What are your favorite DVD commentary tracks?
December 11, 2004 1:51 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite DVD commentary tracks?
posted by gluechunk to Media & Arts (68 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
the commentary track for dude, where's my car? is priceless. they take a break to pick up some beer and talk at length about the parts in which they made out.
posted by pikachulolita at 2:04 AM on December 11, 2004


My favorite audio commentary has to be the tracks with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. It is cool to hear Raimi talk about how crappy those movies were but how much fun it was to make them, especially since he has become a big budget director now. Plus, those movies are a riot even with the commentary off.
posted by bakerwc1369 at 2:22 AM on December 11, 2004


Previously asked (about the same time last year, actually).

I like Kevin Smith & Co. commentaries, since we're on the subject again (and since I didn't comment last time).
posted by ruddhist at 2:22 AM on December 11, 2004


In general, it's when the commentary tracks that involve a group of cast members, and not just the director or some other small group of people. When it's one person, or two (like both producers) they tend to have boring, uninspired commentary.

Personally, I find that the commentary track should be entertaining in its own right as well as informative, and having those lively large groups interacting over the movie is like having a whole new movie to watch, and they keep each other inspired as to stories to tell, behind the scenes gossip, etc.

That said, the best I've heard is on the Family Guy DVD set; they brought in most of the voice actors with several people at once- Seth McFarlane of course, along with usually a couple of key writers, voice talent like Seth Green or Alex Borstein- and this group would all sit in the same booth and have extended dialogues about the show, about funny jokes they had to cut because the censors wouldn't allow it, etc, watching with delight scenes or setups they especially loved. They also have some of the actors coming in and out of the booth for different episodes' commentary tracks, which results in very funny running dialogues in the commentary that are self-referential, mentioning the funny things that happened the day before when they were recording commentary for other episodes, which the newcomers weren't around for (but we the audience are privy to by watching the commentary track!). It's a delight to listen to, and those needing that little extra Family Guy fix it really is a treat.

Not that you asked, but the worst for me was "Meet the Parents". They got the whole cast together, but I assume De Niro was trying to prove a point about not being paid for the commentary or something, because he didn't utter 2 words the whole time. The rest of the cast was painfully deferential to him, constantly trying to pull him into the commentary track, saying "There was that... what was that funny thing you said that time, Bob?" to which De Niro would only grunt. It was awkward, unfunny, and disappointing.
posted by hincandenza at 2:27 AM on December 11, 2004


Bowfinger - Frank Oz's Commentary is great

An American Werewolf in London - David Naughton and Griffin Dunne's commentary is a treatise on the wonders of Jenny Agutter.

Blackhawk Down - several good commentaries including one by some of the veterans involved with the event. Though the best one is the by author Mark Bowden and screenwriter Ken Nolan.

Alice’s Restaurant – Arlo Guthrie gives quite a bit of background on the events in the movie.

El Mariachi – Good commentary from Robert Rodriguez on no budget filmmaking.

The commentaries by John Carpenter and Kurt Russell in Escape from New York, The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China are some of the best.
posted by Tenuki at 2:33 AM on December 11, 2004


Army of Darkness commentary was fun.

Fight Club commentary. Classic.

Any Werner Herzog commentary. Particularly The Aguirre: Wrath of God commentary, which is as good as the movie. Herzog addresses stories such that he directed Klaus Kinski at gunpoint (false) and that Kinski shot one of the extras (true). Harrowing stuff. The commentaries on some of his other films even strangely include fan Crispin Glover.

Clerks Tv Show commentary. After a while Kevin Smith abandons talking about the show and dives right into a fascinating discussion on the mechanics of getting a tv show made and dealing with tv executives.

Vanilla Sky commentary impressed me because it was the first time I've heard a director who wasn't afraid to discuss the meaning behind the situations and characters in the film (usually directors stay private and only discuss the technical matters behind shooting the film). It was also neat hearing him phone people up during the commentary.

And the Final Fantasy: Spirits Within commentary amused me since you could listen to the people involved still trying to work out the plot. Kudos for translating a foreign commentary.

Worst Commentary: Ocean's 11 cast commentary... listening to silence then someone realizes "oh crap we're watching the movie, gotta say something".
posted by bobo123 at 2:41 AM on December 11, 2004


I recall that the Ghostbusters commentary was pretty good. It's been a while since I listened to it but I believe there was a good mixture of talk about the movie and also a whole bunch of extremely funny stories concerning the actors and directors throughout. Many of the Futurama commentaries are good; they start off a bit shaky and by season 4 you can tell they're getting a bit tired of it, but the middle ones are wonderful, packed with the actors doing silly voices and everyone making fun of Matt Groening.
posted by adrianhon at 3:53 AM on December 11, 2004


Fight Club (the director+cast track is great, except for Carter; Pahluniuk's track is great, and the third track, regarding technical aspects, is very educational).

