Author Topic: Audio Commentaries  (Read 3936 times)

Offline Tom

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Audio Commentaries
« on: March 02, 2008, 08:38:54 PM »
Do you care about them? Do you listen to them regularly? Which kind of commentary do you like best?

In the beginning I listened to each audio commentary after I had watched the movie. But then my unwatched pile got bigger and my time less and I started to tag the movies, where I still needed to listen to the audio commentary. Now I have 200 profiles with still unwatched commentaries.

I like the commentaries best, where a group of actors get together and tell anectodes about filming and their experiance in and after the movie. Director's commentaries are also good, especially if he/she does it together with the lead actor (then it usually doesn't get to technical). The least interesting commentaries are usually technical ones like from special effect guys. That information belongs to a decent featurette.



Offline DJ Doena

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2008, 08:45:24 PM »
I very, very rarely do that. I think the only commentary I've ever listened to was the one to the Farscape pilot. I simply can't watch the same movie twice in a row and if I watch it later again I want to watch the movie, not listen to the commentary.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2008, 08:49:40 PM »
I very, very rarely do that. I think the only commentary I've ever listened to was the one to the Farscape pilot.
Then I recommend to at least listen to the commentaries of the Kevin Smith movies (if you haven't done it so far). But I think they are missing from the German DVDs.



Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2008, 09:08:09 PM »
I wouldn't say it is very often... but I do enjoy listening to a good commentary now and then. Normally my favorite commentaries are the ones done by the star/stars of the movie/show. As I have mentioned before I am not one that normally cares about the crew... so crew commentaries are not ones I tend to listen to.  There is an exception though... my favorite commentaries are done by Joss Whedon on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes.
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Offline Kathy

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 09:29:20 PM »
I always listen to the commentary. I'll sit and watch the movie and then, while I clean the house or do something else boring, I listen to the commentary next. The hardest ones were the Lord of the Rings - soooo many commentaries! I watch them every New Year - a LOTR marathon!

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2008, 10:46:30 PM »
I listen the audio commentary, but sometimes I cut them short. If it's just a "look how we are good and perfect" or "a track for the blind peoples" I don't waste my time on them. For me a commentary track must be instructive (not in a school way) : it must discuss about the film history, the period history, ...

By exemple every commentary by David Friedman, Tim Lucas or Bill Lustig is interesting
and
every commentary by Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino or Ted Mickels is boring

And I hate those too : all the commentary for the Ilsa series (the moderator is an idiot) and the commentary made by non english speaker in english (the worst exemple the commentary for the Italian Demons series), is not that hard to let them make it in their language and using subtitles.

Touti

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2008, 11:38:06 PM »
I never do, I'm not at all interested in them.  If it was only for me they would no longer exist, that would only keep the price of DVD's lower because every one wants to get paid for them now.

I much prefer bonus features like Bios, Cast & Crew and Making of.  I particularly enjoy "Making of"..........which just gave me an idea for a new thread :)

RossRoy

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2008, 03:15:16 AM »
I've tried a few times to listen to them, but I usually find them boring, so I end up turning it off and watching the movie with correct audio instead, so I don't even bother anymore.

Same with most additional content actually. Even the making of are getting more and more boring, because they basically rehash the same things over and over: we filmed that, removed this and that on the computer, enhanced this or that with the computer, added computer effects.. computer here, computer there, etc. I much prefer the making of for older movies, where they show how they did the effects practically, without little to no computer assistance.

Najemikon

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2008, 10:08:42 AM »
I listen to bits of commentaries. I like to hear what opinions are being bounced around on a particular scene. Tarantino cheering at bits of Hostel was a favourite; as was Tim Burton attempting to explain the end to his own Planet of the Apes (he couldn't); Sam Raimi continually telling Bruce Campbell what a useless actor he is and how he could have got someone much better; oh and Roger Moore is hilarious on the Ultimate Editions of Bond.

The problem is many of the "making of" extras are just extended trailers that show everything in an overly positive light. I do get fed up of hearing actors say "it was the best script ever. The writer is a genius", etc.

While we're on the subject, is it an American thing to stretch out anecdotes to breaking point by describing every detail? A story about answering the phone can take sooooo loooooonnnnngggg! Plus they sometimes make it even longer by having several people relate their portion of the story from their point of view. Get 'em in one room for a chat. End of.

I like Criterions for that, because they dig out stuff that's been made independently so it is balanced and to the point. 

lovemunkey187

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2008, 12:09:07 PM »
I only tend to watch the deleted scenes with the audio commentary running, as I'm curious as to why certain scenes were not used or altered.

