Blu-ray films and their commentaries

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by cinemiracle, Jul 16, 2017.

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  1. cinemiracle

    cinemiracle Supporting Actor

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    Is there anyone else out there besides myself, who has never listened to a commentary whilst watching a movie on bluray/dvd ?
    I have no intention of ever watching a film and listen to a commentary at the same time.
     
  2. TJPC

    TJPC Supporting Actor

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    You are missing quite a lot. If a disc has a commentary, I am listening to it! Quite often when I am seeing a movie at home that I have already seen in the theatre, I only watch it with commentary.

    This is not to say they are all well done, and if they do not refer to the movie enough, giggle all through it, or just talk about how wonderful everyone is, I shut them off too. The best ones are on discs of classic films, which often give fascinating details.

    If you are not listening to the commentary, you are not taking full advantage of the formats and might as well watch it on VHS.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    To answer your question, I'm not like you and listen to commentaries quite often.
     
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  4. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I listen to commentaries all the time. Full of great technical information, anecdotes, film making techniques etc...

    The greatest "extra" ever.
     
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  5. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I'll ask the obvious question.

    Why not??
     
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  6. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    Even though I do not listen to most commentaries, you've asked a very good question. I listen only if I think I will learn something worthwhile or believe I will enjoy the conversation and the company of the people giving the commentary. I've lost count of the commentaries which I've begun and then abandoned after about ten minutes.
     
  7. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Commentaries are often enough so incredibly informative and revealing that they just about serve as courses in an expensive film school. The good, technical ones will appeal to film students and older aficionados. Other commentaries, mostly those involving cast members "winging it" while watching the film after many years, are of the mutual-admiration-scoiety variety and basically suck, but are probably more popular with clueless modern audiences.

    I often go to bed with the better commentaries, as they are a pleasant background and sort-of conducive to falling asleep. I'll play these back for multiple nights until I've remained conscious in pieces through to the end of the films. Not a great way to get proper sleep (music from a CD would be better), but that's me.

    Other times, I will play historian commentaries while fully awake because I want to know more about the background and techniques of a given favorite film. Of course, even some critic/historian tracks are boring as a drill bit (Richard Schickel -- RIP -- on nearly any of his), but those who do their homework and at least partially script their commentaries (Tom Weaver, Rudy Behlmer, Roger Ebert, etc.) and those from directors who have total recall and are articulate and inflective (David Fincher, William Friedkin, Peter Bogdanovich, Peter Jackson, etc.) make for great and educational listening.
     
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  8. TJPC

    TJPC Supporting Actor

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    Some of the Twilight Zone episodes have 4 or more different commentaries. These are great to listen to as you do other things. I often wish I had a car DVD player, not to see the movie, but to hear the commentaries on long trips.
     
  9. Mike2001

    Mike2001 Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in the rarely listen to commentaries camp. Why, you ask? Time. If I had time to watch disks twice, I probably wouldn't have this big backlog of unwatched disks. We'll see if things change when I retire in 1+ years.
     
  10. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    IMO every disc should have a commentary of some sort. As I have nearly always seen the film prior to owning it on disc, the fresh viewing element is appealing. The commentary I especially crave and have been denied is one with RAH and Lawrence.
     
  11. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    I almost never do. I listened to a few, but found them mostly a waste of time. Now it has to be a film that interests me a lot, done by people who I want to hear, and there are darn few that pass both tests.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I loved commentaries in my 20s, during the DVD heyday. I don't listen to commentaries these days simply because of time. I want to, because a great commentary elevates its film (e.g. "Dark City"). But two hours of a commentary is two episodes of Orphan Black or The Expanse I didn't get to.

    Still, I think commentaries are great and have a backlog to get to when opportunity provides.
     
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  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Also, commentaries on TV shows can be a lot of fun. "Futurama" has insightful commentaries that are almost as much fun as the show itself.

    These days I scratch this itch with TV podcasts by showrunners like "Better Call Saul" and "The Americans", which have the producers, along with various cast and crew discussing the making of the shows and the thinking behind the stories.
     
  14. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Stunt Coordinator

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    I have bought some Twilight Time titles based on there being a commentary by Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman. They are informative and enjoyable. Like a pleasant dinner party conversation on films.
     
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  15. ScottHM

    ScottHM Second Unit

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    While I don't stubbornly refuse to listen to commentaries, it's been several years since I've taken the time to listen to one. I think I may have listened to a dozen commentaries over the years, but I barely have time to watch my movie collection as it is.

    But in defense of commentaries, they are sometimes more entertaining than the actual film, such as the ones for Batman (1966) and Big Trouble in Little China.
    ---------------
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Like others, I don't have the time to enjoy many commentary tracks.

    The ones I've watched which I've enjoyed immensely accompany some of my favorite or most-watched films.

    With Groundhog Day, you not only gain insight into the film (from minutia to discussion of some of the larger philosophical issues)...but you also get to hear the genius of funny-man Harold Ramis.

    Another film which I've seen countless times is Elf. It includes another commentary track (by director/actor Jon Favreau) that I have enjoyed.
     
  17. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    I never listened to them until I bought a wireless FM transmitter. With it and my portable DVD player I can listen to them in my old car. I just bought a portable Blu-ray player. Now I can listen to the commentaries on Blu-ray discs.
     
  18. Alf S

    Alf S Producer

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    I've tried on several occasions to listen to commentaries on films I really like, but usually a few minutes into it, I end up getting more annoyed with a lot of the fluff banter that goes on in some of these commentaries and I just can't take listening to it, and I rather just sit and enjoy the actual movie.

    Also time is an issue as well.
     
  19. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I get not having the time. I get being bored after listening for a while

    But to stubbornly refuse to listen for some bizarre reason I don't get.
     
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  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I should note that I tried to listen to the commentary on our newest favorite movie: La La Land. it features the director and music director. It was really bad. Way too "buddy, buddy" and full of inside jokes and lacking on insights into the movie itself. The features revealed much more about how the film was made and what they were attempting to do. We got halfway through and gave up. We won't finish.
     

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