Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursentary: Commentary

When I was a kid, I thought watching the commentary on a DVD was the dumbest thing ever. Like, who wanted to hear a lot of random people talk about the movie instead of actually listening to the movie? How would you even know what was happening in the film?

Clearly, whoever watched the commentary was an idiot.

Also, even more clearly, I was not much of a fangirl at a young age. Or very logical.

But, now that I am older and have a greater fascination with the things I choose to devote my time to, I spend far more time rewatching the films and TV series I love with the commentary on than my childhood self would have anticipated. (For the record, yes, I now know that the commentary exists for people familiar with the movie—not for first-time watchers.)

Still, if you aren’t convinced yet, I have a few reasons that you should consider checking out the commentary for YOUR favorite shows and movies!

via l-o-t-r

1. You Get a New Perspective

It’s one thing to see the finished product and think about it only as that finished product. People tend to consider movies especially as a glamorous art—but even if you’re working in the entertainment industry, it is still a real job. When I hear the voices of the people who did those jobs, I gain a new appreciation for how they made this thing that I love into something that I love, and that’s really cool.


2. There are Amusing Fun Facts

There are a ton of things that you don’t know about your favorite movie/show and never will, but one way to get interesting tidbits is by watching the commentary. For example, in the fourth season finale of Leverage, they film in front of a waterfall. The history behind that waterfall involves a newly married couple who went canoeing on the river and decided to get their hanky panky on in their boat, not realizing that there was a waterfall up ahead. They went over and died. See what interesting things you can learn?

via Buzzfeed

3. It’s Funny

I mean, maybe not the laugh-out-loud comedy film of the year funny, but people who make awesome stuff are usually awesome people, too! It’s interesting to see how their senses of humor contribute to the making of the episode, and how they interact with one another.

via imgur

4. It Can Help You

I think I’ve watched about 85% of the Leverage episodes with commentary, and something I really value in those is that they often provide writing advice in relation to something you see on screen. And sure, maybe their direct audience is young filmmakers, but I would say that getting to hear experienced writers discuss their trade is a huge help! You never know what they have to teach you.

via broshipofthecast

5. You Get Fangirl Points

Screw reading the books. If you watch all three extended versions of Lord of the Rings with the commentary on, then I need no further proof that you are the most ultimate of fans. Likewise, the fact that you’re willing to invest even more time in that thing that you love demonstrates your commitment to that thing you love. And that’s pretty cool too.

I’m thinking about rewatching some of Castle’s first season with commentary, just because there are some insights I’d love to see into the show… Best get started!

Do you like watching your favorite movies and shows with commentary? Why or why not?


20 comments :

  1. Ha ha yes I never appreciated commentaries until now. I remember last month or so I discovered the Chronicles of Narnia commentary and now I have to watch the 2nd movie with commentary too xD Because we're hearing insight from the cast and crew who were in the movie, it builds on the movie itself and gives us a new perspective of the movie, which of course should only be appreciated once you're quite familiar with the movie ^.^ For instance, Georgie Henley has got to be THE MOST annoying 9-year-old ever but that's what makes her so lovable, because she's just this kid talking over everyone during the commentary, and talking the most as well xD
    I honestly think, however, that it also depends on who is commentating that makes the commentary appreciative. If it's a crew worker who kind of drones on, I'd probably ditch that. But the actors and actresses with the director--that's one I like the best ha ha. I know there are a few movies with commentaries that don't involve the actors, and I just can't watch it...it's not engaging enough. SO yeah.
    I need to watch more commentated movies :P I love the post! (and the lotr gifs haha)

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    1. Oh, I haven't watched the CoN commentary, but glad to know it's worthwhile! I love that it gives you those kinds of insight! And that's cool that they even let the younger actors participate. Thanks for sharing, Grace!

      And yes, it can depend, but I do value the directors and producers just because we don't always hear from them as much as I think we should. Thanks for reading, Grace!

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  2. There are so many movies I need to watch with commentary, including LOTR (honestly, I don't know how I haven't watched those yet).

    I really enjoyed the one for Thor: The Dark World. Lots of discussion on character development and setting, which was insightful and interesting.

    Plus, fun facts! I love learning behind-the-scenes stuff and trivia.

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    1. Right? I haven't even watched them all; I mostly just watch the TV shows because they are so maneagable.

      HEY I OWN THAT MOVIE I CAN TOTALLY WATCH THAT! Thanks for the rec!

      And yes! Fun facts are the best! Thanks for reading, Jameson!

