Four Great Marvel Movie Audio Commentaries

Marvel commentaries

Marvel has been a giant machine conquering the global box-office ever since they kicked down Hollywood’s door a decade ago with Iron Man. In less than 10 years, Marvel President Kevin Feige and all involved made the Marvel logo mean something to audiences everywhere. It’s quite an extraordinary feat, one that couldn’t have been pulled off without the long, long list of great talent they’ve hired. That talent also produces some fun audio commentaries.

Marvel’s finest movies, like this weekend’s Black Panther, have struck a balance between art and commerce, and that’s a running theme throughout the commentaries for Marvel’s movies: trying to make a popcorn movie with taste, substance, and above all, character. There’s very little talk of special effects, as most of the conversations revolve around character, but maybe that’s not surprising since the Disney-owned studio has always maintained the characters are the stars of these movies. Years of work went into getting these superheroes right, which you can hear all about in some of the Marvel commentaries recommended below.

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miguel sapochnik interview

Over the past few years, Miguel Sapochnik has been directing some of the most exciting episodes on television. Sapochnik’s Game of Thrones episodes, “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards,” are unforgettable and earned him a well-deserved Emmy. Before returning for the final season of that HBO series, the director (who has also helmed episodes of House and True Detective) worked on one of Netflix’s newest and biggest shows, Altered Carbon, an adaptation from showrunner Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island).

Sapochnik directed the first episode of the 10-episode science-fiction series, which gave him the opportunity to visualize the world 300 years into the future, shoot some brutal action, and help get the ball rolling on a noir mystery. In a recent email interview with Sapochnik, he told us about his approach to showing the future, why Blade Runner is so seminal to filmmakers, his favorite action directors, and more.

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Four Great Guillermo del Toro Audio Commentaries

Guillermo del Toro audio commentaries

There’s one word that pops up more than any other in filmmaker Guillermo del Toro‘s commentaries: love.

An Academy Award nominee this year for The Shape of Water, del Toro has nothing but affection for his worlds and characters, even some of the most monstrous of his creations. The director always finds light in the darkest corners of his filmography. As often as del Toro is lauded for his imagination, his commentaries are a reminder that, as a storyteller, he doesn’t get enough credit for the amount of empathy he displays.

The Mexican filmmaker is constantly wearing his passion and sincerity on his sleeve, partially because he’s never at a loss for words in his commentaries. I’ve listened to some of the tracks recommended below more than once, and the second time around, it was still like holding a key to unlock the mind of the visionary for two wonderful hours. Commentary tracks were made for directors like Guillermo del Toro.

Here are four must-hear Guillermo del Toro audio commentaries.

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50 Cent

If there’s one interview subject I want to have all the time in the world with, it’s Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. For starters, the rapper, actor, producer, and entrepreneur has a great story, which we saw told on screen in Get Rich or Die Tryin’. After his debut album of the same name came out, his story only grew richer. He’s had such a full career already and there’s no shortage of things to ask. But when we interviewed Jackson, it was to discuss his new film, Den of Thieves, in which he plays a bank robber.

We didn’t discuss the movie much, though. When we spoke with Jackson on the set of Den of Thieves, he candidly covered a huge array of subjects. When we spoke with him again, he did the same, starting with the book he co-wrote with Robert Greene, The 50th Law. I can’t recommend it enough.

Below, read our 50 Cent interview.

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Gerard Butler interview

Gerard Butler is more often than not the biggest guy in the room. Or at least in his movies. Whether he’s going after the justice system, protecting the president, or delivering Shakespeare, he’s going bigger than everyone else…and he’s usually ripped. In Den of Thieves, playing a bull of an LAPD cop, Big Nick, he looks like a mammoth compared to some of those past roles.

The character’s size isn’t the only reason Butler disappears as Big Nick – it’s also his attitude. Christian Gudegat‘s directorial debut has one of Butler’s meatiest roles to date: a deeply flawed, isolated and dedicated cop. We spoke with the actor about how he wanted to play Big Nick, the transformation he made with the role, and some of his favorite actors.

Below, read our Gerard Butler interview.

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Mom and dad trailer

Brian Taylor‘s high-adrenaline style of filmmaking probably couldn’t find a better actor to pair with than Nicolas Cage. Cage, who’s described his seemingly unhinged performances as punk rock, gets the chance to let loose again in his second collaboration with Taylor, Mom and Dad. Cage is the dad and Selma Blair is the mom, and both actors bring a lunacy and realness to Taylor’s original story about parents losing control of themselves and attacking their children.

Taylor is the co-director of the unforgettable Crank films and Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance, which also starred Cage. But Mom and Dad is his first feature without his frequent collaborator, Mark Neveldine. However, the pitch dark outrageousness Taylor brought to those movies is still infused in his latest film, as well as his new TV show, Syfy’s Happy! We recently discussed both projects with Taylor. And yes, we talk about Nicolas Cage a lot.

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Den of Thieves set visit

Heading into the Den of Thieves set visit, I was mostly thinking about Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. While leaving the Den of Thieves set visit, I was still mostly thinking about Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. The artist, entrepreneur, Vitaminwater moneymaker, and actor was a lot more entertaining and honest than (understandably) some actors tend to be speaking with bloggers on sets. Like most of the cast, he was enjoying himself in Atlanta, Georgia, during a day of filming of the upcoming crime thriller, which stars Gerard Butler as a hulking L.A.P.D cop chasing down a crew of robbers.

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Luc Besson interview

The making of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was a long journey for writer and director Luc Besson, who started reading the work of comic book writer Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières when he was 10 years old. He brought the comic and its two galaxy-saving agents, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), to life with a giddy, exuberant race-against-the-clock sci-fi adventure earlier this year. Besson’s dreams (and his hard work) shows in every one of the film’s environments, which shine bright with the sort of color absent in most of today’s blockbusters.

While Valerian didn’t catch on with American audiences when it was released over the summer, Besson appears hopeful that more people will come around to his movie, which he believes is best on the second watch. We recently spoke to Besson at a press day for the Blu-Ray release of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, where he discussed the reaction to the movie, that big market sequence, and much more.

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Scott Frank interview

Godless, the acclaimed new miniseries now streaming on Netflix, first came into being years ago when writer, director, and creator, Scott Frank wrote a feature script pitting Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) and the town of La Belle against the wrath of Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels). Despite all the talent that became involved, the western struggled to get made as a film. After years of trying and directing two exceptional films, Frank brought the project to Netflix, where he was finally able to tell his original story on a grand scale.

Even the magnitude of Griffin’s towering presence helps make Godless bigger in scope. Some of the characters are as epic as the landscapes – Frank doesn’t really mind if Netflix customers experience them on an iPhone. He recently told us about the series’ journey to Netflix, the exeprience of shooting a mammoth of a western, and much more.

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Joe Wright interview

Joe Wright has been subverting expectations since he made his feature directorial debut with Pride & Prejudice. With his period dramas and adaptations, unlike many others of their kind, the word “stuffy” is not applicable. Even in his newest film, Darkest Hour, the camera has a sense of freedom in a movie that consists mostly of dialogue-heavy interior scenes.

After making the biggest film of his career, Pan, and his lush adaptation of Anna Karenina, Wright wanted to “go back to basics a little bit,” as he recently told us. The filmmaker, who was his typical personable self as he rolled and smoked a fine-smelling cigarette outside on a nice and breezy day, also had plenty more to say about Gary Oldman‘s transformative work as Winston Churchill, his love of a good close-up, and more.

Below, check out our Joe Wright interview.

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