Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Director Commentaries...

Director commentaries abound on DVD's nowadays and not just by directors anymore. It seems everyone from writers, producers, film critics and actors are getting in on the fun. Unfortunately most are forgettable filler only interesting to those involved with the production. But occasionally some prove to be informative as well as entertaining. Here's a quick list of some of my favorites.

The Thing

John Carpenter and Kurt Russell team up on this commentary to give you a unique insight into the down n' dirty way of making a big budget genre film. What is great about this commentary is the infectious fun they had making this film and you get caught up in it. From the personal to the profane they give you how it feel to be on the set and how a practical film maker works. Any Carpenter commentary is good so check them all out because he does one for almost every movie he does and I hope he continues to do so because I will keep listening.

The Usual Suspects

Bryan Singer and Christopher McQuarrie give you another tag team commentary. The unique angle on this one is this was there first successful film and the commentary was recorded at the time of the first Laser Disc home release so you get how jacked they were just to be making films and you get to see them fresh faced and enthusiastic about the future.

Dusk To Dawn

Robert Rodriguez is the king of "diy" movie commentaries. His "El Mariachi" is the standard for them. Quentin Tarantino is the king movie geek who won't shut up about movies. Put them together and talking about the movie they made together and you have one of the best commentaries out their.

Taxi Driver

This one may only be available on the Criterion Laser Disc release. But don't fret his Raging Bull and The Aviator are right up there too. Listening to a Martin Scorsese's commentary is like sitting at the feet of Aristotle while he lectured about his theories about drama in his Poetics. The man has forgotten more about film and film making then most of the directors in Hollywood ever knew. He's a class act and a scholar.

On Her majesty's Secret service.

All of the Bond disc's have decent commentaries. I picked this one because for me the highlight of those commentaries is when Peter Hunt talks about editing them. Since he also directed this film, I included it here. Peter hunt ushered in modern action film editing. You will be amazed at the tricks of the trade he reveals in these commentaries.

Of course this list is not exhaustive but it's a start. What are some of your favorite commentaries? Drop a comment and let us know...