DVD commentaries: Most informative and most entertaining?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by lasvidfil, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. lasvidfil

    lasvidfil Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Coram, NY
    I'll admit i'm not a huge fan of audio commentaries as I find most of them pretty boring. When it's producers & directors, they tend to ramble sometimes wheras cast members, as long as they're in the same room, are very enjoyable.

    Most entertaining ones: Any with Kurt Russell! He has the most fun watching his movies and laughs his a** off which is very infectious. Escape From NY, The Thing, Big Trouble but his best is...Used Cars! Every time i take it out to watch, it's always with the commentary. Very funny!

    Re-Animator-The movie itself was so goofy you had to laugh but all the cast members are on the track and they have a great time.

    Most informative: I'll go with Carpenter's. He gets very detail oriented without being boring.

    Any others?
    Diablo Griffin likes this.
  2. brew ziggins

    brew ziggins Forum Prisoner

    The Village
    Most entertaining has got to be 'This is Spinal Tap'

    Most informative that I've seen is Roger Eberts commentary for 'Dark City'. I always thought he was a bit of a buffoon, but he knows A LOT about movies.
  3. efhjr

    efhjr Idler Wheel Enthusiast

    San Antonio, TX
    Steven Soderbergh does the commentary for his brilliant film Schizopolis. For the duration of the commentary, he talks on his cellphone to other people, which kinda fits in with the film. It's hilarious, and weird. Needless to say, he doesn't say much about the film itself.
  4. zappa

    zappa New Member

    St Pete, Florida
  5. scotto

    scotto Forum Resident

    Yep. First one I thought of, too.
    Duke Fame likes this.
  6. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I found John Waters' comentary on Pink Flamingos quite entertaining.
    HiFi Guy 008 likes this.
  7. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Peter Bogdonovich "What's up Doc?"
    fr in sc and PCM7027 like this.
  8. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Wellington , NZ
    I want some sort of analysis. I much prefer listening to scholars talking about the movie rather than directors or actors recollecting that the current scene was from the very first day of shooting. I tend, then, to prefer those on Criterion discs, although there are a few duds there as well.

    But with independent or non-American movies that were the result of a director's vision rather than the Hollywood movie machine, the directors tend to be more insightful.

    Sometimes the actors can be good. Peter Davison on his Doctor Who stories prepares for his commentaries and provides insightful and honest analysis with the distance that time allows but also has great rapport with the other members of the regular cast.

    Some have the composers talking when there's no music, and then he shuts up and you can hear the isolated music cue. That's nice. Wish there were more like that.

    A couple annoyances:
    Criterion's Charade, where the director keeps talking about a surprise revelation coming up but won't say what it is in case you haven't seen it yet. Does he really think people are going to be watching with the commentary on before watching the actual movie?

    From Here to Eternity with the director's son and one of the extras. That doesn't sound remotely interesting and when I listened to it, it was even worse.
    fr in sc likes this.
  9. Spinal Tap is great because they stay in character for the whole time. Best moment: when they bitch about Marty not filming all the occasions when they could find the stage entrance.

    I have Dark City but never listenned to the commentary, I will check it out this weekend.
    Drifter likes this.
  10. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Wellington , NZ
    He's not in Spinal-Tap-like character, but Eric Idle's on The Rutles was pretty good.
    Drifter likes this.
  11. lasvidfil

    lasvidfil Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Coram, NY
    Forgot about Texas 2 and I just watched it recently too. But definitely agree, another funny track.
    Cast members on the original Dawn of the Dead is also very good. What is it about horror movies that brings out the funny side of the actors?
  12. balzac

    balzac Forum Resident

    I had heard about it for awhile but only recently finally picked it up, and Roger Ebert's commentary on the "Citizen Kane" DVD is quite entertaining. I was amazed that there was almost no dead air at all during the entire film.

    Another commentary that I heard about for years before finally hearing was the commentary track for "Escape from New York" with Kurt Russell and John Carpenter. This was one that was done back in the laserdisc days, and was often touted as one of the best. It wasn't included on the film's first DVD release, but was included on a later DVD release, simply ported from the laserdisc. It is quite good, although it's probably impossible for it to live up the expectations that some may have had for it.

    The commentary tracks for seasons sets of "The Simpsons" certainly have to be given credit for the sheer volume of tracks, with at least one for every episode for ten seasons now (and a few even have two commentaries). The cycling in of different writers keeps the commentaries pretty fresh, but I have noticed that by season ten, the tracks are getting just a bit tired.
  13. I haven't listened to many, but I like these:

    William Friedkin, To Live and Die in L.A.
    Michael Mann, Collateral, Manhunter, so far Miami Vice (not far into it yet) - full disclosure: I'm a Mann freak
    John Waters - Cry Baby - he is never at a loss for words; he keeps it going all the way to the end
    Simon A and jsayers like this.
  14. Bahax

    Bahax New Member

    San Francisco
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  15. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    The Ghostbusters Commentary is interesting: Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman.
    The Hud likes this.
  16. ZIG!

    ZIG! New Member

    two of my favorites: [​IMG] Cannibal The Musical & [​IMG] Fear And Loathing Criterion
  17. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    The Lord Of The Ring Extended Edition commentaries (all of them!).
    Chris DeVoe, DeeThomaz and supermd like this.
  18. phallumontis

    phallumontis Active Member

    Chicago, IL
    Fishing With John
  19. ChrisM

    ChrisM Reclusive Enabler

    SW Ontario, Canada
    I really enjoyed the commentary track on the pilot episode of Dead Like Me. A bunch of cast members who were very enthusiastic about the show.

    SandAndGlass likes this.
  20. harmonica98

    harmonica98 Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Most informative:

    Martin Scorsese - Taxi Driver (Criterion CAV Laserdisc)
    Wim Wenders - Paris, Texas
    Spike Lee et al - Do The Right Thing (Criterion)

    Most entertaining, not sure - Vince Vaughan and Jon Favreau on Swingers are quite entertaining.

  21. Patrick

    Patrick Forum Resident

    Spinal Tap is one of the best.
    Most of the Kevin Smith movies have hilarious commentary tracks too.
    genesim and Grampire like this.
  22. A few laserdisc commentaries have been mentioned.
    I've only listened to a little bit of Michael Mann and James Caan's commentary on Thief, which I know is ported from the LD. The first thing is that they don't introduce themselves - I think Caan first says something, almost under his breath. The other thing is that they speak quietly, like they don't want to interrupt the movie or something. Compared to, say, Mann's commentary on Collateral, where he talked the whole way through, I'm so far disappointed. Were commentaries like this in the LD days?
  23. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    The Ren & Stimpy sets are entertaining(John Kricfalusi is a character in his own right).

    drasil and goodiesguy like this.
  24. Emilio

    Emilio Forum Resident

    I rather liked Jim Lovell's commentary on "Apollo 13", explaining the "poetic licenses" the movie took and the differences between what is in the movie and what actually happened. I also enjoy listening to the comments on Kiss' "Kissology" series, as Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley give a seemingly honest account of the facts as they really happened instead of the usual "we're still here, where are all the others, our fans are the most faithful, we don't care what the critics say about us, we are proud to be Kiss, blah blah blah" stuff.

    BILLONEEG Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    "Citizen Kane" commentary by Roger Ebert is my top choice.

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