Poll: The Special Feature

Mid-Week Poll: The Best Special Feature

If you found out that your (previously-unreleased) favorite movie or TV show was coming to Blu-ray, but that the disc could only have one special feature, what should it be?

I’ve noticed a recent clamor over Digibooks that I find surprising. I recently ordered one of the few Digibooks that I plan to own, ‘The Shawshank Redemption‘. While I don’t mind the packaging format (the one for ‘Hamlet‘ is my favorite), I find that Digibook titles can be really expensive, and I wind up not purchasing the movie until a cheaper alternative gets released. Basically, I consider the Digibook packaging to be a special feature that I can live without.

I only watch most Blu-ray bonus features (or look at the packaging) once or twice. However, some supplements have more replay value. Any commentary with Arnold Schwarzenegger is pure gold. The production features on ‘The Fountain‘, and ‘Star Trek: TNG‘ are some of my favorites. The ‘Old Boy’ manga ensures that I’ll keep the DVD copy around. Deleted scenes for movies were pretty exciting when DVDs first came out, but now I only value the deleted scenes from shows like ‘Futurama’ that were cut for running time. I have actually watched the Digital Copy for ‘Kick-Ass‘.

Let’s say your favorite movie or TV show was just announced for Blu-ray. The studio has promised a 1080p transfer from an immaculate source, and a lossless 7.1 audio track produced under the personal supervision of the director and sound designer. The studio has also announced that the disc will only have one special feature. (In a moment of clarity, the movie will include its trailer, the least special of all features.) Without getting to review it ahead of time, which special feature would you want? Which item do you feel should be standard and always featured regardless of format? (We’ll assume that, where applicable, the feature will be provided in high definition.)

Which Single Special Feature Would You Choose For Your Favorite Movie Or TV Series?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


  1. William Henley

    I went with the 60 minute feature focusing on a single aspect, but I was really tempted to choose teh 60 minute anti-piracy warning. The ones on BBC discs are actually pretty amusing.

  2. HuskerGuy

    Went with deleted scenes, but it really depends on the movie.

    My favorite special feature ever was Commentary: The Musical from Dr. Horrible. Absolutely amazing.

  3. I voted 60min retrospective. They’re often the most interesting parts of special features on older movies. Really, it would be a toss-up between that and a good commentary.

    I’m a sucker for special features. It’ll often make the difference between me buying the BD or not bothering because I have a feature packed DVD (unless it’s one of my favourite films, then I’ll get the BD when it comes on budget and just pop the DVD with features in the box with it).

    Not bothered about packaging. It’s really nice if you get good packaging with no increased cost, but otherwise, just gimme the film and special features.

    I like the 60min anti-piracy warning as well… Of course it would have to a forced-play one, which blocks all commands until it’s finished. 😉

    • The Anti-piracy warning installs to your Blu-ray player and plays whenever you access the Pop-Up Menu, cannot be paused and locks the Blu-ray player from powering down until two minutes after completing the warning.

      I am surprised to see the top voting so evenly split; I think that you guys may have dove a better job of selling the retrospective than I anticipated.

  4. Barsoom Bob

    I chose Director Commentary, fully aware that these can be hit or miss depending on when they were recorded and how articulate and honestly self aware the director is about what he has created.

    Andrew Stanton’s pre release commentary track for John Carter is almost a comedy routine in it’s “out of touchness” with the reality that was about to hit. Still love the movie though.

    Ridley Scott almost always gives a good informed one. He hands-on, designs his movies from the ground up and knows them inside and out. Some people, *ahem*, may think his ideas are stupid but he is one of the most astute commercial filmakers working today. IMHO

    Wasn’t quite sure what EPK meant. If it is just a fluff piece promotional thing then no, not interested. If it is a good doc on the making of the movie with the majority of time spent with the director and other involved creatives that would actually have been my first choice.

    • EPK = Electronic Press Kit. These are the promotional puff pieces designed to hype the movie, in which the filmmakers boast of how awesome the movie is going to be and the cast regales us with stories of how much everybody just loved working with everybody else on set. “HBO First Look” specials and the like.

      • William Henley

        Oh, then I may change my answer. I want like an hour long documentary about film restoration, special effects, location shooting, other technologies used, problems during filming or restoration, that sort of stuff. The promotional pieces usually suck.

        • Yeah, EPKs usually feature very disingenuous interviews with the cast where they act as though they’ve just completed a summer camp for humanitarian aide.

  5. If done right (see JAWS, RAIDERS, and pretty much anything directed by Laurent Bouzereau), a retrospective can be a great feature. But nine times out of ten they’re just “fluff” consisting primarily of re-showing scenes in the movie. Same is true of commentary tracks…sometimes they’re great (Kevin Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Danny DeVito) and sometimes they’re awful.

    I voted for 60-minute retrospective, but would take either of what I mentioned if it was done well.

  6. Dimwit

    I must go with the commentary but the best bonus I’ve seen was a docu for editing on Bullitt. It was from AFI and I learned a ton. I wish that the archives were scoured for neat stuff like this.

  7. JM

    A great gag reel is usually my favorite.

    Commentary! The Musical – could take the cookies.

    Epic making-of documentaries, like on ‘Alien 3’ or ‘Apocalypse Now,’ would be the best, but they’re rare…

    So I choose behind-the-scenes footage of Ricky Jay. Even if he’s not in the movie.

  8. Nick McMahan

    it’s bad, and it’s not really special, but a resume feature should be on all discs, the bond set is killing me

  9. RollTide1017

    My favorite are the feature length making of docs like on Prometheus. That’s how all making of docs should be done (don’t all have to be 3 hours) not the 10-15 minute junk week get on most releases.

        • Looking at the ‘Robocop’ Blu-ray, there is an entire sub-menu for special features that only lists a trailer. Just so many special features insults rolled into one Blu-ray.

          • The early Disney DVDs have really great special features. The cover for the Jungle Book Limited Issue DVD lists:

            SPECIAL FEATURES Include:
            – French And Spanish Language Tracks
            – Dolby Surround
            – Full-Color Character Artwork On Disc

            I had to check the disc to see if this was a complete list, and it wasn’t. You also got chapter selection, English captions for the hearing impaired, and finally, film recommendations! This DVD was literally PACKED! with features 🙂

  10. lordbowler

    Depends on age of the series:

    If the principals are still alive:

    Not mentioned: A round-table with Major Cast discussing Season and/or Series in lieu of Commentaries. I enjoyed the Jimmy Olsen(s) feature on Superman Returns.

    60-minute retrospective
    Archive Video
    Deleted Scenes

  11. eric

    I really wish the studios would stop giving you a dvd with the blu-ray—i buy it for the bluray not the dvd—the dvd stays in the case…they can also do away with digital copies.