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Unbroken's avatar

Who here watches commentaries of movies?

Asked by Unbroken (10274 points ) February 3rd, 2013

By commentaries I mean of movies or tv shows.

If you do, why? Is it just the movies you love? What do you get from them?

If not, why? Have you considered it? Have you ever seen a commentary?

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26 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

What do you mean by commentary? I read (and listen to on the radio) lots of reviews about movies and sometimes about new TV shows that are going to start in the new season. I’ve also written reviews on my Netflix.

I think they are helpful when you want to rent a movie and you’re not sure if it is worth it or not, to read what other people have said about it. For TV shows, it’s helpful to decide whether you want to watch or record a show, or just skip it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I watch the commentaries for my very favorite movies and shows if I think the creators might have interesting things to say or if I am curious about behind-the-scenes details that might get revealed. The first commentary I listened to was the one done by Chuck Palahniuk and Jim Uhls for Fight Club. I was very interested to know what the author and screenwriter might have to say to one another about the film—much more interested than I was in the cast commentary.

@Kardamom Many DVDs have alternate audio tracks in which people comment on the film or show contained on the disc. The commentary is typically provided by cast members, writers, and/or directors.

Symbeline's avatar

Sometimes. I watched the commentary for the movie IT, based on Stephen King’s novel. I was quickly surprised to learn that most of the people who worked on the movie had never read the book. :/

Unbroken's avatar

@Kardamom what @SavoirFaire said. It is interesting that you read reviews and such to assist in choosing what you will watch.

I haven’t found a source that I found reliable and to my taste also not containing spoilers. Though I haven’t tried very hard and on occasion stumble into a review that peaks my interest.

@SavoirFaire Did you like it? I can’t remember watching the commentary to Fight club. I think I would absolutely love commentary done by Palahniuk, now I may have to buy the movie.

I think Buffy was the first commentary I watched, or maybe Firefly or Serenity. Definitely Joss Whedon though.

I think certain actors and certain films I enjoy hearing the commentary on. Wasn’t it Helena Bonham Carter that played the female role? She would have interesting insights.

I don’t think I have watched commentary on movies I didn’t like. Maybe I should.

Unbroken's avatar

@Symbeline that is disappointing. I can’t say I found It the movie to be as interesting as the book though, maybe if they had commited to reading the novel the film would have been more remarkable for it.

I watched some commentary for Justified where all the writers had to read the work of oh I forget his name now, but whom the work was based off of.
I felt that the script was brillaint even before I heard that.

ucme's avatar

Not me, I like watching out-takes mostly from comedies, but those commentaries hold no interest for me at all.

Kardamom's avatar

Oh, OK. Yes, I sometimes watch the commentaries on DVD’s but almost always leave wishing for more. It’s like no one thought to ask them any great questions. I would love to hear all about how the actors prepared for their roles, how difficult any particular scenes were to perform, which actors have ended up as friends/couples outside of the show, what it’s like to be recognized in public, what movies and shows do the actors like, what funny or scary things happened on the set etc.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I have to REALLY like the movie/tv show/whatever to watch the commentary. Generally they just bore me to tears but if it was a particularly interesting movie/show/whatever or they had some amazing special effects I’ll watch the commentary to find out where they got the ideas or how they went about filming it.

Pachy's avatar

I avoid watching commentaries until after I’ve seen the movie. I want to be able to lose myself in the film before I know all the behind-the-scene details. I know these promos are big business, but I prefer to enjoy a movie while in a state of suspended disbelief.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@rosehips Yes, I did like it. And I liked the interaction between Palahniuk and Uhls. The cast commentary has some good moments as well, but it never managed to inspire a second listen. I’ve gone through the Palahniuk/Uhls commentary a few times, though, which led me to listen to the commentaries on a few other DVDs. It’s a hit-or-miss kind of thing, I find, but some people are really dedicated. The Simpsons and Futurama have commentary for every single episode, for example, and they’re usually funny and/or interesting. To be fair, though, I love both of those shows.

And yes, Helena Bonham Carter plays Marla in Fight Club.

Seek's avatar

Oh I love them. The best so far have been Ricky Gervais in ‘The Invention of Lying’ and Ahnold in Conan.

I still want to write Ricky and tell him I did watch the whole thing.

filmfann's avatar

I love the commentaries. I am very disappointed Woody Allen hasn’t done any kind of special feature for any of his films. He wouldn’t have to be funny. I find him very interesting.

