Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What are they SAYING

After a bit of thought, I really think that DVDs were designed with me in mind. Ok, not ME me, but me as in people like me. Which makes it much more plausible and a bit less conceited. What I mean is, the ability to not just have a movie, but to have the special features along with it. Making Ofs and Deleted Scenes. Trailers for other movies, gag reels, easter eggs and of course audio commentaries.

And you know what? I love the commentary tracks. It started with Kevin Smith's Mallrats commentary and then Lord of the Rings. The thing is, sometimes, I'm not even sure what it is that I like about the commentaries. Hell I've listed to Eddie Izzard do a commentary for one of his stand up dvds! That was...weird.

So, imagine my disapointment when I tried to check out the commentary on Kung Fu Hustle and The Grudge. Why was I disapointed you ask? No? What do you mean, no? Are you trying to say you don't care? Well, fine. Be that way.

The commentaries aren't in English! No, I can understand that in Kung Fu Hustle. Hell, I kind of expected it. It's not exactly and English language movie to begin with. But The Grudge was!

I saw The Grudge in the theater. I bought the DVD right when it came out. Never once have I put the dvd in to watch it again. Not sure why, just haven't gotten around to it. Part of it was my anger when the Director's Cut came out a couple months later. Last week, I found the DC used for cheap, so I bought it. And, I'm not impressed. For being a DC, the second dvd of the same title, there's not a lot on the disc to entice someone who bought it once to buy it again. And with the commentary in Japanese, it's even less reason. And, I understand that the crew was Japanese. The director was Japanese. It was shot in Japan. I get that. I understand that. But, why not put a cast commentary on the disc, Sony? Huh?

If you're going to put out version after version after version of the same movie on dvd, one of 2 things needs to happen. The dvd needs to get better (have more stuff, a better video transfer, etc) or it needs to get cheaper. And since things don't get cheaper in this world, then they need to have more stuff on them. At the point that you are reasleasing a movie on dvd for the second or third time you are going for a market of people that have either already bought it once or twice, or the people who are holding out for the ultimate experiance. (I'd be the former. I can't wait for ANYTHING. That's why I buy so many imported movies. I hate knowing that a movie I want to see is out on dvd in another country, but may never see dvd here, but that's a whole other subject.)

So, with the two movies, I try listening to the commentary, only to have no idea what they're talking about. Yeah, it's subtitled, but I tend to be lying down without my glasses when I listen to the commentaries. So, that does me no good. I may never know what was going through Stephen Chow's head while he was making Kung Fu Hustle!