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Awkward/Cringy DVD Commentaries

Started by BJBMK2, May 12, 2022, 08:28:42 PM

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BJBMK2

I'm aware my example is not strictly a film, but I feel like this trope will mostly apply to films as well as TV, so here it is.

There's an infamous commentary for one of the Twilight Zone episodes, starring Micky Rooney. Rooney is present, as is a brave sod tasked with "interviewing" him.

Minute one, "So what do you remember about this Mickey?" "I don't remember anything about this, I don't really care". Things generally proceed in that direction.

"Did you ever meet Rod Serling?" "Yes". "Do you remember when? Or what you talked about?" "No".

"I suppose the episode plays on this idea of you Mickey, that you were quite small in statur-" "I'M SICK OF ALL THAT!".

Rooney pipes up about every three minutes, and when he does, it's usually to loudly berate the interviewer and the audience, to brush off every single attempt at a question with a blunt "I don't remember!", and to state that no one should care about the show there here to talk about, that he's been given money to talk about, as audiences only care about "sexy things!".

It's one of the most fascinating yet awkward aural documents there is. Why and how did the DVD compilers listen to this, and deem it suitable for release? And why did it get ported over to the subsequent Blu Ray?

Are there many other commentaries like this, with an entertainingly tense/toxic atmosphere?

Crenners

HK movie expert Bey Logan (now a disgraced rapist HK movie expert) did a brilliantly awkward commentary with Mark King for Once Upon A Time In China, wherein King basically slagged off the film and the entire HK industry and came across as a prize plum while Logan tried to get him to say anything positive about an iconic film and filming experience.

On the plus side, he isn't a rapist.


jamiefairlie

Quote from: Crenners on May 12, 2022, 08:37:03 PMHK movie expert Bey Logan (now a disgraced rapist HK movie expert) did a brilliantly awkward commentary with Mark King for Once Upon A Time In China, wherein King basically slagged off the film and the entire HK industry and came across as a prize plum while Logan tried to get him to say anything positive about an iconic film and filming experience.

On the plus side, he isn't a rapist.



Did he play his bass in a ludicrous manner?

Gurke and Hare

The ones for shit Danny Dyer films where they spend the whole thing whining about the bad reviews they got. Have some fucking self respect.

McChesney Duntz

The commentary for the Steven Soderbergh film The Limey is a classic of the awkward/contentious form. A must-hear, really.

https://filmschoolrejects.com/40-things-we-learned-from-the-limey-commentary-3c328fb1557e/

Again, not a film, but on the boxset for Season 4 of the TV show 'Moonlighting', there's a commentary track with Cybill Shepherd and the director of the episode they're watching.  Towards the end, Shepherd just suddenly burts into tears, and starts properly bawling as she talks about the troubles the show had at the time and her strained relationship with Bruce Willis.

Comes out of nowhere and it's all a bit awkward.

Dickie_Anders

Quote from: McChesney Duntz on May 13, 2022, 05:17:59 PMThe commentary for the Steven Soderbergh film The Limey is a classic of the awkward/contentious form. A must-hear, really.

https://filmschoolrejects.com/40-things-we-learned-from-the-limey-commentary-3c328fb1557e/

I watched The Limey last night for the first time because of this post. I enjoyed it quite a bit, so thanks for that.

It's interesting reading the screenwriter's complaints. It seems like he wanted a more straight forward B-Movie type direction, and he's a little bit annoyed by what he sees as a more "artsy" rendering. He'd clearly wrote a fantastic script that was cut down significantly, mostly exposition sounds like.

I think with these types of crime/noir movies it's all in the style. The film is uniquely written but I definitely fall on the side of Soderbergh here, the way it's shot/edited lends it so much of its character and I can't help but feel more explanatory dialogue would stunt it.

Martin Van Buren Stan

Found the Brass Eye one with the homeless guys pretty nasty and hateful. As great as he is, Morris has a cruel streak in him. I remember him taking the piss out of tramps on his radio 1 shows too.

