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Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:55 pm
by Gojira-Fan
What is your favorite commentary track on any of the DVDs/Blu-Rays and why? While I like all of the commentaries, I would have to say my personal favorites would be the Steve Ryfle and/or Ed Godziszewski ones (especially the ones for the original Godzilla, Mothra vs. Godzilla, and Godzilla vs. Megalon).

It's so great to learn about new things while watching the films and both Ryfle and Godziszewski (among many other people who appear on the commentary tracks) provide a lot of insight. Especially with this fandom the same information being repeated over and over again.

Anyway, doesn't seem there is much discussion about the commentary tracks here, but they are probably some of the best extras on the Blu-Ray and DVDs so I thought I'd get the ball rolling with discussing them with other fans.

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:27 am
by omgitsgodzilla
I really enjoy the commentary on Godzilla 2000 -- the guy who does most of the talking is clearly a fan, like Steve, Ed, August and company, but he's so much more casual, plus we get loads of insight into the preparation of the TriStar release.

That's not to say I don't like the commentaries done by the sort of scholar-fan bunch, but they're a lot less spontaneous and clearly heavily scripted, which can lead to some odd delivery -- David Kalat sounds sort of over-the-top on his Criterion 1954 commentaries, while Steve Ryfle's readings are a bit flat at times. They are, however, goldmines of interesting information.

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:17 am
by Gojira-Fan
omgitsgodzilla wrote:I really enjoy the commentary on Godzilla 2000 -- the guy who does most of the talking is clearly a fan, like Steve, Ed, August and company, but he's so much more casual, plus we get loads of insight into the preparation of the TriStar release.

That's not to say I don't like the commentaries done by the sort of scholar-fan bunch, but they're a lot less spontaneous and clearly heavily scripted, which can lead to some odd delivery -- David Kalat sounds sort of over-the-top on his Criterion 1954 commentaries, while Steve Ryfle's readings are a bit flat at times. They are, however, goldmines of interesting information.


Oh, that is a great one! That was an oversight on my part by not mentioning it. You are right about it being more casual than most of the other commentaries, It is also just an interesting and unique perspective. When else are you going to hear about the dubbing process of a Godzilla movie from the dubbers themselves other than on the Godzilla 2000 commentary track?

And you are right about the people on that track being fans. They clearly admire Godzilla films and the history (even name drop Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster at one point). Kind of wish Godzilla 2000 did better so we could have gotten more Americanizations from the same production team. I don't really watch the English-dubbed versions of these films often, but Godzilla 2000 is the exception because I think it is much better than some of the other butchered-edits of the Showa era.

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:10 pm
by GodzillaBurgh
I really enjoy David Kalat's (author of "A Critical History & Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series") audio commentary on GHIDORAH THE THREE HEADED MONSTER. Full of energy and enthusiasm!

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:29 pm
by Gojira-Fan
GodzillaBurgh wrote:I really enjoy David Kalat's (author of "A Critical History & Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series") audio commentary on GHIDORAH THE THREE HEADED MONSTER. Full of energy and enthusiasm!


That is a good one. His delivery is very enthusiastic compared to Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski. However, he does go on tangents a lot that don't have much to do with what we are seeing on the screen. I don't think it is a bad thing, but it does bother some (including the reviewer of the DVD for this site lol).

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:29 am
by GojiDog
Ed and Steve's commentary of the US Version of Godzilla Raids Again tickled me and added to the fun of watching such a wacky edit of the film.

I especially remember when they were watching the horrible cheeseball footage that was cut into the film and one of them said the first time they saw the film "I thought Toho had lost their minds". haha.

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:30 am
by Maritonic
I've never actually watched any commentary on a Godzilla film. I'm weird with commentary; if you're not the filmmaker or actor in the film, I probably am not interested in hearing what you have to say.

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:47 am
by goji1986
Maritonic wrote:I've never actually watched any commentary on a Godzilla film. I'm weird with commentary; if you're not the filmmaker or actor in the film, I probably am not interested in hearing what you have to say.



Usually I'd agree, but in the case of these films they contain a great deal of information translated from Japanese sources or obtained via interviews that is hard to find in any other media. It's basically like listening to an audiobook while watching your favorite G-flick, which sounds weird but is actually quite fun.

