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Best Directors Commentaries?


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#1 David Lawrence

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 03:57 PM

I love listening to dircoms on my iPod as I work, and so far my favorite is David Cronenberg, wonderfully clear and his comments add so much color to the magic of his movies.

Please list your faves!

David Lawrence [NZ]
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#2 Michael Kernan

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 09:16 PM

I quite like the commentary from Joss Whedon's "Firefly" series and the movie, "Serenity" based on the series.


The commentary adds just the right amount of humor to information ratio. Very well done, I think.


But hey, what do I know?
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#3 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 08:31 PM

I like John Carpenter talking about how hard it was to get beer on the set of "The Thing". Funny stuff...Raging Bull wasn't so bad.

Michael, there is nothing wrong with Alabama. Of course if you just moved there from New York I see how it would affect your psyche. The grass is always greener.....
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#4 Joe Lotuaco

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 08:39 PM

I love listening to dircoms on my iPod as I work, and so far my favorite is David Cronenberg, wonderfully clear and his comments add so much color to the magic of his movies.

Please list your faves!

David Lawrence [NZ]



How do you get them on your ipod? Do you rip the audio from the dvds?

Anyway, I particularly like Edward Burns' commentary on Sidewalks of New York. For one reason or another it always makes me think "you know what, you don't need $20million to make a good movie." I like how he talks about all his "low budg" techniques to save money. Granted he is Edward Burns and has friends in all the right places, but most of what he talks about, I have tried to translate into my own projects with positive results.
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 01:22 PM

Any John Frankenheimer commentary is quite good.
'Reindeer Games' is one of the poorest, but then it was one of his poorer films.

'The Mysterians' has an odd commentary. Two recent Toho effects men.

On 'The Guns of Navarone', J.Lee Thompson can't settle on whether the studio work was done at Pinewood or Shepperton. He also refers to Sandy Mackendrick as Stanley MacKendrick.
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#6 Michael Kernan

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 01:33 PM

Michael, there is nothing wrong with Alabama. Of course if you just moved there from New York I see how it would affect your psyche. The grass is always greener.....


I was born in Chicago and had to move down here because my dad got a local job. I miss the city... And the diversity... And the intellectual capacity... Etc.


It's not HORRIBLE here, it's just not a place I would pick to live.
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#7 Arni Heimir

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 02:36 PM

Taylor Hackford offers insight and talks non stop for the entire duration of the film.

Joel Schumacher gives good commentary tracks.

If you like deep tones, then try John McTieran's "Thomas Crown Affair".

I don't know, so many great commentaries.
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 03:18 PM

I was born in Chicago and had to move down here because my dad got a local job. I miss the city... And the diversity... And the intellectual capacity... Etc.
It's not HORRIBLE here, it's just not a place I would pick to live.


There's a huge statue of Vulcan in Birmingham.
Good to know the Bible Belt pays homage to the gods of Imperial Rome.
Saturn rocket in Huntsville.

An OK seacoast.

& the boiled green peanuts.

& it's not quite Mississippi.

You might have to go to Pensacola for alcohol.
While there visit the naval aviation museum.

Edited by Leo Anthony Vale, 03 October 2006 - 03:21 PM.

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#9 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 03:37 PM

Fincher is always a joy to listen to. Coppola is also very sincere and not afraid to be personable and emotional on The Godfather ones. As mentioned, Carpenter is always a hoot - especially when teamed up with Kurt Russell. The Farrelly's are fun. Rodriguez is always envigorating and inspiring. Oliver Stone's to Wall Street is very good.

If you're one of the few in this world who absolutely adore In The Name Of the Rose like I do, then JJ Annauds commentary on that one is very interesting - he talks in lengths about how nasty actor F. Murray Abraham was to work with, and many other interesting things!

Commentaries that should've been fun and interesting, but aren't: I absolutely abhor directors that go on and on about their characters motivations. Some of them do nothing else for 2 hours straight - not one little technical tidbit, or anecdote from the shooting, just droning on about what drives their main character in the this particular scene (if their motivations aren't clear by their actions and the movies story, then what's the bloody point sitting there EXPLAINING them to the few who tune into their commentary track?). Directors to watch out for in this category are: Michael Mann, William Friedkin, Paul Greengrass.
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#10 John Holland

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 04:05 PM

Any John Frankenheimer commentary is quite good.
'Reindeer Games' is one of the poorest, but then it was one of his poorer films.

'The Mysterians' has an odd commentary. Two recent Toho effects men.

On 'The Guns of Navarone', J.Lee Thompson can't settle on whether the studio work was done at Pinewood or Shepperton. He also refers to Sandy Mackendrick as Stanley MacKendrick.

Well to let the late J. Lee Thompson no where he shot that film it was Shepperton and Elstree. John Holland.
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#11 Michael Kernan

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 04:27 PM

There's a huge statue of Vulcan in Birmingham.
Good to know the Bible Belt pays homage to the gods of Imperial Rome.
Saturn rocket in Huntsville.

An OK seacoast.

