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Do you like commentary tracks?

Do you like commentary tracks?

Old 12-02-03, 03:15 PM
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Depends on who the commentator is. I enjoy Kevin Smith commentaries and they add great value to the dvd. On the other hand I have also had a few that were just plain dull.
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Old 12-02-03, 03:26 PM
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I like them but I don't listen to many at all. I've listened to all the Kevin Smith commentaries and loved them. I'm like the rest of you. I usually don't have time for more than just the movie and when I'm done with one title I want to go onto another in my backlog of unwatched movies.

Since the South Park Season 1 commentaries were on CDs I listened to them in my car to and from work for about a week. I enjoyed them except when they were pointing out details of the animation that I couldn't see.

I've been meaning to listen to some when I'm on the computer working or surfing the net.
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Old 12-02-03, 03:35 PM
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Oh yeah I do. Though it matters whether or not you like the movie they're for. Some good ones:

Almost Famous
Austin Powers 1,2,&3
Comedian (with Jerry)
South Park S1 & Cannibal! The Musical
Monty Python films
Old School
The Simpsons
..and of course all the Kevin Smith dvd's.

Edit: Oh yeah, and LOTR, but I haven't gotten a chance to listen to a full track of either movie.
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Old 12-02-03, 03:45 PM
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"This is Spinal Tap" has a great commentary track -- almost makes it like a whole different movie.
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Old 12-02-03, 04:00 PM
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Neither like or dislike them... I could care less to be honest. Like matome said, I barely have enough time to watch the films on the DVDs that I have... Extras, at this point, mean very little to me... That said though, when I do get the time to viddy the extras on a particular DVD, the commentary track ranks dead last in my order of importance.
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Old 12-02-03, 04:16 PM
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My favorite "regular" special feature on DVDs. The only feature I appreciate more is full storyboards.

I'm really into the technical and creative aspects of storytelling, so getting to watch the movie "with" the creators often gives a good amount of insight into the film.
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Old 12-02-03, 04:44 PM
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My Fav extra. Its like an entirely new film to me
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Old 12-02-03, 04:47 PM
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I don't care for them.
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Old 12-02-03, 04:56 PM
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Commentary tracks are what made DVDs buyable rather than just renting for me. Back in the days of VHS, it wasn't so important for me to own a movie, but I enjoyed getting books and reading about movies. With commentaries and other extras, I get the stories about the movie as well as the movie itself.

Most of my favorites echo those that have been listed before, but I'd like to add Bruce Campbell commenting on the Evil Dead movies for some good entertainment. Raimi should have had him do a commentary on Spider-Man with Stan Lee. Sure, they both just had cameos, but they could have pulled it off.
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Old 12-02-03, 05:07 PM
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It depends ... as with most everything, there are good ones and bad ones. Off the top of my head (IMO):

Not terrible, but dissapointing: commentary on Black Narcissus. This featured Martin Scorsese and director Michael Powell. This may have been one of the first director's commentaries (it was done for Criterion's laserdisc release of the movie). Unfortunately Powell sounds very frail (he was probably in his 80s when this was recorded) and takes a long time to make any comments, so we don't get to hear that much from him ... to bad as this was a rare chance to hear this legendary director.

Very good: Mad Max. Several people who worked on the film, recording the commentary all together. They play off of each other very well, prompting back-and-forth discussion about various aspects of working on a low-budget film. They also point out a lot of interesting details that most viewers would probably miss.
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Old 12-02-03, 07:55 PM
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I dont have the patience for them. They are good when your doing other things around the room though. It's just hard to sit and focus on them the whole time, because I end up turning them off and wanting to watch the movie.
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Old 12-02-03, 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by Groucho
I'm thinking about ripping some commentaries I haven't heard off my DVD's and doing the same thing with those.
How would one go about doing that?
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Old 12-02-03, 08:12 PM
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Wow that's a great idea to put them on CD. I might have to rip some to minidisc and take it to work - the minidisc player is tons smaller than my portable DVD player and it'll be easier to get to the track.
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Old 12-02-03, 08:42 PM
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Re: Do you like commentary tracks?

