Author Topic: Favourite commentaries  (Read 28292 times)

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MacGuffin

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« Reply #105 on: March 09, 2005, 04:45:25 PM »
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Quote from: bluejaytwist
the new raging bull dvd has a very good scorsese commentary, i am unsure if it was 'borrowed' from the laserdisc version or not


I'm sure. It was from the Criterion Laserdisc.
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jasper_window

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« Reply #106 on: March 18, 2005, 08:29:08 AM »
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Quote from: MacGuffin


Add Frank Darabont on "Shawshank Redemption" to this list. Informative and inspirational. I hope "Green Mile" is reissued with a director's commentary.


I couldn't agree more.  absolutely check this out if you haven't already.

Gabe

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« Reply #107 on: March 25, 2005, 12:19:59 PM »
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Did anyone mention the I Heart Huckabee's commentary? I loved hearing Wahlberg on the Boogie Nights Dvd and I heard O. Russel and Gallagher are a fun bunch to be with. I can never figure Wahlberg out, like if he really still is a gangsta ass tough guy or is just acting it because he still remembers how from when he was a kid. I guess Hollywood gangstas are the type to throw marshmallows at Reilley's fat head. :(
So hows this commentary?

Redlum

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« Reply #108 on: March 25, 2005, 12:29:40 PM »
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The O. Russel solo track I found a bit dissapointing in comparison to his excellent Three Kings track and because a lot of whats in the actor commentary is repeated. However the director/actor commentary is pretty funny but annoying that its edited. I like it when the commentary runs past the credits.
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Gabe

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« Reply #109 on: March 25, 2005, 02:09:37 PM »
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So was it a record and compile thing? I hate those type of tracks, My favorites are the ones in which the comment in groups like Boogie Nights and The Man Who Wasn't There, that way it feels a bit more, human. I also hate scripted commentaries. Scorcese did a scripted commentary on Last Temptation that was extremely dissapointing.

03

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« Reply #110 on: March 25, 2005, 04:40:05 PM »
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Rolando Klein, for his film Chac: Dios de la lluvia

GoneSavage

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« Reply #111 on: March 25, 2005, 10:01:53 PM »
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Mel Brooks' in Blazing Saddles is excellent.  For real.

cine

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« Reply #112 on: March 29, 2005, 08:24:12 PM »
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Quote from: MacGuffin
I hope "Green Mile" is reissued with a director's commentary.

a special edition is in the works right now..  :yabbse-thumbup:

MacGuffin

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« Reply #113 on: July 01, 2005, 10:23:48 PM »
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Add George Huang's solo commentary track on the "Swimming With Sharks" Special Edition to my list. When they say DVDs are like film schools, this is what they mean; although everything he talks about is stuff they don't teach you in film school. He doesn't shy away from naming names, calling out the antics he witnessed being Joel Silver's assistant, tangles with Spacey and Whaley on the set as a first time director, and the words of encouragement he received from Robert Rodriguez. Huang even shares his phone message from Shelly Winters after she heard about her mention in the film and saw it.
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noyes

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« Reply #114 on: August 10, 2005, 12:42:00 PM »
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I throughly enjoyed Milo Forman's and Peter Shaffers commentary on the directors cut of Amadeus. the featurette on the 2nd disc, for the films fans and mozart's fans, is a completely interesting and amazing, as far as the whole pre-production, production, and post-production of the film goes. lots of good stories.
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jasper_window

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« Reply #115 on: September 19, 2005, 08:03:49 AM »
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The Verdict - Lumet
Gods & Monsters - Condon
Both were very good and I can't wait to listen to Condon's commentary on Kinsey.

eward

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« Reply #116 on: September 19, 2005, 04:23:42 PM »
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any herzog commentary

MacGuffin

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Re: Favourite commentaries
« Reply #117 on: March 30, 2006, 11:23:21 AM »
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Be quiet -- the director's talking
Commentary tracks by cast, crew or someone else entirely can add depth to movies. And you might learn a little.
Source: Los Angeles Times

Since the rise of the DVD, audio commentary tracks — directors, actors and others offering their thoughts about the movie as it plays — have increasingly become a part of the package.

It's impossible to know how many people listen to them, and some have a hard time believing anyone does. After watching a two-hour movie, why would you want to watch it all over again, with someone talking over it? Don't we shush people like that in theaters?
 
But for a small group of film buffs, a good commentary track can mean the difference between a good DVD and a great one.

