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General discussion about what's out for the couch.

Best commentary
Topic by: dh22
Posted: March 30, 2004 - 9:09 AM PST
Last Reply: October 10, 2004 - 5:59 PM PDT

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author topic: Best commentary
post #21  on July 16, 2004 - 5:37 PM PDT  
Long before his South Park fame, Trey Parker directed and starred in a really crappy movie (based on a true story) called Cannibal, the Musical, which was distributed by Troma. For the commentary, Parker and some of the cast and crew from the film got together with a recorder and a bunch of booze and trashed the film while getting progressively more intoxicated. It's clear they think the film is crap (because they pretty much say so), and the fact that they don't take themselves very seriously is a refreshing change from some of the pretentious crap on some of these commentaries. It's one of the more entertaining commentaries I've heard, and it's worth the rental just to hear it.

I personally really enjoyed the commentary for Amelie. Jeunet is quite entertaining, even if he's not drunk and trashing his ex-girlfriend.
post #22  on July 24, 2004 - 2:08 AM PDT  
Herzog is definitely the one great director who can also deliver on the commentaries, the Stroszek commentary in particular.

I hear Wes Anderson is great although I've have yet to play with my Royal Tennenbaums DVD. I also hear great things about Joe Bob Briggs' commentary for I Spit on Your Grave

Paul Dini and Bruce Timm are great on the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker commentary. You can hear Paul Dini choke up during the scene where it's revealed what Joker did to poor ole' Robin.

I really enjoy the George A. Romero/Tom Savini commentary for one of my favorites movies, Martin. Of course, I have to admit a strong personal connection to this commentary after winning a gift bag of Romero DVDS handed to me by the man himself at a retrospective at the ever amazing Chicago Film Center. On the Romero tip, I have yet to listen to Romero's commentary on the Day of the Dead DVD but the commentary by ultra-fan and writer of Pulp Fiction, Roger Avary, is wonderful. The way he defends a movie that rightfully deserves to be respected as one of the great American films is heroic at times and endearingly geeky at others.

David Sterritt's mini commentary on Les Carabiniers is all kinds of great. I think more DVDs should opt for this type of commentary which is about 20-30 minutes long. I enjoyed the movie before viewing the commentary but I was able to have a firmer grasp of what Godard was trying to accomplish.

post #23  on August 1, 2004 - 1:59 PM PDT  
I also LOVE Kevin Smith's commentaries. The Clerks Cartoons commentaries are funny as hell...and Mallrats, ah, sweet Mallrats, the bastard child of Kevin Smith but the platform for Jason Lee.

Um, anywho, I really liked the commentary for Almost Famous: Untitled Bootleg Edition (aka special edition). It was with Cameron Crowe and his Mom! hehe, see, Almost Famous was pretty autobiographical for Cameron Crowe, and there is a scene which implies that he lost his virginity to groupies and his mom gets to comment on it. Plus, she comments on the great job Frances McDormand did in portraying her.

Um, the LOTR commentaries are all pretty cool, and all the extras, appendices, etc., are great, too.

post #24  on August 23, 2004 - 9:44 AM PDT  
> On April 1, 2004 - 12:42 PM PST underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> And along those lines, and even better IMHO is the commentary on THIS IS SPINAL TAP, done by the Spinal Tap guys in character. Truly hilarious.
> ---------------------------------

I saw this last week and agree with Underdog. The Spinal Tap commentary is rather good. The DVD also contained large amounts of extra footage. I can't remember the last DVD I saw with this much extra footage.
post #25  on September 2, 2004 - 12:20 PM PDT  
i recently watched the el mariachi/deperado/once upon a time in mexico series by robert rodriquez and i found his commentary to be excellent, especially in terms of actual filmmaking. inspirational even to aspiring makers.

> On March 30, 2004 - 9:09 AM PST dh22 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Sinister did a thread of best extra featuers, but I'm looking specifically for commentary - director commentary, or the like. I've seen very few discs that included decent commentary. Most of the time they are uninformative, or just boring. Half the time they end up taking about useless crap that has nothing to do with the film. I think Roger Ebert's commentary on Citizen Kane is excellent, but I don't know of any other noteworthy ones. Any suggestions?
> ---------------------------------
post #26  on September 7, 2004 - 5:28 PM PDT  
I like John McTieran's commentary on the Die Hard dvd. He helped shaped one of the best action movies ever made and it's interesting to hear his ideas.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico was inspirational? The only inspirational thing about that movie was that it shows any idiot can do it. It was all down hill after El Mariachi.
post #27  on September 8, 2004 - 5:37 AM PDT  
I watched Best of Show over the weekend. I must say it was rather disappointing. The commentary was provided by Guest and Levy, so I was expecting some serious laughs, but there wasn't much there. They did provide the usual bit of interesting facts along the way, such as "Oh, so-and-so was original suppose to play this part." but there wasn't much else.
post #28  on September 8, 2004 - 8:18 PM PDT  
> i recently watched the el mariachi/deperado/once upon a time in mexico series by robert rodriquez and i found his commentary to be excellent, especially in terms of actual filmmaking. inspirational even to aspiring makers.

