Sunday, August 15, 2010

Best DVD Commentary Ever!

One of my favorite things about the DVD experience is the audio commentary track.

These, of course, are informative discussions, by one or more persons (be they directors writers, actors, crew – or even historians or other noted experts) on the property, movie, or television episode in question.

Personalities range from such well-known names as film critic Roger Ebert and director Peter Bogdanovich on CITIZEN KANE to creators Matt Groening on THE SIMPSONS and FUTURAMA and Seth MacFarlane on FAMILY GUY.

But, I think I may have just heard the best DVD audio commentary track… ever!

It is on Disc 3 of the DVD collection STAR TREK ENTERPRISE: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON, for the unlikely episode The North Star (…a “space-western” digression from the overall spectacular season-long “Xindi” arc) and is by Assistant Director Mike DeMeritt.

In the “40-or-so” minutes of the commentary DeMeritt, tells us more about the episode’s production, actors, locations, working with director David Straiton and his camera techniques, and more than you could ever imagine – including the sudden and untimely death of a key member of the crew!

DeMeritt does all this in a warm and friendly style that never once lags. This is not as easy as it may sound, keeping it lively and interesting with no dead air – all by your lonesome! For THAT length of time!

I must declare this as perhaps the very best example of what such a commentary track should be!

At the end of the episode, Mike DeMeritt even echoes a point I’ve mentioned in my review of the STAR TREK ENTERPRISE Season One set – and the upcoming review of Season Two, and elsewhere…

“Closing credits. Here’s your chance to actually see ‘em.

“You know, usually they’re crunched down into a corner and over, stuffed away where you can’t possibly read them.

“So, take the time, and just take a look. It’s a strange business, and we like to see our names up-in-lights just a little bit… [ HIS OWN CREDIT ROLLS PAST ] There I am! There I am! …But, really, we know that we’re making a product that is designed to entertain you.”

HOW DO YOU NOT LOVE THAT! …Especially, if you’re a “credits geek” like me!

REMINDER: If you comment on this post… PLEASE, no spoilers on the “Xindi” arc! It’s been spectacular to this point – but I AM seeing (and enjoying) it for the first time!

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