Thursday, February 16, 2006

Useless bonus feature?

I'm watching an unnamed set (don't want to offend anyone), and I started thinking about what the worst bonus feature is on a set. I'm talking about the thing you could care less about, and never watch. I'm going to remove two things from the list; Interactive Menus and Scene Selection - those aren't bonus features. A non-interactive menu is simply a still frame; companies that put "interactive menus" on the packaging drive me crazy.

I think my useless bonus feature would be "storyboard to screen" features. They're usually found on animated shows, but I have no interest in looking at crude still frames of something that was eventually animated.

Gord

35 Comments:

At February 16, 2006 10:24 PM, Anonymous Skillet said...

I can't wait for this feature on the 12 oz mouse set :)

 
At February 17, 2006 12:56 AM, Blogger Greg Chenoweth said...

I think the biggest useless bonus feature would be the feature documentary on a show or an actor. This is where a whole bunch of people that nobody has ever heard of, discuss all that they know about the show or the actor, but they never had anything at all to do with the show. As a matter of fact, the actor who is being discussed is never seen talking on camera at all. Instead, it is a bunch of people memorializing the person but we never get to hear the actual person's words or get to see footage of the actor doing his job. There are still frame pictures to show what the guy looked like, but that's as far as it goes.

I would rather hear from the "real" people themselves and hear their thoughts on their role and their life instead of someone else's useless verbiage. It would be great to have some historical content instead of a bunch of people babbling on about how much they "loved this show" and "gosh, I couldn't wait for Wednesdays when 'Show X' was on." I would rather have substance than fluff. This scenario happens A LOT on animation projects.

 
At February 17, 2006 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scene Selection and Interactive Menu's are not special features in my mind. Plus I don't think Interactive Menu's make sense - you have to be able to interact otherwise it wouldn't be a Menu would it?

I hate when they put Best Of's on DVDs - why would you want to wath an array of clips already on the DVD, isn't that why we buy them?

Animated storyboards and etc are not that bad. Atleast its new material.

 
At February 17, 2006 2:25 AM, Anonymous Wesley Mead said...

I quite like the Animation Showcases, on the likes of the Simpsons sets. My vote is also for the clip compilations, like on the Home Improvement sets. Useless.

 
At February 17, 2006 2:34 AM, Blogger hkduo said...

How about the bonus feature that is impossible to find? Gord I think it was you telling me about a hidden documentary that wasn't listed on the packaging. It was an extra 1.5 hours of content that most likely went unnoticed by 90% of the people who purchased the DVD. To clarify, I think it was a movie and it was quite a few years ago when hidden features were popular.

If you can't find it or don't even know it exists...seems to be kind of useless to me.
-T-

 
At February 17, 2006 3:25 AM, Blogger Pete B said...

I agree I don't much care for the Storyboard to Screen and I can't remember which set(s) I seen this on (I want to say Three's Company)... but the Best Moments clips where they show a character's best moments from the season... I mean come on... I just watched the set... why do I weant to sit here and watch clips from the season I just watched?

That said... I am thankful when a studio decides to give us any extra feature in any set! :)

 
At February 17, 2006 6:02 AM, Anonymous C.S.Strowbridge said...

Clip compilations or summaries of previous seasons.

If you need to know what happened in the previous seasons to enjoy the show, then I can't imagine someone bying season X of a show without having the previous season.

 
At February 17, 2006 8:25 AM, Anonymous Leah said...

If you can't find it or don't even know it exists...seems to be kind of useless to me.
-T-


These are easter eggs. They're on there because they are fun to hunt for. I personally haven't found any myself, but there are lots of websites where people can submit easter eggs they've found. On most dvds, especially like the $5 - 10 ones, the only egg is like a picture of the producers or extra credits or something that no one cares about. But a lot of them are really cool. I've read that some directors create stuff just so they can be easter eggs on the dvd. I think it's [retty cool.

 
At February 17, 2006 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like bonus features when they are availble espeacially if they offer insight that I may not have known about previously, but these bonus features that basically say the same thing and are the same clip (maybe a little longer or shorter)than the clip you just watched -if that makes sense, is a waste of time to me. Give me some real meat!

 
At February 17, 2006 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm honestly sick of commentary at this point. Only use it if the people at the mic actually have something useful to say.

 
At February 17, 2006 5:20 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Five million trailers of the same movie. Seriously, the recent Star Wars movies put the whole entire ad campaigns on each release. I'll never watch them, and I'd much rather see another documentary than 30 minutes of TV spots.

 
At February 17, 2006 9:46 PM, Anonymous FlameStrike said...