Yes, especially the highly technical commentaries. &nbsp I love hearing the details of how the movie was put together.
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Old 12-02-03, 11:31 PM
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I started a thread about this once since I am always listening to DVD commentaries at work. It really depends on the person doing the commentary. The commentaries for May were pretty interesting off the top of my head. I will even buy a movie if I have heard that the commentary was particularly good because it does help my work day go by quicker.
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Old 12-03-03, 03:50 AM
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I love Commentaries. they're one of the best features of DVDs. i would take a Commentary over any other feature.

obviously, some of them are not great (Superman, Matrix), but it gives you another reason to watch the film again. it's like watching the movie sitting with the director, producer, actors, etc.

the best ones are: Mummy (Brendan Fraser), Dogma (cast), T2: extreme, FOTR (cast), Se7en (fincher, pitt, & freeman), Fight Club (fincher, norton, pitt), any Ebert commentary, and many more...
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Old 12-03-03, 04:44 AM
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I wait until I've seen a dvd several times then I will listen to the Commentary as background noise ...that I pay attention to.

Some of my fave Comms:

All of the LOTR DVD's
My Fair Lady
Godzilla 2000...you really realize how different Japanese filmaking is compared to America's.

edited to add:

I believe commentaries have helped me look at movie differently and I think I'm now a better movie watcher.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 12-08-03 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 12-03-03, 08:15 AM
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A couple I found entertaining were:

The Sum of All Fears - Tom Clancy
The Perfect Storm - Author's commentary
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Old 12-04-03, 11:40 PM
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Originally posted by Giantrobo
Godzilla 2000...you really realize how different Japanese filmaking is compared to America's
Agreed. Mike Schlesinger's commentary is very insightful. Too bad there are no commentary tracks for the upcoming GvM and GMK discs.

For sheer entertainment value in the Kevin Smith vein, might I suggest the Joe Carnahan/John Gilroy track for Narc?
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Old 12-05-03, 12:29 AM
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I loved the commentary on Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Has Hughes' done commentaries for any other movies? I know the new box set doesn't have any, which is a damn shame, but maybe I missed a movie somewhere.
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Old 12-05-03, 03:44 PM
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I don't like them. Although I'm not even that big on special features. Sure, I like to own the best possible edition of a movie, but I far prefer top-quality audio/video to bonus materials. Needless to say, I'm a Superbit DVD guy.

I've only watched a few commentaries for movies such as Gladiator and Tomorrow Never Dies, and they're informational and interesting, but I just can't sit through a whole movie listening to someone talk about it. Although the Gladiator commentary did really elevated my appreciation for Ridley Scott!

I own X-Files and 24 on DVD, and I have listened to all of the commentaries available for those two shows, simply because 45 minutes is not an unreasonable amount of time to listen to someone discuss a film.
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Old 12-05-03, 04:03 PM
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The commentaries I enjoyed the most are those found on Friends seasons. I wish they have more than 2 for each season.

Full length movie commentaries are at times too long, but I try. The one I really like is Jay and Silent Bob Strike back. Cracks me up big time. "I'm the master of C.U.N.T." lol
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Old 12-05-03, 05:15 PM
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I only listen to the commentaries on the movies that I especially like. I liked Ridley Scott’s on Alien. The Fight Club track with Pitt and Norton was really good. What I really like in a commentary is the ‘inside dope’ information. For example, Ridley Scott talking about using children as the astronauts coming off the ship because it meant he could build a smaller set and save money.

The best suggested commentary I have ever heard was offered in these forums - Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow on a commentary track of Pirates. I liked the movie, loved the character and think the ho-ho factor for this potentially would be off the scale.
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Old 12-05-03, 05:20 PM
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My favorite DVD extra. Although I tend to listen to them only when they are movies I love. If I rent a movie and see it for the first time, I tend not to listen to it.

But Family Guy, Wonka, Roger Rabbit, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and many others are just interesting to listen to. I prefer the ones when everybody is in the same room though, not recorded separatly.
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Old 12-05-03, 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by Groucho
I'm thinking about ripping some commentaries I haven't heard off my DVD's and doing the same thing with those.
I've been doing this for a year or so and its been working great!

My main problem was I usually did not have enough free time to listent to the commentary, but I usually do love them when I can.

However, I have an hour commute to work and back. So, every day I can listen to a new audio commentary. (I don't like any of the local radio stations, so it works out great!).

For those interested, there is a HOW-TO guide somewhere at vcdhelp.com that I used.

Basically, you just use some freeware to demux the commentary, then save as a WAV, then burn to CD. Pretty easy, and only takes about a minute.
The main problem is that a CD will only hold 1 hour, so I'll usually have to cut it in half, and burn 2 CDs. Occationally, I'll try to cram 2 commentaries onto 3 CDs.

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