Commentaries You Listened to Where You Knew More than the Participants

Discussion in 'DVD' started by WillG, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I was watching one of the Futurama S4 Commentaries, it was the "Love and Rocket" episode (excellent commetary BTW) They started to talk about "Alien" and Billy West asked how did they make Jones scare when the Alien first dropped into the frame. They never were able to come up with it, though, I knew they brought in a German Shepard to intimidate the cat for that shot. I wish I could have yelled it out to them. Who else has experienced something like this with a commentary?
     
  2. Douglas Bailey

    Douglas Bailey Second Unit

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    Well, not quite the same, but on the commentary for Catch-22, Steven Soderbergh — who wasn't involved in the making of the film in any way, since he was about six when it was shot — seems to remember more anecdotes and details about the filming experience than does Mike Nichols, the director. Soderbergh is obviously a fan (he apparently oversaw the DVD transfer, too) who's brushed up on his Catch-22 lore.
     
  3. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    This is ultra-obscure show biz arcania, but on the Dick Van Dyke DVD set, Carl Reiner at one point made an incorrect remark about 1920s nightclub owner celebrity "Texas" Guinan as the "I Don't Care Girl;" he actually meant Eva Tanguay, a vaudeville performer of the time who was identified with that song. Dick Van Dyke, also on the the commentary track, didn't catch the error. Believe me, no one else will either.

    :b
     
  4. GeorgePaul

    GeorgePaul Second Unit

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    I was watching The Grapes of Wrath recently and it featured commentary by a Steinbeck historian and a film professor, neither of whom had many behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the shoot itself. The commentary is still worth a listen, even if the two commentators get caught up in their own academic theories at times.

    But at the beginning of the movie, as the Joads first head out on Route 66, the historian does mention that the shots "on the road" (shots that are of authentic locations along the road, not in the studio) were handled by a German second unit director. However, he does not elaborate any further on these locations at all--not even during the impactful "land of milk and honey" scene at the Colorado River, when the Joads see California for the first time. I live barely 20 miles from that old bridge they cross, which is now an arch at a hydroelectric plant in Topock, Arizona (right off I-40). By the way, that first vision of California the Joads had remains pretty much the same today--the Needle Mountains right across the Colorado.
     
  5. Jason Borchers

    Jason Borchers Second Unit

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  6. MarkHarrison

    MarkHarrison Supporting Actor

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    I seems like some of the cast commentaries on the Babylon 5 sets were like this. They were asking each other questions about what was happening on the screen and would sometimes get the right answer and sometimes not. Stuff that a fan of the show knows without thinking. I don't recall specific episodes or examples, but I noticed it a few times.
     
  7. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    On the horror(?) film Communion (based on the NY Times bestselling book), the director and some other guy manage to consistently mispronounce the name of the author of the book the film is based on, and, manage to get wrong whether the book was published as fiction or non fiction.

    Plus, the director kept expressing how he thought he'd made a good film.

    So, count that as three big mistakes on that commentary.
     
  8. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Maybe that is another example. I could swear that, according to the Quadrilogy, it was a German Shepard.
     
  9. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I think it was a dog in Alien, and another cat in Aliens. (Or maybe the other way around.)
     
  10. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Decided to resurrect this thread because I just saw another example (although this refers to a tv show) I was watching the "Notes about Nothing" from "The Engagement" episode of the new season 7 release of Seinfeld. At one point, Susan prompts George to join her in bed becasue she had taped "Mad About You" now apparently "Seinfeld" and "Mad About You" exist in the same "Universe" because I remember an episode of "Mad About You" where the Paul Reiser character had an apartment that he had been subletting for all these years and it turned out the person who was subletting it from him was none other than Kramer. I also remember that there was a mention in that episode that Jerry was in the midst of writing a pilot for NBC. The "Notes About Nothing" made no mention of this which was somewhat surprising considering the level of detail they usually go into about obscure things like this and other "forgotten" details.
     
  11. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    That Kramer appearance is available on whichever volume/season during which it occoured and I think they mention the "Mad About You" conflict on that episode's "Notes About Nothing".

    For what it's worth there are a few errors in the "Notes About Nothing" trivia tracks anyway. A "Hello Newman" goes uncounted in Season 6 (it's the one where they're at the baseball game) and I spotted more than one error in Season 7: they count Kramer coming out of his apartment on the "Kramer Entrance Counter" even though they're very specific elsewhere on the NAN that it only counts entrances into Jerry's apartment and it seemed to me that they counted like three seperate Kramer entrances as #294 on the last episode of the season.
     
  12. Thommy...M

    Thommy...M Stunt Coordinator

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    THE TOWERING INFERNO -

    The absolute worst commentary of them all. "Film historian" F.X. Feeney provides an astonishingly moronic commentary. I'll give one example: throughout the commentary he keeps calling the two children that Newman rescues "deaf children." THEIR MOTHER WAS DEAF, NOT THEM!!!!

