The Greatest Movie Commentaries of All-Time – Laser Time #381

Get read for another Laser Time listening party, because this week we’ll be digging into the dying art of the official DVD commentary! From good, to bad, to all out trainwrecks, we’re saving you dozens of hours by playing you the best bits from some of the most notorious movie commentaries of all-time.

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8 thoughts on “The Greatest Movie Commentaries of All-Time – Laser Time #381

  1. I’m just gonna spend this whole podcast mentally repeating “The Thing” better be in here.

  2. Fun fact: in his autobiography The View From the Bridge Director Nicholas Meyer claims credit for the commentary disclaimer that appears in front of all commentaries.

    There was some dispute about the writing credit for Wrath of Khan. Basically Meyer rewrote and synthesized a bunch of wildly varying drafts into the movie we know and love under a terrible crunch and didn’t take a writing credit because he wanted the movie to get made. He recounted this story in the DVD commentary and Paramount’s lawyers went apeshit because that story could get them in trouble with the Writer’s Guild.

    Paramount tried to cut those parts of the interview. Meyer refused to do special features for the twentieth anniversary DVD if they cut anything. They compromised with the “we’re not responsible for commentary” clause which Meyer saw as an important development since it let creators be candid in their statements instead of creating carefully guarded thinly veiled PR pieces.

  3. I can tell you my favorite commentary is The Lost Boys, which was a solo commentary by Joel Schumacher. The man is always solid about doing commentaries. The stuff I learn from him like making bugs move with lemons, he never has dead air, the man is fascinating and always has either a story or anecdotes to mention, he’s really fascinating.

    And I also enjoy audio commentaries by Wes Craven for similar reasons. In this case, it was like listening to your favorite teacher talking. He always had very interesting stuff to say.

    Then there’s the commentary on the director’s cut of Donnie Darko that had not only Richard Kelly but also Kevin Smith. They surprisingly bounce off each other well.

    I do know for a fact though, Kevin Smith was supposed to do an audio commentary with Tobe Hooper for a special edition DVD of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 but because he was busy with Clerks 2, he couldn’t do it. But Smith did say in an article Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is his favorite sequel.

  4. You talked about a few Arnold movies but I remember both the pumping iron and Conan commentaries being hilarious. During Conan you can tell the director is rolling his eyes at Arnold left and right.

    If I remember correctly the commentary for Life Aquatic is interesting as well. Wes Anderson recorded it in the middle of a restaurant where he and his co-writer wrote half the movie on napkins or something like that.

  5. I remember showing friends of mine the movie+commentary track for “Cannibal: The Musical” and they had tears in their eyes from laughing so hard. Even 10 years afterwards, they said that they still show it to new friends whenever they come over. Hands down one of the best.

    That being said, a close 2nd would have to be any commentary that features the team of John Carpenter and Kurt Russel. The one they did for The Thing, I’m pretty sure they were drinking because they were getting kinda loopy towards the end.. lol..

    Lastly, the commentary for the “uncensored” version of Dodgeball is a bit of a weird one because halfway through, Vince Vaughan and Ben Stiller quit and they end up playing roughly 45 minutes of the Farrely Bros. commentary track for “Something About Mary” because they said it was really well done.

  6. I came here to mention the Dodgeball one. It’s a basically a joke where they pretend to fall out with each other and then play commentary from Something About Mary after 45 minutes, after they all storm out. But they did record a real commentary as well, which is an easter egg on the DVD.

    The Ghostbusters commentary had a feature on the 1999 dvd release where you can see the silhouettes of Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman and Joe Medjuck, Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. I believe the Muppets in Space Commentary has a similar feature with its commentary.

  7. I watched Last Jedi with the commentary, hoping Rian Johnson would talk about some of the controversies relating to the movie, but it was clearly recorded before the movie came out, so it just talked about things in the movie. I think the best features are twenty or more years later, when they get the cast and crew to discuss a movie, and its lasting effects on culture, and whether the director really was amazing, like they always say in the contemporary making of crap, or if he really was a dick, and stuff like that.

  8. Do yourself a favor and listen to the Orgasmo commentary. I loved it, they talk about filming the scene with the old lady who swears at Joe, and I laughed my ass off.

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