Unbroken's avatar

@ucme Huh. Why is that if you don’t mind me asking?

@Kardamom I guess that is the reason I watch them in the first place. But I see what you mean, some shows commentaries aren’t worth the effort.

@uberbatman Yes that is a fringe benefit of watching commentaries, you learn more about the movie making process in tidbits.

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I never considered watching commentaries before the movie. You very aptly stated the the reasons for that.

@SavoirFaire I will have to check it out. I also never considered watching commentary on simson’s or futurama.

@Seek_Kolinahr the Invention of lying? Sounds interesting You should write a letter.

@filmfann Woody Allen has a tendency to make me maudalin and morose. Ok a few laughs here and there but I never felt compelled to look at the special features.

SamandMax's avatar

I watch them because I always like hearing what research went into the film, (I only bother with listening to movie commentaries). Sometimes it’s good to hear what the people involved in the production of a movie have to say about it so maybe it might bring a little more detail into it, so you get a better idea of the whole movie instead of just sussing it all out for yourself (which is what I usually do when I watch a movie for the first time anyway). The best commentary I’ve ever heard – and I can keep listening to it all damn day is that for Wind Talkers, I’ve also listened to the commentary (you can’t really “watch” commentaries after all) for Over The Hedge and I seem to recall listening to the commentary for – I think it was Beverly Hills Cop although I can’t be sure if it was that one or the second one out of the boxed set.
Sometimes…I listen to them so I can fall asleep to background noise that isn’t passing cars or tweeting birds that don’t know when to call it a day or idiots on loud bikes that have just discovered how to accelerate.

Unbroken's avatar

Welcome to Fluther SamandMax!

Thanks for your input… sometimes I watch commentaries and listen to movies. Just to be contrary.

Symbeline's avatar

@rosehips I saw the movie way before I ever read the book. My mom’s boyfriend had taped it off TV, and I watched it all the time. I preferred the first part with the kids. It was all like, hey I’m a kid too! and I still like that part better now that I’m older

My mom also had the book, but she would never let me read it. Even if she did though, I doubt I could have got through a brick like that when I was small. Still. I read the book eventually though, and I agree, the movie leaves some to be desired, but I did think it did a good job of getting the gist of the novel down. Then I heard the commentaries, and learned that most people on the movie never even read it…odd.

and it sucks that the movie never had that giant multicolored turtle that is pretty much the polar opposite of IT, or ’‘The Glamour/Fortuna’’, if you will.

ucme's avatar

@rosehips I find them tedious, what do you want over here, fucking blood? ;¬}

augustlan's avatar

If the movie/screenplay/technique is very interesting, I like to listen to the commentary. I love to watch outtakes, too. Sometimes the blooper reel is better than the movie!

Unbroken's avatar

Ugh I responded… where did my answer go?!

Short version:
@Symbeline beautiful turtles are very hard to reproduce.. I thought they had some thing it has been so long….
Love it when actors do research though.

@ucme Your asking me? Of course I want blood. Dripping from your eyeballs and ears no less… Self inflicted or environment produced I don’t have a preference… : P

@augustlan I love a good blooper reel. I somehow remember they used to be better then they are now.. Jackie chan and will smiths movie… what was that called oh rush hour pops into my head.

Symbeline's avatar

@rosehips Your asking me? Of course I want blood. Dripping from your eyeballs and ears no less… Self inflicted or environment produced I don’t have a preference… : P

Damn man…that’s hardcore.

ucme's avatar

@rosehips Calm down dear, tis only the tinterwebz.

augustlan's avatar

<drips blood all over commentaries>

Unbroken's avatar

Sigh true. I have my moments though…—->checks the zipper on head.

Since I had it I can now curl up in a soft cuddly bed and dream of anything but 80’s hair do’s and hair spray…

Seek's avatar

@rosehips

D’oh! I’m a doofus. The commentary was on his other movie, Ghost Town. I just remembered that. Either way, Ricky Gervais, rambling brilliantly and hilariously for an hour and a half.

It’s pretty great. Throughout the whole thing they’re like “Seriously, no one is listening to us.” and they go off on ridiculous tangents. Toward the end of the movie Ricky says “If you’re still listening to us, you’re an idiot and you need to get a hobby” or something like that. I was dying.

Unbroken's avatar

I will remember that Ricky Gervais.

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