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What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Old 06-22-09, 03:54 PM
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What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Still to this day my favorite DVD/Blu feature & I always listen to them all the way through whether they are good or bad.

So what was the last one you listened to & how was it?

Mine was The Paradine Case. The Hitchcock historian commentaries are some of the most informative I've ever heard. This was always my least favorite Hitch-film & the only film of his I'd ever felt was rather sloppy in parts. Now I know why with the struggles b/w Hitch & Selznik being explained.

Also yesterday was the first time I heard a Larry David/Seinfeld commentary on an episode & it has to be one of the worste tracks I'd ever heard. Arguably the two greatest TV writers of the past 50 years, & it's almost nothing but silence the entire episode. T
Old 06-22-09, 04:07 PM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

(This past Saturday Night) Wizard of Oz
Great historian track with good trivia (The identity of Nikko, the brief "Black" slippers,More songs and more Wicked Witch footage excised)
. But I could always do without the archieve comments that WB tends to always throw in. How much did they have Fay Wray saying on the King Kong track, for instance? Five words, at max?
Old 06-22-09, 04:33 PM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

i usually watch/listen to on average at least 1 commenary a day.
Yesterday i listened to to commentaries:
*Dr. Joseph A. Gomez (Founding Director of Film Studies at North Carolina State University) on Peter Watkins' great and infuriating Punishment Park. Very good commentary track. Exactly the kind of track a film of this kind needs. ALso great was the nearly 30 minute intro to this film by the director also on the dvd.
*Director Peter Yates on The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Interesting and personal and honest track. Not the most lively or engaging but a worthwhile informative commentary.
Old 06-22-09, 04:53 PM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

I've been running through a lot the Fox Film Noir series lately and listened to commentary tracks by Eddie Muller on a few and James Ursini and Alain Silver on others. The Muller tracks seem strange to me; Muller proclaims his love for Noir, but seems to take an almost mocking tone to the films he's commenting on. I almost feel as if I'm listening to a rifftrack at times! The Ursini and Silver tracks are more sober and respectful
Old 06-22-09, 05:09 PM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Oliver Stone's commentary on Alexander: The Final Cut.

I thought it was decent and interesting enough (to me, a big Stone fan), but he got a little quiet in the second half of it, and his voice seemed a little too.... calm? I don't know.
Old 06-22-09, 05:31 PM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Even though I welcome them as extras, in all honesty I have probably listened to to maybe 10 to 15 commentaries all the way through in the twelve years I have been buying DVD's. Most I just listen to bits and pieces of if I listen to them at all. Last night I listened to one for the first time in quite awhile. It was the director's commentary through the deleted scenes of "Cocaine Cowboys." It's a fantastic documentary and I have always been fascinated by that time period/subject matter. As with any group of deleted scenes the filmmakers just explained why they had to be cut (I.E. they were interesting stories but just didn't fit the narrative).

Last edited by Dubya; 06-22-09 at 05:33 PM.
Old 06-23-09, 04:02 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

I just listened to the commentary track for The Devil's Backbone...it was good mix of anecdotes and technical points, which generally makes for the best commentary tracks. Most of the cast commentaries for Seinfeld are indeed worthless--filled with long pauses and the cast laughing at their own jokes, although a few of the writers' commentaries are worth listening to. I do like most of Oliver Stone's commentaries. He has no problem giving his true opinion about matters, and even if he slows down in places, he usually has a manic finish as the end credits roll by.
Old 06-23-09, 05:24 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Marc Gervais on Bergman's Persona and he is difficult to follow.
Old 06-23-09, 07:40 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

