In the beginning of the decade I used to actually listen to the director's comments on DVDs. I've always had an interest in the creative process of filmmaking and so I thought they had something to offer me, something that would give the film I was watching a new dimension. So, I listened to John Carpenter discussing what he did in the making of "Halloween", I nodded with respect as Ridley Scott explained what he had intended in making "Blade Runner".
However, while director's comments were a novelty with the early release of DVD's they are now expected, and worse, the entire cast sometimes sounds off on the experience of the film. While I understand the value of listening to Carpenter discuss "Halloween" or Guillermo del Toro explaining what he was working on through "The Devil's Backbone" or "Pan's Labyrinth" , do I really need to understand the subtleties of "The Transformers", "Naked Gun" or "Bad Santa"? Really? Do I want to hear cast members sitting in a studio, drinking and recalling the pranks they pulled on one another or the childhood memories that made them the B Actors they are? Really?
Could you imagine writers doing the same? Think about reading a text annotated by the author himself. Annotation: "Yeah, I remember writing this paragraph. I'd just broken up with my girl and I was feeling a little self-destructive. I wrote the first two sentences in about a minute, but the remainder? A week of agonizing reappraisal.
With the advent of Blu-Ray and its increased capacity for data, once again the "extras" are coming into play. More "making of" features, more commentaries, and more of everything...except what people really want in most cases: compelling stories, riveting characters, and a satisfying emotional experience.
I'm done pontificating. I'm off to listen to the commentary on my copy of "Titanic". I'm feeling a little self-destructive.