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Shakespeare in Love (1998)

NOTE: These commentaries are only available on the "Collector's Series" release of the movie.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director John Madden Rating:6.4/10 (8 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Thames Ironworks on March 29th, 2009:Find all reviews by Thames Ironworks
Arse numbingly boring commentary from the director. Starts off by literally just commenting on whats on screen, "There's the sky...there's the stage...there's a chair..." Things look like they're perking up when he laughs and says that it reminds him of a great story about Gwyneth Paltrow but then he DOESN'T TELL THE STORY! Avoid.
Reviewed by Cinecdoche on May 21st, 2009:Find all reviews by Cinecdoche
While I agree with Ironworks that Mr. Madden could have been, say, a whit more engaging I don't think this is simply rubbish. It's interesting to hear where there are hidden references to Shakespearean plays I had missed before, scenes cut and why and how many visual effects that had never occurred to me. Though on the whole it is one of those where the film is so good you do almost wish he'd stop talking at times when he'd not adding something particularly interesting.
Reviewed by Agressor on May 26th, 2012:Find all reviews by Agressor
I found this commentary to be quite excellent! He is obviously knowledgeable about Shakespeare and the theater which gives him plenty of opportunities to expand on the story and references to those subjects that abound in this film.

For most of the commentary Madden quips joyfully about changed story aspects, FX-work, Elizabethan customs and other period anecdotes and much more. There may be some instances of less than interesting or irrelevant statements but It's nothing that lessened my enjoyment of the commentary.

I'd recommend this commentary. Especially if you're interested in Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era.
Commentary 2: Producer Donna Gigliotti, co-screenwriter/producer Marc Norman, co-screenwriter Tom Stoppard, production designer Martin Childs, costume designer Sandy Powell, director of photography Richard Greatrex, and actors Geoffrey Rush, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Colin Firth, and Joseph Fiennes Rating:7.0/10 (8 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Cinecdoche on May 21st, 2009:Find all reviews by Cinecdoche
This second track with the cast and crew is a blend of what seems like previously recorded interviews that have been spliced through-out the film. That is not a damning thing but you lose a sense of the immediacy of what you are watching on the screen and the exact topic the person is discussing. I love the movie and having Wright, Affleck, Paltrow and even Stoppard chime in is enjoyable but not optimal for what I'd want from that experience.
Reviewed by Agressor on June 5th, 2012:Find all reviews by Agressor
For the most part I don't really like these kind of commentaries, with cut and paste comments from different people are assembled to fit with the running film. It can work excellently but those instances are few and this isn't one of them.

First of all, it bugs me that they take material that's already on the dvd extras, if I go threw all the extra material I don't want to listen to the same thing twice, that's a small wish to ask for I think.

Secondly, it makes for a sense of disconnection when you can tell the person talking isn't watching the film but just happen to talk about it in an interview or something.

Luckily, they've at least managed to edit it so it makes sense, when someone talks about a specific scene they do it when that scene is on screen.

Of course there are some repeats of what the director talked about in his own commentary but it's not to bad and this kind of works like a companion peace, 'cause often they expand upon subjects that he talks about but doesn't go into detail about. Unfortunately about things that doesn't need to be delved deeper into.

To type candidly I think this commentary was flat out boring; disconnected, jumbled and frustrating.

To end on a positive note there are, of course, some interesting facts mentioned, I personally think the writers provided the best comments followed by the producer, if they'd gotten their own commentary it could've been really good.