Quote from: Gurke and Hare on May 13, 2022, 05:01:07 PMThe ones for shit Danny Dyer films where they spend the whole thing whining about the bad reviews they got. Have some fucking self respect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5h9ZPBuBEs

"I've never seen no stars before"

Magnum Valentino

There's a great Simpsons one where Susie Dietter very respectfully and classfully challenges Jon Lovitz's endless homophobic gags. She comes across like a million bucks and makes him look a fool in front of his braying audience of fellow male yak-trakkers. It does become awkward, very quickly.

The only problem is that I usually find Lovitz hilarious on those commentaries, so I can't savour it the way someone who would out and out hate him would.

I didn't know your man Bey Logan was a rapist, I've seen his name more than once on the backs of films in lists of extras I've never watched.

Sebastian Cobb

As I liked Spaced I ended up buying a dvd of Nick Frost's Danger! 50,000 Volts! It was a kind of tounge-in-cheek version of the survival genre, but getting out of dangerous situations most of us would't encounter because we're not persons of interest or spies. I never saw it on tv but I think it aired on Channel 5 at some point.

Whilst it was a Frost-presented vehicle there were a couple of Simon Pegg bonuses on the dvd with him cameoing in a bonus episode and providing commentary.

The commentary is dull but I also feel Frost wasn't too enamoured with the end result as he talks it down a bit, but the thing that sort-of spoils it a bit is how he reveals things like the person they had giving advice and listed in the programme as a 'Private Investigator' was actually just a bloke who ran a shop selling gadgets to private investigators, it just sort of undermined it further.

Magnum Valentino

That's nothing compared to Linehan shitting all over Father Ted and Mathews having to tell him to wise up, FINALLY, about halfway through series 3.

I liked Danger 50000 Volts and will never forget Nick's delivery of "like a Kat Slater offa TV's The Eastenders". The way he walks into frame going 'chink chink chink' like he has spurs on his boots in that Simon Pegg bonus episode is also extremely funny.

So aye that's two Cabbers with that series on DVD.

willbo

Gervais' first stand up Animals had a really weird track with him talking to Robin Ince (who was his support act on that tour), where they spend the whole show talking about their tense, weird friendship, finally ending with RG reading out this funny diary of himself obsessing over Ince's daily habits and the pranks/annoyances he plays on him. We're all used to Gervais' antics now, but it was genuinely unsettling at the time.

JamesTC

Ali G Indahouse has an in character commentary with Sacha Baron Cohen and Martin Freeman. Freeman does his best given that he is an actor rather than a writer/comedian but Baron Cohen is surprisingly pretty poor on it.

BJBMK2

Quote from: JamesTC on May 14, 2022, 08:32:19 PMAli G Indahouse has an in character commentary with Sacha Baron Cohen and Martin Freeman. Freeman does his best given that he is an actor rather than a writer/comedian but Baron Cohen is surprisingly pretty poor on it.

I had to give up on that track after about 20 mins, and I say that as a non-ironic fan of that film.

Is Spinal Tap the only example of a good in-character commentary? I can't think of many others I've enjoyed. Even the Garth Marenghi one left me a bit cold.

Magnum Valentino

The Darkplace one takes a few episodes for them to settle into it but by the end they've put something brilliant together.

studpuppet

Phoenix Nights is a good one - in the series 1 commentary they don't mention Daniel Kitson at all because Kitson and Kay had already fallen out, and consequently he's not included in in the DVD artwork.

By series 2 Kay had fallen out with Dave Spikey and Neil Mitzmaurice as well, so they're no longer in the commentary group, and Kay uses every appearance Kitson makes to bad-mouth him.

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on May 14, 2022, 01:28:04 PMThere's a great Simpsons one where Susie Dietter very respectfully and classfully challenges Jon Lovitz's endless homophobic gags. She comes across like a million bucks and makes him look a fool in front of his braying audience of fellow male yak-trakkers. It does become awkward, very quickly.

The only problem is that I usually find Lovitz hilarious on those commentaries, so I can't savour it the way someone who would out and out hate him would.


Haven't listened to a Simpsons commentary in years(I don't think I bought any of the sets past S6), but the ones with Julie Kavner stood out as being particularly awkward, she has a habit of announcing every episode as her favourite but it almost feels like she's never actually watched them and doesn't understand half the jokes.

Magnum Valentino

Yeardley Smith is reeeeally annoying on commentaries as she keeps asking the other speakers questions in a way that feels like SHE thinks she's doing it for the audience's benefit.