Ebert's commentary for Ozu's Floating Weeds is enjoyable, especially when juxtaposed with Donald Richie's for The Story of Floating Weeds. All in all, if you are interested in Japanese cinema, this a great Criterion set.
post #29  on September 9, 2004 - 12:48 AM PDT  
Second that emotion on the FLOATING WEEDS and A STORY OF FLOATING WEEDS commentaries.

Also interesting is the talk on TOKYO STORY from David Desser. He repeats his main points again and again, like Hara Setsuko saying "iie" again and again to her mother-in-law.

Has anyone listened to Scorsese on the new GOODFELLAS DVD?

post #30  on September 9, 2004 - 7:36 AM PDT  
Has anyone watched the bonus disc material of Grave of the Fireflies? I'm wondering if the commentary there is any good.
post #31  on September 10, 2004 - 2:26 PM PDT  
> On September 9, 2004 - 12:48 AM PDT itchy008 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Has anyone listened to Scorsese on the new GOODFELLAS DVD?
> No, but knowing Scorsese he will probably say ten billion words within the first five minutes!

Seriously tho', I enjoy Mel Brooks' Commentary on YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and the group commentaries led by Matt Groening on the SIMPSONS and FUTURAMA discs. On the fourth season of FUTURAMA, you get to hear Groening bitch about the way Fox mishandled the show.
> ---------------------------------

post #32  on September 13, 2004 - 10:17 AM PDT  
I'm amazed no one has mentioned the greatest commentarian out there: Michael Nesmith. The commentary track for Elephant Parts ("Michael Nesmith Explains it All") is definitive.

Watch it.

Over and over.

Learn it.

It explains clearly that there were no special effects used in filming the giant-singing-monster-attacks-the-village number. Those villagers gave up their lives for art.

And all of this was written (in 1980) by channellers (after all, who *wasn't* a channeller in 1980?). Like the guy who channelled appliances. He'd channel a toaster and sit there, getting very hot.

Really, you have to hear this. It goes on nonstop for the whole duration, occasionally linking up with what's on-screen. Once you understand the difference between a pre-past and post-pasta experience, the whole world will make more sense.

Then, when you've heard that enough times to memorize it, pop in the Repo Man commenary. It's just a passable commentary for the most part, but Nesmith (who produced) speaks up occasionally. The best parts is when they're all being wacky and talking about the early 80's LA punk scene and Nesmith pipes in--in a completely non-ironic voice tone--with something like, "I don't want to get all film-school on you here, but I want to comment on how the DP used a bifocal lense here to increase the sense of separation between the actors. If you watch Emilio's hand here, you can see where it moves out of focus, showing that they can't actually reach each other" (or words to that effect). They then go back to being wacky until the next time Nesmith wants to comments on the DP's work (for example, the use of light and shades of red in the "burning stuff under the bridge" scene).

He's also on the commentary for Tapeheads, but I haven't made it as far into that one. It seems to be the usual anecdotes and chitchat.

But Elephant Parts is the best commentary track ever. Bar none.
post #33  on September 13, 2004 - 12:15 PM PDT  
I second the votes for Elephant Parts (a link for your convenience) and the Simpsons and Futurama sets. On Simpsons 4, the commentary with Groening and Al Jean and all the various writers (including Conan O'Brien) is classic.

I also recommend the comemntary by Michael Nelson (from MST3K fame) on the most recent Reefer Madness disc, as you can see by my little review of it on that page. Tres amusing.

post #34  on September 15, 2004 - 2:25 PM PDT  
What about Bubba Ho-Tep?!?! The track with Bruce Campbell as Elvis... Its liek eh is watching the movie for the first time. It is VERY funny.
post #35  on September 15, 2004 - 2:25 PM PDT  
> On September 15, 2004 - 2:25 PM PDT shanandjohn wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> What about Bubba Ho-Tep?!?! The track with Bruce Campbell as Elvis... Its liek eh is watching the movie for the first time. It is VERY funny.
> ---------------------------------

My fingers were moving to fast....
post #36  on October 2, 2004 - 12:25 PM PDT  
one of my personal favorites is John Water's commentary on "Pecker". It's actually a bit funnier than the film itself featuring numerous amusing anecdotes about the casting and filming.
post #37  on October 10, 2004 - 5:59 PM PDT  
salaam bombay! - after i saw it i wanted to know, "were these characters, places and situations truthful?" - mira nair's commentary not only answers those questions ("yes") with detail, she describes the lives of the people involved before, during, and since, themselves pretty compelling stories.
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