TOP 15 FAVORITE DVD Commentaries! Part 3 of 3!

Completing (Yay! Finally!!) the list of 15 favorite DVD commentaries!! Here are selections 11-15.

THE LION IN WINTER- A seminal film, the finest performances of all involved and commentary by the director, Anthony Harvey. The Lion in Winter

T-MEN/RAW DEAL- Not a commentary per se, the excellent 2 part DARK REFLECTIONS audio/video essay by mystery writer Max Allen Collins is a must listen as it examines two of the best films by the legendary team of director Anthony Mann and Director of Photography John Alton. Very, very informative covering film noir, Dick Tracy, Eisner’s Spirit and more.Anthony Mann Film Noir Double Feature: Raw Deal/T-Men

DESCENT- 2 director commentaries, one with cast, one with crew. The crew commentary is more than a bit bland, the cast commentary is definitely more lively with a bunch of giggling, possibly tipsy, actresses, and it takes a bit to determine who is who, but still an enjoyable insight into this fantastic film. The Descent (Original Unrated Widescreen Edition)

SEVEN- no less than 4 great commentaries to choose from! Seven (New Line Platinum Series)-this is the only version that has all four commentaries

KING OF NEW YORK- great commentary by maverick director Abel Ferrara.King of New York (Special Edition)

Well that’s it! The wrap up of the 15 Favorite Commentaries!! The links to previous sections are below, and feel free to suggest your own favorite commentary!

Thanks for viewing and if you like this post, take the time to give a ‘like’ and also take the time to purchase using the links provided.


Here’s Part I!

Here’s Part II!

David Fincher’s THE SOCIAL NETWORK and Matthew Vaughn’s X-MEN FIRST CLASS

Well I finally got around to watching both THE SOCIAL NETWORK and X-MEN FIRST CLASS. They were both from day one not on my must see list. The hype machine notwistanding, I’m relatively good at being able to look at previews/trailers and being able to smell a film that really isn’t worth my theater dollars.

And unfortunately having seen both films (rented them from the Library for $1.50), I was correct to avoid them in the theater.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK is the better of the two, and is in fact better than I thought it would be, I mean a film on FACEBOOK, comeon. However David Fincher does make this an interesting film throughout, however it never really becomes more than that. It’s not a film I’m going to return to, or have any desire to watch again. So a good film, but by no means a great or memorable film. David Fincher exploded with his 2nd film SEVEN (easily his masterpiece), and I was quite enamored of the films immediately following that, THE GAME, FIGHT CLUB, and to a lesser degree PANIC ROOM.

Unfortunately every film since, has been a little less effective and less interesting than the one before… from ZODIAC to BENJAMIN BUTTON to now SOCIAL NETWORK, there’s a gradual but definite decline.

David Fincher I once considered one of the best directors working, but I just don’t see it anymore. Though I hold out hope that THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO shall be a return to greatness for him, being the first film of his in over a decade that I’m actually excited by the trailer. Time will tell. But as far as SOCIAL NETWORK, it’s a Grade: B at best, a capable enough film but not something I’ll be purchasing.

That brings us to Matthew Vaughn’s X-MEN FIRST CLASS, another hailed film that the trailers to me looked awful. I had some issues with Matthew Vaughn’s KICK ASS but overall it was a good, and well done film, capably written. The main problem I have with X-MEN FIRST CLASS is the very stereotypical and boring and to an extent offensive choices it makes, in terms of script and story beats.

The clue is really in the number of writers who worked on the script and story, something like half a dozen writers… never a good sign. I have a lot of problems with the film, but the main thing is this: it is so heavy handed, unsubtle, and so… by the numbers it’s insulting. Here’s a movie about embracing differences, and how do we do that… by pulling the old, to the point of decrepitude bigot writing ploy of killing off the sole Black male character and making the sole female Black character a hor and a villain.

It’s just unworthy of all involved to crank out such stale stereotyping, and that it takes six writers to do so is just sad. People bash on X-MEN III, X-MEN III is a masterpiece compared to this.

Some good performances and a nice beginning unfortunately can’t rise above a halfbaked plot, and creaky dialogue. Final Grade: C-/D+. Catch it for free.

So both films I ultimately suggest, watching if there’s nothing better on, and you can catch it for free, but otherwise… Avoid.

Today’s Recommended Movie Trailer: THE TEXAS KILLING FIELDS

I’m surprisingly lukewarm on most of the films announced for release for the remainder of the year.

Outside of the previously mentioned MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, nothing else is really exciting me or registering as a must see in the theater.

That said THE TEXAS KILLING FIELDS, offers a compelling looking trailer, with some solid actors. A thriller about a string of murders along the bad lands of Texas, the premise bringing to mind something between Fincher’s ZODIAC and SEVEN, which is a pretty good vibe for a trailer to leave you with.

In addition the trailer views much better than most of the big budget tent poles of the fall.

It’s directed by newcomer Ami Canaan Mann, who just so happens to be the daughter of one of my favorite directors, Michael Mann (MANHUNTER, MIAMI VICE, COLLATERAL) and if the trailer is anything to go by, she’s going to be a Director to be reckoned with.

Check out the trailer for it here.

Favorite Movie Title Sequences / Opening Credits

Favorite Movie Title Sequences/Credit Sequences

WOLVERINE- Director Gavin Hood’s X-MEN ORIGINS:WOLVERINE is a mediocre, relatively forgettable film that sports uneven direction and muddled writing/plot. However, the opening title sequence, done not by the director, is another matter entirely; being quite frankly brilliant. You’ll find yourself wanting to rewatch that title sequence constantly, while wanting to completely remove the rest of the film.

Peter Berg’s THE KINGDOM opening credits give in scant minutes a compelling, and brilliantly designed overview and background to the film he’s about to show you, and more to the conflict that has gripped the world since the latter half of the 20th century. It’s an amazing an ambitious credit sequence, if perhaps a bit heavy to really engender re-watchability, which a great title sequence should be… above all else.

LORD OF WAR- A great sequence follows the pov/life history of a bullet. Has been loudly applauded in many quarters and with good reason. It’s an instant classic.

SEVEN- A great movie and a great (and much copied) credit sequence. Perhaps the most influential of all the sequences on this list. Which is perhaps why it doesn’t seem as brilliant now, because so many people have stolen/borrowed this style. But the original is still the best.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE- Coming off the success of the first film, this one was subjected to all kinds of criticism, even before the film came out, including the title sequence. I quite like the film, it has flaws but I quite enjoy it. It falls apart at the end, but is still strong enough throughout most of it. And I LOVE the credit sequence. There was a lot of gnashing of teeth about Alicia Keys, but her amazing vocals along with songwriter Jack Black’s compulsive lyrics, above those sultry and sensual visuals just works, and is quintessential Bond. In fact I think it is my favorite Bond Credit sequence. A credit sequence I could watch on repeat darn near constantly.

SAHARA- By all reports an average film, it sports a fantastic floating tracking shot among the artifacts of a room. Seemingly simple, but brilliantly done.

HOSTAGE- The poster says a lot about what’s wrong with this film, it is unfocused and seems a bit pointless. That said the credit sequence is among the best ever put to film. It is brilliant.

Go to the members section of this blog for how to view any and all of these sequences (sign up and I’ll send details). However you view them, avoid crappy flash versions like you’ll find on Youtube. Just say no to Flash and its derivatives. 🙂

And Feel free to leave your comments about your favorite credit sequences. 🙂