RateThatCommentary.com Frequency Asked Questions (FAQ)
Actually, for the most part, these aren't frequently asked questions. This site is new enough that very few people have asked me any questions yet. Many of these are just guesses at questions people might have. But, who am I to mess with such a time-honored acronym as FAQ? That's way beyond my power.
Q: What's a commentary?
A: A commentary track is an alternate audio track available on some DVDs and Laserdiscs that lets you listen to people talk about the movie while you're watching it. Often they're done by directors, actors, and other people involved in the making of the film, but sometimes are done by film historians, film critics, or just some random person.
Q: What's the point of this site?
A: Some commentary tracks are very well done, and can sometimes be even more entertaining or worthwhile than the film itself. Others can be a complete waste of time. I wrote this site to help people find out which are which.
Also, there have been times when I've listened to a very good commentary track, and wanted to know what other commentaries that person has done. With the ever-growing database of commentary information on this site, you can search for commentaries by any person you want. Or, maybe you want to find all commentaries by composers, or by editors, or by special effects crew, etc.
Q: I searched for a title and didn't find it. Does that mean it doesn't have a commentary track?
A: No. Because this site is still very new, the commentary database is very incomplete at this point. If you know of any titles with commentary tracks that aren't on the site yet, please feel free to add those DVDs to our database.
Q: Some of the information on the site isn't right.
A: Sorry about that. Won't happen again. Send in a comment to let me know and I'll fix it.
Q: What was the first commentary track?
A: The first commentary track was on the Criterion Laserdisc of King Kong, back in December of 1984.
Q: Do you include text-based trivia tracks, since those are often called text commentaries on DVDs?
A: Not right now. I might add in support for those in the future if I can figure out a good way to keep them separated from the audio commentary track information, but for now I'm just ignoring them.
Q: Do you include fan-created commentary tracks?
A: No. We only keep track of commentary tracks that are available on the disc commercially (or were available, for those that are now out of print). There used to be a web site called DVD Tracks that kept track of ratings for fan-made commentaries, but it looks like their domain name expired in May 2005 and they no longer exist. If anyone knows of a new domain name they might have moved to, or of another site that does something similar, drop me a note and I'll update this section.
Q: Do you only list commentary tracks on region 1 (U.S. and Canada) DVDs?
A: No. Most of the entries in the database right now are focused on region 1 releases only because that's where I live, so that's what I know best. If a DVD released in a different part of the world has different commentary content, please feel free to add it to our database, but also include the region information in the version information section.
Q: Site XYZ claims that Grave of the Fireflies has a commentary track by "Historians Professor Theodore F. Cook and Professor Haruko Taya Cook", but you don't list it.
A: Many sites list that as a commentary track, but it's not. It's actually a featurette with those professors providing a historical perspective for the movie, which was labelled as "commentary" by the studio. They did not mean it to be a commentary track, but many sites picked it up as one, and still list it that way today.