Probably my least favorite bonus features are the commentaries where you just have the actors talking about how much younger they look, or how silly they felt doing this. I much prefer the commentaries where they talk about what the show was trying to do, the obstacles they had to deal with to make the show, or things like that. The story behind the story, essentialy, not "God, I looked much younger then."

I don't like anything that has nothing to do with the show itself, or these random clip reels. if you're going to do something like that, find a way to make it fun, like build a story out of random moments, or give us the blooper reel.

Personally, there aren't many bonus features I'm interested in. Actual commentaries on the shows, missing / deleted scenes, blooper reels, and maybe some of the memorable commercials / trailers / previews, and that's about it. Anything else is just a waste of my time.

 
At February 17, 2006 9:53 PM, Anonymous quicksilver_drake said...

one 'seemingly-useless-but-not-so-much' feature i really like on DVD's is the ability to choose to view the production studio's selected previews from the main DVD menu screen- particularly when said previews aren't forced upon you when first loading the disc...

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call it a weird quirk, but i refuse to pay attention to 'previews' on a DVD when they auto-play right after loading but before the main menu screen comes up... lightly, i consider it pretty rude; and harshly, i view it as a hackneyed throwback to VHS cassettes and a complete disrespect to me as consumer!

give me previews of other DVD's i may wish to purchase- yes, absolutely, please do so! i promise to watch them all when i have the time and willingness to do so!

but don't make me fast-forward or chapter-jump or even just hit the menu key to get to the DVD i actually want to watch...

i can understand that this sort of marketing is a necessary evil in the rental DVD market- but when i purchase a show disc, i want access to that show as immediately as possible!

---

in regards to all this, i consider the 'previews-as-a-menu-selection-only' feature a HUGE bonus...

---

hell, let the production companies put those 'easter eggs' in that section- that way at least they've got an additional reason for DVD-owners to go thru the previews...

just don't like time-consuming marketing forced upon me...

q.d.

 
At February 18, 2006 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have found some Audio Commentaries to be bad. I won't name the shows but I remember one show which talked about nothing but Clothes and Hair. Because of this I generally prefer Producer/Writer/Director commentaries than Cast - saying that the commentaries on Scrubs mixed Clothing and Behind the Scenes stories well.

I think most Cast Commentaries are usually 'Oh, that was so much fun!' or 'Wow I look so young there!' were a producer gives insight into the show's production.

 
At February 18, 2006 8:15 AM, Anonymous Delemetri said...

Previews...it definately has to be previews. It isn't so bad when they are tucked away three or four menus deep, and therefore easily avoided, but when you have to sit through them before you can even get to the root menu, it is highly irritating. If I am interested in what other releases are out there, I will come to tvshowsondvd.com and check.

Another pet pieve of mine, and I know this is a bit off topic, is the trend toward double sided disks. They are much more fragile because there is no "safe" side to lay the thing down on. Plus, I like the art opportunity on the unused side of a single sided disk. I know its cheaper to make a double sided disk, but it still sucks.

 
At February 18, 2006 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quizzes. They're completely stupid. They're beyond easy, usually have only 10 questions, and worthless once you've been through them once.

 
At February 18, 2006 2:29 PM, Blogger Pavan -- SitcomsOnline.com said...

Best of clips of episodes that are already on the set.

 
At February 18, 2006 3:32 PM, Blogger Pete B said...

I have to disagree with the quizzes... I personally enjoy them... especially if you get to see an extra bonus reward for getting them all right.

And definately agree with Pavan... that is exactly what I was trying to say with my response... though he said it much better! :-p

 
At February 18, 2006 9:00 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

I have to add that I hardly ever look at DVD-Rom extras, or all the online stuff, simply because I watch DVDs on my HDTV, and not on my whacked out computer monitor.

I also don't like "Cast" or "Production Notes" pages that are just a still-frame full of stuff I have to read. These are mostly on the cheapo discs and are thrown in so they can say special feature on the package.

And I hate it when DVD packaging proclaims "Fullscreen" as a special feature. Idiots.

 
At February 19, 2006 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hanna Barbara set have really annoying "fan memories" featurettes. Basically, fans telling about how much they loved the show. Mixed with video clips from the show. I couldn't care less about someone's memories about the show, and how much they loved it as a kid. I would much rather see some kind of featurette about the creation of the show or production.

 
At February 19, 2006 1:31 AM, Anonymous Wesley Mead said...

I hate to drive this thread off-topic, so my apologies, but Gord/David, did either of you recieve an email I sent yesterday about Frasier S8 -- I'm not sure if I made a typo in the e-mail address field on the Contact page (I haven't recieved a reply of read reciept 24 hours on, and I didn't proofread the message like I usually do).

