10 DVD/Blu-ray Audio Commentaries You Have To Hear

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 15th, 2013 at 11:53 pm,

5) Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe – Gladiator

I should start off by letting you know Gladiator is my favorite film of all time. Regardless of that, the commentary here is profoundly informative and instructive. On the extended DVD release and the Sapphire Series Blu-ray, Ridley Scott explores his creative process while Russell Crowe plays the comedic relief. But instead of just being funny, Crowe does most of the talking. He shares on-set stories and points out mistakes for the public to know.

You hear a lot about Crowe being a terror on film sets, but from all the outtakes and documentaries and commentaries I’ve heard him on, the man seems like a cool guy. The commentary is laid back, but gets into the grit of filming on location and in the heat of Europe. There are plenty of memorable snippets and the comedic aspect keeps it well-rounded and lively.

The two teamed up again for Robin Hood, which releases May 14, 2010.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Joh Milius Conan 10 DVD/Blu ray Audio Commentaries You Have To Hear

4) Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Milius – Conan the Barbarian

“I was getting laid a lot in this movie, ah? It was amazing.”

You may be wondering how Conan the Barbarian made this list. Well, you’re just going to have to trust me. This is the second funniest commentary you’ll ever hear. And it’s hardly on purpose. Not only does Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice always evoke laughter from me, but he may very well be on some drugs. The first lines of this commentary provide reason enough to give this DVD a chance. There’s even a drinking game to enjoy throughout. I actually bought it solely for the director and actor audio track. If buying it isn’t part of your idea of a good time, simply watch this collection of moments:

3) Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens – Lord of the Rings trilogy

The director and two producer/writers keep the energy bearable and the information fascinating over 683 minutes of the trilogy discussing the incredible five-year production. From selling the scripts to casting decisions, a 15-month shoot to revolutionizing the art of motion capture, and a handful of visual effects discussions, these three know everything you need to know about the fantasy tale. And I mean everything.

While The Matrix provides the most comprehensive special features in a box set to date, this commentary is the most all-inclusive in its own right. And it would make sense for one of the most cherished and important film franchises ever.

quentin tarantino 10 DVD/Blu ray Audio Commentaries You Have To Hear

2) Quentin Tarantino – True Romance

Some people like to give Quentin Tarantino a tough time for his eccentricity and hyperactive nerd personality. Personally, I think he is the most entertaining and knowledgeable person in the entire entertainment industry. When you listen to him talk movies, there is no way to get distracted. He requires complete focus and intent to learn when he speaks. Naturally, when Tarantino talks throughout a film he wrote, you’re going to get a lot of good stuff.

Not only is he one of the most proud filmmakers out there, but this is (at the time of recording) his own best work. During the famous Christopher Walken/Dennis Hopper conversation scene, he goes off about how that story came about and why it is so great. he then proceeds to stop talking and watch the scene.

According to Tarantino, this is the most personal script he wrote. There is more of him in it than any other he wrote and he would have sold it for the lowest possible amount just to prove to himself he was a real writer. It’s fascinating to listen to one of the most impressive and enjoyable filmmakers gush about himself only moments after bashing his ability.

Tropic Thunder cast 10 DVD/Blu ray Audio Commentaries You Have To Hear

1) Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Ben Stiller- Tropic Thunder

There is just no question about it, this is the greatest commentary track ever recorded. Not only does director/actor Ben Stiller provide a heavy amount of detailed information on the production, but Jack Black acts as the ball bouncing back and forth between informative and comedic.

Most importantly, Robert Downey Jr. provides a second act to his performance as Sgt. Lincoln Osiris that puts the This Is Spinal Tap commentary in the gutter. Downey constantly refers to situations on set as the actor playing the dude disguised as the other dude, staying true to that acting dude’s in-movie remark that he doesn’t drop character until after the DVD commentary.

I laughed quite a lot in the actual movie, but the laughter was almost non-stop in the commentary, ultimately leading to watery eyes and a confused neighbor who knocked on my door asking what’s so funny. If you still need a reason to rent or buy Tropic Thunder, the commentary is absolutely it.

