Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Duff: Fan commentaries bring power to the people

Duff: Fan commentaries bring power to the people

For some of us, the best part of the movie starts on the way home. I find the most enjoyable part of a film is the post-credits recap, sharing favorite moments and making idle observations with friends.

By the same token, I think the best part of a DVD is the commentary – listening to actors, directors and film crew talk about how the film was made. For years, film commentary was the province of creators and critics. Now, thanks to the Internet, anyone can do it.

Fan commentaries are MP3 audio files, distributed free over the Internet. Download the file, cue up your DVD, turn the sound down and press play on your MP3 player. It’s like watching the film with a whole new gang of friends. Fan commentaries come in all shapes and sizes ranging from sharp and technical to silly and profane.

Most of the good ones are a mix. There are hundreds of great fan commentaries available on the Net. A simple Google search for “fan commentary” will bring up hundreds. But for my money, the best fan commentaries on the Net come from a gang of Australians at MMMcommentaries.com.

A perfect mix of smart and funny, the gang at MMM reviews genre films and science fiction classics. They’ve dabbled in “Star Trek” and reviewed a ton of “Doctor Who,” but their masterpiece is a “Star Wars” marathon that covers all six films. There’s plenty of technical stuff in here (and plenty of cheap laughs) but what stands out about the MMM gang is their love of story.

They’re not afraid to dive into the plot and dig into character motivation. Sitting through “Star Wars” with the MMM guys will bring out hidden gems in the classic films and make it easier to endure the prequels. And let’s not forget the international angle. The MMM guys would be funny in any language, but the Australian idioms really make it for me.

I take a lot of technology for granted these days, but part of this still feels like magic to me.

I’ll spare you the corny speech about world peace and the international brotherhood of science fiction fans, but clearly, the world is getting smaller every day.

Fan commentaries are just another example of the Internet turning consumers into participants. What used to be passive, static media is now a starting point for fan edits, forum discussions and unfiltered commentary.

Advertisements

Written by Michael B. Duff

August 17, 2007 at 14:49

Posted in Columns, Movies

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I believe you did a commentary for Revenge of the Sith awhile back, but it’s no longer available. Would you post it again? I’d be happy to host it at Zarban’s House of Commentaries, if you want.

    Zarban

    October 11, 2009 at 22:25


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: