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What is your favorite commentary?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Mysto, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Jimmy M

    Jimmy M Second Unit

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    One of my favorite ones is from the DVD (I don't have the Blu Ray, so I don't know if it is on there or not) of Bubba Ho Tep, where Bruce Campbell does the commentary in character as Elvis.
     
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  2. Message #102 of 162 Jun 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
    Cineman

    Cineman Second Unit

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    I thought it was "Spartacus" novelist Howard Fast who was critical of Kirk Douglas' acting in his commentary on that disc, not Dalton Trumbo. I could be misremembering it and maybe Trumbo denigrated Douglas' performance, too. But it was definitely Fast who was very critical of many scenes in the move, sniffing discontent with scenes that were not in his book, grousing that he thought Jean Simmons was all wrong for the role, that Kirk's face showed too little emotion, that the slaves were not dirty, grubby and ugly enough and so on.

    And I disagreed with almost every word of it. lol. However, his notes on it apparently did inspire Kubrick and producer Douglas to add a few scenes of dirtier, grubbier and, well, uglier slaves here and there. So there is that.

    Fast certainly knew how to write a compelling novel. But Kirk Douglas knew how to be a movie star and draw a mass audience into the world of just about any character he tackled on film. He knew very well that flapping his face muscles all over the place in those gigantic close-ups as Howard Fast seemed to want him to do would have done more to drive audiences away than to identify with him. In the movies. And he knew how to save it for the big payoff. When that time comes, Kirk knew the slightest move of a lower lip, a blink or tiny smile would be like landing a neutron bomb exactly when and where it was intended. Not to mention how in the world do you take those awesome, almost scary facial features and "overdo" one emotion after another without beating your audience up with them?

    And, sorry, but Varinia must be beautiful with an elegant, well-presented core (elements Fast balked at with regard to the casting of Simmons) in order for us to accept Crassus being so smitten and impressed by her, among other things. Again, in the movies. You can justify this and that in detail in a novel. But in a movie you need a different skill set of sometimes ruthless short hand.

    Still, I agree that this commentary is worth hearing for the reasons cited.
    btw, some sources like Amazon might not mention there is a Howard Fast commentary on this disc, only a Dalton Trumbo commentary. But it is there.
     
  3. cadavra

    cadavra Second Unit

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    Hey, no love for that fabulous 3 1/4-hour commentary for Criterion's IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD? :laugh:

    Mike S. (who's totally without shame)
     
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  4. titch

    titch Supporting Actor

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    Still the best ones are the frail Michael Powell and very excited Martin Scorsese commentaries for Criterion's Black Narcissus and The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp. In fact, any commentary that Criterion did for their laserdiscs in the 1980's and early 1990's, when they were the only ones bothering to do it. Scorsese's machine gun commentaries on the laser discs of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull are also sensational. Before the "Commentaries do not express the views of the studio" disclaimers now standard, it was great to hear the totally off-the-cuff, candid and potentially libellous diatribes by the film makers or historians. I was never able to obtain the deleted Criterion Bond commentaries at the time, but have been able to listen to these posted on the web in later years. After watching serious, and sometimes impenetrable Criterion art-house fare, it was most revealing listening to commentaries by guys who knew their art house, explaining what the hell I'd just seen. Then at least I could pretend I knew.
     
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  5. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I ordered this and it just arrived. I ordered from Amazon UK and when the package said it was from Korea I had no idea what was inside. Most of the box is in English except the back which has the details in what I assume is Korean.

    I will be checking this out tonight. I sure hope it has the commentary. It’s the only reason I bought it.
     
  6. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I didn’t wait to check it out. No commentary. I tried the menu, I tried the audio button on my Oppo remote (which worked, but there’s only one audio track, which is English.). No commentary, but I can get Korean subtitles.

    On the positive side, I wondering if the transfer isn’t a bit better than my current dvd.
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I used the link again, and the selected version is the expensive one, which I didn’t get. There are 6 or so to choose from. Not all ship to the US. The one I selected was the wrong one.
     
  8. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Be shameless - it's a good track!

    From my review:

    "The piece moves well and delivers a great deal of useful material. I like this commentary a lot and think it serves the movie nicely. "
     
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  9. Suzanne.S

    Suzanne.S Stunt Coordinator

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    I finally got mylaserdisc player hooked up and operational. I have been trying to acquire discs that have commentaries not available elsewhere. I am so glad I did! Last night I listened to Ronald Haver's commentary on the Criterion Singin' in the Rain. It was informative and well presented. I've seen the film dozens of times and he pointed out little things that I'd never noticed.

