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I just watched "The Usual Suspects" with the directors (and writers and editors) commentary. Very enjoyable and insightful, which led me to start this thread.

What do you look for in these commentaries, and which DVDs have good ones? I myself look for insights into the filmmaking, the ideas that led to particular lines and scenes, any kind of behind-the-scenes debate or controversy over a character, line or scene, and any bugs in the filming.

The one bug they mentioned in The Usual Suspects was a head-on shot of a plane landing - a 747. Then cut to a rear-view shot of the plane landing, and it's a 757, with two fewer engines. Classic.

Previous posts seem to indicate that Say Anything had some good commentary by the director and the two stars. Any other suggestions as to DVDs with interesting commentary?
 

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The only one I have watched was Waiting for Guffman, with director Christopher Guest and star Eugene Levy. These are dryly funny guys, and it was almost like watching another, almost-as-funny film.


The now out-of-print Criterion Silence of the Lambs had a famous track with Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Demme that was supposed to be amazing.


People claim the Criterion The Ruling Class has an excellent track with the "three Peters": actor O'Toole, writer Barnes and director Medak. I have the DVD but haven't listened.
 

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M. Night Shylaman for The Sixth Sense, just like our Sutter Cane. I didn't understand the movie until these two guys enlightened me to things Red and flying. :)
 

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Rushmore - Criterion Collection is my pick. Terrific commentaries from director Wes Anderson, coscreenwriter Owen Wilson and actor Schwartzman.
 

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The Fight Club and Seven SE dvds have some good commentaries. I also really like the commentary tracks on the Chasing Amy and Mallrats dvds. The larger cast commentaries can be very funny. Bound has a good track as well. Everyone sounds(is) drunk. It is pretty funny.
 

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Best commentary I've heard is the Criterion Halloween LD, with Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, etc. Funny, informative, just a great track. Good runners up are the tracks by Carpenter and Kurt Russel for The Thing (also on dvd), Escape From New York (LD) and Big Trouble In Little China (dvd).


I also love the commentary on the Seven Samurai dvd (not director, but historian, and a great track.


Cheers,

Flexx
 

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Paul Verhoven et. al on Criterion's (now old) Robocop. Good stuff, funny accents.
 

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In the definitely different category: If you liked Apollo 13, one of the commentaries is by the original astronaut commander (Jim Lovell) and his wife. Pretty interesting if you're into this stuff. He gives a real-world perspective on what happened.


Kal
 

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Christopher McQuarrie and composer Joe Kraemer offer a terrific commentary for The Way of the Gun . The commentary is almost like an interview with Kraemer acting as the host (McQuarrie even remarks that Kraemer does a great job at "hosting the DVD" at one point). Whenever I pop in this disc, I find it hard not to turn on the commentary track because it's so engaging.


While not to the degree of the McQuarrie-Kraemer combination, Tsui Hark's commentary for Time and Tide are also quite good. Tsui's comments are insightful, very accessible, and have a genuine sense of "the story-behind-the-story" feel. It's another commentary track that I find hard to turn off.


On the flipside, what's the worst commentary that you guys have heard? I haven't experienced this one myself, but a friend of mine -- who's a die-hard Trek fan -- claims that Robert Wise's commentary on the Director's Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is every bit as boring as the movie itself. Before anyone throws virtual tomatoes at me, I repeat -- I haven't sat through the commentary myself so that's not my opinion. Mind you, I find Star Trek: TMP dangerously close to being unwatchable, so I doubt I'll ever sit through the commentary track.
 

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I would have to say The Patriot, with Mel Gibson. The comentary was very informative and explaied the historical signifiance behing each scence. Very Cool!
 
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