Saturday, February 28, 2009

I use the imdb (The Internet Movie Datebase, every day. In fact, it's my home page. I'm always looking up the credits to some old movie, and for the most part, the imdb is a godsend, always providing detailed information that I could not find anywhere else on earth. And everything links! I could and have spent hours searching arcane movie credits. I'm just that kind of guy.

And the end of every listing is a review. They are written by users rather than by critics or film profs. I'm sure the imdb created it with the best intentions, to put the average person's point of view across. When it comes to movies, everyone's a critic, and rightly so, as movies practically beg the viewer for a response. But the published entries are none too deep. The learned opinion is passe, and people with no sense of history write reviews as though movies only dated back a few decades. Here are three typical imdb reviews, slightly edited but with all the spelling and grammar errors intact:

I found this movie to be very compelling in many ways. The emotions felt here were not cheap gimmicks but that of feeling true sympathy. I can't remember another film that made me feel these emotions for a character. This film succeeded in ways that almost movie would likely fail in. This is a film that is amazingly thought provoking and will bring out the humanity within all of us and should not be missed.

I had the honor of watching this during a screening and was completely blown away! This is one of the best movie ever made. Everything in this film is excellent, not one piece of annoyance. It deserves any and every movie award known to man for this brilliant display. The director has made his "I will always be remembered" movie, this is the crownjewel in his portfolio. Perfect directing, perfect story, perfect balance between action and drama, everything is perfect. You will love this film. If you don't, then something beez wrongz with youz!

Yes, I said it's dumb. The quality of the acting is bad. The costumes look like they came from the local fabric store sales rack. Pretty low budget flick. The writing is elementary. The use of cheap actor's to play secondary rolls is quite obvious. Some of the camera shots, POV, are poorly done. Not for the intelligent viewer.

And unfortunately, not for the intelligent film lover either. When I want to know if Priscilla Presley ever won an acting award (yes she did, a Soap Opera Digest award for Exciting New Actress in a Prime Time Soap Opera for Dallas back in '78), I go to imdb and thank it profusely afterwards. But when I want to read a review of a movie, I'll look somewhere else.