Thursday, May 17, 2007

Commentary Madness: Take Two

This post was inspired by a comment from Mr. Joe the Troll (not that he should get any credit for it, if there is a prize or sumpthin', 'K?). With his interest in film, I was kinda surprised that he had never listen to the commentary version of a movie. I asked around and discovered that a lot of peeps haven't--some are only vaguely aware that they exist.

(NOTE: I meant that them peeps are only vaguely aware that the commentary versions exist, not that them peeps are only vaguely aware that they, themselves, exist--you got that, right?)

Anyway, I just want to say that if yer at all interested in film making, or even just curious about a particular film, I highly recommend this product or service. As I mentioned earlier, the quality varies, but most have been very good--especially if the director and writers contribute. Anyway, to be more specific:

Mr. Joe the Troll wrote: "I knew those commentaries were there for SOMEBODY, I just had no idea who."

[preening] Yep! They put them in just for ME!

"If I want to hear someone talk all the way through a movie..."

That ain't how it works--see, first ya gotta watch the movie w/o the commentary. Otherwise, you'll get lost, 'cause a lot of the time the soundtrack is turned way down so that you can hear the discussion ('til they say sumpthin' like, "Listen to the way the dialogue was purposely overlapped in this scene"). It's a Behind the Scenes thingy. With all that in mind, I usually watch the regular version after the commentary version as well.

I love the good ones 'cause I end up getting more out of the movie (fer ex: I may not have the frame of reference to "get" some theme in it), and because I enjoy learning about what's behind making films in general--directly from different peeps involved in the process.

I just borrowed The Aviator-- saw it a couple of years ago, and liked it, but found that I didn't remember a whole lot. I watched it again, and now have been watching the commentary version. First thing I heard was sumpthin' like, "Hi, I'm Martin Scorsese, director of The Aviator, and I'm going to share some of what went into the making of this movie." I thought, "Alrighty, this is gonna be a good one."

Now I'm interested in finding out more about Howard Hughes during the period of his twenties to his forties, but, more importantly I'm learning to watch movies on a different level, with greater appreciation. Mind you, I never studied film in school, and I find learnin' from the viewpoints of the movie makin' peeps themselves fascinatin'.

Then again, I'm weird that way.

"Good viewing choices, though. I love both of those films. [Mr. Roberts and Arsenic and Old Lace.]

Thenkyew--what do I win?


Joe the Troll said...

See? Go ahead and let those smartass comments pour right out, folks. You never know who you'll inspire. :-)

Eden said...

My favorite commentary is the Ebert commentary on Kane. I'm not a fan of Casablanca (I know, I know) but his commentary there helped me appreciate what I was seeing. I also like the commentaries on the LOTR films.

I got the 75th anniversary Dracula & I hate the commentary. It's basically a guy reading off a paper. I like it more conversational, like talking w/ someone about a movie. And it's not telling me anything I didn't know.

Paticus said...

Obviously, they are not movies, but i'm a big fan of the commentaries on the DVd's of the Simpsons seasons.
they are funny and they often give an interesting insight into some of the guest stars and whatnot.
One of my favorite lines form the commentaries is on the softball episode, and they are talking abiout the major league baseball playrers that had parts on the show, and they said they didn't want to mention the name of the guy hthat had been the most difficult, but his name rhymed with "flanseco".

DirtyBitchSociety said...

I truly enjoyed The Aviator. it then spurred me to research Howard Hughes, even more. He has always fascinated me. I was not aware of the "Commentator" movies but am intrigued. As I mature, in a cinematic way, I find that I can appreciate dialouge, choice of word play, how the film was made and so on. I am also more aware of cinematic genius. It is not as prevalent as it once was, now is it?