I don't know what happened, but I really don't give a shit about DVD extras any more. Or Blu-Ray extras, either.
I think maybe having to return Netflix discs so quickly is one of the factors. Plus, with so many movies on Instant or some sort of stream, I don't have access to them any more. They're all kind of disappeared from my view and now, going back, they strike me as vestigial parts of a movie. How ridiculous is the appendix, anyways?
Ah, whatever. I just don't care anymore, you know?
And to tell you the truth, I don't think the people who work on DVD extras give a shit any more. There's only so many hours in a day that you can stare at a casting director or the sub-assistant to the composer talk about what a visionary whoever is. They won't tell you anything because they want to work again. Or maybe they're nice people. Or maybe they don't know a goddamn thing. Or, more likely, they filmed 90% of this crap before the movie was even finished so they're basically only talking about a screenplay and a few dailies with the guy who filmed Batman (or whatever. I hope I don't sound like I'm picking on Christopher Nolan).
The only extras that I really hold out for are director's commentaries. That and actual documentaries-- like Hearts of Darkness (which is actually a film, but I think it's since been absorbed into the singularity that is the Apocalpse Now: Redux: Special Edition: Blu-Ray Vol. 1).
When there are good extras they're typically of older films. Nobody is looking to speak candidly about what a slave driver Christopher Nolan is or what a fool Zack Snyder is, but David Lean? Otto Preminger? Total assholes. The both of them. That's when it gets good. When you get a combination of old people with a grudge who are starved for attention. That makes for good DVD extras. That and the son from the director's first wife-- you know, the one he left for the star of his picture. That guy is always good.
There has to be some level of energy or distance between the movie and its extras otherwise, well, who gives a shit? As interesting as it might be to figure out how they did the flood sequence in the castle in Inception, if you can tell me that story in one paragraph or less I don't feel that it needs to be on the Special Features. I guess that might explain why the Criterion Collection seems to consistently have such good extras on their films. Right down to the packaging and the booklet that comes with it (which in most cases is an actual booklet, not some flimsy pamphlet with the fucking chapter titles on it). Though, as I'm sure you all know, most companies are not the Criterion Collection.
I used to literally watch every single special feature on a movie I bought. Or rented, for that matter. Either I suddenly became more cynical (possible) or I realized how fluffy most of these features actually are (also possible). I guess I also have a lot more important things to do than watch bad camcorder footage of John Travolta or whoever standing by while a scene is being filmed.
The worst I've ever heard was for The Proposition, which is one of my favorite films of all time, in which Nick Cave literally leaves in the middle of the commentary to grab a smoke.
Come on, Nick Cave, try and give a shit, will you? I only bought your fucking movie.