Almost as soon as DVDs came into the picture in today’s home entertainment, movie makers, directors and actors added “Special Features.” The fact that the DVD holds much more information than VHS could ever hope to contain meant that it needed to be filled with something. Deleted scenes, outtakes, “making of” specials, music videos spawned from the movie, soundtracks and even games are found on most DVDs you get today. One of the most common special features are commentary options from the directors, producers and actors. If you don’t know, this is an option that allows you to listen to the people associated with the movie talk about it on a separate soundtrack as the it plays. Many people I speak with cannot stand the commentaries and it drives my nephew crazy when I turn it on.
I enjoy most commentaries on the movies that I buy. I watch the movie without it first and then watch it again with the commentary. Usually, the commentary has interesting information about how the movie was made, what happened during particular scenes, what the thought process was to come up with the final product, what the ideas started as and more. In most cases, the commentary is a way for the viewer to go behind the scenes and it gives a sense that the makers of the film care a little more about their audience then those without a commentary. They take the time to sit and watch a move they have seen probably a hundred times and share the good and the bad about the time making it.
There are some out there that really let me down however. Some of them turn into the life story of the person giving the commentary instead of information about the movie itself and I think it may be these commentaries that have given some people a bad taste about the feature. I want to hear about the movie, not where the person talking went to school, how long it took for them to “make it” in the industry or how many times they were married.
What do you think about commentaries? Do you watch them or do you think the space could be used for something else? Let me know in the comments!