Saturday, September 02, 2006

The 100 Best DVD Commentaries

Do you bother to sit through audio commentaries which accompany most DVDs? I happened to run across a list of the 100 very best and the very worst via Whedonesque this week.

The site offers readers the chance to submit their favorites and not only are the movies listed very impressive, I'll probably grab several of the commentaries mentioned to check them out. Done well, the extra information is fascinating. Done badly, it can make you hate a movie.

The current top ten is lead by Whedon's "Serenity" which has a great commentary, and is followed by several from directors David Cronenberg and Terry Gilliam in the top ten. I'd also rank Cronenberg's commentary for "History of Violence" as especially good for anyone interested in the creative process of moviemaking, and a very funny commentary from Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr and Shane Black on "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang." Also ranking on the list is the commentary for "Monty Python's Holy Grail" and it's almost as funny as the movie. And yes, Bruce Campbell's comments for "Evil Dead" are most entertaining.

Some of the worst?

That list includes both the old and new versions of "Rollerball" and one of the worst I ever had the misfortune to tune into, "Resident Evil". Milla Jovavich is deeply self-absorbed and mighty dumb. Their current number one is for the commentary on "Superfly," from a film professor. Mel Brooks makes the Worst list for "Spaceballs" and "Blazing Saddles:, and I'm curious to catch those now, just to see how bad Mel can be.

What would you put on the list of best and worst? Or do you ever bother to check commentaries?


  1. Interestingly enough, I just sent out a dvd reviews to some friends this morning..
    Add 'V for Vendetta' & 'Water' to that list. The latter being a hauntingly beautiful, gut wrenching tale of women in India. Even the sitar music got to me.. go figure.

  2. I just saw V for Vendetta last night and was completely blown away by how good it was. I'm gonna have to watch it again this weekend and it deserves a hefty write-up!!

  3. V is badass!

    Okay, I'm a commentary junkie. That's my film school right there. A good commentary can save a bad movie, and a bad commentary can make me wonder what I ever saw in a filmmaker in the first place. With that in mind,

    The Best (In no particular order):

    1. Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi, The Evil Dead: Book of the Dead Edition; Evil Dead II; and Army Of Darkness: Bootleg Director's Cut. All three of these are must-hears, as Bruce and Sam bust on themselves, bust on each other, and bust on poor Ted Raimi.

    2. Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Dian Bachar, and others, Cannibal! The Musical. They get drunk, they get high, and they comment. Pure comedy gold.

    3. Lloyd Kaufman, Terror Firmer. Not only is Uncle Lloyd funny, but he's informative!

    4.Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, From Dusk Till Dawn. Like two buddies having a beer and talking about movies. Really great stuff.

    5. Glen Morgan, James Wong, and Crispin Glover, Willard. Crispin is just fascinating to listen to.

    The Worst:

    1. Stuart Gordon, Re-Animator. I love Stuart Gordon, but what a bore he can be!

    2. Some Monotonous Film Scholar, Peeping Tom. If I want to know what's happening on the screen, I can watch the movie. You don't have to describe it to me. This commentary would be good for blind people, except they might think this classic movie is dull as dishwater if they listen to this jackwad.

    3. Eighty Gazillion People, Spider-Man. Too many cooks spoil the commentary soup, especially since they are obviously not in the same room together. Their commentary was intercut with each other's and it's just horrible. Sam Raimi's bit is great, but it's often overshadowed by the inanity of Kirsten Dunst's.

    4. Bryan Singer, X-Men. As a fan of The Usual Suspects, I hate to say it, but Singer has no clue what he's talking about. His pretension knows no bounds.

    Lists are fun!

  4. Evil Dead is one of my favorites, and I thought Shaun of the Dead was pretty entertaining.