Even if you're the type of person who watches DVD special features, you have to admit that commentary tracks are generally pretty boring. Commentary tracks are two straight hours of people talking over a movie (which every sane human being automatically despises unless there are snarky robots involved), and for what? To hear Robert De Niro's opinion on the catering? To learn about the time Gwyneth Paltrow got lost on the way to the set and almost accidentally touched a black person? They're just not worth it. Not unless one of the filmmakers or actors snaps and has a mental breakdown right there on the tape ... which actually happens pretty frequently.
Cannibal! The Musical is a comedy created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker years before they hit major success with South Park. Given their candid nature and penchant for silly bullshit, you can probably guess that their commentaries are going to be almost as much fun as their movies ... especially when they open with a formal reading of their alcohol inventory.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Sorry, popcorn; you're outta your league here.
But the South Park boys are but men, after all, and they get a little weepy when they drink.
The commentary quickly dissolves into a pity party for Parker, who caught his fiancee sleeping with an a cappella singer ... 15 years earlier.
Parker: I was engaged to this girl Liane ... and about a month before the wedding she decided to start sleeping with this guy in an a cappella group ... and I wrote this movie ... just so I could ridicule her, basically.
Yes, that's the same Liane that Cartman's slutty mother is named after on South Park. And Cannibal! The Musical is about a horse named Liane who leaves her owner. Hey, nobody said the man was subtle.
David McNew/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
It took six hours to convince him to even consider including hot pants.
The rest of the movie's commentary is predictable Parker and Stone shenanigans: They reminisce about the boom mike operator's boobs, speculate about going to a strip club once the recording is done, and ... wait, did Parker just bring up Liane again, out of absolutely nowhere?
Stone: You gave it the old Abraham Lincoln save ...
Parker: Because Liane wasn't really ... she was with a dirty fucking a cappella singer guy.
People keep trying to redirect him, but Parker won't hear of it.
Third Voice: Check out Matt and Ian in the background there, dude.
Stone: This is pretty sweet-
Parker: ... and now she's with the manager of Foley's. Ooh! Hi, I'm worth $7 million, and she's with the manager of Foley's! Whoops!
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Plus, my dad could totally beat up her dad."
No bitterness there! Admittedly, this is pretty in line with Parker and Stone's sense of humor and may well be a bit they're doing. But something in his voice, that hurt little quaver ... we can't help but think that, after recording wrapped, Stone stripped to the waist and stood out in the rain screaming Liane's name until his nosy neighbors called the cops.
Batman & Robin probably would've killed superhero movies if X-Men and Spider-Man hadn't come along to revitalize them. It's the Superman IV of the Batman movies, such a watershed of terrible moviemaking that no one would ever dare speak in its favor.
Bat nipples don't attract a lot of supporters.
Except, of course, for its director, Joel Schumacher.
Nope! There's a line even Schumacher won't cross, and that line is defending the existence of Batman & Robin. Schumacher spends the entire commentary track by himself repeatedly and earnestly apologizing for what he did. No stars to get in the way. No producers. Just an hour and a half of Schumacher pretty much going "God, I am so sorry -- I just ... nipples? What the fuck was I thinking? Send me your address. I will pay you your money back." There are very few clever anecdotes, precisely zero joyful reminisces -- just a few feeble defenses that quickly give way to shameful apologizing. If you want a fine example of a proper mea culpa, Schumacher is your man: "Blame the director," he says, "that's what our names are there for."
Kevin Winter/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
It's much easier to say that before you're covered in fanboy spit.
The man's only human, though. His first instincts are to deflect blame. For example, the acting? It's bad, "But hey, it's a comic book" -- because we all know nobody goes to a Batman movie to see a soul-shatteringly brilliant performance. Schumacher then responds to criticisms of Clooney's performance by reiterating that he "really doesn't see where the harm is" because "it's a Batman movie." But eventually, he brings up the script, and Schumacher finally seems to lose the argument he's been having in his head. He admits, "Akiva Goldsman was blamed a lot ... but that's not fair. I take full responsibility. I mean, Akiva did write the script, but I shot it."
"We were both going through this weird 'ice puns' phase at the time."
Take note: Moments of self-awareness like this are rare in Hollywood, and they exist only briefly, like mayflies, before being utterly obliterated by a mountain of cocaine.
They Live is a cultural milestone. A masterpiece of art and cinema. It is how an entire generation will be remembered -- not by their politics, music, or theater, but by this six-minute fistfight scene alone. If you haven't seen it, shame on you. We should exile you from this entry entirely, but we'll take pity this one time and fill you in. They Live was a sci-fi/action flick about aliens who invade by sneaking subliminal messages into corporate advertising campaigns -- messages that only become visible when the movies' heroes don magic sunglasses. For director John Carpenter, it was an opportunity to turn his acidic criticism of Reaganomics into a major release. For professional wrestler and movie star "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, it was a documentary.
They tried to do something similar to this in Roger & Me, but no one could lift Michael Moore.
The commentary derails early, right around the time the movie first shows us the aliens' subliminal tactics. That's when Piper explains that They Live is more than satire -- it's based on a real story that, somehow, the film's own director had never heard about:
Piper: Back in 1954, they had this thing called the Bronswik Affair. Do you know about the Bronswik Affair?
Carpenter: No, I don't.
Piper: The Bronswik Affair was a television they had. People would buy it and all of a sudden a housewife would come home with 50 pounds of dog food and she didn't own a dog ... And what they were doing was just what you had them doing here. They were sending signals out to the TV.
Carpenter: Oh, I-
Piper: And in history you look back at it, and it'll tell you about the Bronswik Affair.
Carpenter: Well ...
Maybe it's best not to argue with the man.
Carpenter is clearly uncomfortable and has no idea what Piper's talking about. But we at Cracked have heard about The Bronswik Affair, because we have access to Google and therefore never have to admit to not knowing about something ever again. It's a short mockumentary that satirizes consumer culture. Apparently Piper saw it, but failed to pick up on the fact that it was a joke (to be fair, that kind of thing happens from time to time). That's definitely the same video, too -- skip to 6:50 to see the exact moment Piper thought was real.
OK, so maybe we're exaggerating a bit there. He was just misinformed about another film. That's all. We can't rightly extrapolate that out to say "Roddy Piper thinks They Live was a documentary." He's never said anything of the sor-