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Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

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Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

Old 10-10-10, 01:37 AM
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Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

I have a round trip commute of a little over an hour most days, and I've been thinking of finding some commentary tracks to listen to in my car.

Does anyone do this? What are some good tracks that can be listened to on their own without much need for the film itself as a reference?

I've been thinking of starting with some Kevin Smith tracks. Especially since I have no interest in watching say...Jersey Girl, yet I remember specifically that it was a pretty good commentary track.
Old 10-10-10, 09:53 AM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

I haven't actually played it yet, but StarTrek.com used to have a podcast series (they abandoned it in 2007 or '08, I think, and it had mostly just become a repository for the TV spots for the remastered original series episodes). Anyway, one of the podcast episodes was a group commentary for Robert Wise's director's cut DVD release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I don't recall now who contributed to it and I can't say if it's even still uploaded; the title of the podcast was, "Star Trek Features" if you want to search iTunes for it.

More generally, I would suggest commentary tracks not recorded at the time of production or release. It's been my experience that the more time that has passed, the more likely you are to run into interesting tangents and observations by the commentators. Roger Moore's Bond commentaries could likely be cut together to become an audio memoir; whole portions of the films pass with Sir Roger carrying on about something that's crossed his mind, from an old friendship to an incident in his personal life or a professional anecdote. The only downside to these is that you may find his voice hypnotic; he maintains a singular cadence from start to finish that may not be conducive for traffic.
Old 10-10-10, 10:32 AM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

I find that if I have just watched a film, or if I've seen the film dozens of times, then I don't really have to see the video to appreciate the commentary.

But outside of that, good advice from MinLShaw there. Lots of commentaries aren't recorded while the participants are viewing the film, but just interviews edited into a commentary, so those would be less scene-specific and in theory not need any visual reference to enjoy.
Old 10-10-10, 11:20 AM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

If I've seen the movie, I've even listened to the film itself without the video. At work, we have access to Hulu, so I listened to Charade, Bottle Rocket, Changing Lanes, and parts of others.
Old 10-10-10, 02:21 PM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

Commentaries involving multiple participants. Those can be interesting because they cover lots of ground and the participants tend to jockey for time, so you don't get the long pauses that you do with only one voice.

Two recommendations:

THE LONGEST YARD (1974) commentary by Burt Reynolds and producer Albert Ruddy. Reynolds is great. He's funny, insightful and has incredible recall.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER - if you're into DC comics and/or the animated adaptations of them, this commentary by six people is filled with interesting stuff. Plus there's a second commentary track on the disc, a solo by Darwyn Cooke, the guy who did the comic.
Old 10-11-10, 04:39 AM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

My favourite commentary is the one from A Knight's Tale. Most of it doesn't really need the film behind it. If you've seen the film enough times, you can probably just picture it in your head. It being my favourite, I like to put it on even when I may not be able to see the tv at the time. It's very funny.
Old 10-11-10, 05:42 AM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

I was in the same situation a few years ago and used to listed to commentaries to pass the time. I found that the commentaries with funny people involved tended to work best because they are often making jokes or telling funny stories, and not just talking about what's going on on screen. The Apatow commentaries (40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad, Knocked Up, Undeclared, etc) are usually really good because they tend to have a lot of really funny people involved.

Also, depending on what you look for in commentaries you may want to check out this fantastic screenwriting podcast I listen to from Creative Screenwriting Magazine. I personally love them because I'm interested in writing, but they are also great as a kind of behind the scenes on the making of the film, and they are usually a lot more interesting than even a good commentary. If you're interested here is the link http://creativescreenwritingmagazine.blogspot.com/.
Old 10-20-10, 12:33 AM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

I'm interested in listening to commentaries on my drive to work, but am unsure of how. Can anyone here let me know how I would go about taking an audio commentary from a DVD I own and making it into an MP3 so I can play it on my ipod?
Old 10-20-10, 12:19 PM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
I find that if I have just watched a film, or if I've seen the film dozens of times, then I don't really have to see the video to appreciate the commentary.
^ This.

I'm sure I'm well over 500 commentaries listened to and it is incredibly rare that I would actually watch the movie/TV show while listening to the commentary. However, it has to be in a reasonable amount of time (~30 days) since I watched it so that if the people are talking scene specific stuff, I know what they are talking about. Also, like Trevor said, if I know the movie by heart, there's never an issue listening to it at anytime.

I could never, however, listen to them at work. I don't really want to miss anything said and with the work I do, I couldn't focus properly on the commentary.
Old 10-20-10, 01:41 PM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

http://listentoamovie.com/

To grab an mp3, you can right click the launch audio player button on the movie and copy the link address. Within that is the mp3, so you can take out everything else to just have the mp3 link to download.

It hasn't been updated forever but it's a start.
Old 10-20-10, 04:31 PM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

I have Soooo many DVD's with commentary tracks and I rarely get to listen to them because I enjoy watching the films themselves. The only one I truly remember listening to was on 'The Thing' with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell- I do need to make it a point to listen to some good commentary tracks on films I've viewed several times!
Old 10-20-10, 04:37 PM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

Originally Posted by smurr05 View Post
I have Soooo many DVD's with commentary tracks and I rarely get to listen to them because I enjoy watching the films themselves. The only one I truly remember listening to was on 'The Thing' with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell- I do need to make it a point to listen to some good commentary tracks on films I've viewed several times!
For me, it started off as a curiosity with favorite movies of mine. I figured I might learn something from watching a Bond or a Star Trek with commentary, and it just sort of became a habit. Now, even if I have no immediate intention of getting around to playing it, I'm disappointed if there's not a commentary track on a given DVD or Blu-ray. (I'm looking at you, Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg and Eyes Wide Shut!)
Old 10-20-10, 10:45 PM
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Re: Listening to commentary tracks independent of the film itself.

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers View Post
http://listentoamovie.com/

To grab an mp3, you can right click the launch audio player button on the movie and copy the link address. Within that is the mp3, so you can take out everything else to just have the mp3 link to download.

It hasn't been updated forever but it's a start.


Great site for while at work

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