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LA Times Notes Lack of Audio Commentaries

Old 12-19-06, 09:01 AM
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1.) I found that it is most rewarding to listen to these directors talk:
Martin Scorsese
Riddley Scott
David Cronenberg
Terry Gilliam
Oliver Stone
You may not like/agree everything they said (specially Stone,) but you can learn about, not just the insignful stuff of the movies, but also other non-movie-related issue. you can see how intellgence they are.

2.) Some commentaries by Film Historian/critic are also excellent. Ebert's on Critizen Kane come to mind immediately. There are so many info/insign that I feel like Ebert is giving me a leature.

Just recently I watched Gone with the Wind. I am fairly disappointed the commentor is just reading out the movie's background info. Even though it is very informative. It is borning becasue the commentor does not talk about what's going on on-screen.

3.) It is great that some DVD has subtitle for the commentary track. It will be most helpful when the commentors have stronge foreign accent, or they are senior whose voice are weak. (I remenber it is not easy to listen to the commentaries on Sean Connery 007 DVD.)
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Old 12-19-06, 09:28 AM
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Hopefully, this isn't what the future holds for new DVDs. Audio commentaries are probably my fav extra feature on a dvd, providing it's a good one (Excorcist: TVYNS, 'nuff said). I understand that a lot of people don't really listen to them, but they are usually such a good source for inside info, trivia, etc.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by tsetse27
1.) I found that it is most rewarding to listen to these directors talk:
Martin Scorsese
Ridley Scott
David Cronenberg
Terry Gilliam
Oliver Stone
You may not like/agree everything they said (specially Stone,) but you can learn about, not just the insignful stuff of the movies, but also other non-movie-related issue. you can see how intellgence they are.

2.) Some commentaries by Film Historian/critic are also excellent. Ebert's on Critizen Kane come to mind immediately. There are so many info/insign that I feel like Ebert is giving me a lecture.

Just recently I watched Gone with the Wind. I am fairly disappointed the commentor is just reading out the movie's background info. Even though it is very informative. It is borning becasue the commentor does not talk about what's going on on-screen.

3.) It is great that some DVD has subtitle for the commentary track. It will be most helpful when the commentors have stronge foreign accent, or they are senior whose voice are weak. (I remenber it is not easy to listen to the commentaries on Sean Connery 007 DVD.)

not to go into specific best and worst commentaries, but as we have pointed out, commentaries are a mixed bag - some work some don't, and with HD-DVD's giving us video commentary tracks, the future of filmmaking insight might look different for better or for worse.

- Joe Dante's commentaries are also great
- Joe Bob Briggs commentary for 'I Spit On Your Grave' takes the cake for being the most entertaining commentary - ever - period. The movie maybe flawed, but the comments/insight are priceless.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
Joe Bob Briggs commentary for 'I Spit On Your Grave' takes the cake for being the most entertaining commentary - ever - period. The movie maybe flawed, but the comments/insight are priceless.
Give Samurai Cop a listen when/if you get the chance. Briggs tops himself in that one. An impossible feat!
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Old 12-19-06, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tsetse27

3.) It is great that some DVD has subtitle for the commentary track. It will be most helpful when the commentors have stronge foreign accent, or they are senior whose voice are weak. (I remenber it is not easy to listen to the commentaries on Sean Connery 007 DVD.)
Paul Verhoven

Although he isn't bad, paired up with Ah-nuld makes you realize that Arnie doesn't have as bad of an accent as people joke about.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Mondo Kane
Give Samurai Cop a listen when/if you get the chance. Briggs tops himself in that one. An impossible feat!
added to my Neflix queue -
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Old 12-19-06, 04:38 PM
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*NO* commentary at all is worse than a boring one.
No it's not. Bad commentaries are a waste of my time -- there's nothing worse than getting forty-five minutes into a film and realizing you're basically just rewatching the movie with some guy coming on every five minutes to tell you, "This is the scene where Betty tells Dave she's having an affair."
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Old 12-19-06, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by UAIOE
I'd rather there be a cutback in commentaries and a push for a smaller number of *GOOD* commentaries instead of numerous commentaries done because "commentaries are expected".
I can agree with that. All it takes is a single listen to the commentaries on the FAWLTY TOWERS box set to confirm this.

