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What is your favorite commentary?

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

  1. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Screenwriter

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    Another track I like is the director/writer commentary for Rounders. Norton is entertaining both in the film, and on the
    track.
     
  2. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    The Hidden (1987) has a commentary that I like. It’s been a long time since I head it. I think it was the director doing it. What stands out in my mind was the director wondering while Michael Nouri wasn’t a big star. He had the looks and the talent. Then while working with him, he discovered why: he’s an asshole and extremely difficult to work with. I’ve never heard such explicit criticism on a commentary before. Usually it’s “we were do lucky to get this guy.”
     
  3. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Screenwriter

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    Yes director Jack Sholder was pretty frank on the track, not only about Nouri, but about other things- there was a scene where Miller leaves his hospital room, and a doctor and nurse was involved in the scene. Sholder really criticized their acting abilities.
     
  4. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Yeah, I remember that. Something about not having the money to hire real actors.
     
  5. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    So I just finished the Haver commentary for King Kong. It was a little tricky getting it lined up properly, but it was ok. I’ve always thought the spider-pit sequence was a legend that may well be true. Haver thinks it was really filmed and shown to test audiences who were so horrified by it, the sequence was removed.

    I noticed on you tube there’s a commentary by Paul Mandrell for KK. Anyone know if it’s any good.
     
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  6. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Supporting Actor

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    I think my favorite commentary track is for CATCH 22 with Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh. Nichols talks about how he essentially had carte blanche and did a lot of things he thinks were wasteful, including shooting every scene at a particular time of day, using a fleet of antique war planes for hugely elaborate backdrops to dialog scenes., etc. And he even says he thinks he was the wrong director for the project. As he had just made the hugely influential and popular THE GRADUATE, it is not hard to understand why he was trusted with this project, which was hugely anticipated and did not ultimately do that well at the box office. Much of its anti-war fire was stolen by Altman's M*A*S*H which was released around the same time. In any case this is a fascinating track. Nichols also talks about meeting with Kubrick to discuss using front projection for some of the special effects---this process was used in 2001.
     
  7. KMR

    KMR Stunt Coordinator

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    I think maybe my favorite commentary is Anthony Minghella on The Talented Mr. Ripley. He goes deep into the artistic aspects, the most memorable being the process of adapting the novel into a screenplay. (Creative discussions are always more interesting to me than gossip or walking down Memory Lane. A particularly annoying example of the latter was Anne Heche's contributions to the Psycho (1998) commentary.)

    I find Garry Marshall's commentaries to be very entertaining and informative--at least those that I've heard (Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride). He sounds like he was a very warm and generous man. (And he was so hilarious. I absolutely loved watching him play the network president on Murphy Brown, and enjoyed a talk he gave at Northwestern University many years ago.)

    Someone whose commentaries I cannot get excited about is Marian Keane, who appears on several Criterion discs. It seems she reads a bit too much into some things, and comes off as the kind of academic who takes great pride in coming up with unique theories and interpretations of films.
     
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  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I’m rewatching TV series Futurama and relistening to the commentaries. They are so great! They give great details on the show’s creation, the performers, secrets embedded for fans, the animation design. It’s everything I want in a commentary.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    That’s one of those commentaries that changed my view of the film. I didn’t understand the movie when I wanted it, on DVD delivered in Netflix envelope, viewed on a 27” CRT, natch. But listening to the commentary revealed the movie to me and significantly changed my opinion of it.
     
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  10. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Screenwriter

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    Yes Garry Marshall’s commentary for Pretty Woman is a really good one. He did Tracks for both the anamorphic and non-anamorphic DVD release- his first narration on the non-
    anamorphic release was a little better.
     
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  11. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Agree that the "Ripley" commentary is terrific - or at least I felt that way when I listened to it 20 years ago! And the "Psycho" 1998 track is awful, largely due to Heche's dopey comments.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Marshall's commentaries got less interesting as he got older - and his movies got worse, too.

    But in those earlier days, he indeed offered excellent commentaries. The 1990s "Pretty Woman" commentary is significantly stronger than the 2005 one, though.

    And the "Bride" commentary is also very good!

    Agree again. Her commentaries aren't terrible, but they're not very interesting...
     
  12. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Agree! And the actors really add to those commentaries - they're more fun than the dry "Simpsons" ones.

    The actors always seem subdued on the "Simpsons" tracks, but DiMaggio and West and the others made the "Futurama" tracks a big party!
     
  13. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Technically, that was for a laserdisc! ;)
     
  14. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Screenwriter

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    Ah- I didn’t know the non-anamorphic commentary was a carry-over from laserdisc.
    Thanks.
     
  15. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Screenwriter

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    Easier to pick the worst ones ……..The Great William Friedkin who thinks he recording a track for the blind
     
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  16. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    No problem! :)

    I owned that old LD back in 1997! I'm not even sure if I bothered with "Pretty Woman" on DVD until the anamorphic version in 2005!
     
  17. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Screenwriter

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    Yes his commentaries aren’t some of the better ones. He did give a few interesting tidbits on
    The French Connection track though (he said there were unplanned accidents during the elevated train chase due to not enough security personnel to lock down the location).
     
  18. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Who directed the original Manchurian Candiate? I recall that one being good.
     
  19. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    John Frankenheimer.
     
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  20. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Friedkin's 1990s "Exorcist" commentary is good. His commentary for the "Expanded Cut" is simply awful.

    I agree the "French Connection" commentary is mostly interesting, albeit erratic.

    His "Rules of Engagement" and "Live and Die" tracks are also pretty good.

    So IMO, only that circa 2000 "Exorcist" commentary is a Friedkin dog among the ones I've heard!
     

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