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 Posted:   Aug 23, 2013 - 7:37 PM   
 By:   Paul Ettinger   (Member)

Mark Isham's commentary on BLADE is one of the best composer commentaries I've heard. He discusses the genesis of the project, the musical direction and style, individual cues, alternate unheard cues, his own musical backround. A very good commentary. (I'm just discovering this now, years after it's release.)

And for war movies you can't go wrong with a Dale Dye commentary. That's actually a selling feature for me. I mean, THE DIRTY DOZEN was always pretty entertaining, but the Dale Dye commentary track exceeds even the movie in entertainment value.

Worthless commentaries.... I hate to say it but the Jerry Goldsmith commentary on PLANET OF THE APES was underwhelming. He really needed a moderator to ask questions or just to keep the thing moving forward.

 
 Posted:   Aug 24, 2013 - 6:20 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Most commentary tracks are worthless, done without much care. Every so often you get something that sticks with you, like the Paul Mantee stuff on Criterion's ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS, but most you listen to once then never want to hear again.

The best commentary tracks are by those that know what they're talking about, and of these the best are most often done by Rudy Behlmer. He's so good he really should be doing all the commentary tracks for nearly everything.

 
 Posted:   Aug 24, 2013 - 3:36 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)



The best commentary tracks are by those that know what they're talking about, and of these the best are most often done by Rudy Behlmer. He's so good he really should be doing all the commentary tracks for nearly everything.


Agreed. He really does his research (much like Eddie Muller). I remember seeing him back in the 80's at a library where I worked, and seeing him quite a bit.

And luckily, Behlmer is still alive at age 86!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 24, 2013 - 5:48 PM   
 By:   MikeyKW   (Member)

Indeed .. he deserves a lot of respect for his commentaries, and for his work on Gone With The Wind in particular which manages to be engaging for nearly four hours! He's refreshingly non-cynical and seems to really have an affection for the films he's commenting on.







The best commentary tracks are by those that know what they're talking about, and of these the best are most often done by Rudy Behlmer. He's so good he really should be doing all the commentary tracks for nearly everything.


Agreed. He really does his research (much like Eddie Muller). I remember seeing him back in the 80's at a library where I worked, and seeing him quite a bit.

And luckily, Behlmer is still alive at age 86!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2013 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

I'm surprised Mickey Rooney claims he never met Rod Serling, despite he played the title role in Serling's "The Comedian" for "Playhouse 90".

Rooney also starred in a 3rd season episode of NIGHT GALLERY,
titled RARE OBJECTS written by Serling.

Den


Rooney also played Army in the film version of Serling's "Requiem For A Heavyweight".

 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2013 - 10:27 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)


Any other characteristics?


William Friedkin's commentary on THE NARROW MARGIN makes me want to add:

4) Talking only about "film 101" concepts (basic stuff for beginners).

(I get the feeling Friedkin just didn't do any "homework" [I switched it off after a while] to do the commentary. It sounded like he was "winging it".)

 
 Posted:   Oct 26, 2013 - 12:03 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

Jonathan Frakes on Star Trek: First Contact. He says about three useful things in 2 hrs.
And I like Frakes, as an actor and a director, but that commentary doesn't illuminate much.

I like commemtaries that drill down on technical details and/or really dish the dirt. Those are ususally on older re-releases and half the participants are dead or thought to be dead.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 26, 2013 - 1:28 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

DVD commentaries are great. I hope in the future with the changing technology there will be some format where they will still be done. They offer a piece of film history and when these people depart a memory. Another one I really liked was the NATIONAL LAMPOON VACATION -83-.

 
 Posted:   Oct 26, 2013 - 3:29 PM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Jonathan Frakes on Star Trek: First Contact. He says about three useful things in 2 hrs.
And I like Frakes, as an actor and a director, but that commentary doesn't illuminate much.

I like commemtaries that drill down on technical details and/or really dish the dirt. Those are ususally on older re-releases and half the participants are dead or thought to be dead.


In fairness to a lot of these people, they really can't tell "the truth" or dish the dirt. Working in the industry, even for those who've had successes and attained some status, often involves not pissing anyone off who can hurt you, get you blackballed in some way. So, everyone was wonderful that they've ever worked with -- because they may need a job from them later -- and even if everyone knows the picture in question is a dog, don't be too hard on it because, again, who can never know who you might piss off and not ever get another job from. Movies aren't made by saints or supermen, just regular guys and gals -- and you know what regular people can often be like, so be wary. I can't remember who it was that said "Hollywood is like high school, only with money," but we all know what high school was like, don't we?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 26, 2013 - 11:36 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

How true and how sad. Those who speak the truth often will see their career derailed or hurt severely. It's a shame it's a kiss a-- business. That's why even though it was not easy to like a KLAUS KLINSKI one might admire his guts to always tell it like it is. There must be some kind of a heaven for such people.

