DINODISC LASERDISC & RETRO GAMES

DINODISC IS A FORUM FOR COLLECTORS TO CHAT , BUY AND SELL LASERDISCS & RETRO GAMES
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES

Go down 
AuthorMessage
laserkb

avatar

Posts : 165
Join date : 2011-03-29
Age : 67
Location : Derbyshire

PostSubject: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:19 am

What do other users think of laserdisc extras?

The director's commentaries, making-of featurettes, still files and sundry other add-ons are what give LDs greater appeal to film buffs and add substantially to their value and collectability. This, of course, has spilled over on to DVDs where now extras are regarded as obligatory. Some directors actually shoot extraneous footage simply to have something to sell as bonus features on the DVD, whether they call them out-takes, alternative or deleted scenes. Some DVD reviewers now downgrade or dismiss altogether a DVD that HASN'T got any bonus material.

But isn't this rather missing the point? I think the clue here is the word 'extras'. These things should be there, if available, for those that want that little bit more, but they shouldn't be regarded as essential. If a movie is good enough, it should stand by its own merit and not need the director to explain everything. Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen famously refuse to supply commentaries on the grounds that, if you can't fathom their work without directorial insights, you probably shouldn't be watching them in the first place.

Don't get me wrong. Some special features are often a damn sight more entertaining than the "main attraction". Some of the film historians that give background to, for example, the old Universal classics are always insightful. They clearly speak from scripts and the whole thing is excellently planned and presented. These are fascinating documentaries in their own right, and some directors have really got the balance correct in giving you just the right amount of commentary without overdoing it. John Carpenter is always fun (his joint commentary with Kurt Russell on THE THING is a hoot as the pair sound as if they're getting plastered throughout the recording) but with others, such as Robert Zemeckis, it's a constant luvvie-fest (everyone was SOOO marvellous, darling!). SFX featurettes can be interesting but tend to give away too many secrets (you can never watch the movie again in the same light when you know how it was "done"), but worst are the ad libbed interviews with a poor or inexperienced moderator. Some of the Hammer classics have been spoiled by Christopher Lee hogging the proceedings, often digressing way beyond the movie in question. Sometimes these rambling conversations are not at all "scene specific" so you get totally distracted from the film. One of the worst is the commentary for THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (the Roan LD) where someone called George E. Turner clearly doesn't know the movie at all. There are long embarrassing silences interspersed with factually incorrect comments. He admits to not really knowing what he's talking about and keeps contradicting himself. Poor Georgie!

And how about Ian McCulloch in the audio commentary for Lucio Fulcio's ZOMBIE (also a Roan LD). He concedes to interviewer Jason Slater that he can't recall making the movie and has no idea what it's about or what his role involved. He sounds genuinely astonished at seeing himself in some of these gut-wrenching scenes. Maybe he simply erased it all from his memory?

Anyway, what's your opinion? Extras - best and worst examples? And do we need them at all?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Admin
Admin


Posts : 229
Join date : 2011-03-23
Age : 44
Location : lancashire uk

PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:52 am

I would have to be a fan of that particular film, actor or director if I was to really want the extra features , most films I am quite happy to just watch the film and in most cases I will switch it off once the film has finished without ever watching the extras. As for deleted scenes I would prefer them just to be included in the film, I recently watched breaking waves criterion and it had quite a few deleted scenes and although it was a nice bonus at the end I would have prefered them to just make it as an uncut version.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://dinodisc.forumotion.co.uk
PeaceMaker1

avatar

Posts : 120
Join date : 2011-04-19
Age : 54
Location : Warwickshire

PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:00 am

One of the best commentaries i have ever heard was on the DRIVE: Special Edition DVD with the director, stars and stunt coordinator and was a total blast.

