Do you like featurettes (especially commentaries) that pander to kids?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by MarkHastings, May 14, 2004.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Maybe it's me, but I like to watch featurettes to be informed. A lot of family movies have these extras that seemed aimed at the kids and not the film buffs.

    What I'm talking about are the featurettes that act as if the material was real. Example, "The Santa Clause 2" featurette where the director acted as if Tim Allen was really Santa. He kept saying stuff like "It was nice of Santa to let us film up at the North Pole. He was a great guy" - You know those kind of extras? They're cute at first, but they get so old after a while. Especially when the entire commentary track is done that way. Do kids really listen to commentary tracks?

    I also just ran into this with the Casper featurette where they talked about Casper as if he were really on stage and how wonderful it was to work with him [​IMG]

    Do any of you film buffs find these kinds of things annoying or cute?
     
  2. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    I've always found it frustrating how Cowie keeps saying stuff like, "It's nice Death sat still for this shot." That's annoying. [​IMG]
     
  3. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    I hate any track where the participants try to act like detectable special FX are real, much like the Casper reference above.

    This am-I-kidding-or-am-I-telling-the-truth BS extends to comments for grown-ups as well. I just listened to the track for RUNDOWN with Peter Berg and The Rock where they claim the turntable takedown in the opening fight was a one-take stunt when it's clearly CG AND actually shown to be such on the discs special features. Either they think we'll know they're kidding or the tone of their repartee would suggest they think we're idiots.

    One of the most bizarre panderings to kids was on the SPEED RACER: THE MOVIE DVD, which I wrote up here:
    http://www.ratethatcommentary.com/de...2d70db1b9e6081 .
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Truth be told, I'm much more interested in watching movies than supplements; I'll likely never see most of them.

    Mostly, though, I like them when they're done well. I've seen enough featurettes on special effects to last a lifetime; there comes a point where these featurettes seem like just the same thing over and over. The kid-focused ones at least make an attempt to be creative. They're often not much good, but that's often because there are darn few adults who really get kids, and their attempts to appeal to kids wind up embarassing for everyone.

    Still, what's the harm? Maybe not every supplement on a DVD is to my taste; it's no big deal, they're called extras for a reason. If it appeals to its intended audience, good for it.
     
  5. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    Keep kid aimed featurettes in Kid's DVDs & out of adult level DVDs
     
  6. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    That's the thing. It's not that the extras are that important to me, but if they are going to provide them, they may as well be informitive. At least make the "informative" stuff informative. Commentaries seem to be used to explain the movie process, story and experience. Why make up stuff (i.e. pretending it was real)? Isn't that the point of the movie? That's where the 'magic' is supposed to be.
     
  7. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Why not? If the producers come up with an entertaining quasi-fictional extra, and it works as entertainment, then it's a worthy thing. Just because you're predisposed to the idea of commentaries and extras being "informative" doesn't mean the filmmakers and producers should lock themselves into that box.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Because I thought that was the whole point of it. I guess I figured it was like LD's where the extras were for those who wanted info and not cheesy entertainment.

    Not that I'm saying it can't be there, but it seems like with every DVD that comes out, the focus becomes less and less aimed at buffs.
     
  9. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    That's the way it is with all things, though - if LDs had ever garnered a large audience, they probably would have become less informative. The enthusiast market is, by its nature, always going to be a niche market, and given a choice between catering to a large group and a niche, most businesses are going to go for the large group.
     

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