FAQ, or questions no one asked
How can I subscribe to a title or tag, so I get only commentaries for that particular movie or TV show or that particular commentator or franchise?
How can I subscribe to comments for just my own commentaries?
Can I link to multiple movies or multiple tags at once?
- Yes. Just navigate to each tag to get the tag ID and combine them in the address bar of your browser. You can see all commentaries for multiple movies or tags (separate them by commas) or only those that have the tags you specify (separate them by plus signs).
- Let’s say you want to link to Zarban’s listings for all Alien and all Predator commentaries. Find the tag ID for both franchises and connect them in your address bar with a comma:
- Or, let’s say you want to see only MMM commentaries that are for James Bond movies. Find the tag ID for MMM (mmm-commentaries) and James Bond (james-bond) and connect them with a plus sign:
- Or see only commentaries for Marvel comics movies made in the 1980s:
- Or you want to see commentaries for all three X-Men movies:
- To combine tags and titles, use an ampersand (&). Maybe you want to see commentaries for only episodes of Lost done by Sofa Dogs:
- Note: You cannot do “subtractive” building of tags or titles. You can’t, for instance, see all commentaries Marvel comics movies except those done by iRiffs.
Can I create an RSS feed to combine tags or titles?
Can I link to Zarban’s title listings using the IMDb ID for a movie?
- Yes! Just append the IMDb ID to the URL.
- Link to Iron Man (category 702) by appending “?imdb=” and its IMDb movie ID (0371746):
- Why would you want to do this? Let’s say you have a website about movies, and you keep track of them using the IMDb ID (just as I do). You’d like to put a link to the House of Commentaries for the movie in question, but you want to automate them so you don’t have to find the “?cat=123″ number for every one.
- This is actually just what I do for the Internet Movie Car Database and Rotten Tomatoes as well as IMDb itself. They have ways of linking to the right movie on their site if you know the IMDb ID, and I have it as a part of metadata for every entry on my site.
Do you really listen to all the commentaries you comment on?
Why don’t you rate commentaries? (stars, thumbs, etc.)
- Some commentaries are meant to be funny, others are meant to be serious. Some are a combination. I’d have to rate humor and analysis on different measures—plus maybe audio quality—and it would just be subjective anyway. My reviews are pretty descriptive, so you should get a good idea of what I thought of it from that.
Can I comment on a commentary?
You were mean to me in your comment on my commentary.
- Sorry. I really try to be nice. I really, really appreciate that people take the time and effort to make a commentary and dare to post it on the Internet where people can listen to it for free and comment on it but rarely do and are usually jerks on the rare occasion that they mention they listened to your two hours of free content that is free and costs nothing. On the other hand, some commentaries are just lame. But hey, half the actual film-makers’ commentaries on DVDs are lame.
- I often correct errors in commentaries if I hear something I can prove is wrong with a link, but don’t take that personally. Everybody misspeaks now and then.
- Here are the kinds of things that will turn me mean: you wander off-topic to your personal lives; your commentary can’t be sync’d with the movie because of inept editing; your commentary is especially crude and racially or sexually offensive. I’ve got a strong stomach, but I don’t care how “satirical” your use of the N-word is, you’re an ass.
What is your favorite movie?
- Casablanca. But I’m a big fan of ’80s blockbuster action and high adventure. And I love James Bond and Monty Python and Alfred Hitchcock. I likes me a lotta Pixar. I have a weakness for Italian giallo and drive-in dreck and film noir and musicals of the 1930s to the 1950s. I’ll watch almost anything that has both quirkiness and gunfire.
- I don’t like Federico Fellini. I do like Ingmar Bergman. I don’t like Citizen Kane. I do like nearly everything else Orson Welles did. I don’t like chop-saki movies. I do like spaghetti westerns. I don’t like sports movies. I do like car movies. I don’t like prison movies or war movies. I do like monster movies and robot movies. I don’t like slasher films. I do like films where girls take off their clothes but don’t get killed.
- I am in love with Ginger Rogers, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Reynolds, Brigitte Bardot, Julie Andrews, Charlize Theron, and—for some reason—Milla Jovovich.
- I want to be Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Stewart, Harrison Ford, Bill Murray, Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and—for some reason—Nathan Fillion.
- Come to think of it, I might be in love with Paul Newman and want to be Julie Andrews. Those are tough calls.
Do you prefer listening to commentaries for movies you love or for movies you hate?
- Love, altho I’ve heard some great commentaries for movies I would never watch without someone to help keep me sane. (Shout out to Film Pigs, for shepherding me thru The Happening, truly one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of drive-in and grind-house dreck.)
Isn’t is funny that the word “commentator” sounds like “common ‘tater.” You know, like “po-ta-to”?
Do you prefer listening to commentaries for movies the common ‘tators love or movies the common ‘tators hate?
- I like it best when the commentators have a love/hate relationship with the movie. ScrewAttack is great at loving how awful something is. I love how David of MMM audibly winces when they come upon something embarrassing in the middle of something he loves. And DVDCommentaries.co.uk get hilariously baffled by nonsensical stuff in movies they’ve surely seen several times. And of course What Are You Doing, Movie? actually named themselves after that feeling of rooting for a story that is going off the rails. But perhaps the masters of it are the DR and Lynch of Speakeasy, who kind of celebrate the weaknesses of their guilty pleasures.
Do you listen to commentaries while watching the movie or without the movie?
- Nearly always while watching the movie. That includes following RCUK thru Bugsy Malone and Evil Primate thru Congo. But you can bet Wag the Movie was going it alone during Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Do you do commentaries yourself?
- Yes. I don’t make it obvious which ones are mine because I don’t want people to feel this site is just meant to promote my commentaries. And it’s not What Are You Doing, Movie? That’s just an ad.
Is that really a picture of you on the front page?
- No. That is a classical painting by Jan van Eyck. I look like a cross between Christopher Reeve and Skippy from Family Ties, only pudgier these days.
How do you find all these commentaries?
- It ain’t easy. I subscribe to a bunch of feeds from active commentators. But sometimes I just stumble across commentators that have a dozen or more commentaries under their belt, and I never knew about them. Please submit any you find that aren’t here. They don’t have to be yours.
How do you get those great quotes that appear on the site?
- I listen to the commentary and, when I hear something clever, I add it as a quote. The hard part is editing it down to a terse punchline. Sometimes the hard part is deciding which quotes to use. I used to limit them to two or three per movie, but now that I’ve got them appearing on the commentary entry pages themselves, I’ll do as many as seven per movie.
Why don’t you have more quotes from X?
- I probably haven’t listened to very many of X’s commentaries. Maybe I don’t have the movies handy or have an interest in the movies or TV shows they commentate on. Or they just haven’t done very many. Also, some commentators are not very quotable. Or maybe I listened to X’s commentaries before starting this site. For example, I think I listened to every single Firefly commentary back in December 2006, and I haven’t gone back to many of them to get quotes.
If I do a commentary, will you host it?
- Archive.org is great for that. Free storage and easy access. Start a free WordPress blog and link to the Archive.org page on each entry. Once you’ve got 20 or 30 to keep track of, you’ll be glad you did. Please don’t use that awful Rapidshare and Megaupload crap.
What are the things you hate in a fan commentary?
- I can’t stand it when people get off topic and start jabbering about current events. Likewise when people start making references that only their friends or regular podcast listeners understand or get into drunken arguments. But probably the thing most likely to make me turn a commentary off is really offensive racial humor and belching.
Why aren’t there any commentaries for movie X?
You keep spelling although and through wrong.
- No, I don’t. You do. Where is your god now?