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So how do you view a film's commentary tracks?

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by StuartBooth, Dec 24, 2000.

  1. StuartBooth

    StuartBooth
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    You've got a new DVD; the film and one or more commentary tracks. I guess you watch the movie first, then the commentary tracks?

    Do you view the commentaries immediately after viewing the film or just when the mood takes you, days, weeks or months later?

    Just curious as I'm still trying to make my mind up if I like watching the commentary immediately after the film (thus viewing it too often too soon) or later on (once I've maybe forgotten details).

    Yours curiously,


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  2. RMCF

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    Sorry - never listened to one right through as they never hold my attention long enough. It is never as riveting as watching a film, no matter who is doing the commentary. Usually listen to them for about 10-15mins and then get bored - the same as the commentator from what I have heard so far. Most of them sound like they couldn't be bothered.
     
  3. mysteriousjimmy

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    I have about 170 dvd's and only watched 1 with the commentary and didn't even make it 1/4 of the way into the movie before turning it off...

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  4. StuartBooth

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    Interesting, I always watch the commentaries and find them fascinating!

    I watched The Mummy's commentary track today. Noted the directory stating he hoped we, the viewer, had watched the movie a couple of times already before listening to them.

    Guess that is a good idea as I find that I don't particularly want to delve into the detail of a commentary until I know the movie.

    It adds so much to further viewings of the movie knowing what was going on in a scene at the time. The Mummy has a couple of up-clucks for instance which are amusing!

    Stuart

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  5. Jay2000

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    I've only used commentaries if I want to find info about a certain scene, how they did/made/shot a scene etc. I have never (and probably never will) listened to one all the way through.
     
  6. StuartBooth

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    Now I've some interest in a poll on how many folks actually watch the commentary tracks.

    I must admit when there are 4 separate commentaries, as found on the Fight Club and Seven 2-disc sets, that's going to take me some getting through.

    Interesting (to me) that they don't seem to hold any interest for anybody else so far.

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  7. ptmbradley

    ptmbradley
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    The only one I've played the whole way through was the one for Mask of Zorro, and even that I wasn't paying particular attention to as I was messing about on the net at the same time.

    I'm like Jay2000, and only dip into the commentary track if there's anything in particular I'm looking to find out in any given scene.

    I find it a bit strange, I make this big deal about buying discs that are stacked with extras, but I don't usually get around to making use of most of them!

    With the exception of Gladiator, I haven't watched a single extra on about my last 6 discs! But then I've been a bit busy lately with the run up to Xmas etc, so when this is all over I might have to dedicate a whole weekend to extras watching!

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  8. RMCF

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    To reiterate what I said above, I have to agree with Jay2000 and ptm - I have listened to parts of commentaries for specific scenes, but on the whole I have been the type who does not get too excited about a disc full of extras cos, as ptm said, the vast majority of people have no interest in them. I don't like mag reviews when they say that a great film only deserves 3/5 because there are no extras on the disc - this is rubbish. If the film is there and it looks and sounds ok then thats enough for me. The only extras that I have watched have been 'Making of's...' - these are interesting at least.

    By the way Jay, your username on this site is about to pass its sell-by. Can we expect to see Jay2001 next week??

    [This message has been edited by SOK (edited 28-12-2000).]
     
  9. StuartBooth

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    I love the quality extras; the deleted scenes, outtakes and the like. This was my first and primary interest in extras, but I've since found I can enjoy the commentaries a fair bit too.

    Mind you, the storyboard commentary for American Beauty had the Director and his camera guy (can't think of the technical term) practically kissing each other which got on my nerves a bit.

    I can quite do without the theatrical trailer type extras, although I did actually watch the trailer for The Cell when the disc arrived a week ago, whilst I'm hoping to watch for the 1st time later on this evening.

    PaulBoy; the MIB commentary sounds great! I liked the You've Got Mail commentary that had the two commentators on an individual speaker, one on the left another on the right, which really quite appealed to me actually. MIB isn't high on my To-Buy list unfortunately.

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  10. PaulBoy

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    Call me Mr Sad but I like the commentaries and at some stage will eventually get round to listening to any DVD I own that has one
    What I dont like is that the DD5.1 sound is turned off for the commentary (apart from Contact which lets you VIEW the commentary as a Subtitle while you watch the film in all its glory - sound wise -)
    IMHO one of the best commentaries is on MIB where you get a silhouette of the director & Tommy Lee Jones watching the movie! You also get the director scribbling on the screen to show you things - how cool is that ? [​IMG]

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  11. PaulBoy

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    Thought I'd drag this one up again as I found out that there is a subtitled commentary on Gladiator! Yes you can watch this "classic" in glorious DTS (or whatever) and read the commentary (only works on R2 apparently according to our US cousins)
    Europe 1 - USA 0 (yee ha) [​IMG]
    BTW its subtitle 18 on the R2 version

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  12. tee

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    I try to listen to the commentaries on the films I really like but I have to say that films with 4 commentaries is pushing it, I mean who can be bothered to listen to ALL 4 on Fight Club? Not me. I reckon I've got about 170 DVDs and have listened to maybe 30 commentaries...

