Much like the Crunch Berry, the DVD Commentary Track is a phenomenon that tends to lose its wonder with mass consumption. All too often, this potentially fascinating addendum becomes merely a waste of bad breath from ill-prepared filmmakers fighting to stay awake. Reason enough to praise the precious exceptions that dare to be more than just a sweatless promotional tool... • The Limey (1999)--Steven Soderbergh's dazzlingly fractured film gains another level of brilliance via his heated conversation with screenwriter Lem Dobbs, a bitter, bilious man who was hopefully restrained during the recording session. Seizing his moment in the limelight, Dobbs proceeds to rail against seemingly every critic, audience member, and filmmaker that ever dared to question his greatness, with special contempt saved for his increasingly prickly director. Compelling listening, fraught with the queasy certainty that a knife fight could break out at any moment.
• Big Trouble In Little China (1986)--Amid the constant background clicking of Zippo lids and pop tops, John Carpenter and Kurt Russell blearily reveal a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes factoids, with frequent digressions on such topics as the bust sizes of their respective ex-wives. All told, an experience akin to spending a few hours with the two best drunk uncles in the universe, watching what may very well be the coolest damned flick ever made.
• Starship Troopers (1997)--De Sadeian Nirvana. Love or loathe the film itself, this jam-packed DVD offers an all too rare chance to bump auditory uglies with a madman. Even the most jaded consumer may gape aghast at Paul Verhoeven's maniacal, heavily accented cackling whenever a 90210-ish cast member is reduced to a pile of steaming meat. Warning: At a certain point, the crazed director unleashes a banshee wail so sonically debilitating that this unsuspecting author spent the next three days hearing a high-pitched squeal ringing in his ears. ANDREW WRIGHT