 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2013 - 2:50 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Haven't gone through all 15 pages of this post to see if this has already been covered, but I just hated it when the late John Frankenheimer, in his commentary for his "Reindeer Games," acted like he didn't even know the biggest twist of the entire movie, that (SPOILER ALERT!!!) the bad guys have known all along that Ben Affleck ISN'T the escaped prisoner who planned the big and very elaborate bank robbery. If we watch a DVD or Blu-ray with audio commentary, just assume that we've already seen the movie, and if someone watches for the first time with the audio commentary (and barely able to hear the regular audio of the movie), they should know better! (I've made this point elsewhere, but this discussion is specifically about "worthless DVD commentary," so I want to include it.) Incidentally, in the case of Frankenheimer, when he acted like he had no idea about the twist coming ahead, he came across as half-witted and it was verrrrrrrrrry uncomfortable to listen to him. I've also heard commentaries where those speaking hesitate to say what's coming, which they really shouldn't.

 
 Posted:   Oct 28, 2013 - 10:50 AM   
 By:   Jeyl   (Member)

- any commentary that features the cast is a an automatic NOT interested

Few exceptions to that rule.

- ALIEN and ALIENS
- Ghostbusters
- This is Spinal Tap (Both tracks with the cast as themselves and in-character)
- Conan the Barbarian
- Anything with Kurt Russell and John Carpenter

Some commentaries made by the writers and producers can be just as awful. Take Damon Lindelof's commentary for First Contact and how he constantly makes fun of Anthony (trekmovie.com) by making fan jokes like why is Anthony dressed as a Klingon.

 
 Posted:   Jun 27, 2014 - 3:53 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

I'm afraid I will have to include Michael Crichton's commentary for THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY in this list, because he mentions the editor, the costume designer, the cinematographer....

But NOT Jerry Goldsmith! frown

 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2014 - 12:37 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

I started to listen to the commentary on HUSH HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE but....
the first thing out of his mouth was a history of Victor Buono's career!!!!
Power off!

I hate that kind of shit. every time an actor appears on screen we get a canned bio - the Bond flics are egregiuos on this matter

brm

 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2014 - 12:38 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

I'm afraid I will have to include Michael Crichton's commentary for THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY in this list, because he mentions the editor, the costume designer, the cinematographer....

But NOT Jerry Goldsmith! frown


I figgered the mention of the costume designer would be enuf for you DIB
wink
bruce

 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2014 - 12:53 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

..... The one thing I hate more than unhelpful actors/directors with bad memories or who just praise everyone are film "scholars" who bore the listener to death with their indulgence in symbolism/imagery etc. while offering nothing on production history.
!)



oh yeah!
brm

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2014 - 8:20 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

I'm afraid I will have to include Michael Crichton's commentary for THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY in this list, because he mentions the editor, the costume designer, the cinematographer....

But NOT Jerry Goldsmith! frown


I seem to recall that John Milius did the same thing in his commentary for THE WIND AND THE LION. Unbelievable! Imagine Frank Schaffner doing commentary for PLANET OF THE APES or PATTON or PAPILLON and never mentioning Jerry Goldsmith.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2014 - 10:14 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Don Bluth, I don't remember if it was The Secret of NIMH or one of his video game commentary's. He and two others were recorded on film giving commentary. But the poor guy looked like he was dozing on and off to sleep during the entire event.

The most enjoyable commentary I have seen is Sommers on The Mummy! He was pointing out film props that accidentally got into the shot and bad mouthing awful extras. It was a riot!

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2014 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

Commentaries of new movies by people actively working in the industry will be vaguely technical, congratulatory, and glad-handing to everyone involved (even if they hate each other, 'cause they will all eventually see each other again).

I like commentaries to older movies given by the people whop were involved but now retired, and have no one to ass-kiss. Those are the best.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2014 - 1:31 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

How about the tracks on the Back to the Future sequels? Bob Gale starts out by saying "I know you're probably getting tired of listening to us..." Huh?

 
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