Chapter 3 - Commentary
There is a very simple answer as to why Todd and I decided on the format of Podcast that we have. We grew up together. We have talked through thousands of movies. We laughed at the movies we watched together at home. We got people mad at us when talking in the theatre. Once, we got a group of teenage girls quite upset when we laughed at Ben Affleck's performance in Armageddon, but such was our way with girls. The bottom line, though, is that we always liked to talk about movies. The creation of the DVD (Yup... That's me screaming my age) brought us the commentary track. Most were boring. The just talk about specifics of the process. That can be interesting, but I feel like it was always delivered by very uninterested people. I don't think it was until when The Simpsons was starting to be released on DVD that I really heard commentary that was itself entertainment. I listened to brilliant writers, producers and performers get together and discuss every episode of the long running show, and I couldn't get enough of it. You would be told stories of the writer John Swartzwelder and how he would write in a script "for some reason," (eg. He wrote about a riot. Windows are being smashed, cars are being overturned. A guy is digging a hole for some reason) and whatever got that tag was guaranteed to be drawn into the show. Add in funny, intelligent banter to these great stories and it's hard to ever take yourself away from them.
Thankfully, there were a number of seasons to go through before I could start finding movies that offered the same level of infotainment. They did come, however. Here are a couple of examples.
The Matrix Trilogy - Philosophers' Commentary
I know... sounds boring right? It is not. Cornell West (Who appears in the movie as a member of the Zion Council) and Ken Wilbur discuss the philosophy of The Matrix Trilogy from the written word to the imagery to the technical decisions. They show how much thought the Wachowskis put into every single decision, without being a tool of the Studio to suck up to the movies. I have read some of Dr. West's books, and to get to hear the rhythm of his speaking makes me feel like he was teaching a class on The Matrix and I was happy to have a seat in the lecture hall.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Cast Commentary
This is a long period of time to commit to listen to people talking about a movie, but it is an easy listen. The genius of splitting up the cast in terms of who is together in the movie (The 4 hobbits comment together in The Fellowship of the Ring, but Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Andy Serkis are together for The Two Towers while Billy Boyd and Domenic Monaghan are separate) makes it feel like you are going on the journey with the actors, who in turn are going on the journey with their characters. Through the cast's stories, you hear of the difficulties found in a month of night shoots in Helm's Deep, the regret that Elijah Wood had when he selected the Orc Helmet he was to wear for a good portion of The Return of the King, the story of Sean Bean climbing a mountain in full Gondorian Armour because he was afraid to be air lifted up the mountain and many many more stories. Almost the entire cast gets to chime in and everyone gives you a ton of great information.
Total Recall - Schwarzenegger Commentary
Do not get me wrong. This is not a good commentary, but it is a MUST LISTEN! Arnie, apparently, was perhaps not aware of the point of commentary and thus didn't understand that he was not providing described video. Described video, however, is what we essentially got. You are told in a very Schwarzenegger way every moment that happens as it happens with very little insight into the making of the movie itself. There are clips of this on Youtube if you are interested in checking it out for yourself.
So with all of that at our avail, I couldn't help but feel that, in our own immature way, we could provide something similar to the interested listener in our own way. Hopefully, with or without syncing up with the movie, you are enjoying it, because we are having a blast.
Catch you soon...