Friday, 11 May 2012

General: DVD Extras

Just out of curiosity, I'd like to know what my readers think about the extras included on DVDs and Blu-ray discs? Do you always watch them? Never watch them? Only watch them for your favourite films? If the extras are on a separate disc do you load it at all?

Please answer me, and you can give different answers for the different types of extras:

* Audio commentaries
* Deleted scenes
* Alternate endings
* "Making of" Features
* Interviews with cast and crew
* Photo galleries

I think that's all the common categories. If I've forgotten any I'll add them later.

What I'm trying to get at is that DVD reviews always make a big deal about the extras, criticising releases that don't have any, but does anyone really care? Speaking for myself, I have a very large collection of DVDs, I watch a lot of films, and I just don't have the time to watch lengthy extras for every film in my possession. But I'll answer for the above categories:

1. I almost never listen to audio commentaries. The main exception is if the commentary is by Joe Bob Briggs. His commentaries are usually more entertaining than the films themselves. I can also recommend the commentary by Adam West and Burt Ward on the 1966 Batman film.

2. I sometimes watch the deleted scenes of films that I enjoy. Usually after I watch the first scene I know whether the others are worth it. In most cases the deleted scenes were removed with good reason.

3. I almost always watch alternate endings, if available. I find it fascinating to see different resolutions to stories. Usually I agree that the ending used is better than the alternatives that the director also shot. "Joy Ride" has about half a dozen different endings, not as satisfying as the one actually used, but interesting to watch. One example where the alternate ending is far better is "Scott Pilgrim vs The World".

4. I occasionally watch the Making Of features. This is usually if I recognise the locations used in a film or want to know more about them.

5. I only watch interviews with the cast and crew if it's one of my favourite actors or directors. I'll watch any interview with Leelee Sobieski, Jim Carrey or Russ Meyer.

6. Photo galleries? Never! They're boring!

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