I am completely *that* dork when it comes to DVD commentary. On films that I’ve enjoyed, I love it. My preference is for a combination commentary track that involves the writer, the director, and the main star(s), in that order of importance. Trivia: My least favorite commentary always seems to come from producers, because it’s always very… defensive (if the movie wasn’t a box-office success) or bragg-ish (if it was a success) and always very coded and political. I know that listening to the commentary totally shatters the “illusion” that a movie creates, but… when I see something done well, I always want to know the story behind its creation.
Anyway, I want to buy the DVD of Donnie Darko. I really liked it that much. Here’s the problem: there are two versions, the original and the new “director’s cut.” I really want to see the director’s cut, because I watched the deleted scenes from the original and would love to see what was re-incorporated. However, the director’s cut has all new commentary from the writer/director (Richard Kelly) and, randomly, from Kevin Smith, which replaces the old commentary — commentary that I didn’t finish listening to when I had the movie rented, and would very much like to hear all the way through. The original DVD’s comments, by Kelly and Jake Gyllenhaal, are fascinating to me, because they talk about everything from the development of the script to the basic mechanics of shooting/perfecting scenes.
It’s annoying to me that there’s this new fad of “second wave” DVD releases. For some reason, the Lord of the Rings double releases didn’t bother me as much, though the Spider-Man re-release last summer (same movie, but with additional commentary) was really annoying. I understand that this is how things are going to go, more and more, as technology enables more “after-editing” — George Lucas, I blame you — and revision, but… grr. Annoying.