Special Features, do you still watch them?
I remember when I first started getting into DVDs. I was never very much a VHS collector. When I was in college, I had a massive collection of 10 VHSs. My DVD collection numbers well over 1,000. If I can remember well enough, my VHS collection consisted of: Monty Python’s Holy Grail, Seven, Disturbing Behavior, The Nine Inch Nails music video collection, The Game, and a couple others I don’t remember. But when I first got my Fight Club DVD (I also remember at the time that the DVD came about a full 9 months or so before the VHS was due out) one of the things that intrigued me was the four commentaries and a full second disc of special features. I watched at least 3 out of 4 of the commentaries, and I quite possibly watched them all, I also explored most of the special features on the bonus disc. And from the very start, I was hooked. If there was a choice between a single disc release and a two disc release, I went with the extra special features. I own the 3 disc Hellboy: Director’s Cut, the 3 disc Sin City, all three of the four disc extended Lord of the Rings movies, the ultimate Matrix box set with a full 3 discs of special features… which brings me to the point of this post.
When I actually bought the Matrix box set, I was starting to fade out of watching all the special features. It used to be that I would go through almost every inch of a bonus disc, skipping photo galleries and animatics and maybe a few other things. Then, I would just watch the deleted scenes and maybe a featurette, and I’d watch the movie with the commentary if the people involved sounded like they would be interesting. I would always watch a commentary with Kevin Smith involved. In fact, I rented the Roadhouse special edition for the sole fact that he did a commentary track on it based on their random Roadhouse discussion on the Clerks X DVD (the three disc edition, which I also own).
But now, in the past year I’ve only listened to one commentary track (the one on the Chasing Amy Blu-Ray) and I’ve watched hardly any special features, including any deleted scenes. Part of the reason is that I watch a lot more movies online, which don’t have any special features included. The only commentary track found online is maybe a Rifftrax commentary. I’ve found that I just don’t have as much time to devote to a single movie anymore. Part of the reason is this blog, I feel the need to move on to the next movie in order to create more content. Part of the reason is my work, I just don’t have as much free time to devote to special features anymore. And part of the reason is my family, they aren’t nearly as interested as I am in watching a movie with a commentary, they would rather just watch the movie a second time rather than watching it with people talking over it.
What about you? Do you find yourself skipping the special features and commentaries? If you do, did you used to watch them? What changed? If you still do make time for special features, what are your favorite bonuses to watch? And what’s the best commentary track you’ve listened to? My favorite commentaries are any involving Kevin Smith and his friends, they are just so much fun to listen to. I also quite enjoyed the commentary track to the Fantastic Four, Michael Chiklis is a real treat to listen to in that. Even though it’s been ages since I’ve listened to it, the Fight Club cast commentary is also a great one to listen to. And now, I’m off to watch a few Hellboy II special features before writing my review for it, maybe I’ll even check out the cast commentary, hopefully Ron Perlman is a part of it. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.
Posted on December 1, 2012, in Blogs and tagged Blog, commentary tracks, discussion, movies, special features. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.
For the most part, no. I don’t watch them at all. But I was never one that really did. Only when there is something about the movie that I am really curious about (i.e. how a scene was shot, what the filmmaker was thinking in crafting some aspect of the movie, et) I think go to the commentary to see if it is discussed. Otherwise, I don’t ever touch them.
I can understand that special features aren’t for everyone, there’s some good stuff out there, but aside from deleted scenes, my wife can hardly stand watching them.
Yes, always… eventually. It’s never the first thing I do – I bought the movie for the movie, after all. But I’m always interested in trivia and anecdotal comments, alternate trailers, deleted scenes, special effects, the music score, etc. At the very least, I figure I paid for those, so I’m darn well gonna see what I got! 🙂
There’s been only once that I watched a special feature before the actual movie. And that was the Chasing Amy blu-ray I mentioned, because I’ve seen Chasing Amy many times already but hadn’t heard the new commentary track. I love hearing trivia and other stuff about my favorite movies. Time just gets away from me too often.
I used to, but no not anymore
Why is that? Time? Lack of interest? Something else? I loved how DVDs created a market for special features, but it feels like that market is dwindling.
I don’t really care anymore, seems like a gimmick now. Then there are the 9 hours of special features, haven’t time for that 😀
Only on those films that have long intrigued or those that sparked curiosity. I’ve become selective in my old age ;-).
I can see that, and besides, not all special features are what they’re cracked up to be.
When I was younger and had more free time I would watch everything, but now I barely have time to watch the movie itself.
I so know how you feel.
I usually do. Of course, I just got Netflix recently, so that might change things. I figure I’ll probably still get DVD or Blu-ray for anything I really like, so I probably still will watch some special features.
I’d love it if streaming services started offering commentary options and other special features.
Seldom. I’m often tempted to listen to the commentary track for my Favorite Films posts, but really, it seldom pays off. Ghostbusters has a good commentary track, for example, but The Matrix has a commentary track that’s actually fairly boring. Deleted scenes are sometimes interesting, and sometimes they’re deleted because — as Weird Al says on the UHF DVD — “they suck!”
But at least the commentary with Weird Al makes up for it. UHF is such a great DVD, love all the special guests that drop into the commentary, and Al’s suspiciously exact memory for all the addresses of the locations.
Yes, UHF is one of the best commentaries out there.
I’m all about the extras. Given the choice, I will always buy the bonus disc version. There have been times when I’ve refused to buy a new release because there aren’t any extras on it. TRANSFORMERS 3 and AVATAR both being a case in point. (I’ve since got both now, in the 3D Blu-ray editions).
The best commentaries, off the top of my head, are the ones where everyone was having a good time. I like technical ones too, but the funny ones are my favourites. The commentaries for both Eurotrip and Dog Soldiers are hilarious because the folk doing them are all getting likkered up through the movie. By the end, everyone is drunk.
Anything with Joss Whedon is also a must.
The Eurotrip commentary is really great. It’s nice to hear about someone else who hasn’t given up on bonus features yet. Though I am curious how many movies you watched this past year where you had enough time to get around to some bonus features too.
A lot of the flicks I’ve watched for the project have been streamed, so they don’t count. If a disc has something good on it, I try to make the time though.
i watch special features and love to watch movies with the commentaries. learning more about the movies is fun to me.
I think fun is a good word for it, I just wish I had more time for special features fun.
Rarely commentary tracks, but all other special features I watch when I’m interested. Sometimes I’ll just put in a disc to watch the special features. Prometheus is a recent release that has enough special features to warrant purchasing even if you didn’t love the movie. Great set.
That one would be an interesting one for me to get into, especially since I haven’t seen Prometheus or even Alien yet but have been very curious about it.
Oh, definitely worth watching all those films.