John Frankenheimer on Seven Days in May--one of the great political thrillers. He provides real insights and lots of interesting anecdotes. If you haven't seen it, do. Knockout black and white cinematography. And a dream cast! Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Frederic March, Ava Gardner, Martin Balsam, Edmond O'Brien. I'll tell you, to see Douglas and Lancaster in their prime, going toe to toe, it doesn't get much better.
Old 06-23-09, 08:23 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Originally Posted by Sessa17 View Post
Also yesterday was the first time I heard a Larry David/Seinfeld commentary on an episode & it has to be one of the worste tracks I'd ever heard. Arguably the two greatest TV writers of the past 50 years, & it's almost nothing but silence the entire episode. T
Funny you mention seinfeld. I usually never play the commentaries, but i was eating and too lazy to stop eating and change discs, so I gave it a listen. It wasn't a Seinfeld/David track, but rather whoever the writers were for "The Secret Code" eposide. I don't have the discs in front of me to give proper credit.

It was quite the opposite of the one you played. Very enjoyable with a some interesting tidbits, such as how Peterman got his first name (pizza place the writers went to) and a few others.
Old 06-23-09, 09:07 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

the most recent commentary I've listeed to was the Robert Kerman / Jerry Butler one on the 'Little Darlin's' disc - the box makes a big thing about it being hysterical - I thought it was rather immature mostly on Jerry's thoughts and comments, Robert's really an interesting guy to listen to (I listened to his solo commentary on 'Blow-Dry' prior in the week) - he likes to harp on his Spidey 1 appearence and the one in Spidey 2 and 3 (I think) that were deleted. There's a third person on the Little Darlin's commentary and he interjects little bits of historical context/tidbits and his thoughts are even more interesting - at one point the conversation gears to a Marlon Brando story -that surprise surprise gets clipped.

Originally Posted by JOKipper View Post
I just listened to the commentary track for The Devil's Backbone...it was good mix of anecdotes and technical points, which generally makes for the best commentary tracks.

Most of the cast commentaries for Seinfeld are indeed worthless--filled with long pauses and the cast laughing at their own jokes, although a few of the writers' commentaries are worth listening to. I do like most of Oliver Stone's commentaries. He has no problem giving his true opinion about matters, and even if he slows down in places, he usually has a manic finish as the end credits roll by.

which one, Guilliaume did two different one's depending on which edition you bought.
Old 06-23-09, 09:45 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

40 year old virgin....it was pretty funny like most of the apatow related commentaries.
Old 06-23-09, 09:51 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

^ I recently watched 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' with the commentary and it was interesting to hear the cast all state that the actress who played the yoga instructor was such a racist, you could really hear the disdain and disgust in their voices stating this fact.
Old 06-23-09, 09:53 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Originally Posted by Apone View Post
Marc Gervais on Bergman's Persona and he is difficult to follow.
I've heard that 'Hour of the Wolf' commentary is near impossible to listen to as well.
Old 06-23-09, 11:34 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Originally Posted by Sessa17 View Post
So what was the last one you listened to & how was it?
Friday the 13th Part 3. Pretty enjoyable, but the Friday the 13th "expert" was lame and almost too quiet to be heard.
Old 06-23-09, 11:38 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

I just watched the Criterion commentary for Do the Right Thing. Very informative and like most Criterions is edited in such a way so that it is always interesting.

Last edited by wd40cloud; 07-22-09 at 08:58 PM.
Old 06-23-09, 08:29 PM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

One of the things I do for my movies/DVD blog is I never post a review without playing any and all commentary tracks first. Lately, I've been working my way through the commentary-less Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Complete Third Season, and looking through my last several reviews I see it's been a while since I last played a commentary track. In fact, the last I played were both commentary tracks, back-to-back, on Grandma's Boy. My remarks in my blog concerning the pair:

"You get the original R-rated theatrical cut as well as the unrated version, and if two cuts of the movie aren't enough, you also get two commentary tracks. The first is by first time director Goossen; the second is by the trio of Covert, Dante and Swardson. The former is more engaging than one might expect from a director on his first outing, and the latter benefits from the behind-the-scenes roles of the three actors (all three have producer credits, and Covert and Swardson co-wrote the screenplay)."