The Simpsons DVD set also has really good commentary, lots of discussion about the process of making the show, problems with the Korean animation studios, censors, etc.
posted by Bugbread at 5:51 AM on December 11, 2004


I'll just add that my two favorites are already here - Fight Club and Family Guy.
posted by geekyguy at 5:54 AM on December 11, 2004


The Futurama commentaries (sometimes even better than the episodes themselves), and the cast commentary on the Fellowship of the Ring Extended DVD.
posted by cheaily at 6:01 AM on December 11, 2004


I agree about Fight Club; it was great. The worst for me was Comedian - after a pretty great movie, Jerry Seinfeld and Colin Quinn basically sit there and make a lot of inside jokes and are dismissive of Orny Adams, as though they had no idea this other comedian was going to be in the finished film. Jerks.
posted by deliriouscool at 6:02 AM on December 11, 2004


Gigantic, the They Might Be Giants documentary, is fantastic... the two Johns and a very out-numbered Sarah Vowell.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:15 AM on December 11, 2004


I've just started to go back through the Family Guy DVDs and watch the episodes with the commentary tracks... I wanted to save them. Hearing Alex Borstein say, "What the FUCK?" as Lois (instead of "What the (foghorn)" as it aired on TV) or her talking about Stewie's, er... package are classic, and I'm only on the first disc.
posted by emelenjr at 6:24 AM on December 11, 2004


The tracks from the Wes Anderson films, just because the man is fascinating. I also liked the Good Will Hunting track. You get a taste of the excitement they felt at that time.

Old School is good for the humor. Like when they announce that Will Ferrell had to take a part that was Luke's because he showed up to set hung over.
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:41 AM on December 11, 2004


I just heard the fascinating and funny commentary on Goodfellas. They have the regular cast and crew one, but they also have another one with just Henry Hill and the prosecutor who flipped him. They spend the whole movie reminiscing about the various thugs and crimes depicted on screen, and Hill throws in a ton of sucking up. It's wildly entertaining.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:47 AM on December 11, 2004


And also, Spinal Tap's cast, in character 20 years later, trashing the movie for making their band look silly. It's almost funnier than the original movie.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:48 AM on December 11, 2004


The Simpsons and Futurama DVD commentary tracks are both excellent. Generally, they're interesting because they involve the exec producers/show runners, writers, animators and voice talent. They are both enlightening and funny.
posted by andrewraff at 6:55 AM on December 11, 2004


The Critic has some fun commentaries. I'll add my vote for Futurama, The Simpsons, and Family Guy commentaries, too. I especially like the Futurama commentary where Billy West and John DiMaggio did the commentary in character as Fry and Bender. Classic stuff.

As for film commentaries, don't miss Ghostbusters (as mentioned; it's a faux-MST3K style with silhouettes at the bottom of the screen), the Back to the Future trilogy, Gremlins (has two commentaries: one from the cast and one from the creators), and Gremlins 2.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:56 AM on December 11, 2004


Best:
Gods and Monsters - The director even talks in the beginning about what makes for good DVD commentary.

Mixed feelings:
Donnie Darko - The director talks about all kinds of cool things like how many meetings etc. it takes to put the word "Smurf" into a movie, but ultimately does a poor job of explaining what's going on.
posted by xammerboy at 7:13 AM on December 11, 2004 [1 favorite]


The Goonies: the commentary is done 16 years later, as a sort of reunion of the director and cast members. Occasionally the movie will shrink down so you can see the commentators, which is kind of neat. Oh, and the best part--Corey Feldman gets pissed off and walks out.
posted by littlegreenlights at 7:17 AM on December 11, 2004


Pecker. John Waters is fascinating.
posted by Nelson at 7:48 AM on December 11, 2004


and are dismissive of Orny Adams, as though they had no idea this other comedian was going to be in the finished film. Jerks

You saw the guy, right? Being dismissive of him--while perhaps a tad unprofessional--is significantly better than he deserves. The guy's a mountain of ego masquerading as a fourth-rate comedian who couldn't do dinner theatre in the Catskills. Seriously.



That aside, I nth the Family Guy and LOTR:FOTR commentaries. It's especially wonderful (to me) to hear Sir Ian McKellen discussing the idea of a gay subplot to LOTR, and dismissing it out of hand, explaining to the world (especially all you fucking fangirls out there. You know who you are) that no, Sam & Frodo didn't bonk their way across Middle Earth. Plus hearing, especially between Sean/Elijah/Dominic/Billy the unbelievable cameraderie the cast shared, and the entire lack of anything resembling egotistical prima-donna behaviour. I may not have learned much about how to make a movie from that particular commentary track, but I did learn a lot about how a bunch of incredibly different people can become very close friends.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:52 AM on December 11, 2004


Robert DeNiro commenting on Meet the Parents is awful. He so didn't want to be there!
posted by punkfloyd at 7:52 AM on December 11, 2004


Godzilla 2000 - features the guy in charge of bringing it over to North America, and (in addition to being a total Godzilla nerd, which is fun) he talks about changes in the dialogue and edits to the film to make it more palatable to Western audiences. Very interesting, especially when he points out that the inexplicable line "Perhaps there's a little Godzilla inside each of us," is in no way altered from its original Japanese form.

Dawn of the Dead (original) - Features Romero, his wife, and a moderator which is perhaps one of the best ideas around. The moderator is perfectly willing to let the director ramble on and tell stories, but whenever there's a lull, he steps in to ask a pertinent question or to get things moving again. Very entertaining.

UHF - Weird Al appears to have an uncanny memory, and tells some interesting stories, but the best parts are near the end when he randomly phones up another cast member who couldn't make it AND reads quotes from reviews that panned the movie when it was released theatrically.

Also, extra votes for Kevin Smith tracks (generally as funny as the films themselves), Fight Club ("You've got a pretty dark movie here, Fincher." "Shut up, guys."), Army of Darkness ("Hit Bruce harder! He can take it!"), and Big Trouble in Little China (because even though Carpenter and Russell rarely talk about the movie they're just such buddies it's impossible not to enjoy yourself)
posted by Monster_Zero at 8:03 AM on December 11, 2004


Kevin Smith films have amazing commentaries. I never appreciated them until the first version of the Clerks DVD came out. If you are a fan of Kevin Smith, pick up the Clerks X DVD, as it is by far the best. But any View Askew DVD is pretty good.

I hear good things about the new 10-Disk Matrix set too...
posted by punkrockrat at 8:10 AM on December 11, 2004


Roger Ebert's commentary for Citizen Kane was excellent. It's incredibly fascinating. Ebert really knows his stuff.

One of the more disapointing commentaries is the one for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The (now adult) kids basically giggling and saying, "I remember when I had a crush on Charlie!" And there was no Gene Wilder, which really would have been something.
posted by Agrippina at 8:21 AM on December 11, 2004


Anything by Roger Ebert, but especially his Citizen Kane commentary. It's a master-class on filmmaking and how to watch (and analyze) a film. Insanely great.

The Singin' in the Rain and Hard Day's Night special editions both have really good commentaries.

You can also find some interesting home-brewed tracks at dvdtracks.com.
posted by Vidiot at 8:41 AM on December 11, 2004


I'll second The Goonies. Chunk for President!
posted by Ruki at 9:23 AM on December 11, 2004


Any Werner Herzog commentary. Particularly The Aguirre: Wrath of God commentary...

A huge second to this. The commentary on Aguirre makes the movie you're watching into a completely different and just as fascinating one.

The anime series FLCL has a nice subtitled Japanese language commentary track with the director, which is kind of rare for a US release and very interesting.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:27 AM on December 11, 2004


x+1 recommendations on Kevin Smith, any of the LotR, Spinal Tap, Family Guy and Ghostbusters. Would also like to add Roger Ebert's commentary for Alex Proyas' "Dark City," which is both informative and really shows his love for the film.

Of course, Proyas went on to let his studio turn Asimov's "I, Robot" into a POS, so YMMV.
posted by softlord at 9:27 AM on December 11, 2004


Paging Dr. dobbs, paging Dr. dobbs. Dr. dobbs to this thread, please.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:29 AM on December 11, 2004


My answers from last time still stand, but since then, I've had the singular pleasure of watching the Showgirls VIP Edition, with commentary by David Schmader. This may be the funniest thing ever, except for maybe the christmas video I just saw where a dog with human hands was making cookies and licking the frosting off as the hands spread it on.
posted by majcher at 9:32 AM on December 11, 2004


Seconding mostly, but Mallrats, Citizen Kane, and Cannibal: The Musical are the first ones that come to mind for me.

