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Old 20-07-2006, 23:36   #1
bosque
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DVDs you'd buy solely for the commentary

I probably wouldn't bother getting the "new" Apocalypse Now release if it hadn't had the Coppola commentaries.

And I certainly wouldn't have ordered the new Criterion Seven Samurai, if there'd been no extra commentaries.

And I don't think I would have bothered with the Region 1 Deer Hunter but the Vilmos Zigmond commentary persuaded me to buy it.

Can't think of any other DVD someone would get for the commentary, although there must be some. Come to think of it, the Tomorrow People DVDs are only worth getting (or borrowing, no one buys these, surely) for the very funny commentaries.
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Old 21-07-2006, 05:52   #2
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I would do it for films where there has been an interesting background to the making of the film and the details were available as a commentary in the extras. Of course, a lot of these films would be good enough to get as DVD on their own merit; still, I would get a new copy of the SE or something if it included the commentary. Examples would be:

- Gone With the Wind
- Metropolis
- Things to Come
- Night of the Hunter
- It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
- Dr Strangelove / Fail Safe
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Old 21-07-2006, 07:45   #3
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Only commentary that I have listened to more than once purely because it was so enjoyable was Ridley Scott on Alien and in fact all of his commentaries have been very informative and intersting. Don't know whether I would buy it just for that mind...
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Old 21-07-2006, 07:48   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raigmore
- Gone With the Wind
- Metropolis
- Things to Come
- Night of the Hunter
- It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
- Dr Strangelove / Fail Safe
Am I reading that incorrectly? Gone With The Wind, Metropolis and Fail Safe all have excellent commentaries.

It does depend on the commentary though doesn't it? Some are dry historian drone (interesting but not entertaining), some are the 'this is where I kill him...now he's dead..now I....' type. Some, sometimes the directors, are clearly bored by the task.

I do like well moderated chats; they're usually affable and when the commentator is in danger of drying up, up pops the mod to spark him/her back to life.

I quite like Bogdanovich on commentary; he just plain wings it. He might not always be right, but he's usually entertaining. And, yes, a decent commentary is usually enough (though not always) to get me double dipping, well, pretty much anything.
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Old 21-07-2006, 08:13   #5
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I would include the numerous Something Weird releases with commentary by producer/distributor David F. Friedman. Most of these Z-grade exploitation films are truly dreadful by themselves, but when viewed with Friedman's anecdote-filled commentary are quite enjoyable, essential even. These tracks, taken together, are effectively a seminar on the American exploitation movie in all its carny sideshow hucksterism.

I would add to these the H. G. Lewis films from Something Weird, where the commentary by Lewis again is far superior to the features. Of course, with Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs, and Color Me Blood Red you get BOTH Lewis and Friedman together.

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Old 21-07-2006, 08:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
Am I reading that incorrectly? Gone With The Wind, Metropolis and Fail Safe all have excellent commentaries.
Oh yes, they do. What I meant was that those films have an interesting history involved in their making. Every one of them is good enough for me to get the DVD for the film itself, even if they theoretically did not have commentaries to start with. But then, if SEs were released a few years down the line with a commentary added, I would not mind buying the new DVDs (for the commentaries alone) even though I had the original DVDs of the movies.
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Old 21-07-2006, 11:06   #7
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Anything with David Cronenberg or John Milius on the commentary track is a must - although I would buy any of their movies anyway.

As for the more academic type of commentary, I love Rudy Behlmer's tracks because of his combination of vast knowledge and enthusiasm and I've liked the ones featuring Scorsese and Bogdanovich a great deal. Dale Dye is good value too, especially on "The Dirty Dozen".

Occasionally, the track is better than the film - I loved the group commentary on "The Wild Geese".
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Old 21-07-2006, 11:07   #8
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Add to that the League of Gentlemen commentary on "Blood On Satan's Claw" which is hysterically funny and Oliver Stone's intense, demanding track on "Salvador".
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Old 21-07-2006, 13:17   #9
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Piers Haggard's track on the pitifully mediocre Venom is an absolute joy.

Hal Borske and Frank "Basket Case" Henenlotter on The Ghastly Ones is screamingly funny (and if you've never seen an Andy Milligan film, you're only cheating yourself).

Both commentaries on Spartacus are fascinating, mostly because there's so much detailing of all the hassles and politics involved in the making of the film and no shortage of criticism of the finished product itself.
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Old 21-07-2006, 13:46   #10
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There's a couple of Buffys where Joss Whedon has done a commentary on the R1 which was released later than R2 (what I have). very interesting commentator as a rule, but just not worth another Ł30 or whatever to buy the season again.
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Old 21-07-2006, 16:02   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bosque
And I certainly wouldn't have ordered the new Criterion Seven Samurai, if there'd been no extra commentaries.
I Didn't know this was being re-released, just ordered. Thanks


Any Commentry by Bruce campbell normally wins me over.

And Terry Gilliam. Mind you, i like all his films, So i'd buy them anyway.
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Old 21-07-2006, 18:50   #12
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Werner Herzog does good commentaries, partly because the process of making his films is usually a barely believable adventure in its own right.
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Old 21-07-2006, 19:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Add to that the League of Gentlemen commentary on "Blood On Satan's Claw" which is hysterically funny
That's one of my favourite's...very, very funny. The Mr. Kipling references crease me up!

I agree with the Cronenberg, Gilliam, Bogdanovich & Ridley Scott choices too. All worth a listen.
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Old 21-07-2006, 19:29   #14
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Charles Shaar Murray has done a couple of excellent commentaries - on the Criterion Jimi at Monterey (solo) and The Ramones: End of the Century (in tandem with Danny Baker). He should do a lot more music-based DVD commentaries.
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Old 21-07-2006, 20:30   #15
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Anything by John Waters or HG Lewis for me...

...although as I genuinely enjoy even the worst of their works it's not really true that I'd buy them solely for the commentary - but I would pay money for their commentaries if they were only available seperately so I think I've stayed within the spirit of the thread.
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Old 22-07-2006, 08:08   #16
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Anything by William Friedkin - which means The French Connection and The Exorcist. Brilliant commentaries. I didn't buy them just for the commentaries - but would have, in retrospect.
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Old 22-07-2006, 08:22   #17
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I quite like the Carpenter/Russell double-baggers of Thing, Big Trouble and Escape.

Romero is an excellent commentator too, especially when paired with Tom Savini.

My most 'annoying' commentary, which while not really deserving of mention in this forum, would be the Orgazmo drunken fuelled chat.

My appreciation of Parker and Stone's genius is well known, and while the track starts off a lot of fun, Parker quickly emerges as the most annoying drunkard of all-time, going on about his money and generally being loud and a prat

It's true you should never meet your heroes drunk
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Old 22-07-2006, 09:47   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Davies
Werner Herzog does good commentaries, partly because the process of making his films is usually a barely believable adventure in its own right.
Seconded. Part single-minded visionary, part bonkers. And what a wonderfully mesmerising voice. I wish there were more like him.
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Old 22-07-2006, 13:35   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
My most 'annoying' commentary, which while not really deserving of mention in this forum, would be the Orgazmo drunken fuelled chat.
On the subject of annoying commentaries, check out Kevin Costner's musings on Dances With Wolves. Apart from that incredibly annoying voice, he's also very forgetful - often saying things like, "I don't know what that guy's name was, but he sure did a good job on..." Very smug and self-congratulatory.
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Old 23-07-2006, 01:14   #20
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I guess my only choice would be This is Spinal Tap as the commentary is very funny, but tbh as I never bother listening to commentaries (Spinal Tap excepted) I wouldn't buy any DVD just for a commentary.
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