Dis is da time where I hit him on de head. I love dat part, he he. Ah remember doing dat. Ah! Such a great movie! Oh, here is where I say my line...Oh, wait, dat is latur. Oh! Dis is where I..."

It was funny for the first 10 minutes....but after 20 minutes we had to shut it off. It was just too painful.
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Post by Nostradamus » Nov 29th 2003, 6:03 am

andrewgd wrote:
candygirl wrote:There is nothing worse than listening to a commentary where someone keeps telling you, "This is the part where...
The best example of this was listening to Ahnold watching Conan for the first time in 10 years. "Ah! Dis is da time where I hit him on de head. I love dat part, he he. Ah remember doing dat. Ah! Such a great movie! Oh, here is where I say my line...Oh, wait, dat is latur. Oh! Dis is where I..."

It was funny for the first 10 minutes....but after 20 minutes we had to shut it off. It was just too painful.
Another example is Wesley Snipes on Blade II, which was a little more fun, because he added his own comic book sound effects: "Here comes the flying kick... Boom! Then the triple fist - Bam-bam-bam! Now the reverse... Crunch! And another reverse - Ooof!"
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Post by sirhansirhan » Nov 29th 2003, 9:52 am

The commentary with Burr Steers and Kieran Culkin on Igby Goes Down is like that, too. They describe the on-screen action, make sound effects when necessary, and occasionally make a comment on how tired they were that day, or how much ice cream Claire had to eat. Somehow, though, that commentary is a lot more tolerable than most of the other crap I've subjected myself to.

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Post by TomSpeed » Dec 1st 2003, 4:20 pm

The commentary track on Almost Famous (the Bootleg version, AKA Untitled, AKA the Director's Cut) is kind of fun. Cameron Crowe and his mother are on it. It's interesting to hear them talk about real events that inspired to movie.

I also like the commentary track on Jerry Maguire (the Special Edition). Cameron, Rene, Cuba, and Tom talk about the movie while being filmed. This is the first time I've seen this feature.
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Post by sirhansirhan » Dec 1st 2003, 5:38 pm

It's funny that you mentioned two Cameron Crowe movies but left off Say Anything, which also has a really good commentary. It's Crowe, John Cusack, and Ione Skye, and, for some reason, they start it half an hour before the movie starts, so for the first 30 minutes, you are just looking at stills from the set while they talk (but not about the stills).

I haven't heard the Bootleg Almost Famous commentary or Jerry Maguire, but I'm sure that I will soon. Regardless, I imagine that they are good based on the quality of Say Anything's.

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Post by TomSpeed » Dec 1st 2003, 8:48 pm

Yes, Say Anything has a great commentary track! I was pressed for time at work. I like the fact that they had so much to say about things and didn't try to cram everything into the movie's running time. I don't like commentaries in which the people talk about so many things that they ignore the movie.
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Post by sirhansirhan » Dec 2nd 2003, 8:37 pm

I just got back from listening to the Claire Danes, Nick Stahl, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kristanna Loken, and Jonathan Mostow commentary to Terminator 3. As you can probably guess from the long list of names, Claire doesn't get a whole lot of time to speak (I prefer single person commentaries), and what she says isn't all that interesting, unfortunately. A lot of it consists of how great it was to work on the movie, and how talented the filmmakers are, etc. I was hoping for more, based on the intelligence she has shown in the interviews I've seen/read with her. I wonder if she was serious in her affection, or was just going into PR mode.

Also, all of the above people's commentaries were recorded seperately and then spliced together later, with the exception of Claire, who had Jonathan (the director) at her side while talking. He says something along the lines of, "Claire, can you talk for a minute about ____" like a hundred times. It gets kind of annoying. He also makes a big deal about the fact that T3 is Claire's first commentary, which reiterates the nagging "Why?" in my head.

Arnie's commentary is exactly as andrewgd described it above, except that it is actually pretty amusing, especially when he goes off on a tirade about the difficulties of trying to look as good naked as he did when the first Terminator was made.

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Post by grim4746 » Dec 3rd 2003, 1:24 am

Has anyone watched Fight Club with commentary? I loved it, especially Helena Bonham Carter. Though it did convince me that she's crazy. I couldn't tell if she was recording at the same time as the others though. They kept talking back and forth with each other but there was rarely anything that made me think Bonham Carter was in the same room. But there was enough to keep me from being certain that she was recorded separately. I kept picturing her in the room but off in the corner smoking and making her snide comments about the other 3 who were up front having a good time enjoying each others company and ignoring her. I'm sure it wasn't like that but I'm more entertained imagining it that way for some reason.

I also really enjoy the commentaries for The Simpsons and futurama. though it took me awile to not be annoyed by Al Jean.
I love the commentary by Jean Peirre Jeunet for Amelie. I was also left with the impression that he's ablsolutey crazy but as charming and likealbe as Amelie herself. The LOTR: FOTR EE commentaries were great too, I can't wait to watch the TT EE commentaries (I'm waiting to get it for Christmas though or at least I'm trying to wait). That's all that comes to mind right now but I know there are a ton of others that I liked. Commentaries are so much fun I wish there were some on the MSCL set.

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commentaries

Post by lance » Dec 3rd 2003, 1:21 pm

Good thread,

I have listened to dozens of commentaries from TV shows and movies. Here are my favorites:

Commentary by Ben Browder & Claudia Black on Farscape Episode "Throne for a Loss" from the First season of Farscape.
This is a fun commentary. Even if you don't like Farscape or science fiction in general, this is how a commentary should be. I simply can't praise it enough.

The two actors enjoy working with each other, that stands out. They give the usual insight into how the episode was written and shot. They also give some personal background on the riggers of filming, especially for Claudia Black. They also detail their aspirations for their characters contrasted with the shows writers. A true gem to listen to.

My other commentary is by Brendan Fraser on the movie The Mummy. Again, he gives the background information about the filiming of the movie. He also gives detail about some of the unsung heros of movie making, like the B production unit. He does this with wit, humor and style.

-LanceMan

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Post by sirhansirhan » Dec 3rd 2003, 3:03 pm

grim4746 wrote:Has anyone watched Fight Club with commentary? I loved it, especially Helena Bonham Carter. Though it did convince me that she's crazy. I couldn't tell if she was recording at the same time as the others though. They kept talking back and forth with each other but there was rarely anything that made me think Bonham Carter was in the same room. But there was enough to keep me from being certain that she was recorded separately. I kept picturing her in the room but off in the corner smoking and making her snide comments about the other 3 who were up front having a good time enjoying each others company and ignoring her. I'm sure it wasn't like that but I'm more entertained imagining it that way for some reason.
Yeah, I've listened to this commentary, and it seems pretty clear to me that Helena is in a different room recording at a different time than the rest of the crew. I haven't heard it since the DVD was first released some three years ago, and pretty much all that I remember about it now is that I thought that Helena's absence was frustrating and stupid sounding. I do have a vague recollection of her being cool in it, though.

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