Thursday, May 21, 2009

LIKE THOSE FREAKS AT THE BALLPARK WHO HAVE THEIR HEADPHONES ON SO THEY CAN LISTEN TO THE RADIO COMMENTATORS DURING THE GAME...

In the news...

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The Brothers Bloom is currently playing in theaters and is getting decent reviews. To get you to see the flick, Summit Entertainment has made available a download of the Director Audio Commentary. The idea is for you to download it onto your iPhone or MP3 player, grab your headphones and then listen to the movie with the commentary while you watch it on the big screen.

But is anyone planning to actually do this, especially if it's your first time seeing the film? (Worstpreviews)
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I actually like this idea.

Well... let me qualify that. I like the idea of having a director's commentary available to listen to after I've seen a movie on the big screen. Most industry critics are given press packets with their preview screenings which can add a bit of context before or bit of perspective after seeing a film. I've kind of always been envious of that. Simultaneously releasing director commentaries with a film's release could rememdy that selfish issue.

Of course, I don't wanna see the glow of iPods in a theater while watching a movie, but, as Worstpreviews said above, I doubt anyone will actually do that. I'll take their word that the studio is doing this so viewers can take a commentary track into theaters with them, but my hunch tells me that director Rian Johnson ultimately did this to convenience curious customers after they've exited for the evening.

10 comments:

Reel Whore said...

I don't see this happening, and like you, don't want to see the clod glow of pods while I try to watch my movie.

Maybe 1 out 10 general audiences might listen to the commentary after a movie. Bow if they're doing it to better explain the film, that can't be a good sign.

Marilyn said...

I personally think this is a disaster idea, and I do think a lot of people will tune in during the movie. What ever happened to conveying your ideas through the art itself? Now the director has to talk you through it? Both audiences and filmmakers are getting dumber by the second.

Daniel Getahun said...

What Marilyn said.

They're freaks at the ballpark and I'd qualify them as freaks in the theater, too.

Fox said...

Reel Whore-

I have mixed feelings on the "to better explain the film". If indeed the track is a step-by-step "ok, this means (fill in the blank)", then I agree with ya. That would only get in the way of the experience for the filmgoer, but if it's like a reference material for after the film, then I like it.

Fox said...

What ever happened to conveying your ideas through the art itself? Now the director has to talk you through it? Both audiences and filmmakers are getting dumber by the second....

Marilyn-

I agree with that, and if indeed the commentary is intended as a visual crutch for the viewer, then I would oppose it.

However, it would be nice to have a reference for curiousities we might have after seeing a film. Like this week when we had questions about von Trier's choices for Dancer in the Dark.

But I do think a critic/writer/blogger should express his or her own thoughts and ideas on the film before referring to a commentary track.

But I'm curious how much info is indeed included in a press packet. (Maybe some of you who get paid to write can inform us on that?) Is it too much info where it might guide the viewers to feel the way the director intended but didn't actually pull off in his or her art?

You bring up a good question though, Marilyn: Is the artist a failure if they can't convey what they want to through their art without having to explain it?

Fox said...

Daniel-

I admit to kind of sympathizing with the ballpark freaks. I like the radio guys for my team, and prefer them to repeated playings of "Pump Up The Jam!" on the loud speakers,... BUT, it does make you look like the medical mask people on subways.

Plus, loud music aside, the ambiance of the ballpark NEEDS to be felt when at a game.

Daniel Getahun said...

Ha, yes, the medical mask people. Not quite that bad with the headphones, but still deserving of some looks. I definitely don't get a kick anymore out of the piped-in stadium "charge" horns, etc., but I agree that it's best experienced when you're surrounding yourself with the sounds of the environment.

Not quite the case in a theater, though. Actually I've had an idea for a while about headphones simply for the audio track of the movie. It's gotten to the point where there's a 9/10 chance of somebody ruining the movie for me by talking/chatting/yelling/whispering in the theater. Short of banning them from the theater or justifiably shooting them like that guy in Philly (I'm half kidding), the only other thing I can think of is personal audio tracks, as in an airplane.

Marilyn said...

Fox - I get press kits and sometimes they are illuminating, sometimes they're not. You could go online to see them yourself. For example, The Bridge had a great press kit. But as far as a commentary track's worth of info, I'd say that no press kit does that. They are designed for people writing about the film who need names/dates/serial numbers, that kind of thing. (BTW, I don't get paid; I just finagle press passes.)

The people who listen to a game on the radio when they're in the ball park don't seem nearly as misguided to me. I find that sports fans are into all kinds of stats and superstitions that a commentator can provide during the many, many boring moments when someone is scratching their crotch, deciding they're not ready to throw a ball, walking into and out of the dugout, etc.

Fox said...

Daniel-

Your idea of a privately piped-in movie audio is an interesting idea. It instantly comes along with many questions/problems, but it may be the answer to fixing the problem of talkers. BTW, I'm learning that "whisperers" don't think they are "talkers" and that if you ask a "whisperer" to be quiet they are quite offended.

Marilyn-

I think you underestimate the many benefits and thrills of crotch scratching!

Marilyn said...

Not at all. But how does it benefit the fan in the stands who wants them all to play ball not play with ball?