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General discussion about what's out for the couch.
274

The Best Extra Features!
Topic by: sinisterguffaw
Posted: March 5, 2004 - 3:27 PM PST
Last Reply: March 13, 2004 - 12:07 AM PST

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author topic: The Best Extra Features!
sinisterguffaw
post #1  on March 5, 2004 - 3:27 PM PST  
I LOVE EXTRA STUFF!

The first thing that springs to mind when somebody mentions bonus materials on DVD is Criterion. Ah, Criterion, where would we be without thee? The Criterion edition of Carnival of Souls is so jam-packed with goodies I could hardly contain myself! Pretty impressive for a film whose director made only that one feature.

Anywho... What are some o' the best discs out there for special features?

(Note to all otaku: the Anime Version of this thread can be found here)
sinisterguffaw
post #2  on March 8, 2004 - 1:35 PM PST  
crickets
sinisterguffaw
post #3  on March 8, 2004 - 1:41 PM PST  
Anyone? Anyone?

With considerations to the film (I loved it, all my friends hated it), Kung Pow: Enter the Fist had some very impressive extras. The deleted scenes were hilarious and the actual dialog track (unfortunatly, it's only on select scenes) was a riot!

However, I'm not too cool with gimmicks like the Basic Instinct ice pick/pen in a clear bulky case. I'm not too wild about the Total Recall case, either. But then again, I wasn't wild about either movie, so it doesn't really matter since I won't be buying them.
hamano
post #4  on March 8, 2004 - 2:17 PM PST  
Haibane Renmei Vol. 4 came with a cute pencilboard!
hamano
post #5  on March 8, 2004 - 2:21 PM PST  
Oops! Um.... ummm.... my Dead Ringers DVD came with a speculum with easy step by step instructions! Bye!
sinisterguffaw
post #6  on March 8, 2004 - 3:09 PM PST  
...

oldkingcole
post #7  on March 9, 2004 - 8:13 AM PST  
Well, Ok, I'll leap in here and say that the "text commentary" on the Star Trek: The Motion Picture DVD was outstanding -- striking a perfect balance between fanboy geeky insider details and genuinely informative information. Plus, I'd never seen a "text commentary" before, so the very notion was interesting and unique.

Other extras I've liked: Martha Coolidge's feature-length audio commentary to Rambling Rose was very good (although the movie itself was just so-so), the Q&A with Julie Taymor on the Titus bonus disc, the documentary on the Jacob's Ladder disc, the deleted scenes w/director commentary on both the Jacob's Ladder and Unbreakable dvds, the Harryhausen Chronicles documentary that's included with all of the "Harryhausen Signature Collection" titles (of which, my favorite is The 7th Voyage of Sinbad), and all of the extras on the Dancer in the Dark disc, but even moreso the extras at the official Dancer in the Dark web site which has some very in-depth interviews with everyone involved with the film and is absolutely fascinating.

But, generally, I don't bother with the extras. I find that more often than not, they aren't especially informative or the concentrate on the superficialities of the show (like the special effects, say) rather than the meaning of it, or the creative decisionmaking that went into it.
sinisterguffaw
post #8  on March 9, 2004 - 9:43 AM PST  
> On March 9, 2004 - 8:13 AM PST oldkingcole wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> ...[this post has been reformatted to fit your screen]...
> But, generally, I don't bother with the extras. I find that more often than not, they aren't especially informative or the concentrate on the superficialities of the show (like the special effects, say) rather than the meaning of it, or the creative decisionmaking that went into it.
> ---------------------------------

I'll agree that buying a DVD just for the special features can be a bad move (case in point: a friend of mine who bought Army of Darkness four times because each time they released a new version he had to have it. Ultimately, the one that pleased him the most was the first version, which he didn't realize until he had sold it, so he had to buy it again). But sometimes the special features can enhance a DVD tenfold!

This is not the case, however, with the bonus disc for the special edition of Fight Club. Maybe it's just me, but the extra stuff was just sooooo bland. One of my all-time favorite movies, though.
accuity
post #9  on March 9, 2004 - 2:26 PM PST  
I have to cast my two pennies and give it to Black Hawk Down, the 3 discs edition. You get 3 audio commentaries (one of which involves the rangers that were actually present during the conflict) You have making-of documentary that is about as long as the movie, going thru conception, storyboards, actor training...and on the final discs you have the History Channel and PBS's pieces on the conflict as well, quite comprehensive if you look at the features.