"I think the good ones absolutely enhance the watching of the movie," says Richard Jewell, a film historian at USC. "The ones that I favor are the ones that really put the film into context and explain the artistic decisions."

Some wonder how much they can really add to a movie. Would our appreciation of "Citizen Kane" have changed any had Orson Welles given us a shot-by-shot analysis of the film or amusing behind-the-scenes anecdotes? Probably not, but it would have been entertaining. Welles could expound on just about anything. As it is, the two-disc DVD of "Citizen Kane" comes with insightful commentary tracks from Peter Bogdanovich and Roger Ebert.

Some commentary tracks seem like nothing more than contractual obligations, actors or directors rambling aimlessly about the action on the screen or obligatorily praising their peers. But at their best, commentaries can change the way we watch movies.

Matt Zoller Seitz, a film critic for the New York Press, says commentaries have "democratized" movies by letting audiences in on how they're made. They've led to a savvier audience, one that knows about camera work and how certain effects are made.

"There's no downside to learning as much about production as possible," he says. "I have noticed an incredible sophistication about how movies are made that was not evident a few years ago."

As a critic, he says, that helps. It means he doesn't have to write in simpler terms to accommodate a general audience. "They're not going to have any problem keeping up with you, no matter how geeky you get."

But could knowing too much take away some of the mystery of how a movie is made? Pat Hanson of the American Film Institute says that's not a problem.

"Most people who are really into film love having the commentary because they want to get additional information about the movie," Hanson says.

The website ratethatcommentary.com reviews nothing but the commentary tracks of DVDs and lists the 100 best and 50 worst.

"The Fisher King," with a commentary from director Terry Gilliam, gets the highest ranking. Gilliam also gets the most placements on the list, seven. One reviewer dubs him the Michael Jordan of commentators, "effortlessly laying perfect back story, or why his instincts took the film here and not there, interesting casting anecdotes, and more."

One of the worst? Director William Friedkin's dreary analysis of his "The Exorcist." "He just describes the events we can see for ourselves. Actually, he also spends a lot of time in silence," one reviewer says.

Most on the list are either actors or directors, but a few film historians make the list. Jewell of USC has done a few commentaries, including for "I Was a Fugitive From a Chain Gang" and "Little Caesar." He doubts that many people listen to commentary tracks, and thinks even fewer do if the commentary is from someone they've never heard of. But he says his own commentaries have helped film students.

Jewell felt a little strange at first sitting in a room by himself and talking for a couple of hours over a movie.

"The first time I didn't quite know what to expect," he says. "I time out the movies, but I don't script it. I know how much time there is in a particular scene in a movie, but I don't want it to feel too canned. I make the notes and go from there."

The AFI's Hanson has just gotten into the commentary business. For a film lover, she says, it's hard to get used to the idea that you're supposed to talk while the movie is playing.

"It's a very odd and uncomfortable feeling," she says. "There's a sense, for me anyway, that you're talking over the movie. It's very difficult."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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McfLy

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Re: Favourite commentaries
« Reply #118 on: March 30, 2006, 02:48:21 PM »
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John Carpenter commentaries are always worth a listen. Especially when with Kurt Russell, you can tell the two are good friends and it makes a great dynamic.

godardian

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Re: Favourite commentaries
« Reply #119 on: March 30, 2006, 02:56:03 PM »
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Robert Altman's commentary on 3 Women.  I went back and listened to it immediately after finishing the movie for the first time. 

I can really go along with this, and with Pubrick's assessment of Bogdanovich. I LOVE, flat-out adore, The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon, and I think he's sincere about loving film and paying homage. But he never fails--in his interviews, commentaries, and writing--to come off as a very self-aggrandizing, name-dropping shill (for himself). It's like, "Guess who thinks Peter Bogdanovich is the funniest, most-inside-of-the-insider 'expert' on film? Peter Bogdanovich!" He's like if you crossed the godlike Martin Scorsese with the rather useless Dominick Dunne.

Some of my fave commentaries:

-Laura Mulvey on the Criterion Peeping Tom. Very cerebral and film studies-like.

-Todd Haynes, Julianne Moore, and Christine Vachon on Safe, as well as Haynes on Far from Heaven (the latter surprisingly much more serious than the former, wherein the gang have some good laughs reminiscing about their difficult low-budget shoot and the film's uniqueness).

-Don Roos on The Opposite of Sex.
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