I went and saw the movie Looper when it came out in theaters and really enjoyed it. I’m a fan of sci-fi movies and I thought the movie was an excellent twist on the time travel genre.
I was really excited to see a couple days afterwards that the writer/director (Rian Johnson) had released an in-theater commentary track for the movie. The track is more than a description of the action on screen, but is akin to a director’s commentary you would find on a DVD/Blu-Ray release of the movie. Except that it’s free! (And available on SoundCloud for download here)
Now the obvious incentive for releasing a track like this is that you can’t listen to it on the first showing. So, you have to come back for a second time and the studio gets more money. For a movie that I enjoyed though, I wouldn’t be upset about it. A movie such as Looper is a perfect example of one that really requires a second viewing. The concept of the film is very intellectual and it’s easy to get caught up on the visuals or the plot line and to miss the finesse that the director has placed in the film.
Unfortunately for me, I never got around to going back to the theater to listen to the commentary with the movie. So, I decided it would still be worth my time to rent the movie when it came out and listen to the track. After doing that tonight, I’m even more disappointed that I wasn’t able to experience this on the big screen. The commentary was immensely enlightening and really gave me an appreciation for the smaller details in the background, the lighting, and the actors’ abilities.
I would really love to see this type of free commentary occur with more movies. I know personally I would go to second showings of a movie I enjoyed if director commentary was provided ahead of DVD release. For example: I would have loved this type of experience with The Hobbit.
If you haven’t seen Looper yet it’s out on DVD/Blu-Ray now and well worth the rent. The director commentary is available here: Looper Theatrical Commentary