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What is your favorite commentary?

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

  1. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    The vast majority of commentaries get turned off after 20-30 minutes tops. The one I've enjoyed most that was listened to all the way through is:

    Maureen O'Hara on Miracle on 34th Street.
     
  2. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Really? I thought that one was a snoozer, mainly because she hardly ever says anything!

    http://dvdmg.com/miracleon34thstreet70.shtml
     
  3. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Cinematographer

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    Maureen O'Hara is in much better form on THE BLACK SWAN commentary, where she's guided by the late, great Rudy Behlmer.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I’ve re-listened to the Toy Story commentaries, which are good and have a lot of technical and making info.
     
  5. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Oh no - I had no idea Behlmer had passed! I always loved his contributions to DVD bonus materials! :(
     
  6. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Pixar commentaries are almost always money in the bank - master classes in storytelling.

    Other animation commentaries tend to get bogged down in technical details, but the Pixar ones reveal the entire decision-making process.

    When we get to road trip season this summer, I may copy all the Pixar commentaries to tape and listen to them in order! I've heard all of them but it'd be nice to listen again!
     
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  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    That’s effectively what I do now: rip the commentary track from the blu-ray, convert to an MP3, and listen on my iPhone on the go.
     
  8. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    Every James Bond Blu ray has a commentary, which I have never gotten around to listening to since I acquired all of them at the same time. Sounds like a great listen in grass cutting season.
     
  9. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    I'm generally not a fan of commentaries for many of the reasons listed above - I'd rather watch a good making-of documentary any day - but the commentary on the Anchor Bay DVD of The Ipcress File with director Sidney J. Furie and editor Peter Hunt was excellent. They were not only informative, but very honest, speaking openly about who they enjoyed working with and who was difficult.
     
  10. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    I've transferred commentaries to tape since the 90s. Yes, I know it's old school and I could put them on my phone, but I'm content with this method! :D
     
  11. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Commentaries are my favorite bonus feature. Sure, some of them are awful, but most are decent, and many are very good to excellent.

    You potentially get a lot more information from a commentary than from a "making of" piece since the running time goes so much longer!
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Nothing wrong with it if it works for you. I just haven’t had a tape player in car or at home for years.

    I handle them as podcasts so I can listen around the house, at the gym, in the car, etc. :)
     
  13. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    I've just listened to too many which are mostly dead air or the participants describing what's happening on screen.
     
  14. Marc Hampton

    Marc Hampton Agent

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    Any Eddie Muller commentary. "Cry of The City" is great. Loved "Crime Wave"...the commentary he did with James Ellroy...truly an experience. (Ellroy seems crazy, in a pleasant sort of way).

    He can turn even the most modest noir into something rich and fascinating.

    Runner up: Liza Minnelli on "The Band Wagon." Like she's next to you on the sofa, just chatting about the movie...
     
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  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I agree and especially on "Crime Wave" as he and James Ellroy were definitely having some drinks during that commentary.:)

    TCM is showing "Crime Wave" on Noir Alley for the second time later this month. It would be cool if they showed it with that audio commentary.:laugh: Of course, they would have to bleep out some comments.:)
     
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  16. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Looks like my only Muller commentary experience was the track he shared with Farley Granger for "They Live By Night". My thoughts:

    "For the movie’s first act or so, Muller largely acts as a moderator, one who attempts to elicit memories and insights from Granger. This doesn’t work, as Granger tends to offer only general thoughts, with an emphasis on what a great director Nicholas Ray was.

    In the face of this fairly banal material, Muller changes tone and dominates the commentary for its final hour, and those portions work better. Muller still draws out the occasional memory from Granger, but the film historian does the heavy listing and turns this into a fairly informative chat. It never becomes great, but after a slow start, the commentary satisfies."
     
  17. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I think Ellroy is sober. It's probably just his being crazy that you're hearing. :)
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Was he sober back in 2006/2007 when that commentary was recorded? If he was sober then he's definitely one crazy dude as both of them had me cracking up during much of the commentary. The movie "Crime Wave" was filmed mostly out in actual LA locations and some of those locations like Bunker Hill doesn't exist today.
     
  19. Suzanne.S

    Suzanne.S Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes. I really have enjoyed them. I do prefer commentaries by scholars over actor commentaries. The scholars are much more organized and informative. The other day I listened to the David Kalat commentary on Kino's blu-ray of Murnau's The Finances of the Grand Duke. It was extremely informative and well researched. The only drawback that I have found with this one was that he uses too many contemporary comparisons that will severely date his commentary in just a few years.

    My favorite commentator, so far is Drew Casper. When he loves a film he can be as entertaining and giddy as a fangirl. He did a few nice ones for the Betty Grable musicals.
     
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  20. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    He may have fallen off the wagon at points but I think he quit drinking when he decided to seriously focus on being a writer in the late 70's. Crazy or drunk, the dude is a riot and an amazing writer.
     

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