February 6, 2011

Honesty I’d Like to See

I have subscribed to Netflix for a while now. I love being able to stream movies, but there are advantages to receiving disks in the mail. One learns a lot about movie making (and sometimes about the movies themselves) by watching the extra features on DVD and Blu-ray disks.

It is sometimes very interesting to watch a movie with the optional commentary audio track, whether by the actors, the director, producer, writer, or even the actual person whose life is the subject of the movie. (I don’t listen to the commentary for movies I didn’t like a lot to begin with.)

One thing I’ve noticed is that movie commentaries seldom contain any negative remarks. Occasionally, there is a suggestion that budget limitations had some effect on how a movie was shot, but these stories invariably have happy endings.

In particular, the commentators seem invariably to find even actors in bit parts “amazing.” For once, I would like to hear a comment something like this:
“Melvin Smithersen did an adequate job with this part, but he we really would have preferred to have Brad Pitt. He just wasn’t available, and he doesn’t like my work, anyway.”
Or perhaps this:
“Janet Shlumbecker really was terrible here, but her part was small, and we couldn’t afford somebody better. I don’t think it hurt the film too badly.”

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