Anyone else not really care about DVD extras?

I like “making of” things as much as the next guy, but I gotta say, usually the stuff they’re doing to try to get me to buy a DVD is stuff I’m not at all interested in. My experience is that deleted scenes were usually deleted for a good reason, and while sometimes trailers can be interesting (for example, the Die Hard DVD revealed that the trailer for that movie was really, really awful), they’re not a deal-winner.

As for commentary tracks, the LAST thing I usually want to hear is a director talking about his movie. I’d pay NOT to hear that, usually.

This came up because we rented ‘The Dish’ and someone was complaining about the lack of extras on the DVD. I was like, “What on earth did you want? The movie was really good, are you saying it would be better if there was the possibility of hearing Sam Neill talk about it?”

I, for one, will often base a DVD buy on the extras that are included. While it may not interest you, there are a number of people who have a serious interest in the art of film making, and others who want to know how actors prepare for a role.
If a movie that I want is available from Criterion, that is what I will buy since they usually include commentary and storyboards and other behind the scenes stuff.

A witch! Burn him!!!

Just kidding. As a casual-to-serious student of film, I enjoy hearing directors talk about their work. I also enjoy hearing the producer, the screenwriter, the cinematographer, and other creative and technical personnel, including the actors. They help me discover how the movie became the movie it ended up being.

Deleted scenes are interesting because they can show what an enormous effect editing has on a movie. Lopping off two or three seconds here, moving this scene from here to there, can really change the flow of what you see on the screen.

As an example, on the Close Encounters DVD, there is a deleted scene in which Claude Lacombe (Francois Truffaut) and David Laughlin (Bob Balaban) meet for the first time in a limousine parked on the tarmac where Air East 31 (from the air traffic control scene) has just landed. Lacombe has Laughlin read a passage from a French romance novel, to show that he can translate “not only his words but his emotions.” This scene was cut, and much of the dialogue was then placed in the scene at the very beginning of the film, where the researchers discover the planes in Mexico. It would have made for a very different feel for the movie had it been left in.

Another example: The commentaries on the Fight Club and Seven DVDs are indispensable to fans of the movies and students of film. And the commentaries on Kevin Smith’s DVDs are just plain hilarious.

I love the extras if they’re done well, and I like hearing what intelligent directors have to say about their work.

Seems like most of my DVDs don’t have deleted scenes, so that’s not really an issue for me. But when there are deleted scenes, they can be interesting even when you see a good reason why they were left out.

The menus can be a fun value-add as well. The menu for Wayne’s World is made to look like the Prevue Channel, and every choice in the menu is a different “channel.” The top half of the screen has ads for local businesses in the Aurora, Illinois area and Aurora Cable service advisories. Who could not find that amusing and charming?

:raises hand: My name is delphica, and I don’t really care about DVD extras.

I thought I would care. I imagined them being a vast wealth of both useful information and fun trivia about film. Mr. Del is some sort of crazed film freak, so we have lots of DVDs and he always watches all the extras. I usually fall asleep on the couch. Just to give you an idea, there are usually two films per evening viewed in our house. The huge majority of extra features (from what I have seen) simply aren’t that well done.

I suspect that people make these “making of” and commentary tracks very quickly, to get them slapped onto the DVD and thus enable them to advertise Oodles of Special Features. We just watched the making of featurette from The Last Picture Show and it was mostly one actor after another saying “oh, I loved making that movie. It was such a great movie. I’m proud to have made that movie. A lot of great people worked on that movie.” Which is nice and all, but it’s sort of like going to someone else’s high school reunion.

There’s a new-ish series of Alfred Hitchcock releases, all of which have a feature about the making of the film. Every actor or crewperson from the film comes on camera and tears up and says what a wonderful guy Hitch was. Again, very touching, but some of these are more than an hour long.

There are a few that are clever and/or interesting. Some of them are more interesting if you have a particular interest in a specific actor or director. The Nosferatu DVD comes to mind – if you are already a rabid fan, the extras are very engaging.

Another question: Is a photo montage of stills from the film really a special feature? I’ll agree it’s a feature, but I refuse to believe there is anything special about seeing still photos from a film I just watched.

One special feature I could do without is Matrix-style easter eggs. I don’t want to have to press a button everytime the bouncing ball appears onscreen just to see the extras, thank you.

Director/writer commentaries are the most important extra for me, followed by deleted scenes. (And widescreen, of course, which sadly looks like it’s heading for special feature status as well.)

On the five star edition of Die Hard, there is a fantastic special feature which allows you to piece together several scenes from various pieces of original footage and then view your scene in comparison to the finished view. It really brings home the art of editing, something that I feel I really didn’t understand on a visceral level until I fiddled with this feature.

Count me in also as one who scrutinizes the special feature list and often bases buying decisions on that.

Also, to be cynical, often the studio will release a “bare bones” version and then later a “special feature” edition to get rabid fans to buy the same movie twice. So it sometimes pays to be patient.

Special features make no difference to me. I’ll use the special features if they are there (I especially like seeing deleted scenes), but extras (or the lack thereof) don’t affect my decision to purchase a movie at all. If I have a bare-bones DVD and the company releases a Super Terrific Happy Platinum Deluxe Edition with more bonus features, I’m not going to buy it again.

I don’t think the special features are all that important, either. There are only a handful of films where the director’s commentary is of any interest (and many of those – like “Citizen Kane,” “Psycho,” “Singin’ in the Rain”, etc. – there is no directors commentary). Similarly, for most movies, the “making of” documentary is a waste of time. The trailers can be interesting, but you can get them on VCR tapes. Also, if you’re renting a DVD, you don’t usually have the time to listen to the commentary (and there’s something wrong with wanting to see a movie twice during the rental period – you just don’t have enough time to digest things before another viewing).