Brundle-Fly

The uncut Cannibal Holocaust DVD has an uncomfortable moment in an interview with a tired Robert Kerman. He just seems baffled and pitying of the young fans interviewing him why they would like such a horrible movie.

Sonny_Jim

"I continually used him as a human shield and threw him down the escalator"

https://youtu.be/B4YQMlcPY2A?t=31

Intentionally entertaining but I feel unintentionally hilarious.

willbo

there's also the Alan Partridge DVDs which have Alan and Lynn reminiscing over the re-creation/documentary/whatever IAP is in their "universe", and Alan letting us know some incidents were even weirder than what we were shown.

Andy147

On the Dodgeball DVD, if you select the main commentary you get a spoof "awkward commentary" in which eventually they've all walked out, so the sound guys just dub in commentary from There's Something About Mary for the remaining hour or so. The genuine commentary is apparently hidden somewhere else on the DVD.

Replies From View

#23
There's a commentary on the Doctor Who series 1 DVD that's quite unsettling to listen to - it's for the episode The Long Game, and it has just two people in the booth:  actors Bruno Langley and Christine Adams, and to my ears (and I have only heard this commentary the once, I must admit, and it was a decade ago) it sounded as though Langley was using the opportunity to come on to Adams, who just kept doing her best to ignore it.

I heard the commentary years before the sexual assault revelations came to light, and I had no idea who he was at the time - was just disappointed at first to have a couple of actors waffling away rather than the writer or anyone else - but immediately I sensed that it was horrible, and when years later I heard about the sexual assaults, I realised I may have been onto something, though I haven't since been back to check again.

The commentary was recorded before the revival was revealed to be a massive success, and there's a vibe throughout of Langley somehow forgetting he's being recorded or not knowing/caring how he might come across years later under scrutiny.

So go ahead, owners of this DVD:  scrutinise it and decide if I am right!  And I will too, to see whether I agree with my previous assessment.

Replies From View

Any other examples of attempted sex offending in DVD commentaries?

Glebe

There's an (Italian, I think?) The Road Warrior knock-off, think it might have '3000' in the title but I've Googled and can't find it, but anyway apparently there's a DVD commentary track for it in which a couple of the supporting  cast make derogatory comments about the film's star... think I heard they may have actually been charged with defamation. Can anyone clarify this?

There's a group commentary for Gremlins where Howey Mandell makes a dick joke in reference to Dick Miller's name. It's not really that awkward but he just comes out with it and it gets ignored.

Quote from: BJBMK2 on May 12, 2022, 08:28:42 PMRooney pipes up about every three minutes, and when he does, it's usually to loudly berate the interviewer and the audience, to brush off every single attempt at a question with a blunt "I don't remember!", and to state that no one should care about the show there here to talk about, that he's been given money to talk about, as audiences only care about "sexy things!".

Oh yeah think I head this before!

And here it is!:


Famous Mortimer

Quote from: Glebe on May 17, 2022, 10:17:55 PMThere's an (Italian, I think?) The Road Warrior knock-off, think it might have '3000' in the title but I've Googled and can't find it, but anyway apparently there's a DVD commentary track for it in which a couple of the supporting  cast make derogatory comments about the film's star... think I heard they may have actually been charged with defamation. Can anyone clarify this?
Exterminators Of The Year 3000, maybe?

Glebe


Ham Bap

Quote from: Glebe on May 17, 2022, 10:17:55 PMThere's an (Italian, I think?) The Road Warrior knock-off, think it might have '3000' in the title but I've Googled and can't find it, but anyway apparently there's a DVD commentary track for it in which a couple of the supporting  cast make derogatory comments about the film's star... think I heard they may have actually been charged with defamation. Can anyone clarify this?

There's a group commentary for Gremlins where Howey Mandell makes a dick joke in reference to Dick Miller's name. It's not really that awkward but he just comes out with it and it gets ignored.

Oh yeah think I head this before!

And here it is!:


Ha, the way Rooney dismissively says 'sexy things' will stick in my mind.

Those bloody kids watching their 'sexy things'. haha

Replies From View

He knows he's a sexy fucker.  He knows exactly what he's saying.