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Do we really need 3 or 4 commentaries on each DVD? (1 Viewer)

David Ruiz

Second Unit
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I am in the process of watching all of the extras on all of my DVDs, and some DVDs go way out there. Do we really need 3-4 commentaries on each DVD? For example:

(1) American Pie 2: 4 commentaries. Why couldn't they combine all the commentaries into one? And why does Finch get his own commentary?

(2) Fight Club: 4 commentaries. Again...Do we really need that many?

(3) Joy Ride: 3 Commentaries

I know it seems that I'm complaining about having extras, but that is not the case. There was two threads earlier about who watches extra, and who listens to commentaries, and about 80% of the people never watch any of the extras/commentaries, because they barely have enough time to watch the movie.

Anyway, since *MOST* people don't listen to them, why do the studios feel the need to have SO many commentaries on 1 disk. I would think it would be better for the studios *AND* the public, to have 1 commentary with all the cast & crew, that way, the people who *DO* listen to commentaries only have to listen to 1, instead of 4 seperate ones.

Anyway, for those interested, I am watching all of the extras on my DVDs in alphabetical order, and my next DVD is going to be "Independence Day" (5 Star Collection). I believe that has two commentaries as well.

Earlier today, I skipped ahead and watched the "Moulin Rouge" Director's commentary, and I still have to watch the "writer's commentary".

I have noticed that I am now, more "used" to listening to commentaries now that I have listened to well over 150 of them. I can remember that I had a lot of trouble sitting through my very first commentaries, because I had never heard them before, and I was really bored. But now, I know what to expect from them, and I can sit through one quite easily.
 

Bruce Hedtke

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I think it's gotten too specialized. Now, you get a directors commentary, a stars commentary, a cinematographers commentary, a lighting guys commentary, the guy who showed up one day to vacuum the stars trailer commentary...where does it all end? In all seriousness:

Do we really need 3-4 commentaries on each DVD?
No. I know there are those people out there who really want to hear what the lighting coordinater thought about certain shots, but honestly-do they need an entire film-length commentary? Why not have them sit in on a few scenes that they used their wizardry in? Now, I certainly don't know how much data that commentaries use up, but couldn't some of that date go towards better video or audio?

Bruce
 

James Z

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It doesn't bother me too much to be honest. I could live with the director, screenwriter and cast doing some combination of commentary tracks but there are definitely people into the DOP and other such specialized people contributing tracks so I'm ok with it.
 

Carl Johnson

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Out of all of my DVDs the only commentary that I've taken the time to use is the Dru Hill video on Rush Hour. It's hard finding time to watch films and even harder finding time to watch extras but I just can't bring myself to watch a feature legnth commentary.
 

Bernhard

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Well in the case of Fight Club you get a loud and enthusiastic YES from me. I found it fascinating to hear comments from the various professions involved with making this movie, the director, the stars (which, in this case, is one of my favorite commentaries ever) and especially the writer of the screenplay AND the writer of the novel it was based on (where else did you get that?). And finally the technical commentary which wasn't that important but nevertheless very interesting for me.

American Pie is another story, I don't think you really need 4 commentaries there but in the case of a complex movie like Fight Club I enjoyed the multiple commentaries.
 

Anders Englund

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the guy who showed up one day to vacuum the stars trailer commentary...
:D
Expect all upcoming re-releases to contain commentaries from people who bought the orginal:
- Ohhh, this scene look much better now!
- Yea, I remember there was som horrible grain in this part. They really cleaned that up.
- And the new DTS mix is amazing! Too bad you miss out on in when you listen to the commentary track.
- Weren't there some good commentaries on the previous release?
- Yes, you're right. There was one by the guy who brought lunch to one of the people who was supervising the guy who was mastering the DVD. I was really shocked when I listened to that one. I mean, tuna sandwich?!? Doesn't he care at all about the dolphins?
And so on...
--Anders
 

Eric Peterson

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I couldn't disagree more. I absolutely love multiple commentaries on a movie. Commentary tracks are easily my favorite supplement, unless there is a really well produced documentary which are few and far between. They add immeasurably to my perceived value of a disc. Although I haven't watched many of the multiple commentaries yet, there are all on my waiting list and these add infinitely to my enjoyment of the movie. As many other people have stated, I love putting on a commentary track and then working around the house, and if I need to look at the screen at a specific moment, I do so.
 

MartinTeller

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I'm not going to vote for LESS content as opposed to MORE... but sometimes, multiple commentaries are just too overwhelming. I like to try to experience EVERYTHING a disc has to offer, and I still feel "guilty" for only listening to two of the Fight Club commentaries.

It seems like many commentaries could easily be boiled down into a 30-minute interview/featurette. Or in the case of Tim Burton or Rob Reiner... 10 minutes.
 