I usually don’t care about the “making of…” type stuff. But I do enjoy the deleted scenes. Especially for a interesting movie they explain a lot, for instance how Dirk’s corvette got smashed up in Boogie Nights.

Trailers are okay – I like seeing how the movie was originally promoted – but deleted scenes aer take 'em or leave 'em material.

A good director’s commentary, however, is worth its weight in gold for me. Like some of the other posters have said, I like hearing about how the movie was made, and what influenced/affected a particilar scene or bit or whatever. I positively gorged myself over Disney/Pixar’s The Ultimate Toy Box because of all the super-cool “making of” material it had, all of which was well-presented. Conversely, a lousy commentary track (see Men In Black for an example) is a complete and utter letdown.

Oh, and widescreen is always preferred.

I love trailers and deleted scenes. Some movies delete scenes that would help us understand the movie more (like Disturbing Behavior, love it or hate it, which has a few that explain the villian a lot better) but I don’t like the director’s commentary. Ever. Even when I’m watching “Exposure” I tend to zone on the interviews with the makers of the shorts. I don’t need anyone to explain their art to me to enjoy it more.

I don’t care for them. I love DVDs. I have sworn off VHS. My favorite thing about DVDs? No rewinding!

I once watched “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” (on laserdisc, actually) and we couldn’t figure out how to turn of Mel Brooks’ annoying commentary. However, I absolutely loved the extra cartoons that Pixar provided on their DVDs as well as behind-the-scenes information about how they created the film. So in a nutshell:

[li]Extra cartoons[/li][li]Behind-the-scenes information[/li][li]Actor test screenings[/li]
[li]Deleted scenes[/li][li]Director commentary[/li][li]Interviews with the actors/director[/li]Film trailers

First and foremost, I get DVDs for the movie itself. Extras are just that.

A good director’s commentary is the most important extra for me; if I enjoy a film, I generally enjoy hearing about the experiences making it. And if it’s a bad one, no great loss. Second place are deleted scenes, because they definitely show the power of editting. One of my favorite extras on the Fight Club discs is a collection of scenes in the film, with multiple “angles” used to show their states at various stages of production, with the different audio tracks featuring technical crew discussing what went into them.

“Making ofs” are usually pretty pointless, but there are exceptions–the “Battle of Brazil” documentary included on the Criterion edition of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil is a high point of that set.

Not really an extra, but I never used to care about whether a DVD was encoded with anamorphic enhancement…until I saw what a difference it made on a friend’s brand-new widescreen tv. Crikey. Not so much an issue anymore, because you have to search to find newly-pressed discs that aren’t enhanced for widescreen these days.

I’m with Drastic. The movie itself is what I buy/rent DVD’s for. Give me a good transfer of the film, a clear soundtrack, and scene access, and I’m happy. I just finished watching “Thesis”, that’s all it has, and I am satisified because it’s a fantastic movie. The main attraction of the Criterion Collection DVD’s for me is the fantastic picture quality. Compare their “The 39 Steps” to anything else available, and you’ll see it’s well worth the $30.

But I also like extras. “Making of” are fun when they’re well done, as on the “Psycho” DVD (fun fact: Anthony Perkins wasn’t there for the filming of the shower scene because Norman wasn’t there). Commentaries can be a lot of fun, and not just director commentaries. Roger Ebert’s commentary on “Dark City” makes for increased appreciation, and any Hong Kong import with a Ric Myers commentary is worth seeing. “This Is Spinal Tap” has a commentary track done by the characters in the film, and “Ghostbusters” has two commentaries, one done MST3K style and a second done with subtitles containing essentially the same information, allowing you to get the film soundtrack and commentary information at the same time.

Shorts are fun, too. The Criterion version of “Carnival of Souls”, besides having the theatrical and director’s cuts, includes a bunch of safety films made by the director, and they’re pretty entertaining for industrial safety films; you can see sparks of talent there. “Rush Hour” has a student film by Brett Ratner, which is badly inept, confirming my suspicion that Jackie Chan’s screen presense is the only thing that keeps that film alive.

Well done menus can be fun. On “What Dreams May Come” you can choose from Heaven or Hell menus. You know you’re hooked when you eject the dvd just so you can reload just to see what the other menus looked like. “Memento” and all the James Bond special editions are good examples of interesting things done with the menus.

And let me add my praise for the deleted scenes from “Boogie Nights”. There are two gems. The first has Don Cheadle trying to explain to Julianne Moore why her car stereo is having problems (too many “quads per channel”) and the second is a 10 minute continuous take of Dirk Diggler trying to play a bar scene, and botching it over and over.

The deleted scenes on “Unbreakable” are also good stuff. Check out the ‘carnival’ scene–yeesh!

Alternate endings are also interesting. The original ending of “What Dreams May Come” is 10x the ending in the theatrical version. But the original endings of “Final Destination” and “Army of Darkness” are both inferior to the ending that was in the theatrical release.

I, too, like the deleted scenes.

Like someone mentioned earlier, the Kevin Smith movies are great for extra features. Just watched Dogma on DVD, and they’ve got this hilarious Fat Albert scene that they had to cut for time reasons.

But I mainly buy DVD’s because of the clear picture and the (hopefully) longevity of the media. I’ve had too many VHS tapes wear out.

I will buy any DVD with extras that include Cameron Diaz!

I enjoy deleted scenes and some commentaries. To a lesser extent I like ‘Making of’ segments. I don’t care about storyboards or trailers, though (except for the Japanese trailer for Vampire Hunter D).

One feature I’ve only seen on one DVD so far that I really appreciated was encapsulated translations of signs in ‘Akira’ - you pressed a button when the symbol came on and it would tell you what the sign said. In many cases this really added a lot to the movie.