Nothing is worse than a boring commentary.
What about Hitler?
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Old 12-19-06, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by UAIOE
Paul Verhoven
His commentary track for STARSHIP TROOPERS is nothing short than extraordinary.

"Deegital.... Reeal.... Deegital... Reeal...."

*INSERT MASSIVE BLOODCURDLING SCREAM HERE THAT WAKES UP THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF NOVA SCOTIA*

Ahhh... the early summer of 1998... good times, man.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:59 PM
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I've got to get "Starship Troopers", I do think Paul Verhoven is a riot.


Originally Posted by Matt Millheiser
What about Hitler?
Only if he was doing a boring commentary.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:37 AM
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Well I know audio commentaries are going the way of the dodo when Matt Groening and Co. stop recording commentaries on every Simpsons and Futurama episode.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Millheiser
What about Hitler?
His commentary on "Schindler's List" is terrible.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DJariya
Do the studios have to pay the directors, actors any additional fees to record an audio commentary for DVD's? I know alot of commentaries appear to be recorded during the films initial release in theatres, which would probably force the actors, stars to do it as part of the promotion of the film.
I do believe they get paid. I know Arnold got paid a hefty sum for his Total Recall commentary.

I'd prefer there to be more good and worthwhile commentaries. It's not something you can just demand and sometimes they are interesting, other times not.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:49 AM
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well wasn't that part of the of the Seinfeld DVD controversy, cast members wanted a specific (high) pay to be part of the dvd supplements.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter Neff
His commentary on "Schindler's List" is terrible.
lol
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Old 12-20-06, 01:11 PM
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It's funny how we've seen that most of Warner's new releases don't have commentaries and now they give us a commentary on a mediocre film (The Wicker Man) with Nic Cage.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DJariya
It's funny how we've seen that most of Warner's new releases don't have commentaries and now they give us a commentary on a mediocre film (The Wicker Man) with Nic Cage.

from what I have read from others who have seen the movie, 'mediocre' is putting it nicely.
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Old 12-20-06, 02:06 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by The Bus
I do believe they get paid. I know Arnold got paid a hefty sum for his Total Recall commentary.
Wasn't it like $75,000?

No matter what, it was one of the better commentaries.
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Old 02-19-07, 08:13 PM
  #44  
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Looks like this trend is here to stay. Almost all of the recently announced Warner box sets (especially classic films) contain no commentaries.

Sad - I enjoy hearing an expert on the subject or film scholar if the original director or star is not available.

Last edited by js097; 02-19-07 at 08:13 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-19-07, 08:16 PM
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Blood Diamond (a Warner title) was announced with commentary. Unfortunately, one title ain't much.
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Old 02-19-07, 10:11 PM
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david o. russell's on three kings a warner release is great. I think groening stopped being involved on simpsons commentaries because he became less involved with the show.

commentaries are needed by cast and director.

even a commentary by john mctiernan on predator can help you fall asleep.
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Old 02-20-07, 01:25 PM
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Groening no longer does Simpsons commentaries? Really?
Although, I have to say, he never has that much to say. I think he holds back.

I loved Mann's commentary on Collateral.
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Old 02-20-07, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Egon's Ghost
Groening no longer does Simpsons commentaries? Really?
Although, I have to say, he never has that much to say. I think he holds back.

Matt Groening still does commentaries
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Old 02-20-07, 01:57 PM
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I'm in the minority who would much rather see a well made documentary than simply listen to a commentary (like Spielberg does). And I agree that 90% of today's commentaries could go and I wouldn't miss them. The ones that actually appeal to me are very few and far between. I've reached the point these days where I just put them on my laptop with a pair of headphones while I'm at work.
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Old 02-20-07, 02:06 PM
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I really like the film historian commentaries. Few of the director ones are worth listening to, but the good ones like Gilliam or Smith are gold.
BTW, I would gladly give up ever having another commentary on DVD if it would stop Brett Ratner from doing them.
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