I have to agree on the The Thing commentary though, that and Escape From New York and Big Trouble In Little China make a troika of excellent entertainment. These also have some pretty decent extras too, although I know for certain that the Thing extras were LD port overs Smile
Back to top Go down
View user profile
AvanteProject



Posts : 40
Join date : 2011-03-29
Age : 29
Location : Wales, UK

PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:01 pm

The best commentaries I've heard are Evil Dead 1 & 2. The first is Bruce Campbell on his own, the second has Bruce, Sam Raimi, etc. Both are informative, giving you insight in to pretty much everything but they're also hilarious.

Not sure if these made it to LD though.

Back when I was in to DVD's I was always a little disappointed if there were few extras or none at all. I think that is because in all of the DVD promos they used to show, extras were always a big thing they would focus on. So when a movie was released with just a trailer it didn't seem worth it.

Now, with LaserDiscs, I just buy movies. If they have extras then that's awesome, if not it doesn't matter. Watching the movie itself on this amazing format is worth the price.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
HippieDalek

avatar

Posts : 245
Join date : 2011-03-29
Age : 32
Location : Sunderland, UK

PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:41 pm

For me the best extras were always the deleted scenes. I just loved getting to see a little bit more of films that I loved. Usually most of what gets cut from films is interesting little bits of characterisation that the studio cuts for time, such a shame.

I remember the first time I ever heard of laserdiscs was when I was reading into one of my favourite films; Highlander. I read that there was a recently released Directors Cut on laserdisc with loads of new footage, I was so excited. Then I found out that the US version of the film had been hacked apart with a blunt cleaver and stuck back together with cellotape and what the Americans were calling the directors cut was just the European release with a different (and in my opinion inferior) soundtrack.

The few laserdiscs I have are actually quite sparse when it comes to special features, the only commentary I have is the infamously bad one for the Matrix, so I can't really point to a favourite just yet, but I'm very interested in the Criterion Special Edition of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This release apparently contains both the Theatrical and Special editions of the film and includes the ability to program the player to play scenes in a particular order to get the Special Edition. It's probably poorly executed, and when skipping chapters on my player there's a roughly two second blue screen pause, but the idea of it intrigues me. An early form of seamless branching I guess. Can anyone here confirm how well it works?

I often think that packaging is overlooked as a special feature. Both laserdisc and DVD can claim some stunning product presentations, laserdisc of course has the LP style gatefold covers and massive artwork, but there's some excellent DVD packagings that put up a fight. Possibly some of the best are the Evil Dead 1 & 2 Book of the Dead editions made to look like the book from each film, complete with pages from the book. They never did one for Evil Dead 3 for some reason, but this is one example of packaging that ties in well with the film that wouldn't have worked with laserdisc. I'm also a sucker for steelbooks, I think they're the best way of presenting a DVD.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://laserdisc.wikkii.com
PeaceMaker1

avatar

Posts : 120
Join date : 2011-04-19
Age : 54
Location : Warwickshire

PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:21 am

HippieDalek wrote:
...The few laserdiscs I have are actually quite sparse when it comes to special features, the only commentary I have is the infamously bad one for the Matrix, so I can't really point to a favourite...

I do not, as yet, have the MATRIX LD, what is it about the commentary that is terrible? Does it correspond to a commentary on the R1 DVD?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
HippieDalek

avatar

Posts : 245
Join date : 2011-03-29
Age : 32
Location : Sunderland, UK

PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:43 am

PeaceMaker1 wrote:
I do not, as yet, have the MATRIX LD, what is it about the commentary that is terrible? Does it correspond to a commentary on the R1 DVD?

I think it's the same commentary, I've never owned the R1 DVD...come to think of it this is the first time I've actually owned a copy of the film.

It's just a rather dull commentary featuring by Carrie-Anne Moss, Zach Staenberg and John Gaeta...the co-co-star, the editor and the special effects supervisor. No one really has much to say about the film and a lot of what they do say is inaccurate or misinterpreting the film, and Moss barely says anything for the duration. Everyone who was involved with the film says it was such a joy to work on, but no one seems to be enthusiastic enough to give the film a good commentary, even the directors and stars.

I believe the commentary was left out of the R2 DVD releases because of the edited out headbuts throughout the film which would have meant they would also have to edit the commentary around them, which could be difficult.