Interestingly, two of those trash their respective film heavily, and one praises it higher than anything I've ever heard. I suppose I'm not interested in moderation. :-)

On a side note, for sheer sadness, the Battlefield Earth commentary is so full of "one day our genius will be understood and appreciated. hell, even ::yet another namedrop:: said how unique our color timing was!", you gotta feel sorry for them.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:32 AM on December 11, 2004


The Naked Lunch commentary, with Cornenberg and Weller. Who knew Peter Weller was so gosh durn smart?

Also, the Hunter S. Thompson commentary for Fear and Loathing. SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!!
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:34 AM on December 11, 2004


This may be the funniest thing ever, except for maybe the christmas video I just saw where a dog with human hands was making cookies and licking the frosting off as the hands spread it on.

I thought about making an AskMe post just for this. Tell me you have a link, please.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:42 AM on December 11, 2004


Two Criterion Collection suggestions:

Henry V: One of the few DVDs where the commentary track is longer than the movie itself. Film Historian Bruce Eder explains damn near everything about the ne plus ultra of Shakespearean movie adaptations, how Sir Laurence Olivier put this movie together in the midst of WWII (and the film's importance to the war effort), Shakespeare's own experiences in writing the play, and the cinematographic advances made by this film. Eder has so much to say that he stops the movie itself in order to provide exposition and to illustrate how the visual style of the movie was deliberately drawn from medieval illuminated books.

Seven Samurai: Everything you ever wanted to know about Kurosawa and Mifune is told by Michael Jeck. He talks non-stop about the historic settings of this and other Kurosawa samurai films, the experiences of putting together what was the most expensive Japanese film at the time, the relationship between director and star, and so much more. You will never see another samurai film the same way again after hearing the commentary.
posted by Avogadro at 9:54 AM on December 11, 2004


Tell me you have a link, please.

I don't. It was one of a hundred freaky clips in a christmas show I went to see last night.
posted by majcher at 9:55 AM on December 11, 2004


I'll put in the umpteenth vote for "Fight Club." I noticed how little Helena Bonham Carter was saying...and then realized that she wasn't even with the other 3 (Fincher, Norton, Pitt) during the recording of it. Plus, you can really hear the chemistry between Norton and Fincher; they sound like two friends who just really like film.
posted by bachelor#3 at 9:56 AM on December 11, 2004


I don't think anyone's already said it, so I'll throw in "Boogie Nights." There are two: the whole cast and then just PTA. I love them both.
posted by adrober at 10:03 AM on December 11, 2004


I remember really liking the commentary on American Beauty.
posted by Caviar at 10:09 AM on December 11, 2004


Oh, and about the ULTIMATE MATRIX BOX SET? A friend of mine had to sit through it for a magazine article on said set's insanity, and boy oh boy, it certainly is...uh...complete.

While I'm not a Matrix fan at all, I would be interested in hearing the commentary by the critics who hated it. A smart idea for a fairly divisive set of movies.

(Also, the press kit insists that the title always be written in all caps. And you wouldn't want to ange the press kit, would you?)
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:17 AM on December 11, 2004


ange = anger

Also, seconded for Fight Club, Dawn of the Dead, and American Beauty.

And John Frankenheimer also does rather swell commentaries, if you like dry, acerbic, film-centric commentaries. Seconds has a very funny anecdote about filming the Grand Central sequence.

I have French Connection II (a good movie, BTW) around here from Netflix and when I get some free time I'm gonna fire up that yak trak.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:20 AM on December 11, 2004


Coming in late, skipping the 'I second x' part:

"The Last Waltz" has a pretty good commentary by Robbie Robertson and Martin Scorsese, and a very good one with Greil Marcus, Dr. John, Mavis Staples, most of the surviving members of The Band and a bunch of other critics, producers, musicians, etc.

And there are some very good commentaries on the various "Mr. Show" dvds.
posted by box at 10:23 AM on December 11, 2004


Two votes for Cameron Crowe films: The track for Say Anything, with Crowe, John Cusack and Ione Skye, begins 20 minutes before the film and details the casting process and how they all met. It's pretty enjoyable. And the track on the Almost Famous extended cut features Crowe and his mother discussing the parrellels between the film and the real-life experiences of his writing for Rolling Stone on which the film is based.

