A Commentary On Commentaries

Sorry for the lack of updates over the weekend, although my “have a great weekend” signoff on the last blog was a subtle hint that this may not get updated until Monday. Sunday I was acting in a short film about zombies and Saturday I was helping out TPE creator Dan Poole with a pool problem. Why someone with that name needs help in that area is beyond me! Anyway, on with the blog.

After defeating those swimming hole gremlins Dan showed me some of the special features going into the movie DVD, which will be done done by the end of the week. Seriously! The extras will include a 5 minute Q&A with Dan about his filmmaking career including TPE, 3 behind the scenes featurettes, an “alternate” ending made at the request of one of our producers, and a commentary track featuring me, Dan Poole, and actor Derek Minter who plays Jay Powers.

After listening to the commentary track I couldn’t help but compare it to the tracks on other movies I’ve watched.  My personal favorite is from Dawn of the Dead (2004) with Zack Snyder and producer Eric Newman. First of all they were very informative about all things behind the scenes, which I guess is the whole point of commentaries in the first place.  On top of that, they were also fun to listen to, like we were having a couple rounds at the bar while they b.s.’ed about the movie.  We think we’ve got the same vibe in our commentary and hopefully you all will feel the same way.

Since this is about all commentaries here’s the fun part- the bad commentaries.  I can’t stand it when the director gets in what I like to call “artist” mode, trying to talk down to the audience or other pretentious tendencies.  *cough*District9NeillBlomkamp*cough* Not only was he talking to the audience like we were clueless about movies, but also about social issues.  Yes Neill, there are poor people and rich people in all parts of the world. We know.  Now zip it until you have something else to say about the creature effects.

As bad as that was, the District 9 commentary can’t take the crown of Worst Ever.  That honor goes to Sons of Anarchy, which pains me to write because I absolutely love the show.  Why is it bad?  Because Kurt Sutter can’t make it through a sentence without a couple dramatic pauses and a few more “uh…um…..yeah”s.  He does act on the show, so I don’t know if he’s trying to play some role or if he needs the help of that Geoffery Rush character from the king movie.  Add in Ron Perlman’s “I’m too important to be wasting my time on this” schtick and I had to shut it off halfway through the pilot.  Maybe I’ll try again someday, but after hearing this same routine at their Comic Con panel last year I doubt the rest will be any better.

So, which commentaries do you love or hate?  When watching them, what info are you trying to learn?

2 thoughts on “A Commentary On Commentaries

  1. Any commentary by Bruce Campbell makes it to the top of the list. The man is a lot of fun to listen to and he has a fountain of knowledge about filmmaking and goofy facts about the movie. On the Evil Dead, his commentary is lively and full of fun trivia while the other commentary by Raimi and Tapert is filled with many “uh…I’m not sure..that’s right, isn’t it?” moments. Also, Bruce’s commentary as “The King” for Bubba Ho Tep is like watching a whole new movie and is just as witty as the film he’s talking about.

    Worst commentary? The first Blade movie. Hearing the cinematographer drone on and on about strobe lights and blood droplets put me to sleep.

    • I haven’t seen a Bruce Campbell commentary, but I completely believe what you wrote. I’ve seen him at a couple Comic Con panels and he is the exact same way in person. The best part is when someone says something really flattering, he waves them up to the stage and gives them a couple dollars!

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