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  3. I love your points here. I haven't watched many commentaries, simply because I lack the time. But I've been wanting to watch the commentaries for Once Upon a Time.

    I have seen a commentary for one of the BBC Sherlock's. It was really goo. I liked hearing about what the writers had to say about book Sherlock versus the show Sherlock. You could tell they'd "done their research" and not just thrown together some Sherlock show, like some avid Sherlock book lovers would claim.

    Watching with the commentary is definitely insightful and hilarious.

    So the Leverage commentaries have writing tips?! What? I must go watch!

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    1. Oh, those sound cool. I hope that they're good. I haven't watched since season 1, though, so I can't comment much.

      I have seen one as well, and I very much enjoyed to hear their thoughts. It's always good to know that the crew is paid for good reason and that they have actually made the most of the movie.

      And yes, they DO! GO WATCH!

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  4. You make some great points here, and I'm not averse to commentary watching. Normally I don't venture that far, mainly for time constraints and whatnot. And I have to really care about what the people have to say--sometimes commentaries are just boring. The actors and other movie people keep interrupting each other or taking long pauses or just--I don't know, sometimes they just don't seem to know what they're doing. And I, unfortunately, have less patience for that than I should. But if I really care about something, and I'm confident in the people who made the film, I will watch the commentaries. Like, I've already been planning to watch the commentaries on Firefly for a while. And have you heard the commentary for Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog? There might be two, but the one I listened to was musical. It was a musical commentary. *dies*

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    1. Oh, yes, time can always be a big issue. I would say I'm a generally patient person so I can wait that stuff out, but watching commentary certainly isn't for everyone! I have only seen a couple of the Firefly commentaries, and I really enjoyed hearing what Alan Tudyk and Mal's guy had to say. :) I haven't seen that commentary! I MUST SEE!

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  5. I don't really watch commentary on movies, but in the holidays when I have some time, I think I might try it out! :)

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    1. Yes, please tell me how it goes! I love hearing other movies I should watch the commentary on. :)

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  6. Awesome points for using LotR! Love those commentaries! Along with several other commentators, I have to say that I enjoy commentaries on character development quite a bit. I love hearing what each character meant to the actors and how they portrayed them; sometimes it lends a very fresh perspective to the movie.

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    1. Oh yeah, character development is kind of cool because you can see why people did the things they did to make them the way they are. The perspective is awesome! :) Thanks for reading, RM!

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  7. Huh, is it weird that I didn't even know that movie commentary is a thing? I'd always thought it was something only documentaries had.... Anyway, I've never watched any movie commentaries, so I'll go and seek out some!

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    1. I hadn't seen any until the last year or so; it's all good. Most movies have them in the bonus features though, so go out and enjoy!

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  8. I USED TO BE THE SAME. Commentary bored me and I would never, never, NEVER listen to it. It just seemed kinda pointless. BUT NOW. Oh, now. a. I semi-regularly listen to it and have watched an anime series 3 times and all of it’s commentary episodes twice each. I’ve watched the commentary for Arrested Development, mostly, which was amusing as anything, a couple of other anime commentaries and A series of Unfortunate Events, which is the best thing ever. It’s with the director and Lemony and it is just... unbelievably hysterical. He gets an accordion out, at one point, and basically hates everything about the movie. It’s fantastic.
    And now I sorely want to a. watch Lord of the Rings, and b. then watch the commentary. Because this, surely, can’t just be the best of snippets. I WON’T BELIEVE IT. It seems epic.
    JUST LIKE COMMENTARY.
    Oh, and I totally need to rewatch and watch the commentary on Firefly. Because that would be double epic.
    xx

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    1. RIGHT? Wow, that is very, very dedicated of you, and NOW I MUST SEE THE SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS WITH COMMENTARY because you have convinced me. That's awesome. XD Thank you for the rec.

      AND YES. I think they're just hilarious bits that are in there. Firefly also has lovely commentary from what I've watched, but I still need to watch more myself! Thanks for reading, Romi!

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    2. Haha, well I just love listening to all the VA's fangirling over each other. It's awesome.
      YOU MUST DO A REVIEW OR COMMENTARY OR SOME SORT OF POST WITH YOUR THOUGHTS. T'would be epic.

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    3. XD Now you've got me convinced.

      YEAH I SHOULD. Someday...

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  9. I always love watching commentary. Like you said, it's always fun to see the coming together of the movie, along with little behind-the-scenes quirks.

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    1. Yes! I love when a plan comes together, as it were. Thanks so much for reading, Kat!

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