And if you're a fan, the Mr. Show tracks are a hoot.
posted by sre71 at 10:25 AM on December 11, 2004


Best commentary ever wasn't on DVD but on Laserdisc: Howard Suber's on The Graduate. I learned more about storytelling in that 105 minutes than I did in 4 years of film school. I'm considering converting it to MP3 and putting it online, as it is out of print. But don't want Criterion to hate me.

Gene Youngblood's on L'Avventura is excellent.

The Buckaroo Banzai commentary (and subtitle commentary) are a good laugh.

I'll agree with the above Fight Club and Citizen Kane.

Lem Dobbs (no relation) and Steven Soderbergh are fantastically good as they argue the merits of cuts and additions to the screenplay. One of my favorite tracks. (Actually, any track Soderbergh is on, with maybe the exception of Solaris, is worth a listen. Even films he didn't direct, like Seabiscuit.)

The Requiem for a Dream track is very good also.

A lot of people freaked over the Koepp/Goldman track on Panic Room but I found it a little disappointing. Definitely worth listening to but I expected more given the hype.

Altman and Tolkien on The Player are very good as is Altman on the fantastic 3 Women.

Christopher McQuarrie and Joe Kraemer on Way of the Gun are good.

Billy Friedkin's tracks on French Connection and the out of print Exorcist are very intersting.

The track for Blood Simple is one of the strangest things I've ever heard.

Marion Keane's Notorious commentary is excellent if you are into feminist film theory. Same goes for Janet Brown's on Hurlyburly.

Even if you're not into feminist film theory, the tracks on Hurlyburly (David Rabe, Sean Penn, Anthony Drazan, David Baerwald, and the aforementioned Janet Brown) are terrific.

Donald Richie's Kurosawa trailers are extremely informative, especially his Rashoman one.

The commentary on the out of print laserdisc of They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is very good but near impossible to find.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Plus, you can really hear the chemistry between Norton and Fincher;

Hmm. I didn't find that. I did find that for Pitt and Fincher. I thought Norton actually sounded like quite the outsider on that track.
posted by dobbs at 10:30 AM on December 11, 2004 [3 favorites]


Seconding that the Boogie Nights commentary is awesome, especially the commentary on the deleted scenes ("care-ah-tay.... Dirk would kill me...")

State and Main, the Mamet film, has really good commentary. Within it, William H. Macy reveals that he was either having a really bad day or is a total dick. (The comments about how his character wasn't such a bad guy since he was just trying to do his job, and he also at one point insults another cast member.

The version of A Few Good Men released a few years ago was awful, with Rob Reiner just saying a couple of things every 30 minutes or so before shutting up for good.

It's funny when the movie is good, then you watch the commentary and the actors and director have no clue. I like the idea that a movie can be good despite everyone not knowing what they're doing to make it good.
posted by ontic at 10:31 AM on December 11, 2004


Erm, that shoulda been Rashomon.
posted by dobbs at 10:32 AM on December 11, 2004


State and Main, the Mamet film, has really good commentary.

If you like that one you'll probably like Val Kilmer's on Spartan, which is equally amusing.
posted by dobbs at 10:33 AM on December 11, 2004


I got the Matrix box set, and while I haven't listened to the actual commentaries yet, I've checked out a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff. It's pretty good, but really the LOTR DVDs have set the bar so high for behind-the-scenes documentary that it's hard to judge.
posted by falconred at 10:37 AM on December 11, 2004


Lem Dobbs (no relation) and Steven Soderbergh are fantastically good as they argue the merits of cuts and additions to the screenplay.

Arrgh. should have ended "of the Limey."

Okay, breakfast time.
posted by dobbs at 10:39 AM on December 11, 2004


I don't know if they count as the best commentaries, but the Aqua Teen Hunger Force tracks are (as would be expected) some of the weirdest I've ever listened to. One has a seven and a half minute guitar solo, and just when you think it's never going to end, they start talking shop about putting the show together.
posted by hughbot at 11:40 AM on December 11, 2004


Most of Mel Brooks' commentaries are great, though they're usually just him: Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc.

Spinal Tap's commentary, as noted earlier, is fucking hilarious.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:28 PM on December 11, 2004


The Rules of Attraction with secret commentary track by a special guest. They grabbed him off the street, sit him in front of a movie he's never seen in his life and ask him to talk about it. It was better than the original movie. By far.

Clerks Cartoon - Totally scathing, Kevin Smith hates the universe.

