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.