Netflix has released a director’s commentary for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, but listening to it is hardly ideal. In fact, trying to do so will make you cry.
As a quick reminder, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is the second installment of the Rian Johnson crime mystery that saw the return of Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc. The movie received an unprecedented theatrical release by Netflix over Thanksgiving before releasing on Netflix globally over Christmas and becoming their fourth most-watched movie of all time.
On February 23rd, the Glass Onion Twitter account and Rian Johnson teased (alongside a new poster) a director’s commentary coming out on February 24th at 10 am PT.
I keep returning, in my mind, to the Glass Onion…
— Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (@KnivesOut) February 23, 2023
The director’s commentary did arrive on February 24th (not that you’d have an easy time finding it given TUDUM promoted) but via a podcast and not within the Netflix app.
How do you listen to the director’s commentary while watching the movie?
For starters, you must have two devices ready. That’s because the commentary exists outside the Netflix ecosystem, with them choosing to upload the commentary track as an audio podcast to a podcast series called “Watching with…”
Watching With… was an interview podcast series that spoke to directors and actors such as Craig Brewer, Alice Wu, Joel Edgerton, and Brad Anderson. With that said, the series went dead in May 2020, only to be revived now with something unlike any of the content that came before it.
So if you want to watch along while listening to the director’s commentary, you’ll have to time up both the podcast and the Netflix movie within the app and hit play at the same time. Assuming you manage to sync up the two, you’ll have to manage the audio levels between your two devices, as the podcast only features the voices of the director’s commentary and not the movie’s audio too.
Simply put, the chances are you won’t listen and watch the director’s commentary because it’s too much like hard work.
Why aren’t the director’s commentaries available within the Netflix app?
Until now, directors’ commentaries on Netflix movies have only been available through limited-edition physical DVD releases via The Criterion Collection. However, at the time of publishing, only eight Netflix Original movies have received the treatment.
Director’s commentaries have been long discussed about ways Netflix could improve the shelf-life of its movies, and to this date, no streamer has really tried to crack the format.
It’s insane that streaming services don’t have commentary tracks for literally all of their movies. Commentaries are cheap & easy to produce & get the audience to spend more precious minutes watching your service. Why on earth are Netflix/Amazon/D+/HBOMAX etc not all doing this? https://t.co/RkLyRjrG8I
— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) July 11, 2021
Perhaps there’s a technical barrier to simultaneously having multiple conflicting audio and subtitle options?
OK, but you could go the route of Disney+ with how it displays the IMAX-enhanced versions or even host the director’s commentary as a separate title altogether.
In any case, what a missed opportunity. Hopefully, we do get the rumored physical release sometime in the future.
Will you be checking out the director’s commentary? Let us know how you find the experience in the comments below.