Anything with James Cameron. That guy is amazing.
posted by joelf at 12:51 PM on December 11, 2004


I don't think anybody's said it yet, but the Gosford Park DVD has a commentary track by the writer, Julian Fellowes, and it's incredibly informative.
posted by Hildago at 2:14 PM on December 11, 2004


I've enjoyed Mike Nelson's commentary on Reefer Madness, Carnival of Souls and Night of the Living Dead. If you miss Mystery Science Theater, it's the next best thing.
posted by Otis at 2:16 PM on December 11, 2004 [1 favorite]


I loved the commentary for Vertigo. Lots of info on how they restored the film, matched color, recreated the soundtrack, etc.
posted by belladonna at 3:38 PM on December 11, 2004


I have never heard a good commentary track.

This isn't to say they don't exist, but I've given up on them. It's just ridiculous that these utterly useless things have become standard extras on DVDs (can you have standard extras?). I'll probably try to give some of the ones mentioned in this thread a shot (Citizen Kane and Fight Club sound like they'll be good), but I've heard some of the other purportedly good tracks that have been recommended, and I still think they're wastes of time.

I can imagine commentaries done by film lovers who point out why they like the movie being worthwhile. Roger Ebert is probably brilliant at it.
posted by painquale at 5:55 PM on December 11, 2004


the man who wasn't there - hear the coen brothers and billy bob reveal how much of a total joke this seemingly very serious movie is.

blood simple - a totally fake spoof commentary by a fictitious film scholar, full of made up facts.
posted by ism at 7:09 PM on December 11, 2004


ism, you mean it wasn't really an anamatronic dog? M Emmet Walsh didn't really have gout that day? There wasn't really a subplot that takes place in Russia that the execs made them cut out?
posted by dobbs at 7:14 PM on December 11, 2004


I really enjoy the commentary tracks of Terry Gilliam, some of which are unfortunately only on laserdisc. He gives equal time to thematic concepts (plastic covers on the couches and evil henchmen in Time Bandits) and technical stuff (slanting the walls of the studio for the top down shot of the radio booth in The Fisher King).

As for American Beauty, it's a good track but a bad DVD. More than twice Sam mentions cut footage that, though hilarious, was not included on the disc. Jerks.
posted by codger at 7:42 PM on December 11, 2004


Since it hasn't been mentioned.

All of Rodrieguez's mariachi series gives great insight to guerilla filmmaking.

Seven for the commentaries ASIDE from the director (particuarly the colorist's description on how he got specific looks for the film.)

And I don't know if Walter Murch commented on any films..but I'd love to hear those.
posted by filmgeek at 7:44 PM on December 11, 2004


I loved the commentary and making-of short for 61*, about Roger Maris' race to beat Babe Ruth's record for most home runs in single season. Billy Crystal's love for the Yankees and adoration of Mickey Mantle come shining thru. It was a joy to witness a true labor of love.
posted by marsha56 at 7:56 PM on December 11, 2004


Avogardo beat me to it, but I'll reaffirm that Michael Jeck's Seven Samurai commentary is hands down the best I've ever heard.

Also, Soderbergh and I-forget-the-Screenwriter's-name who did the commentary for the vastly underappreciated The Limey is really interesting. They actually argue with each other frequently about how the script was changed/filmed and it's very illuminating.
posted by Heminator at 7:59 PM on December 11, 2004


Previously asked (about the same time last year, actually).

I know. This thread (#12804) is a reference to 12/8/04, AskMe's birthday.

posted by gluechunk at 8:01 PM on December 11, 2004


filmgeek, Murch did the commentary for The Conversation. S'okay.

Heminator, that'd be Lem Dobbs, I mentioned it above.
posted by dobbs at 8:22 PM on December 11, 2004


Futurama. By a long way.

One of the Underworld commentaries is good, the other is painful.

Supersize me has a very interesting commentary track, because you find out how much extra work never makes it to camera.

In general, most of the best commentaries are by the writers, directors and producers with only one or two actors. Most of the worst commentaries are just the actors. B5 is hard to listen to, I have one that's impossible but I can't remember which.

Michael Moore's idea of handing the Bowling for Columbine commentary track to the interns is possibly the worst idea he's every had.
posted by krisjohn at 10:43 PM on December 11, 2004


In Blade 2 the comments on the deleted scenes are priceless. Del torro is pretty funny guy when laughing at his own work. "For you film geeks I have included the crap I cut. You can love it, or puke on it"

If you don't become inspired to buy a digital camera and make your own films when you watch Robert Rodriguez commentary tracks. You are broken.
posted by joelf at 11:21 PM on December 11, 2004


i enjoy tony wilson's commentary for 24 hour party people.
posted by ifjuly at 12:31 AM on December 30, 2004


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