Rather generic, I know, so I'll expand my remarks here to note that the second commentary track was a mixture of all-business, behind-the-scenes back-slapping, making sure everyone got credit for his contribution and frequent distractions recalling the origins of gags and jokes. It was more professional than I'd expected (though, considering the film, that's not saying as much as it might). Still, I enjoyed them both.
Old 06-23-09, 11:48 PM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

The Hit

It was pretty good. It was fun to hear from Tim Roth and John Hurt.

I wish Terence Stamp had been on the track though.
Old 06-23-09, 11:49 PM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Poultrygeist.

It was decent. B-.
Old 06-24-09, 02:01 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Originally Posted by JOKipper View Post
I do like most of Oliver Stone's commentaries. He has no problem giving his true opinion about matters, and even if he slows down in places, he usually has a manic finish as the end credits roll by.
I thought the Alexander disc was just going to cut him off at the end credits.
Old 06-24-09, 02:07 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

When I first bought a DVD player in 1999, the audio commentaries were my favorite feature. When I was working I used to put one on ones I had even listened to before. Back then, a lot of these commentaires were carried over from laser disc, so they were for movies that actually had a lot of background information worth talking about. Whether the commentary was by a critic or participants of the production, a lot of time had passed so these people could get nostalgic, and look back at the production with some hindsight and really have some interesting thoughts to impart.

Now that every movie has a commentary (many that seem to be recorded even before the release of the movie), the final product plays more like a contract obligation than anything an audience would find interesting. I rarely bother listening to them any more. It took me awhile to even remember the last commentaries I listened to.

I sampled Alan Ball's commentary on the final scene of the great Six Feet Under, and his comments all seemed pithal against the finest, most emotional six minutes of film I've ever seen.

The last one before that was Malcolm McDowell on A Clockwork Orange, which I listened to over a year ago. And while there was many interesting moments, they were spread out too far from one another. Generally, the runtime of the movie is an inefficiant way to deliever the information in the average commentary. Now days I'd rather have a video of an interview that runs as long as the speaker has things to say.
Old 06-24-09, 05:00 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

I listen to commentaries only sporadically, but it just so happens that last night I listened to the Jerry Lewis comedy, The Bellboy. I guess Lewis agreed to do commentaries for the films in The Legendary Jerry Collection on his own terms, which means he watched them with friend Steve Lawrence.

At the outset of this commentary, Mr. Lawrence asked Jerry a direct question about the production, which prompted Lewis to start talking about something else. From then on Jerry free associated on things that caught his attention and Steve commented on a few faces that he recognized in the film. Lewis did offer some very interesting stories and insights on specific scenes of the film. But there were a few larger things going on in that production (like why he had to come up with an "extra" film for Paramount & the video playback system he invented) that weren't covered at all. Oh, but he did tell a great story about leaving Paramount when Gulf & Western moved in. I enjoyed the commentary but wish someone had been there to prompt Jerry to cover all the bases.
Old 06-24-09, 07:16 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
^ I recently watched 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' with the commentary and it was interesting to hear the cast all state that the actress who played the yoga instructor was such a racist, you could really hear the disdain and disgust in their voices stating this fact.
wait, you actually thought they were being serious when they said that?
Old 06-24-09, 08:13 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Originally Posted by Apone View Post
Marc Gervais on Bergman's Persona and he is difficult to follow.
Oh, yeah. He really pales in comparison to the guy who does commentary tracks on a lot of the Criterion Bergmans. (Peter Cowie, I think his name is.)

My last commentary was The Burrowers. It was fairly engaging, but I ended up fast forwarding a little here and there, which I generally do with rentals unless I absolutely loved the movie or a favorite actor is on the track.
Old 06-24-09, 09:35 AM
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Re: What's the last commentary track you listened to & how was it?

Originally Posted by riotinmyskull View Post
wait, you actually thought they were being serious when they said that?

for a sec ... then, no

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