 
At February 19, 2006 5:47 PM, Blogger charmedfan01 said...

i cant stand how some tv shows don't have extras at all!! at this point id do with any kind of eligible extra. lol the tv show id most like extras on are charmed and those are the one dvds that dont seem to have them on it!!

 
At February 20, 2006 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ Paramount don't add extra's to (m)any TV Show on DVD releases - Charmed isn't the only one, Frasier/Cheers are no long term suffers.

 
At February 20, 2006 3:12 PM, Blogger DirkMaster said...

Foreign languages. Without a doubt. I mean, come on. Isn't there region coding? So how likely is it that someone wants to hear the movie in Portuguese? And some mainstream movie studio discs have 4 or 5 languages!

But I do agree with everyone else that the non-skipable previews are an advanced pain. Almost makes you want to rip and recode the movie without them.

 
At February 21, 2006 5:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^The regions are not that diverse. Region 1 will probably ship with English, French (for Canadians) and possibly Spanish.

Region 2 is all of europe so as youc an imagine that has a huge array of languages to cater for.

I don't think the regions are well distributed as is.

 
At February 22, 2006 10:58 AM, Blogger Jayne Mansfield's Head said...

I believe 'interactive menus' would be any menu that allows you to select from it. That is, all DVD menus are interactive.

I won't complain about a 'feature', rather I'll comment on the way DVD covers annouce "over 6 hours of extras!" If the program is two hours and there are 3 commentary tracks, does that really count as SIX HOURS of extras?

 
At February 22, 2006 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, wouldn't it take you six hours to watch/listen to all of them?

 
At February 25, 2006 2:47 PM, Blogger Gord Lacey said...

Dirk, studios will often use the same masters for other regions. Sony does this a lot, which is why you'll see some strange languages on their releases.

 
At March 01, 2006 4:04 PM, Blogger Richard "nightc1" said...

I'll take any commentary tracks they want to produce. Any cast interviews.. or whatever as well. Any story boards to production things. When I've really got a serious passion for a specific show.. i'm very happy to find little extras. Like Moonlighting Season 3's commentaries. There's some informative... then there's one that's somewhat informative but overall just entertaining since Bruce & Cybill are on it.

The only thing i'm urked by is forced commercials at the beginning of a dvd set. One where i can't hit chapter forward, menu, or fastforward through. I hate those. But if it's on a show I really love... and the alternative is the studio wouldn't release em without the intial commercials... then I'll just grin and take it. I'd rather have another Season of Magnum PI release and deal with disc 1's commercials... then not get any additional seasons.

It's easy to complain. It's easy to not see interactive menus as a feature... or chapter selections as a feature... but when some sets have bland menus (Tek War Tv Series) and others don't include chapter points at key moments and no way to just jump to a part of a show you want then you start to value it when someone does a set right. Who really cares if they put some extra stuff on there you won't enjoy... or put stuff that need not be listed as features on the box art. Be glad you get the shows at all. It's not as if the box was the reason you put your hard earned money down to own the show.

 
At March 23, 2006 2:46 PM, Blogger Jeff R. said...

As far as I'm concerned, 'chapter selections' is a feature when the first chapter ends right after the end of the opening credits and a non-feature when it doesn't. Not being able to skip the opening theme with a single button is, in fact, an un-feature.

"Season Index" would be the most useless bonus feature I can think of, followed by 'cast and crew biographies'

 
At May 03, 2006 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree on the points you made. I would add the commentaries that can be dubbed over the playing show. Most of the time they are boring, riven with silences, and I've never played one for more than a few minutes before getting the hell out of it.

 
At May 03, 2006 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Nuther one : Probably wouldn't call it a "feature" but ... I will not buy DVDs whose boxes are odd shapes and don't sit on my shelves next to all my other DVDs and behave well with the others to provide an "index" of my collection on sight. There was a season of the Simpsons whose box had a big hump on top for Marge's hair ... stupid. The guy who had the idea and all those involved in approving it should be fired forthwith.

 
At May 08, 2006 8:50 PM, Anonymous Derek said...

Previews, clip compilations, and cast bios. YECHHHHH!

 
At April 03, 2007 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only one of the television DVD's in my collection that does not have any bonus features whatsoever (other than previews for other Sony series, which, fortunately, unlike the Paramount previews, are optional) is "Hart to Hart" S2. Although the DVD of "Hart to Hart" S2 does not have extras, it is still valuable in my collection simply because, to me, it was great television of the '80's.

 
At August 31, 2007 2:01 AM, Blogger doz said...

most annoying extra feature?

The movie trailer !! (by this I mean the trailer for the dvd that you are watching not other movie previews..)

Why would we want to see that when we have already bought the movie or hired it??

 

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