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DVD Extras


Jumbie
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Are DVD extras worth it?  

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For a while now, I've been becoming very upset with myself for watching all those "The making of..." documentaries that come with dvds.

 

e.g.

 

The Fellowship of the ring has a 'featurette' showing how they filmed the wingwraiths chasing Arwen. The filmed it off the back of a truck that was driving on a paved road (that they obviously never showed). But now, when I watch the movie, during that scene, all I can see is actors in costume being filmed and the damn road is a constant presence in my awareness. It takes me right out of the movie.

 

I've come to more and more dislike hearing about the production and business of a movie. Like knowing that Spielberg agreed to do Jaws only if he could keep the shark hidden for the first half of the movie. Or knowing how they did those cool 'bullet time' shots from the Matrix.

 

I hardly ever watch dvd extras these days. Besides the fact that a lot of it tends to be just plain commercials for merchandise/themeparks/etc, I find that it doesn't actually enhance the movie experience for me.

 

Deleted scenes are the only thing I like seeing on a dvd.

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That's weird, i thought the Matrix Revisited's special on the bullet-time effect was cool, right up there with Wu Ping's fight scenes...

do you mean to say that some of the magic is lost when the curtain's pulled & the wizard of oz is exposed? I mean, if youd rather not know what's going on behind the scenes, then like you said, you could just skip that part of the DVD...

honestly, i but the big 2-disc extra discs and dont really watch the commentaries. Trailers, star profiles (those 2 are standars i think), deleted scenes, some storyboards, interviews, etc tho ill watch. The Spider-Man DVD has some of the coolest damn extras, between odd CG shit and a lot of comic book artist/writer interviews (like Unbreakable did).

Also, View Askew's "Vulgar" (i do intend to review it one day) wasnt that great a movie by me, but the pack-in special, Kevin Smith's "Defending Dogma" made the rental worth it, so i think it can go either way.

...tho i am pissy about shit like "X-Men 1.5", i hear the extras arent that big, basically a ploy to buy a X-Men 2 trailer, but if there's more comic shit on it that's gonna suck.

Oh, i get it - youre fussin about the extra price due to those extras. Depends on the extras too, like you said - the Kurosawa box set was badass; all criterion, and had shit like Lucas talkin about how much he ripped off Hidden Fortress for Star Wars, etc.

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Well, I did say that I hardly ever watch the extras. I made an exception for Fellowship for understandable reasons.

 

 

Oh yeah... you forgot to vote.

 

I guess my argument does seem to be split (But hey! we have a thread splitting feature on the board now) 1- dvd extras cost more. Is it worth the price? 2 - Does it help you enjoy/appreciate the movie more?

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I didnt vote yet cause im thinkin bout what you said with the extras - admittedly, im a sucker for good packaging if i really like the flick (the Tombsonte re-release was cool as shit for that), but I'm tryin to determine, like you asked, if its really worth it.

With the greats, like Braveheart, Unforgiven etc ill watch the production/making of stuff, but your average movie i wont - then again, i woulndt buy such a movie. If given the option between 1) the $18 dvd, featuring movie, trailer & talent file (just about barebones) or 2) the $25-30 dvd (or set) with extras, if its a movie im gonna buy and theyre both available by the time i go to buy it, most times ill go with option # 2, the super mega happy ultimate edition. As long as im not just payin for a commentary i wont watch, anyway, so i guess that puts me in the "Yes its worth it to know about producation/direction etc" vote?

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I usually like extras, but recently they've lost importance to me. It used to be the coolest thing in the world, but now they've lost their novelty. making-of documentaries can be hit or miss. I guess I understand that "destroying the magic" thing, but it doesnt really happen to me. But lots of making ofs tell you jack shit, and run more like promos, and others are really cool. Deleted scenes are cool especially when they come with an explanation of why they were deleted. Commentarries aren't always a waste of time. Some of them are great, they can be my favorite inclusion on a dvd. Lots of em can be as funny as the movie itself (Kevin Smith, Spinal Tap) and certain people like Oliver Stone, PT Anderson, Robert Rodriguez, and ebert just have really good informative ones. Oh, and Criterion just rocks. Sure, some movies will come out bare bones (except usually for a huge booklet) but thats because they dont stick random commentarries and HBO specials on to pad the DVD. They only put shit on if it'll enhance the movie. The Third Man DVD comes with recordings all of the times it's been perfomed on the radio, my Fellini and Hitchcock ones all come with big fancy audio essays and introspectives on the directors, and dont get me started on brazil... I just wish these fuckin things wouldnt go out of print like days after they're released.

 

So yeah, I like extras but sometimes they just toss shit in for the fuck of it.

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my friend and i tried watching the extras for the LOTR but we got bored so we just watched the movie again. maybe it's because we have short attention spans and could really care less for how they made the costumes and blah blah blah but it's not really all that interesting. the only part of the dvd extras that i enjoy watching are the out-takes or deleted scenes because some of them tend to be quite funny and entertaining. more so than the type of fabric that they used for the hobbits costume.

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Yeah, actually, that "Everything and the kitchen sink" thing usually sucks. Instead of 20 small featurrettes, why dont you just give us one big, well made documentary? Do the right thing, Magnolia, the exorcist, blair witch, and citizen kane have some of the best ones. These hour-or longer docs actually get you into the development of the movie, makes you feel like you were there, and you get a feel for how each group of people works. I'd rather have that than a dozen 5 minute segments that tell you jack shit. Exception to the featurette rule is the segment IFC puts on DVDs every once in a while, "Anatomy of a scene." They break down one great scene from the movie and explain every last thing about it. Great one I can think of is on the "On the Waterfront" DVD for the "contenda'" scene.

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God, i loved the PSA's on Fight Club, but that thing had some cool extras..and like i said, all comic movies should have the storyboards, i think. I was really happy that the Crow special edition interviewed James O' Barr, the writer.

But i personally do dig it when there's related trailers on the disc - i like old kurosawa flicks that have other classic samurai trailers on them, i think Red River or one of the Duke's greats has every John Wayne movie that studio put out's trailer on board, i thought that was pretty cool myself.

Unforgiven, for instance, had the TV spots they did before the movie to hype it, discussed the movie a bit...even had an old episode of Eastwood's starting point, "Rawhide", where he played a (somewhat) similar character from his early career...extras like that are cool as shit, for me. But again, my favorites are prolly the Spider-Man and Unbreakable ones where there's a lot of talk from comic creators on the transition from page to film; im sure most folks skip right past that but those're my highlights, im already readin up on who's bein interviewed for the Daredevil DVD.

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