Probably the best commentaries I've heard were for the DVD releases of Spaced, they are genuinely hilarious and, in their own words, fried gold!
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://laserdisc.wikkii.com
laserkb

avatar

Posts : 165
Join date : 2011-03-29
Age : 67
Location : Derbyshire

PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:17 am

HippieDalek wrote:
I often think that packaging is overlooked as a special feature. Both laserdisc and DVD can claim some stunning product presentations, laserdisc of course has the LP style gatefold covers and massive artwork, but there's some excellent DVD packagings that put up a fight.

Among my favourite DVD packages are the coffin-shaped boxes that Anchor Bay used for their horror collections (Amicus, Tigon, Pete Walker, Norman J Warren & 'Blind Dead' collections). They look so smart and sleek, and so appropriate, but, like the wonderful PHANTASM sphere or the HELLRAISER puzzle box, these are not easy to store and display with regular DVDs. Perhaps that's the point - they're not MEANT to sit on a shelf with all the other titles. They are objects of great beauty and I guess most people give them their own points of display.

However, with some, such as the 'pod case' holding THE FLY collection or the Hammer 21-disc ULTIMATE COLLECTION they're not always practical for access. With collections like these, and the Universal MONSTER LEGACY COLLECTION (with the three iconic busts), I simply remove the discs for viewing and keep them in separate storage units. You'd be forever opening and closing these elaborate packages and there'd soon be the inevitable wear and tear.

As for LDs, despite some wonderful boxes and gatefold sleeves, I've never yet encountered any packaging that isn't LD-shaped, i.e. 12" square. There are the novelty discs, such as the blood red EVIL DEAD 2, but in the main laserdiscs tend to be conventionally presented. It's probably all a matter of cost, practicality and expediency.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
HippieDalek

avatar

Posts : 245
Join date : 2011-03-29
Age : 32
Location : Sunderland, UK

PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:31 am

laserkb wrote:
As for LDs, despite some wonderful boxes and gatefold sleeves, I've never yet encountered any packaging that isn't LD-shaped, i.e. 12" square. There are the novelty discs, such as the blood red EVIL DEAD 2, but in the main laserdiscs tend to be conventionally presented. It's probably all a matter of cost, practicality and expediency.

The most unusual LD packaging I've seen is pictures of a few MUSE HI-VISION titles where each LD has a tray like a digipack CD
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Picture from this website: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] (Quite a good side for finding details of LD packaging and contents)
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://laserdisc.wikkii.com
laserkb

avatar

Posts : 165
Join date : 2011-03-29
Age : 67
Location : Derbyshire

PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:16 am

HippieDalek wrote:


The most unusual LD packaging I've seen is pictures of a few MUSE HI-VISION titles where each LD has a tray like a digipack CD

Wow! Don't they look smart? It would have been great if all LDs had been marketed like this, better than all those flimsy poly inners. But can you imagine the cost?

I've looked at the pustan site - that's a very impressive way to display a collection online. I've often thought of creating a webpage to show off my own LD library but I keep stumbling over those words - "show off". It always strikes me as a bit of a "Look at me and what I've got - aren't you jealous?" type of thing. I know there are plenty of others with no such reserves or modesty - I've seen sites grandly labelled "MY LASERDISC COLLECTION" and then they reveal that they're the proud owners of 20 discs!

I don't keep my collection a secret or hidden under wraps. Personal visitors are always welcome to browse through it, and I sometimes host 'guest screenings' of visitors' choices, but why do others display their entire lives and all their possessions on the internet? It's the same with Facebook, Twitter and even mobile phones - some people have no idea of personal privacy and they share their most sensitive data with all and sundry, yet they refuse to give personal info to an interviewer in the street or to a national census. Funny old world, eh?


Last edited by laserkb on Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Grammatical error)
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES   

Back to top Go down
 
EXTRAS & COMMENTARIES
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
DINODISC LASERDISC & RETRO GAMES :: LASERDISC CHAT-
Jump to: