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  #1  
Old 09-12-2005, 11:20 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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How does IMDB work?

I sent updates to IMDB for a film I worked on. They only listed a few of the actors. I sent a list of the rest of them, including myself (I'm first in order of appearance -- and I was also the Script Supervisor). I looked at the page a little bit ago, and some of the actors I submitted are there -- but others, including me, are not.

So what's up? Their autoreply when I sent the update said that I'd get an e-mail when the page was updated. I didn't receive one. Maybe they're checking out the other actors (including me)? How would they do that, anyway, for a bunch of no-manes? Do they only send out the notification after all of the updates are completed?
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2005, 11:30 PM
Governor Quinn Governor Quinn is offline
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IMDB is notorious for two things above all else:

1) inaccurate information (most notoriously F. Gwynplaine McIntyre), and

2) being erratic in responding to efforts to add corrections.

I'm not certain as to exactly why it hasn't done full corrections, but that it hasn't is no surprise.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2005, 11:35 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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If I may perhaps hijack slightly with a closely related question, since I was thinking of starting a thread on this . . .

Why do so few of the actors on IMDB have photos available? Very few minor actors, even ones that have been in quite a few films, have photos posted. I would think that anyone in the business would submit a photo, no matter how small their part. After all, it's basically free publicity.
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2005, 12:42 AM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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It's not free publicity it costs $35.00.
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2005, 10:09 AM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walloon
It's not free publicity it costs $35.00.
It costs $35 to submit a photo? In any case, that strikes me as pretty cheap for the exposure.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2005, 10:33 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Governor Quinn
1) inaccurate information (most notoriously F. Gwynplaine McIntyre)
Beg pardon?

I get frustrated with IMDB too. Sometimes when I submit a goof it'll show up within a couple of days; other goofs I've submitted multiple times over the course of a year and they've yet to appear. Most irritatingly I've submitted goofs which have been posted, then are taken down again for no apparent reason. I used to think it had something to do with the relative popularity of the film to which the goof pertained (they'd probably want more content relatign to popular results) but then I submitted some stuff for films that I'd be willing to bet I was the only one to search for in years if ever and bam, the things were up within a week.

IMDB has a processing times status page but IMHO it's not very accurate.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2005, 10:35 AM
Hey, It's That Guy! Hey, It's That Guy! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri
If I may perhaps hijack slightly with a closely related question, since I was thinking of starting a thread on this . . .

Why do so few of the actors on IMDB have photos available? Very few minor actors, even ones that have been in quite a few films, have photos posted. I would think that anyone in the business would submit a photo, no matter how small their part. After all, it's basically free publicity.
It seems to me that a lot of up-and-coming actors, unknowns, wannabes, use IMDB to post their picture and resume, as a means of getting more exposure. But because the site has such a "unofficial"/"do it yourself" vibe, I imagine most established Hollywood types, including any legitimate household names, don't bother posting their pictures or information there because they don't have to.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2005, 10:39 AM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bad Voodoo Lou
It seems to me that a lot of up-and-coming actors, unknowns, wannabes, use IMDB to post their picture and resume, as a means of getting more exposure. But because the site has such a "unofficial"/"do it yourself" vibe, I imagine most established Hollywood types, including any legitimate household names, don't bother posting their pictures or information there because they don't have to.
That's the opposite of my experience with using it. Major actors always have photos available, minor actors rarely do.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2005, 10:41 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Governor Quinn
IMDB is notorious for two things above all else:

1) inaccurate information (most notoriously F. Gwynplaine McIntyre).
I'm curious. What's the deal with Froggy and the IMDB?
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2005, 10:47 AM
ElectricZ ElectricZ is offline
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Not to hijack, but back when it started, IMDB was maintained by a bunch of hobbyists who depended on their fellow movie lovers to keep things up to date and keep the database self-correcting... Now that it's been taken over by a corporate entity, I wonder how things have changed, for better or for worse...
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2005, 11:08 AM
Governor Quinn Governor Quinn is offline
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Since Otto and RealityChuck asked...

F. Gwynplaine McIntyre is a reviewer of films on the IMDB.

There are several issues with his reviews:

1) A large number of the films he has reviewed on the IMDB (especially the silent films) are films that no longer are known to exist.

2) On a couple of occasions, information in his reviews is so inaccurate that it is questionable if he viewed the film or not.

3) When questioned about 1), he has made claims about private collectors holding those films, without revealing any evidence to back these claims.
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2005, 01:30 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Quote:
How would they do that, anyway, for a bunch of no-manes?
So you're saying, they only have the info up for the lions of the industry?
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  #13  
Old 09-13-2005, 02:22 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2005, 09:19 PM
Hail Ants Hail Ants is offline
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Quote:
Now that it's been taken over by a corporate entity, I wonder how things have changed, for better or for worse...
For those who don't know, that corporate entity is Amazon.com
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  #15  
Old 09-14-2005, 07:33 AM
Cugel Cugel is offline
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My only foray into editing an IMDB entry - they accepted the trivia I submitted, but ignored the advice that the bloke's name was misspelled.
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  #16  
Old 09-14-2005, 07:36 AM
Cugel Cugel is offline
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I appear to have wronged them, they've subsequently made the name change. Hurrah!
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  #17  
Old 09-19-2005, 01:01 PM
SmackFu SmackFu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricZ
Now that it's been taken over by a corporate entity, I wonder how things have changed, for better or for worse...
For the writing fields, they switched to using the WGA official credits. This removed a lot of ghostwriting and dialogue-polishing credits that were interesting to see -- if not especially reliable.
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  #18  
Old 09-19-2005, 10:49 PM
Ficer67 Ficer67 is offline
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Guys, its simple, IMDB is on the take.

They force actors to pay $35.00 to have a picture on their website

They give wonderful reviews to crappy movies, and negative reviews to really great films. And they skew the reviews of the people who comment on those movies. Just look at the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the movie sucked, but IMDB gave it a phenomenal review, and stiffled anyone who made negative remarks about it.

I mean, if I were running the website, I would give wonderful reviews also, for the right price....
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  #19  
Old 09-19-2005, 11:11 PM
asterion asterion is offline
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F. Gwynplaine McIntyre--isn't he a science fiction writer? I could swear that I have a couple short stories of his in old issues of Analog.
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2005, 11:38 PM
BobT BobT is offline
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I had a goof published for "Friday Night Lights". And then it got pulled.

But I won't say what it was because I'm afraid my goof was a goof. At best, I thought I'd get a "incorrectly thought of as goofs". But it just disappeared.
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  #21  
Old 09-19-2005, 11:39 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ficer67
They give wonderful reviews to crappy movies, and negative reviews to really great films. And they skew the reviews of the people who comment on those movies. Just look at the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the movie sucked, but IMDB gave it a phenomenal review, and stiffled anyone who made negative remarks about it.


IMDb doesn't give reviews. They do link to websites that have reviews, and they allow registered members to post under "User Comments" in a mostly unmoderated fashion, but the IMDb staff doesn't write any reviews.

The user ratings are often at odds with the perceived quality of the film, but then that's no surprise; after all, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and Rob Schneider all maintain high profitabilty in their films despite the fact that they suck. Obviously, there are many people who like suck (with apologies to those who don't count these leads on their List Of Actors Who Suck). Ditto for their Top 100 and Top 250 lists; these aren't created by any objective assessment of the film, but rather just by the unregulated submissions of users, hence why recent popular films often appear highly ranked even though their "greatness" is highly questionable.

With Hitchhiker's, for instance, I happen to share your assessment of the film (at least insofar as I consider it a very painful near-miss), but I fear that we are in the minority on that issue; while it failed to take the movie-going public by storm and it is doubtful (and thankful, IMHO) that the take will justify a sequel, it is my observation that response by fans is largely, if not unreservedly, popular, and the 6.7/10 rating seems to reflect that sense of apologia about the film. If you look under the "External Reviews" you'll find plenty of criticisms of the film by professional and online critics. Just looking under this category, I find that Ebert gives it two stars (out of a possible four), James Berardinelli gives it two and a half of the same, and filmcritic.com generously offers it three and a half out of five. (Mr. Cranky gives it four bombs, which by their legand says that it is, "As good as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick," surely not the highest of recommendations.)

I'm afraid I don't see any censorship or underhandedness here. And you'll have to cite for me at this "phenomenal review" that "IMDB" gave it.

Stranger
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  #22  
Old 09-19-2005, 11:57 PM
Governor Quinn Governor Quinn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asterion
F. Gwynplaine McIntyre--isn't he a science fiction writer? I could swear that I have a couple short stories of his in old issues of Analog.
Yes, McIntyre the reviewer is the same man as McIntyre the writer.
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  #23  
Old 09-20-2005, 12:30 AM
KGS KGS is offline
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I've submitted info to IMDB several times over the years, but the only thing they published was a goof for the film Rogue Trader...and I screwed up on it! Tried submitting a correction (twice) but they never changed it.

You'd think it's common knowledge that the Kobe Earthquake was in 1995 and not '92...certainly everyone who reads that goof must wonder what kind of idiot must have submitted it.
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2005, 12:36 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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I love the resource, but the updates can be very erratic, and it's annoying. I remember submitting what I thought was a very clever trivia item to them, and they never used it. I also remember (correctly, I hope!) that their page for Walter Matthau said his real name was Walter Matachuskyanskyasky - a joke he once made on Larry King's show - which is kind of amazing, to me, from a movie site. But I sent them a correction and that's gone now.
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  #25  
Old 09-20-2005, 05:23 AM
Ficer67 Ficer67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train


IMDb doesn't give reviews....

I'm afraid I don't see any censorship or underhandedness here. And you'll have to cite for me at this "phenomenal review" that "IMDB" gave it.

Stranger
Ok, well all I did was to go to IMDB.com, search for Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy and click on the movie which was released in 2005. Under User Comments, Transbottom from the UK wrote:

Overall a tremendous success. It's very funny, very kooky and visually gorgeous. I saw it with about 2000 media persons and we all loved it, which is a pretty hard thing to accomplish.
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  #26  
Old 09-20-2005, 05:32 AM
Ficer67 Ficer67 is offline
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Ok, so the power failed and I had to restart the computer its Louisiana people!

Transbottom from the UK also gave the movie 9 out of 10 stars.

The thing I am trying to point out is that, I have never seen a bad user review on IMDB. Yes, I can search for bad user reviews, but the IMDB does not show poor reviews with the same frequency that it shows the good ones. Why do they do this? They want the movies that they endorse to be successful, so that they can get more hits, and generate more revenue through ads and endorsements.

Quite a book that you wrote on the subject Stranger, are you affiliated with IMDB in some way?
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  #27  
Old 09-20-2005, 06:14 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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Someone at IMDb arbitrarily picks one of the User Comments on the films to be the one cited at the bottom of the main page for the film. In no way does this mean that this opinion by some random user of the IMDb is the offical opinion of the IMDb. At most it means that somebody working for the IMDb thought that this was an interesting opinion. All the other User Comments are still available, although it may take you a while to read them all since there are occasionally thousands of them for a single film.

It may be true that the User Comment that happens to be chosen to be the one at the bottom of the main page is more likely to be favorable than unfavorable. Frequently unfavorable comments consist of nothing but "This is junk" repeated several different ways. People who like a film are more like to say something interesting about the film than people who don't like it. Occasionally the User Comment at the bottom of the main page will be unfavorable because the person working for IMDb will think that that is the most interesting review of the film. In any case, the choice of which review is at the bottom of the main page is about which review is interesting, not about it being the official opinion of IMDb or about it being favorable.
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  #28  
Old 09-20-2005, 06:18 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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Ficer67 writes:

> Quite a book that you wrote on the subject Stranger, are you affiliated with
> IMDB in some way?

That was a book to you? Look, you might as well get used to the fact that a good answer to someone's question here on the SDBM is often long. To explain something right, it often takes several paragraphs of careful detail.
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  #29  
Old 09-20-2005, 08:38 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ficer67
Ok, so the power failed and I had to restart the computer its Louisiana people!

Transbottom from the UK also gave the movie 9 out of 10 stars.

The thing I am trying to point out is that, I have never seen a bad user review on IMDB. Yes, I can search for bad user reviews, but the IMDB does not show poor reviews with the same frequency that it shows the good ones. Why do they do this? They want the movies that they endorse to be successful, so that they can get more hits, and generate more revenue through ads and endorsements.

Quite a book that you wrote on the subject Stranger, are you affiliated with IMDB in some way?
I think the user reviews are chosen based on how many other users thought that this review was helpful. There might be a bias that people tend to find enjoyable reviews more helpful that ones that diss a film. But I've certainly seen my fair share of negative reviews on the front page.
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  #30  
Old 09-20-2005, 09:25 AM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ficer67
Ok, well all I did was to go to IMDB.com, search for Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy and click on the movie which was released in 2005. Under User Comments, Transbottom from the UK wrote:

Overall a tremendous success. It's very funny, very kooky and visually gorgeous. I saw it with about 2000 media persons and we all loved it, which is a pretty hard thing to accomplish.


So you pick one user comment (which is not a review and is made by some random member of the public who is presumably not an employee of IMDb) and expand it into being the official position of IMDb. Looking under "User Comments" (not just the single excerpt from one user) on the first page I find a one star assessment entitled "Get the BBC series, save your money." Boy, someone in Information Suppression sure missed that one. Paging on to additional comments, I find more and more negatives.

The reason that mediocre films often have unreasonably high ratings and comments is that the persons most likely to comment, especially with long involved commentaries, are those who enjoyed or cared about the film. If you are "meh" on a movie, are you going to bother writing five paragraphs of commentary, or even log in and vote on it? You can see the same thing on Amazon's user book comments; most are to either end of the scale, with relatively little ambivilency.

And to answer your question, I'm neither affilliated with IMDb, nor its parent company, Amazon.com. Heck, I'm not even a registered user. I've used the database for years, going back to the days when the client was text email rather than prettified HTML pages. I find it a generally reliable source for production and cast information, though as many have already pointed out the user supplied trivia and comments are of questionable certification (though generally no worse than Leonard Maltin's often erroneous errata or Roger Ebert's constant stream of technical misinformation). And a three paragraph response is for me on the short end of the scale, especially when it comes to correcting as many misapprehensions as were condensed in your original post.

There are plenty of criticisms to be leveed at IMDb (the defective pop-ups ads and their annoying "celebrity news" columns from WENN being but two of them) but your complaints are predicated on false claims.

Stranger
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  #31  
Old 09-20-2005, 06:25 PM
Ficer67 Ficer67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train


So you pick one user comment... but your complaints are predicated on false claims.

Stranger
Well, I hope I have conveyed to you that I have looked at more user comments than merely this one...

Like I said, I have never seen a negative user comment come up when I use IMDB, I can search for and find negative reviews, but IMDB does not display these reviews when you read about a movie on their web page. It might be nice to see a negative user review, it would convey a sense of objectivity, but it just doesn't happen on IMDB.

I don't think I am discussing this with you anymore, you are taking this way too personally stranger. I don't like IMDB, they do not work for me, because I do not buy into the hype which surrounds all movies. The same hype which IMDB seems to be full of and spreading around.
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  #32  
Old 09-20-2005, 06:55 PM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is online now
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Nobody at IMDB chooses which reviews go on the front page. Nobody has time, It's entirely done by a computer program. Given that the computer program doesn't even know how to read reviews to see if they're good or bad, I don't even see how it would be possible for the imdb to introduce bias. Stranger posited a likely hypothesis, people who liked the movie write more about it and reviews that are longer get voted up more.
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  #33  
Old 09-20-2005, 07:48 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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In a few minutes I was able to find the following movies where the User Comment on the main page was unfavorable:

_Showgirls_
_Bolero_
_The Real Cancun_
_Glitter_

The User Comments are the least interesting aspect of the IMDb. What the IMDb does brilliantly well are the objective things: the name of the actors and the crew, the release date, the filming locations, the amount of money earned and spent on the film, etc. These things are done by the staff of the IMDb and are pretty much always accurate. The other brilliant thing about the IMDb is that all these movies and actors and crew are linked up so it's easy to do fast research on the IMDb. The User Comments, the trivia and goofs in the films, the actors' biographies, etc. are somewhat subjective and hence are rather haphazard.
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  #34  
Old 09-20-2005, 11:48 PM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
What the IMDb does brilliantly well are the objective things: the name of the actors and the crew, the release date, the filming locations, the amount of money earned and spent on the film, etc. These things are done by the staff of the IMDb and are pretty much always accurate.
For the most part, those things are not done by the IMDb staff. The IMDb is famously a user-supplied database. People like you and me and thousands of others have supplied those titles, credits, release dates, etc.
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  #35  
Old 09-20-2005, 11:58 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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I can imagine that originally, the database was populated by end users who typed in the credits for older movies, but for new movies, how can the end users have that data? So I assume that, for new and upcoming movies, the IMDB gets the info from the studios directly (perhaps they receive the production notes?).
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  #36  
Old 09-21-2005, 12:28 AM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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From Col Neeham, founder and managing director of the IMDb, on Dec. 31, 2004:
Quote:
Submissions for 2004 totalled 12,772,550 items which is an increase of 3.75M items over the submissions for 2003 to put things in perspective, this increase is more than the total number of items submitted in 1999! During 2004 we added close to 44,000 new titles with the total now standing at 426,791 and there are now 1,661,651 names covered in the database (+230K over 2003). The number of filmography credits grew by over 1.5M, giving a total of 9,134,245 and it therefore looks like the 10 millionth credit will go live in 2005. A total of 139,115 people submitted information in 2004, which is over 25K more than 2003. Since we began keeping detailed comparable records in 1996, nearly 500,000 different people have submitted a total of well over 50 million items of data!
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  #37  
Old 09-21-2005, 01:23 AM
PBear42 PBear42 is offline
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Like most others posting here, I use IMDb mainly (almost exclusively) for credits information. For which I have found that it is usually reliable, and far-and-away more reliable than any other single Internet source. For reviews, I usually turn to Rotten Tomatoes, which is the best Internet compilation of published reviews I've yet found. The compliation of reviews for Hitchhiker, for example, is suitable ambivalent.
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  #38  
Old 09-21-2005, 01:25 AM
PBear42 PBear42 is offline
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Arrgh. "... suitably ambivalent."
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  #39  
Old 09-21-2005, 09:06 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ficer67
I don't think I am discussing this with you anymore, you are taking this way too personally stranger.
Okay, Ficer, I haven't been arguing with you about this, so I hope you'll be willing to help explain your argument here to me.

You started by saying:

Quote:
Just look at the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the movie sucked, but IMDB gave it a phenomenal review, and stiffled anyone who made negative remarks about it.
Stranger pointed out that:

Quote:
Looking under "User Comments" (not just the single excerpt from one user) on the first page I find a one star assessment entitled "Get the BBC series, save your money."
You then replied by quoting from a different user review:

Quote:
Transbottom from the UK wrote:

Overall a tremendous success. It's very funny, very kooky and visually gorgeous. I saw it with about 2000 media persons and we all loved it, which is a pretty hard thing to accomplish.
So what are you trying to say? That because IMDB displays any positive reviews that they are biased against negative reviews?

I think it's been pretty clearly demonstrated that there are negative user comments on IMDB. Do you still claim that they don't exist? Can you explain your position?
Well, I hope I have conveyed to you that I have looked at more user comments than merely this one...

Like I said, I have never seen a negative user comment come up when I use IMDB, I can search for and find negative reviews, but IMDB does not display these reviews when you read about a movie on their web page. It might be nice to see a negative user review, it would convey a sense of objectivity, but it just doesn't happen on IMDB.

I don't like IMDB, they do not work for me, because I do not buy into the hype which surrounds all movies. The same hype which IMDB seems to be full of and spreading around.[/QUOTE]
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  #40  
Old 10-13-2005, 10:28 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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I've checked dozens of movies on the IMDb and I can say the following: The User Comment that is displayed on the main page for a movie is not always favorable. The User Comment that is displayed there is also not the one that has the most votes for it (or the best percentage of votes). I have no idea how the IMDb chooses which review to post on the main page.
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  #41  
Old 10-14-2005, 08:52 AM
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Which film was that, Johnny L.A.?

How long before 'Agony' will be submitted?
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  #42  
Old 10-14-2005, 09:35 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gum
Which film was that, Johnny L.A.?

How long before 'Agony' will be submitted?
That would be telling!

We've only shot one day on Agony. We were going to shoot yesterday and today, only there were scheduling problems. (That's what happens when you're not paying people -- or in our case, only offering deferred pay.) So Jerry's been editing the two scenes we shot (even though we're going to re-shoot the interiors because the actor were tired). Today we have a training session for the fight scene. We have to shoot a wedding tomorrow. The Hooker Scene is Sunday. Our Stunt Coordinator called yesterday and said he needed a commercial video right now because word got out to his competitors about the one he was planning; so we have to shoot and edit that Wednesday through Friday. Between the money-making business that's intruding and the non-availability of actors on certain days the schedule is a mess. I'm guessing the film won't be ready to be shown until late-Winter or early-Spring. It will be submitted then.
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