I also have to give the Ghostbusters disc a recommend because they have what I call a visual outline commentary where the participants are outlined in front of the movie while the comment on the movie and watching it.

> On March 5, 2004 - 3:27 PM PST sinisterguffaw wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I LOVE EXTRA STUFF!
>
> The first thing that springs to mind when somebody mentions bonus materials on DVD is Criterion. Ah, Criterion, where would we be without thee? The Criterion edition of Carnival of Souls is so jam-packed with goodies I could hardly contain myself! Pretty impressive for a film whose director made only that one feature.
>
> Anywho... What are some o' the best discs out there for special features?
>
> (Note to all otaku: the Anime Version of this thread can be found here)
> ---------------------------------

Brockton
post #10  on March 10, 2004 - 1:46 PM PST  
I've found that after the initial excitement wore off, I now experience "extra-feature fatigue," where you watch a few special features and it's all the same old sh##.

What I especially loathe are those 15 to 20 minutes pieces, often labeled "Featurette", in which the director, producer, screenwriter, and main actors all take turns talking about what a genious the director, producer, screenwriter, and main actors is/are. It's like being invited to watch a circle jerk.

That being said, I found that the commentary for Best in Show was nearly as amusing as the movie itself. And the driving interview with Spike Jonze on the Being John Malkovitch DVD was pretty amusing.
underdog
post #11  on March 10, 2004 - 4:35 PM PST  
In addition to what Brockton said... I dig the commentaries for American Splendor (with Harvey Pekar commenting on Harvey Pekar), and This is Spinal Tap (with Spinal Tap, the guys in character, reflecting on the film and their lives).

Extras, I definitely go on overload, too, but can't help but admire the bonus features on the Lord of the Rings disc... my god you get your geeky money's worth on those special extended edition discs!

C
accuity
post #12  on March 10, 2004 - 6:53 PM PST  
> On March 10, 2004 - 1:46 PM PST Brockton wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I've found that after the initial excitement wore off, I now experience "extra-feature fatigue," where you watch a few special features and it's all the same old sh##.
>
> What I especially loathe are those 15 to 20 minutes pieces, often labeled "Featurette", in which the director, producer, screenwriter, and main actors all take turns talking about what a genious the director, producer, screenwriter, and main actors is/are. It's like being invited to watch a circle jerk.
>
> That being said, I found that the commentary for Best in Show was nearly as amusing as the movie itself. And the driving interview with Spike Jonze on the Being John Malkovitch DVD was pretty amusing.
>
> ---------------------------------

On the topic that the extras are as amusing if not more so than the movie, I have to pass the baton to "A Guy Thing" a completely benign and mildly amusing movie but when examining the extra features, the cast and crew are complete goof balls, I think I laughed harder during the extras than the entire movie, especially seeing Mr. Barbra Streisand adlibbing the scenes where he is "high" on gravy! Julia Stiles and Selma Blair ribbing on the faux lesbian sex scene was funny as well.
accuity
post #13  on March 10, 2004 - 6:57 PM PST  
> On March 10, 2004 - 4:35 PM PST underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------

> Extras, I definitely go on overload, too, but can't help but admire the bonus features on the Lord of the Rings disc... my god you get your geeky money's worth on those special extended edition discs!
>
> C
> ---------------------------------

Tell me about it! I am geeky enough to own both the theatrical cut version (I couldn't wait for the extended cut) and the extended versions, and I am about to do the same for Return of the King when it comes out this May then November...*sigh* then there is word that Peter Jackson is going to re-visit all 3 movies after he is done filming King Kong and supervise their transfer to HD-DVD...I am at once enraged by this and yet excited as well!!! Oh woe is me!!!
audibleG
post #14  on March 11, 2004 - 1:09 AM PST  
Can I mention that one of the worst ever extras is the commentary on JAWBREAKER.? I'm a very forgiving guy, but boy was that ever terrible!... Heh, it is cult'ishly bad! Oops cross-topic.
The director starts talking about how he's trying to include something 'round' in a shot to symbolize the jawbreaker -oh how profound!

Okay, I back off and go on topic:

One of the best (commentary) Extra Feature is The Wachowski Bros' on BOUND. When they talk about 'duality' showing the two mugs of coffee against the wall... -ah, you have to see the scene. Quite good.

Sometimes I listen to the commentary right after watching the movie. If I end up watching the whole thing over again, I know it's good commentary.
audibleG
post #15  on March 11, 2004 - 1:26 AM PST  
A couple bits of good commentary -or I enjoyed.