Well, that’s it. Hopefully one of these will get you to the store and buying a new DVD or maybe searching through some you already own. Have you got any favorite DVD commentaries? Disagree with the list above? Let us know in the comments section below.

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TAGS: lord of the rings, the matrix, tropic thunder, watchmen


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  1. OMG the Arnie commentary is AWESOME!

    “This is where the ORGY takes plaaaace….she's in ecstasssyyyy”….


  2. “She's gonna die now….


  3. 'Used Cars' with commentary by Kurt Russell and Robert Zemeckis is the single funniest commentary I have ever heard. It's usually on lists like these.

  4. I completely agree, the Dr Horrible Sing along commentary was fan freaking tastic!

  5. Hey, I read somewhere that the Blu Ray version of Tropic Thunder actually doesn't have as much special features as the Director's Cut DVD, is this true?? I want to buy it and want the Blu Ray but don't want to miss out on the extra features…

  6. If you can go Blu-ray, you really should. The cinematography is beautiful and the special features it is are the ones that count. You won't be disappointed.

  7. the commentary for clerks II was also hysterical.

  8. Definitely with you on the Wright/Pegg front! They always give you your money's worth with DVD extras. I particularly like the idea of separate commentary tracks for the “senior cast members”, and even one on Hot Fuzz for the two police officers who acted as technical advisers. The guest commentaries on the Special Edition of Spaced sound good – I've just got the standard job. That Kevin Smith gets everywhere: he showed up on the Director's Cut of Donnie Darko as well, dropping f-bombs alongside Richard Kelly for no apparent reason…

    The first Hellboy movie's cast commentary is a lot of fun; Jeffrey Tambor and Ron Perlman are in especially fine form.

  9. Thanks for those, Mike – the Arnie clip's a classic. Tropic Thunder's going to have to be my next purchase, I think!

    A personal favourite is the commentary Steven Soderbergh and James Cameron did for the former's Solaris remake. Not the 90 minutes of techspeak I'd expected at all, but a real exploration of the movie's themes and a lot of insight into both directors' very different approaches to moviemaking. Cameron's much-publicised outbreaks of werewolfism notwithstanding, here he's very generous towards Soderbergh and the actors.

  10. I haven't seen “Dark City”, but Ebert has a very good and insightful commentary on “Citizen Kane”.

  11. Mike – check it out for sure, you'll love it.

    Kevin – you are correct, that's another good one. DARK CITY was one that really took me by surprise. I remember thinking (when I first bought the DVD) “Why is Roger Ebert doing a commentary for this?” I expected it to be awkward and ill-fitting. It turned out to be one I listen to repeatedly. Amazing in every way. You won't look at the film the same way again.

  12. The Mel Gibson commentary on Braveheart is the greatest commentary I've ever heard. But I've never listened to the Tropic Thunder commentary, I'm gonna get that tomorrow.

  13. So, when you say the features it has are the ones that count, that means the DVD version does have more special features? What are missing? Is the commentary in question still included in the blu-ray version?

  14. The commentary is on the Blu-ray. I can't remember what is different, but it is minimal. I really just think you should go blu-ray whenever you can.

  15. Any of the John Waters commentaries are worth a listen. (his movies or the one he did for Mommie Dearest) I also enjoyed Paul Reubens and Tim Burton on PeeWee's Big Adventure.

  16. Oh ok, thanks, and you're talking about the regular theatrical version Blu Ray and not the Director's Cut right? I read in the reviews many people who thought the Director's Cut wasn't as funny as the regular version, and I'm not sure if that one will have the commentary or not…

  17. Okay…this list is great, but there are three movies that definitely should've made this list. First is THE EVIL DEAD. Bruce Campbell's commentary is hilarious as well as informative. Second, BUBBA HO-TEP. While Bruce Campbell and Don Coscarelli's commentary is good, it's Bruce Campbell as Elvis Presley's commentary that rocks it! Finally, UHF. “Weird Al” Yankovic's only movie has a hilarious and highly informative commenary with Al and director Jay Levy. Al does most of the talking and it's amazing to realize that Al remembers the exact addresses of where they filmed each scene at! All three of those were great and deserve a spot on this Top 10 list.