Todd Phillips

Second Unit
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Oct 15, 2000
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It all has to do with the quality of the supplement. If they all have added value, then by all means, put 4 commentaries on the movie.
But if it is just a bunch of self-love, "that's a cool shot", "here's what happens now" crap, then leave it off to make more room for a higher quality main title transfer. Plus you can lower the cost since you don't have to pay the stars for their time. :D (you can see that I think actors' commentaries have the lowest value)
 

Ted Todorov

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I couldn't disagree more. I absolutely love multiple commentaries on a movie. Commentary tracks are easily my favorite supplement, unless there is a really well produced documentary which are few and far between. They add immeasurably to my perceived value of a disc.
I totally agree. Unfortunately it isn't the really deserving movies that get multiple (or any) commentary tracks. American Pie II, give me a break...

Ted
 

Joseph DeMartino

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I would think it would be better for the studios *AND* the public, to have 1 commentary with all the cast & crew, that way, the people who *DO* listen to commentaries only have to listen to 1, instead of 4 seperate ones.
Did the studio send someone to your house who held a gun to your head and made you listen to all four? :) I don't see how it is "better for the public" to provide less content. If you're not interested in the technical processes of filmmaking, by all means don't listen to the cinematographer's track. This stuff is optional content. Enjoy what you will, ignore what doesn't interest you. But remember that what doesn't interest you may be someone else's favorite feature (and vice-versa.)
There are many reasons for multiple commentary tracks. First and foremost, it is difficult to get all the people who might want to do a track into one screening room at the same time. Far easier to record them separately and at different times, when each is available. Secondly, "gang commentaries", while often amusing in and of themselves (I've listened to a few that were more entertaining than the films), tend to give short shrift to the participants. A running commentary is, by nature, tied to the images on the screen. If an actor goes into a long story about the day they shot a scene, neither the director nor the writer can discuss that same scene in terms of plot or structure. By the time the actor shuts up, the film has moved on and the moment is past. The same applies to tracks like those on The Abyss, which are edited together from separately recorded tracks. Somebody decides who had the most relevant or interesting comment on a moment in the film, and that's the one we hear. But that isn't necessarily the choice any of us would have made, given access to the original material. Finally, people are sometimes inhibited in what they'll say when they're in the same room with someone else. A director recording a solo commentary track may feel freer to comment honestly about an actor's work (or vice-versa), even knowing the other person will eventually hear the track, than he/she would be while sharing an armrest in a screening room with said person.
Multiple tracks costs the studio relatively little, they don't take up a huge amount of space on the discs, and essentially impose no burden on the consumer. So why the cry for fewer? If anything, I'd like to see one track added to most discs, a mandatory track with the writer(s), since they're omitted from most DVDs.
Regards,
Joe
 

John Berggren

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It really depends on the quality of the commentaries. I think every commentary on Fight Club was worth it. Additionally, every commentary on Contact was worth it. On the other Hand, I never enjoy commentaries by Tim Burton (alone anyway), and I wasn't fond of most of the Bond technical commentaries. However, I'd be willing to bet that somebody was.
 

Michael Harris

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Do we need them? No. But the commentaries for "Se7en" were all good. Both commentaries on "Titus" were worth the price of the disc. I am not going to fault a studio for giving us more stuff.
 

Steve Christou

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As a big fan of commentaries, bring em on, the more the merrier!
I'd much rather have the three great commentaries on my Contact dvd than 10 HBO smiling faces featurettes.
I get more out of the commentaries than any pseudo-documentary, and its great to hear from different people who worked on the film, for example on Contact we have the director on one, the leading actress on another, and the effects guys on the third, I LIKE it!:D
 

Chris Lock

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Do we really need so many titles on DVD? There must be 10,000 of them! Who has time to watch that many discs? :frowning:
 

Jeff Kleist

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Some commentaries are great
Others so-so
Kevin Smith? Always great. Terry Gilliam, same. Kenneth Johnson on "V" was great for 4 hours by himself. Paul Verhovan great. Sam Raimi(especially with Bruce Campbell, great, I hope they're both on Spider-Man ;) ) Richard Donner, usually great. Brad Pitt is one of the few stars that really gets into it well, Ben Affleck too. Michael Bay tracks are always a gas, especially if he has Affleck ripping on him
Mel Brooks, enthusiastic, but it's all "That's Joe, he did a great job, real professional". Ahnuld, I really thought he'd be good, nope. Mike Meyers, snooze. Tim Burton tries, but he really needs a partner to be entertaining
The best solution? Get a DVD-ROM and just listen to them like a CD.
Oh, I DARE Hollywood to do a commentary with the food services guy. I will buy any movie, no matter how bad that has that
 

Ron-P

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Where? I must have missed him. Or did not recognize him.
Peace Out~:D
 

DeathStar1

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The Only Commentarys that should be needed are /Producer:Director Commentary with both in the same room, and a main star commentary with all in the same room.
For instance, Ivan Reitman and the producer for Ghostbsuters on one. Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, and Dan Akroyd on the other..
 

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