Mel Brooks on BLAZING SADDLES. If I remember correctly, it's an interview inserted in the commentary track -I think. Fascinating background story on how the movie was made.

Also, I like the commentary on RESIDENT EVIL. I find Milla Jovovich hilarious, or sweet... or something. She and Michelle Rodriguez giggle a lot, I guess. Milla tries to tell everyone how to pronounce her last name. "JO-VO..." Heh, I laugh. It made me like the movie a lot more than the average score it usually gets.
kamapuaa
post #16  on March 11, 2004 - 3:12 AM PST  
> Also, I like the commentary on RESIDENT EVIL. I find Milla Jovovich hilarious, or sweet... or something. She and Michelle Rodriguez giggle a lot, I guess. Milla tries to tell everyone how to pronounce her last name. "JO-VO..." Heh, I laugh. It made me like the movie a lot more than the average score it usually gets.

I'm glad this was mentioned, I thought the commentary was stupid but hilarious, like hearing a bunch of drunk friends describe their weekend. I guess it gets old after a while, but it's a lot more interesting than the usual "[3 minute pause] yeah I really like what Kathy did with the drapes here."

My favorite DVD extra is the making-of movie that comes with "The Mack." The crew filmed on location, and had to navigate their way between the Black Panthers (near their peak) and the local crime bosses.

The "storyboard mode" that comes with Ghibli movies (all Japanese editions, some American editions) is also interesting, although watching the entire movie that way would be overkill.
hamano
post #17  on March 11, 2004 - 6:04 AM PST  
In the Mood for Love has a lot of extras, including really good scenes that were filmed but not used. The director, Kar-Wai Wong, started out with a light-hearted romantic comedy with lots of food/cooking scenes, and apparently the film evolved into its more somber release version during shooting. This is a very interesting record of a more or less improvisational style of film making. Unfortunately, a lot of the interesting stuff is on a separate bonus disc.

I think GreenCine should cut its members a break and just ship the bonus disc (in a separate envelope?) the same day as the main feature disc, and not count it as a separate rental. If you rent from Blockbuster, multiple disc releases are all contained in one rental case. It would be a great service, and how many releases come with bonus discs that are worth a separate charged rental, or worth the days or weeks of separation between the rental of the feature and the bonus disc? I mean, really, how much extra postage would a "bonus disc inclusive program" cost, factoring in the possible publicity value that would distinguish GC from other services like N'flix?
RWaller
post #18  on March 11, 2004 - 6:30 AM PST  
> On March 11, 2004 - 3:12 AM PST kamapuaa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > Also, I like the commentary on RESIDENT EVIL.
> ---------------------------------
I'm glad you mentioned RESIDENT EVIL because I was gonna. After so many drab and pointless director's commentaries, it was a pleasant surprise to walk in on a really fun party! And actually it was informative, between guffaws Rodriguez et al remarked on the ways in which the movie was made to conform to the style and spirit of the game, and lots of other cool stuff. Jovovitch: "Hey nobody cares about that stuff, look, there's my nipple." And the whole package of extras are fun and interesting.

ALL the extra stuff on PI is great!

The Animation Software Tutorial on the WAKING LIFE DVD was mind-bending, and almost equal in entertainment value to the actual feature. Although Bob Sabiston is not exactly a sparkling screen presence, his work speaks for itself, and it's a uniquely fascinating inside view of what's happening in non-3D areas of computer animation.

sinisterguffaw
post #19  on March 11, 2004 - 9:55 AM PST  
> On March 11, 2004 - 6:30 AM PST RWaller wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> ALL the extra stuff on PI is great!
>
> ---------------------------------

I couldn't help but think to myself "P.I.? P.I.? Did they make a movie about Magnum P.I.?"

And then it hit me... "OOOOhhhhh... Pi!!!"

It was amazing to see how they put that one together!
kamapuaa
post #20  on March 11, 2004 - 4:19 PM PST  
> On March 11, 2004 - 6:04 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> In the Mood for Love has a lot of extras, including really good scenes that were filmed but not used. The director, Kar-Wai Wong, started out with a

I'm split on this one. On one hand, the extra scenes were indivisually very strong. On the other hand, in the context of the movie they were wishy-washy and didn't add anything. Despite some faults, the movie is powerful enough that I'd want to let it sink in before seeing the extra scenes.

"Pi," and also the extra features to "El Mariachi" were two DVD extras that made me want to buy a digital camcorder and make my own movie. Maybe I could make my own Magnum PI movie - it's a sin that those aren't on DVD!
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