...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hype, unplugged.

Have you ever played a DVD movie with the filmmakers’ commentary track running? I avoided doing it until last weekend. I thought, how boring, to sit through the entire movie again with people talking about every detail. Do I need this?

Last Sunday my wife and I watched “Good Night, and Good Luck,” and enjoyed it. Excellent movie. Then, because we had time, we decided to run the with-commentary version. As likeable as George Clooney and his co-producer Grant Heslov are, and though I chuckled at their Hollywood-hip banter ("…that’s me, the former Sexiest Man Alive…"), and as interesting as some production details were to me, I’m not particularly eager to listen to another DVD commentary track.

Sure, it’s good to know that, instead of using special effects, the producers had Dianne Reeves singing mood-enhancing songs right on the set--getting shots of actors acting and Reeves singing behind them in the next “studio,” simultaneously. In other words, shooting this movie using old live-television-drama techniques. Admirable, though it says as much about the size of the movie’s budget as Clooney and company’s commitment to their art. Yes, I liked learning that.

What I don’t want again is Hollywood projection room chatter with my movies, any more than I want to hear smartass comments from the guy sitting behind me in a theatre.

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