Netflix has released a director’s commentary for Crystal Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, but listening to it is not ideal. In fact, trying to do it will make you cry.
As a quick reminder, Crystal Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is the second installment of Rian Johnson’s crime mystery that saw the return of Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc. The film received an unprecedented theatrical release from Netflix over Thanksgiving before opening on Netflix globally over Christmas and becoming its fourth most-watched film of all time.
On February 23, Glass Onion and Rian Johnson’s Twitter account teased (along with a new poster) a commentary from the director that will be posted on February 24 at 10am PT.
I keep coming back, in my mind, to the Crystal Onion…
– Crystal Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (@KnivesOut) February 23, 2023
The director’s commentary came on February 24 (not that it’s easy for you to find given TUDUM’s promotion), but via a podcast and not within the Netflix app.
How do you listen to the director’s comments while watching the movie?
To get started, you should have two devices ready. That’s because the commentary exists outside of the Netflix ecosystem, and they choose to upload the commentary track as an audio podcast in a podcast series called “Watching with…”.
Watching with… was an interview podcast series that spoke with directors and actors like Craig Brewer, Alice Wu, Joel Edgerton, and Brad Anderson. With that being said, the series died in May 2020, only to be revived now with something different than the previous content.
So if you want to watch while listening to the director’s commentary, you’ll have to sync both the podcast and the Netflix movie within the app and hit play at the same time. Assuming you manage to get the two in sync, you’ll need to manage the audio levels between your two devices, since the podcast only features the director’s commentary voices and not the movie audio as well.
Simply put, you most likely won’t listen to or watch the director’s comments because it sounds too much like hard work.
Why isn’t Director’s Commentary available on the Netflix app?
Until now, directors’ commentaries on Netflix movies have only been available via limited-edition, physical DVD releases via The Criterion Collection. However, at the time of publishing, only eight Netflix Original movies have received the treatment.
The director’s comments have long been discussed about ways Netflix could improve the lifespan of its movies, and to date, no streamer has really tried to crack the format.
It’s crazy that streaming services don’t have commentary tracks for literally all of their movies. Comments are cheap and easy to produce and get your audience to spend more precious minutes viewing your service. Why the heck Netflix/Amazon/D+/HBOMAX etc. isn’t everyone doing this?
— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) July 11, 2021
Perhaps there is a technical barrier to simultaneously having multiple audio options and conflicting subtitles?
It’s fine, but you could go the Disney+ route with the way it shows the IMAX Enhanced Versions or even house the director’s commentary as a separate title entirely.
In any case, what a missed opportunity. Hopefully we get the rumored physical release some day in the future.
Are you going to see the director’s comments? Let us know how you find the experience in the comments below.