I'm curious how many people walk around with their MoC & CC books in their knapsacks so they can access them anytime?
Well, I do - I normally watch the main feature during the long train-based bit of my commute, and read the book on the bus during the final stretch. And I'm always getting discs and booklets separated - I have a huge pile of the latter in my office at any given moment, especially if they've got useful reference material.
I think the poster's point was relatively obvious-- film is film, and to engage with deleted scenes, alternate takes, interviews, etc, one can sit back and relax and engage visually with this visual medium, rather than the purely textual writings & descriptions of a critic.
Yes, but it depends entirely on the individual release. For instance, I really don't think the BFI's documentary sets would benefit from additional video materials - for starters, they'd mostly have to be created from scratch (they generally didn't shoot production featurettes of GPO and Crown Film Unit documentaries, and even promotional stills are hard to come by), so really meaty booklets are clearly the most sensible way to go - especially in the GPO set's case, as they reproduce some gorgeous original advertising artwork at a higher resolution than you'd get on disc.
If you can pull video extras off the shelf, that's great - but whenever I produce a DVD I have to decide whether or not a particular extra is better suited to print or video, and whether I can justify the cost of creating the latter from scratch. That said, I've been lucky enough to be allowed to combine meaty books AND generous video extras, at least so far - but this may not be the case with future projects, and contributing to a Second Run release a few months ago gave me a valuable insight into the world of practically zero-budget DVD production.
I'd guess that there are some people who like a mix of reading material and video stuff-- some people hate reading, that's no mystery, though I can't claim this myself. I hardly engage with extras, period. But there's nothing wrong with a good video piece, when you're dealing with film.
I completely agree, but there's a lot wrong with a mediocre or downright bad video piece, and I've seen so many of those that I tend to become jaded. At least with a printed essay you can generally skim it quickly and decide in a matter of seconds whether it's worth your time!
For what it's worth, I tend to agree with Jonathan Rosenbaum when he denounced commentaries as "lazy, free-form, drifting essays that only intermittently relate to what one’s watching at any given moment" - there are plenty of exceptions, but they tend to be the ones that a great deal of care and effort and money has been spent on, and there are few things more tedious than a commentary by someone who either isn't engaging with the medium at all or who has a few interesting things to say but nowhere near enough to justify 100 minutes of waffling.