    I don't have a favorite yet, but I am taking notes from this thread to find new ones.
     
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  10. titch

    titch Supporting Actor

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  11. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    Had a really big surprise. Was just craving SCTV yesterday. turns out I was to watch 111 Christmas with Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara. They did all the usual "shouldn't we talk more..? or should we...?" then they started talking and putting on a 2 person show during the episode and gave a helluva time! Shoots near the top of my list of favorites with REd Dwarf episodes, TZs, The Pirate Movie with Ken Annikan and the guy who produced the DVD (please blu ray, please please), Used Cars,. Creepshow and every single one from Terry Gilliam. Especially Jabberwocky (where Terry Jones died the FIRST time hee hee) and Time Bandits.

    Also watched one of the Roadrunner/Coyote shorts"Stop Look Hasten" was great fun with the commentary guy, was wishing he'd done "ready set zoom" too since that one is hysterical. Love the cartoon tv shows like Flintstones getting people talking. The guy who talked about the different artists doing different things like the one obsessed with tongues. lol Freds big ole tongue, that never even registered as I was growing up watching.

    /and on and on and on......
     
  12. Jeffthemoviedude

    Jeffthemoviedude Auditioning

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    Carrot Top's commentary for Rules of Attraction.
     
  13. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    The Goonies;)
     
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  14. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    A new candidate in the "great commentary" discussion: special effects artist Steve Johnson on the recent Shout CE for "Big Trouble in Little China".

    He's much more frank than most and he makes this a really fun commentary!

    http://dvdmg.com/bigtroubleinlittlechinabrce.shtml
     
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  15. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    Terrorvision. Now one of my new favorite commentaries with the director and actors Diane Franklin and Jon Gries. I didn't know Franklin was the Last American Virgin. she looks so much younger in this and all the crazy makeup and her cartoon smile she looks like a different person. Gries had a lot of interesting things to say about his personal background. I just remembered him from this and the Seinfeld episode with the tupperware! lol Highly recommended with all the extras for the movie. I still need to watch the other feature in the set with the commentary, didn't like that much at all not even to laugh at. Video dead... of all the ones they could have put in there...
     
  16. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    The Amazon listing only lists a commentary by Carpenter and Russel. I like their commentary on The Thing, so that’s good. I’ll assume it’s an omission by Amazon.
     
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  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Yes, that's Amazon's mistake. There are 2 other commentaries on the Shout release in addition to the Carpenter/Russell track. I didn't just make them up...
     
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  18. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Screenwriter

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    A few of my favorites-

    Shatner and Nimoy- Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home
    P.T. Anderson (solo)- Boogie Nights
    Malcolm McDowell and Nick Redman- Clockwork Orange
    Fincher, Pitt, Norton and Bonham Carter- Fight Club
    Fincher, Pitt and Freeman- SE7EN (New Line)
    Carpenter and Russell- The Thing
    Zemeckis, Gale and Russell- Used Cars
    Cleese, Idle and Palin- Monty Python And The Holy Grail
     
  19. titch

    titch Supporting Actor

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    Have you managed to listen to other Ronald Haver commentaries on old Criterion laserdiscs? His were really good (King Kong, Wizard Of Oz, Casablanca). Very well-prepared and informative, unlike most commentary tracks nowadays, which seem to consist of people hanging around and reacting (or even, not reacting). I heard Alan Parker's old commentary on the 4K UHD of Angel Heart - terrible. He just sat there saying how long ago it was since he had seen the film and spent long stretches in complete silence, just enjoying himself!
     
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  20. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Taika Waititi's commentary for "Jojo Rabbit" is a disappointment. He calls a bunch of actors to fill time, and some of those moments are good - mainly when he speaks to Stephen Merchant, as Merchant actually gets him to talk about the movie.

    Otherwise, the actor chats are mostly chummy happy talk, and when left on his own, Waititi doesn't say much - he usually just goes "let's watch the movie", as if a) we've not already seen the movie, and b) he doesn't know we can switch to the movie soundtrack whenever we want.

    Based on the handful of tracks I've heard, Waititi just isn't good at commentaries!
     

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