The typical special edition DVD will have commentary tracks, bloopers, deleted scenes, and one or more “making of” documentaries. But sometimes the producers of the DVD will go a bit further. For example, Robin Hood includes a documentary on the history of Technicolor, while The Right Stuff features one on John Glenn. My favorite, though is the interactive history of pirates feature on Pirates of the Caribbean. What’s your favorite unusual DVD feature?
***The Killers * ** includes: two other versions of the movie, one by Andrei Tarkovsky and one by Don Siegel; and a radio presentation starring, IIRC, Shelley Winters.
All That Heaven Will Allow includes an interview with Todd Haynes, whose Far From Heaven was based in part on ATHWA; and an essay by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, whose **Ali: fear Eats the Soul ** was also based on the Sirk.
I seem to remember being impressed with the depth and breadth of the extras on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but it was so long ago I don’t remember what they were specifically.
My favorite was an Easter egg on the Troy DVD. In the movie there is a scene showing the Greek armada approaching Troy. Nothing terribly special, but in the Easter egg, they had the same shot, except that the CGI people had replaced all the Greek triremes with giant yellow rubber duckies.
This alone makes the DVD worthwhile, IMO.
Another favorite is the short film Vowellet, which was included on The Incredibles DVD. I’ve always liked listening to Sarah Vowell, and stumbling across this was a very pleasant surprise.
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Lego.”
The latest DVD of The Little Mermaid has an animated short called The Little Match Girl. The first time I saw it, when it ended, I was like “Whoa, that was really sad.” The second time I saw it, mostly to confirm what I thought I saw, I had to leave the room afterwards so my little girls wouldn’t wonder why daddy’s crying. It just killed me. The saddest cartoon I’ve ever seen.
In short, a poor girl trying to sell match sticks in a city in the dead of winter lights her matches to keep warm. This triggers a series of increasingly elaborate fantasies involving cozy home and hearth and her loving grandmother until finally grandmother comes to take her away. The film closes with the girl sitting in the snow, hunched over, frozen to death. And it’s set to some doleful Russian violin music.
Maybe not a ‘favorite’ per se, but it’s beautiful and tragic and it made me totally forget the DVD it came with in the first place.
Spinal Tap In Character Commentary. It was sodding awesome.
The Little Match Girl was produced for theatrical release by Disney. It was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost to the National Film Board of Canada’s The Danish Poet. It’s nice to see that animated short films are still being made in this day and age.
The latest release of the original King Kong has a “restoration” of some missing scenes, including the infamous spider pit sequence, made by Peter Jackson’s team at Weta using the techniques of the original.
Mack - I, too like that “Little Match Girl” short. Not only is it true to HCA’s story, but it’s beautifully animated.
The Incredibles includes a hysterical “Clutch Cargo”-esq cartoon that is spot-on. And the commentary by Mr. Incredible and Frozone is a hoot.
Man on Fire. Scenes left out that would have changed the whole movie.
By the way, you can buy the short movie by itself at the iTunes movie store for $1.99
Although, yes, commentaries are the norm, the fact that in addition to the regular cast and crew commentary, Dark City ** had Roger flippin’ Ebert giving a commentary was pretty golden.
The somewhat obscure cult favourite Dust Devil comes in a 5 Disc set. The best feature isn’t the alternative cut of the film, the soundtrack CD or the comic book, but the documentaries made by the director. They have absolutely nothing to do with the film, but thet are amazing. There’s The Secret Glory, The Voice of the Moon and The White Darkness.
The 2-disc set of Hannibal (the sequel to Silence of the Lambs) contains a whole bunch of alternate movie posters – seeing the different themes explored in different combinations and comparing them to the final outcome, from a graphic design point of view, is pretty awesome.
But the hands-down coolest thing ever is a montage of “Flashframes,” the footage from between the time the director yells “cut” to when the camera is shut off. Put together in approximately chronological order, they’re set to a piece of music called “Clarice,” written by the music editor. It’s hard to describe, but the effect is very cool.
His Dark City commentary is excellent. He also gives a commentary on Citizen Kane. He’s been doing shot-by-shot lectures on that movie for years, so he has great information to share and knows exactly when to share it. It’s really one of the most educational, informative commentaries I’ve heard, but it’s always entertaining, and makes the movie even more amazing.
Not exactly a formal “extra”, but I crack up just thinking of the opening of Zoolander. If you leave the disc in, you get in-character instructions.
“Welcome to the wonderful world of Di-VID…”
My favorite is Bruce Campbell as Elvis doing the commentary for Bubba Ho-Tep.
stays in charecter for the whole film, munching on goodies…good laughs.
In Boogie Nights there is an easter egg where Floyd (the older producer who later goes to jail for child pornography) is introducing Dirk at an awards show. He is just drooling over the man, preferencing each statement with, “I’m not gay, but…” It’s hilarious.
One extra that I thought was fun was the commentary track from Muppets From Space. Basically, you can watch the movie with the director, Kermit (briefly), Gonzo, and Rizzo the Rat. Through the magic of the subtitle track, they appear as silhouettes at the bottom of the screen, just like you’re sitting behind them in a movie theater.
I used to pop in Mallrats just to watch Jay and Silent Bob dance to “Build Me Up Buttercup”. That was a hilarious video.
The extra goodies on Pixar DVDs are so totally worth the price of the disc. There’s almost too many to list…the extra cartoons, the credit gags, the animation glitches, the commercial teasers, the studio glimpses, the promo reels…