    Oh, alright, another example: At one point he claims that Irwin Allen deliberately made the film timeless, of no specific era....Oh, yeah? Then try explaining those liesure suits, Maureen McGovern's hair, and that so-70s orange carpeting and wallpaper on every floor of the building.

    I'll be honest the commentary is so off in just about everything that I listen to it for laughs.
     
  13. Thommy...M

    Thommy...M Stunt Coordinator

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    Ooops, double post.
     
  14. Dharmesh C

    Dharmesh C Supporting Actor

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    Superman The Movie for me. E.G. "We shot Superman swooping down to collect the cat from the tree in Brooklyn."

    Infact, the rushes came out dark so it was reshot at Pinewood towards the end of 77 or early 78 hence the breath in the scene.
     
  15. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    In the commentary to the noir The Dark Corner, Alain Silver refers to Alex North's Street Scene composition as being constantly recycled by 20th in their New York located films. The only problem is that Street Scene was composed by Alfred Newman, not Alex North.

    The commentary for Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? by Charles Busch and John Epperson (Lypsinka) is notorious in its incompetence. They didn't bother to do their homework and seem to be winging it by the seat of their pants. When they wondered aloud if Bette Davis was nominated for her performance in Baby Jane which any halfway fan of the movie would know, it was the last straw and I turned the commentary off.
     
  16. Matthew Clayton

    Matthew Clayton Stunt Coordinator

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    The Brett Ratner/Zak Penn/Simon Kinberg commentary for X-Men 3 is pretty self-congratulatory and not very informative. They've could've revealed some behind-the-scenes stuff (and maybe tell how Kinberg got the job as co-writer) like how rushed the schedule was to make the movie's May release date or why the original cinematographer, Phillippe Rousselot, left after one month of preliminary shooting.
     
  17. Mark Kalzer

    Mark Kalzer Second Unit

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    Star Trek First Contact in which Jonathan Frakes chokes over the pronounciation of the word 'celsius'. Just served as a stark reminder to me that while I felt a special connection with the Star Trek world with the way they use the metric system in common speech. This all reminded me that, yes, they are all American still!
     
  18. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    On both the Superman the Movie and Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut commentaries, both Donner and Tom Mankiewicz refer to the Phantom Zone at various times as the "Zone of Silence." These guys have been watching too much Get Smart and are confusing it with the Cone of Silence. I think Mankiewicz starts off referring to it correctly but then falls in line when Donner gets it wrong.
     
  19. Eric Carl

    Eric Carl Stunt Coordinator

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    Occasionally, the studios will not allow those involved to speak about such problems; if I am not wrong The Blair Witch Project 2 is an example.

    I mean think about how it sounds....
    Zak: Do you remember how much the studio rushed us?
    Brett: Yeah....the script wasn't finished....
    Simon: Wasn't finished? Hell, we just made up some on the spot.
    Z: I knew it sounded kind of cheesy....
    B: It was beyond cheesy....and that tacked on bit at the end that the studio forced upon us. First, they didn't want to make the movie and now they change their minds, maybe they'll want another sequel.....But only if this one makes money. And were do they go from here with such a cheesy script?
    S: Hey, the script wasn't the worst thing about the movie. That first cinematographer we had was too arty. It is a bloody Superhero movie; not some foreign film.
    B: I wanted to make an arty superhero movie, but the studio said they wanted the movie done in three months and.....
    Z: You have never made an arty film in you life....Why would you start now?
    B: I wanted to change....
    Z: BS! You were hired by the studio to do this move, and told you were going to be rushed. Hell, you probably decided to cut back on the sets so that the studio could make more money, and so you could impress them.
    B: What is wrong with wanting to continue to work.
    Z: If this were truly an arty film you wouldn't be worried about your future paycheck....
    B: The Hell with this. (Leaves)
    Z: Good Riddance! (To Simon) So you worried about your next paycheck?
    S: No Sir.
    Z: Well they paid us to record this....not to be here the whole time. Here is twenty dollars and a sheet of what you could talk about with yourself. I am leaving.
    S: But Sir....
    Z: You stay here and talk to yourself....In case those guys check to see if we stayed.
    S: Won't they listen to it?
    Z: Nope. They may check to see if anyone is talking, though. They want to put this DVD out faster than the movie was made.
    S: Okay, later.

    See, that is what could happen, but I believe they do check it out. Or, rather, they pay someone to check if anything is wrong, or, more likely, negative towards the studio, at least..

    -Eric
     
  20. paul_austin

    paul_austin Second Unit

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    not unlike the film itself :)
     

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