I've never watched a film with the Commentary switched on. I don't like people having a conversation whilst I'm trying to watch a film, so I am not going to deliberately opt to have a few people yakking in my tab.

Offline Tom

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2008, 07:42:28 PM »
Same with most additional content actually. Even the making of are getting more and more boring, because they basically rehash the same things over and over: we filmed that, removed this and that on the computer, enhanced this or that with the computer, added computer effects.. computer here, computer there, etc. I much prefer the making of for older movies, where they show how they did the effects practically, without little to no computer assistance.

I agree. I have gone so far to often buy the single-disc release if the second disc doesn't hold extras like deleted scenes.
I am even more amazed by making ofs, when they show a special effect I thought was CGI which turned out to be a mechanical or optical effect  :laugh:



MEJHarrison

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2008, 06:53:11 PM »
First of all, yes, I do listen to the audio commentaries.  All of them.  I used to find the time to watch them at home, but for the past few years, I just bring them in to work with me.  I put the disc in my computer, plug in my headphones and tell WinDVD to play at 1.5x-2.0x speed and listen while I work.  I get a lot less out of them that way, but in the evenings I now have that time free.  So it's worth it.

But they're my least favorite bonus feature.  I'd much rather have a good Making Of... type thing instead.  I get far more out of those.

RossRoy

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2008, 07:04:08 PM »
I am even more amazed by making ofs, when they show a special effect I thought was CGI which turned out to be a mechanical or optical effect  :laugh:

For a good example of that, see Irreversible. There's a scene at the beginning where Vincent Cassel's characters (I think it's him, anyway) bashes some guys head in with a fire extinguisher. It's so well done, I actually thought they might've actually destroyed someone's face (I know that's impossible), so I thought it was an awesome CGI effect. I had to go to the extras the minute the movie was over to go see how they did it. I was shocked to see it was mostly practical, a mix of makeup, prosthetics, a doll and some CGI.

Offline Achim

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2008, 09:42:23 PM »
In the beginning I listened to each audio commentary after I had watched the movie. But then my unwatched pile got bigger and my time less and I started to tag the movies, where I still needed to listen to the audio commentary. Now I have 200 profiles with still unwatched commentaries.

I like the commentaries best, where a group of actors get together and tell anectodes about filming and their experiance in and after the movie. Director's commentaries are also good, especially if he/she does it together with the lead actor (then it usually doesn't get to technical). The least interesting commentaries are usually technical ones like from special effect guys. That information belongs to a decent featurette.
I'll just "ditto" this, as it's exactly describes my situation/behavior (well, my pile of unwatched commentaries may be slightly higher by now).

The trouble I see at this point is, that I don't see myself catching up, like, ever. I am not gonna sit there for half a year or more and just watch commentaries...

Touti

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Re: Audio Commentaries
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2008, 10:30:00 PM »
"Making of" and "Special Effects" featurettes can still be very interesting and instructive sometimes.  There's three I've seen over the years that I still remember because I learned something.

1: Amadeus.  The "Making of" was showing that some of the scenes were shot in a real theatre contemporary of Mozart.  It showed how they had to build scaffolding inside the theatre to hang the lights and microphones because they were not allowed to make holes in the ceilings.  They also had to be careful that the heat from the spots would not damage them.  Surpringly this theatre has managed to escape every fire in the area it is constructed for ofer 250 years.

2: The Patriot:  There's a part where they show how they made the special effects of cannon balls bouncing and cutting heads or legs off.  Someone was explaining that this was real, they were using cannon balls without any explosive charges, just to break the front line of the opponents.

3: The Lord of the Rings:  In the movie where they are in the caves going down the rock stairway that collapses, there's a scene where you see Legolas going down a few steps, turning toward the camera but with his face turned a bit as he is looking in a different directions and then going down the stairs some more steps.  They wanted the audience to pay attention to his face as the important part of this scene was to show that he had seen something.  That showed how they use certain editing features that their software allows when they work on a digital master.  The "operator" used his mouse to select Legolas' face in the first frame and then highlighted it byu changing the brightness and contrast which automatically made that region the focal point of the frame.  The part that really impressed me is that once this is done, the software is capable of tracing that selected area in subsequent frames and apply the same effect to it while it's changing place.  They only need to tell it how many frames (or seconds) they want it done.  The result was a scene where Legolas goes down a stair with some highlights on his face but it only took them a few seconds to do because they don't have to do it in each frame.

That's the kind of things that I like in "Making of"s and featurettes, I can learn stuff sometimes.