    Some commentaries are superb though, I listened to the Chasing Amy one last night and it was hilarious and really interesting. Other quality ones are:

    The Thing
    Evil Dead 2
    The Naked Gun Films
    From Dusk Till Dawn

    Believe me all are very, very funny and should be given a chance by all of you who don't usually listen, I'm not the biggest fan of commentaries but these are essential.

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  13. StuartBooth

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    Yeah, 4 is a scary proposition! Seven's got 4 like Fight Club. Gulp.

    To me, despite liking commentaries, they do seem to drop in quality in the later ones ... Fight Club, isn't one of them by The Dust Brothers who did the music? Not so sure that sounds that interesting, but we'll see when (if?) I get to it. The one with the director and the actors is very interesting though. Not sure I'm too interested in musical score commentaries.

    I watched Blade the other day and then started on the commentary, only to find it was very bitty, with comments from different people snipped together. As opposed to a group of them together which I really enjoy. We're all watching the movie whilst they talk about it amongst each other.


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  14. ptmbradley

    ptmbradley
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    There's one commentary track I want to go through: This is Spinal Tap.

    In case anybody doesn't know, this commentary is by the actors, in character.

    I've only managed to watch about a third so far, but it's really quite amusing.

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  15. YETi

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    Some are very good others are cack. Sometimes they are entertaining and others just give you a little more insight into why something was done in a particular way.
    Final destination was pretty good and there are many others out there, don't dismiss them!
     
  16. Guest

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    Being a complete film nutter i must say i listen to most commentary tracks.I was really disapointed that P.T.Anderson did not do a commentary for Magnolia as the two he did on Boogie Nights were Brilliant and extremely funny.He is a director we are going to see big things from and is certainly of our generation.(20 something).

    Other commentarys worth a listen are Fight Club with Brad Pitt,Edward Norton and David Fincher.Sam Mendes on American Beauty must be avoided as this bloke is just boring.....

    I have been listening to commentarys since laserdisc days and i think the quality is dropping these days on the DVD.If you want an idea of how good they used to be listen to the main one on T2 ultimate DVD,this is lifted straight from the old SE LD version.I didn't know linda Hamilton had a twin sister?

    I definately think they should keep producing them, you never know when its raining outside and you have watched everything already it does give an old movie a different look.

    Also i think the funniest commentry track ever was that pervert Paul Verhoven discussing Sharon Stones "lovely pert nipples" on the laserdisc directors cut.He really is a dirty old man.

    Cheers
    PH.
     
  17. tee

    tee
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    Rui,

    I agree mate listening to the commentary while doing a bit of surfing is something I've done plenty of times.

    Also, your point about trailers - yeah I'll be doing the same thing mate [​IMG] I LOVE trailers, I can watch them all day, especially when they're in Digital. Good point.

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  18. Ono

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    Just make sure you NEVER listen to a Jackie Chan commentary (Shanghai Noon and Georgeous). They don't have subtitles on the them!

    Trailers: I actually like to watch a trailer before the film. Trailers are designed to generate interest and excitment in a film so it's nice to see if the film lives up to it.
     
  19. Mad Max

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    Actually, I like the extras for certain things...

    1) The deleted scenes are great !!! Even better if the director explains why he dropped tham.

    2) I usually listen to the commentary tracks when doing something else. The example of listening while surfing the Net is good. You get an Idea of what's going on without being completely focused on it... And you do something usefull meanwhile.

    3) When Recordable DVD's are out, one thing I'll defenatly do is a mix of the Trailers of all my movies. What better way for your friends to choose a movie than to let them drool over the Trailer ?

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    [This message has been edited by Mad Max (edited 06-01-2001).]
     
  20. StuartBooth

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    Trailers *before* watching a film you haven't seen before?! My word ... NO!!!

    I worry too much about spoilers in them, especially if they're overly long. I prefer the so called 'teaser-trailers' I think, as they tempt me to see the movie but don't go on for 5 minutes and spoil it.

    Pitch Black's trailer has what I consider to be a huge spoiler in it. Luckily I watched it after the film, which I thought was great BTW!

    The only time I've watched a trailer before hand was The Cell.

    I bought Total DVD the other day as it had a DVD full of trailers. Most disappointed to find them Pro-Logic and of generally poor display quality.

    I think the idea of a Trailers Compilation is excellent.

    I'd also want to make my own demo disc of favourite scenes as it can be quite time consuming swapping discs and jumping to scenes.

    I watched Final Destination last night and the plane explosion scene didn't have the slam and impact of the Fight Club plane explosion. Whilst my system lacks a sub-woofer Final Destination did seem overly flat. Fight Club's plane explosion scene is a top demo scene IMO.


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