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:50 am
by Maritonic
goji1986 wrote:
Maritonic wrote:I've never actually watched any commentary on a Godzilla film. I'm weird with commentary; if you're not the filmmaker or actor in the film, I probably am not interested in hearing what you have to say.



Usually I'd agree, but in the case of these films they contain a great deal of information translated from Japanese sources or obtained via interviews that is hard to find in any other media. It's basically like listening to an audiobook while watching your favorite G-flick, which sounds weird but is actually quite fun.


Huh. Might have to give some a try, then. What are some you'd recommend?

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:11 am
by eabaker
goji1986 wrote:
Maritonic wrote:I've never actually watched any commentary on a Godzilla film. I'm weird with commentary; if you're not the filmmaker or actor in the film, I probably am not interested in hearing what you have to say.



Usually I'd agree, but in the case of these films they contain a great deal of information translated from Japanese sources or obtained via interviews that is hard to find in any other media. It's basically like listening to an audiobook while watching your favorite G-flick, which sounds weird but is actually quite fun.


Yeah, I basically think of them as equivalent to scholarly articles, which happen to be spoken rather than written, and illustrated with 24 images from the movie per second.

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:38 am
by Gojira-Fan
Maritonic wrote:
goji1986 wrote:
Maritonic wrote:I've never actually watched any commentary on a Godzilla film. I'm weird with commentary; if you're not the filmmaker or actor in the film, I probably am not interested in hearing what you have to say.



Usually I'd agree, but in the case of these films they contain a great deal of information translated from Japanese sources or obtained via interviews that is hard to find in any other media. It's basically like listening to an audiobook while watching your favorite G-flick, which sounds weird but is actually quite fun.


Huh. Might have to give some a try, then. What are some you'd recommend?


I know you didn't ask me, but I'd like to give my own answer.

Godzilla 2000's commentary track is actually done by the people who made the U.S. edit (so that is actually the closest you can get to the filmmakers doing the commentary). I would also say it is probably the most entertaining.

If you want a recommendation for a more scholarly commentary I would say any track that has Ed Godziszewski, Steve Ryfle or Stuart Galbriath IV are great picks. David Kalat is also a decent option, but be warned his style might be a little grating for some.

So basically, most of the CM DVDs or the Media Blasters DVDs, and the Icons of Sci-Fi: Toho Collection DVD are good choices.

Also, if you are interested in commentaries from the Japanese filmmakers, most of Media Blasters' non-Godzilla Showa tokusatsu releases have a member of the Japanese crew doing the commentary(they are in Japanese with the commentary subtitled in English).

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:00 pm
by MikeSTZillak
goji1986 wrote:
Maritonic wrote:I've never actually watched any commentary on a Godzilla film. I'm weird with commentary; if you're not the filmmaker or actor in the film, I probably am not interested in hearing what you have to say.



Usually I'd agree, but in the case of these films they contain a great deal of information translated from Japanese sources or obtained via interviews that is hard to find in any other media. It's basically like listening to an audiobook while watching your favorite G-flick, which sounds weird but is actually quite fun.

Sorry for being off-topic, but how's the recreation of Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster going?

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:34 pm
by SpaceG92
MikeSTZillak wrote:
goji1986 wrote:
Maritonic wrote:I've never actually watched any commentary on a Godzilla film. I'm weird with commentary; if you're not the filmmaker or actor in the film, I probably am not interested in hearing what you have to say.



Usually I'd agree, but in the case of these films they contain a great deal of information translated from Japanese sources or obtained via interviews that is hard to find in any other media. It's basically like listening to an audiobook while watching your favorite G-flick, which sounds weird but is actually quite fun.

Sorry for being off-topic, but how's the recreation of Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster going?

You can try PMing the user the question. Instead of going off-topic. :P

Re: Best Commentary Tracks

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:54 pm
by MikeSTZillak
SpaceG92 wrote:
MikeSTZillak wrote:
goji1986 wrote:

Usually I'd agree, but in the case of these films they contain a great deal of information translated from Japanese sources or obtained via interviews that is hard to find in any other media. It's basically like listening to an audiobook while watching your favorite G-flick, which sounds weird but is actually quite fun.

Sorry for being off-topic, but how's the recreation of Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster going?

You can try PMing the user the question. Instead of going off-topic. :P

I already sent him a message and asked him in the recreation thread, and he hasn't replied to either.