& the boiled green peanuts.

& it's not quite Mississippi.

You might have to go to Pensacola for alcohol.
While there visit the naval aviation museum.


HAHA! That gave me a great laugh, good job buddy. The Mississippi thing just tickled me so.


It's sad when the best qualities of an entire state include a highly overated statue and a rocket that has gum and graffiti all over it.

P.S.- It's Alabama, alcohol is EASY to come by. If I go into my schools bathroom, I can get any alcohol I want. If I go to the local alcoholic beverage store, I can get it easy, even though I am underage. Really easy crap to get. (Not that I would want to get any) That and weed... Ugh. Bunch of redneck drunkards and druggies talking about the deer that got away. ALL. DAY. LONG. <_<
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#12 Arni Heimir

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 06:00 PM

Directors to watch out for in this category are: Michael Mann, William Friedkin, Paul Greengrass.


Those three are the ones I like to listen to actually.
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#13 Ben Schwartz

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 07:39 PM

There's an absolutely hilarious running commentary on the Blood Simple DVD, purportedly by a snooty, English-accented Coen Brothers scholar, but actually written by the Coens themselves as a feature-length jab at the whole idea of director's commentaries. The commentary is nothing but banal, unenlightening observations couched in the form of intellectual, self-important criticism. Highly recommended if you have a night to waste.
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#14 Jesus Sifuentes

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 08:42 PM

Guillermo Del Toro on Blade 2. And I love the way he breakdowns down the whole script on his featurettes.
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#15 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 09:22 PM

Guillermo Del Toro on Blade 2. And I love the way he breakdowns down the whole script on his featurettes.

John Carpenter and Kurt Russel on Big Trouble In Little China.- funny! they go off talking for like 15 minutes about random stuff that doesent have anything to do with the movie
Frank Darabont on Shawshank redemtion- a good commentary lots of insight and techniques
Kane Hodder and John Carl Buechler on Friday the 13th part 7 The New Blood- listening to them bash the MPAA for cutting down their movie.
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#16 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 09:31 PM

I was born in Chicago and had to move down here because my dad got a local job. I miss the city... And the diversity... And the intellectual capacity... Etc.
It's not HORRIBLE here, it's just not a place I would pick to live.


Ahhh......Now I get it. I've lived in Houston, Austin,....My parents live in MS. Quite pretty. But I feel many people have never read a whole book, even in school. Sad really, considering Oxford was the intellectual capital of the south for so long. Faulkner, Foote.... :( I just don't like the people who seem to think they are "better" than the average southerner based on their perceived lack of intelligence combined with their blind faith in anything printed in the bible. I've learned a whole lot about life in general from old men who could not write their own name to save a life...The power of oratory is nothing compared to a man who has been "through it all". I could go on about the superiority complex of "city-folk" but I digress...City life is my way, too.

Director commentaries are just a funny idea.....The only useful ones are from indy filmmakers. "The Following" was a good one. Nolan explained alot about 'how-to' indy filmmaking. Zero-budget, or at least micro-budget feature length filmmaking. Some good stuff.

Roman Polanski on "The Ninth Gate" is just classic. "Excuse me while I eat some chocolate....I love it so.(audible munching) I also like a glass of wine....", etc. What about the film, Roman? Funny.
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#17 Mark Allen

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 02:23 AM

Primer is good for beginning or indie filmmakers. He is a guy who learned how to make a movie on this and his process was a little unusual and his explanation of it unusually honest.

I can't stand it when people talk about how hard it was with their low budget and the budget turns out to be like 20 million dollars or more. That rubs me the wrong way irregardless of what kind of movie it is.
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#18 Scott Larson

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 03:33 PM

If you want to learn about how incredibly unsafe stunts were routinely done back in the 70's and early 80's, listen to Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's commentary on "Used Cars". They're amazed no one was seriously injured even though a camera man was nearly run over, an actor could have easily gotten his foot crushed under a car, and in one of the funniest scenes an actor narrowly avoided getting run down by a very fast car not driven by a stunt driver and didn't even flinch. Driving cars through crowds of extras was no big deal back then -- people always knew to move out of the way. Zemeckis also lamets about how the most fantastic stunt in the film was mostly ruined because the camera with the best view jammed because it wasn't loaded properly, Since then he demands that every last camera be double and triple checked before critical shots. They're also proud that in the very first scene of the movie, the camera is perfectly visible in the car's side mirror as it dollies to the odometer -- amateurs! :lol:

The funniest commentary I've heard is "Rated X", with Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. They point out every flaw in the film from their skull caps being unnatural colors to the cable cars obviously being in Toronto instead of San Francisco. You'd think they were making fun of someone else's film.
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#19 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 05:22 AM

Ridley Scott on "The Duelists" for shooting a film on a limited budget and tight schedule.
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#20 Abe Enochs

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 10:34 AM

I like listening to Robert Rodriguez's commentary on El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Good information with some humor mixed in.

Edited by Abe Enochs, 10 October 2006 - 10:34 AM.

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