  18. As an absolute film nut, reading these comments and the article, I'm almost embarrassed to say that I've never watched a film with the commentary on.
    I get so caught up watching a movie that I've always just thought it'd be a distraction. There's over a thousand films upstairs (including nine of the films mentioned in the article, will have to buy Tropic Thunder) that I'm gonna have to watch over. Hey, that's why I bought 'em!
    That's why this website is so good. The article, the comments from obvious fellow film lovers, it just broadens your knowledge.
    Thanks guys (and gals).

    • In reply to Brownrhino-

      I am commenting on a comment made by a commentor commenting on some comments made by a movie-commentary website doing a list about DVD Commentaries because I AM SO HORRIBLY BORED and am waiting for some email replies.

      The commentary is never a distraction because you only ever end up clicking “commentary on” after you have already viewed the blu-ray (10) or so times and the special features at least (5) times.

      The purpose of watching it is that you ARE EXTREMELY BORED and it has to be better than f’n Law & Order reruns on TNT, TBS, and USA or EXTENSE infomercials on all of the Viacom stations.

      It’s not like you can follow along with the movie and commentary at the same time if you haven’t already seen the actual movie at least five times and already know the next scene coming and/or can repeat the lines.

      Watching the commentary is like watching a completely different movie altogether.

      I completely agree with the TROPIC THUNDER at #1 selection… it is why I am even at this site in the first place.

      I just watched it again for the 3rd time and thought to myself… “This has to be one of the best DVD Commentaries I have ever heard, I wonder if anyone else feels the same?”.

      The FLOW of the INSIGHT it is what makes it great. FLOW is what the OCEANS 11 commentary is missing; because Brad seems to not want to be there with the other two and seems to be pissed that he is stuck there doing it with those guys instead of Clooney who was SUPPOSED TO BE THERE. Andy and Matt seem to be intimidated by Brad and don’t really enjoy doing it unless Brad is clearly out of the studio on break smoking a cigarette or something and it is just the two of them.

  19. The Commentaries of Watchmen are really bad!

  20. Another DVD commentary that should not be missed in my opinion is the Apollo 13 commentary by Jim Lovell and his wife Marilyn. Obviously, Jim was there in real life and gives a lot of insight to the mission, and his wife, while not saying too much, offers a really nice touch of what it was like for her personally on the ground, and she gets very emotional several times during the commentary.

    10/10 in my books.

  21. awesome, Matt….I'm getting the blu-ray Apollo 13 release on April 13, so that will be the first thing i do is listen to that. I have it on DVD, but can't wait for blu-ray

  22. dog soldiers audio is utterly hilarious – director+actors version, not producers audio – tho comparing the two gives interesting insight to the obvious disagreements during production.

  23. I saw the directors commentary of the Watchmen with snyder and I couldnt finish it… it would have made the movie I think 5 hours long.. I was watching the movie for seemingly two hours and I still wasnt past the funeral scene.. DAMN! lol

  24. like you, im here for the same reason & like you, i couldnt agree more with TT being #1. gonna def check out movies like conan, braveheart, pee wees big adventure, apollo 13, dark city & uhf. id like to add “lord of war” to the list for those of you who like informative & interesting comms (nope, not done by cage).

  25. You should also check out the Blood Simple In character critic commentary. It is one of the funniest and most bizarre DVD commentaries I’ve ever heard. While it starts of dry and dull as a stock standard film historian commentary it gets very strange when he begins to make stuff up such as the Coen Brothers wanting to get the angles right in the rain so they filmed the opening sequence upside down and backwards. It’s very funny.

  26. The Evil Dead II commentary is pretty rad, as is the Anchorman one. I often listen to it on rainy days. Glad to see the Spinal Tap and Tropic Thunder tracks in this list. There’s something to be said for a performance like that.

  27. My favourite is the Evil Dead 2 commentary on my DVD boxset. Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell basically spend the entire movie making fun of it. It’s really funny!

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  29. Can’t believe Dog Soldiers didn’t make this list, the cast and crew commentary on that is hilarious, mostly because of the actors taking the piss out of each other constantly.