If like me you love movies the chances are you are aware of IMDB, one of the main if not the main source for movie information on the net. It’s a very useful site for those wanting the latest news and reviews as well as information on movies both new and old.
One of the areas which use to be of interest was the IMDB 250 movie list which ranked the most popular movies as rated by the IMDB members 8x movies. I say use to as at one time it would consist of movies which have remained popular over years having stood the test of time where as these days, well it often features new releases which get an influx of votes from over enthusiastic members who think the likes of “Toy Story 3” is superior to “Goodfellas” and “The Prestige” is better than “Raging Bull”, come on seriously.
And that is the flaw with the IMDB top 250 movie list, it is prone to those who don’t understand what makes a great movie, and I do mean great Wpit18. They watch a movie think it’s the best thing since slice bread and give it an over zealous rating on IMDB. It has to be said that as IMDB has become more popular this problem has got worse and just looking through the IMDB top 250 movie list today I can spot at least 10 movies which are less than 5 years old which have found themselves high up on the list thanks to over enthusiastic rating from members.
The trouble is these movies knock others of the list and then stay on there until after a few years these movies get more realistic ratings and slowly start to drop down and drop off. Which would be okay if it wasn’t for the fact in the mean time yet another new release has got itself on the list and if this cycle continues then at some point the IMDB top 250 movie list is going to feature more modern movies which whilst maybe good aren’t great.
Well the first thing which could be done is for IMDB to tackle the issue. In their formula for creating the IMDB top 250 movie list they should factor in the age of the movie. Possibly reducing the value of member rates in the first couple of years after release so the enthusiasm doesn’t create this problem. That way the list would end up more realistic as it would consist of more of those movies which are great and have stood the test of time. It would also stop over enthusiastic members artificially boosting the rankings of newer movies just to get them high up on the list.
What they can also do is make the rating of a movie a more thoughtful process. They could ask you to rate different aspects of the movie such as the storyline, acting, effects and camera work taking an average of these rates to calculate your overall rating. Of course some will still just rate at the top of the scale on all of these but it will encourage some members to think more deeply about what goes into a great movie which is what the IMDB top 250 movie list should be all about.
And something which members can do is to start thinking seriously about what they rate a movie before they click the mouse. Even if IMDB doesn’t prompt you to take into consideration the different elements and whether in a few years time you will have forgotten much of the movie you are about to rate a 10. Online movie forums are where people post what they liked about a movie, hated about a movie, or what they want to see. A filmmaker can only benefit by being part of these communities. Be prepared for members of forums to post negative comments, but there are also members that post positive comments or offer helpful constructive criticism that can make your next movie better. All you can do as a filmmaker or movie producer is put your work out there and see what type of responses come from viewers.
Online movie forums thrive because it’s a cool way for viewers to become a movie critic from their computer and express their uncensored audience opinion. That is one of things I love about the social medium. The internet allows people to enjoy freedom of speech, even when it’s just about posting about a movie. I trust the opinions of people that post in forums more than paid movie critics. Most paid movie critics focus on reviewing studio films, art house fare, or offbeat films with known Hollywood stars in them.
The open diversity of movies discussed in forums is amazing to me as a writer, producer, and director. Members that like direct to video urban gangster movies have a place to post their comments. Fans of low budget horror movies have a home on the internet to be heard. Online movie forums are an entertainment democracy for viewers and producers. The majority of smaller budget indie movies will never be reviewed by paid movie critics or get a first look from mainstream media outlets. The online movie forum community gives indie movies made on small budgets a shot to be seen, to loved, and hated. Every movie gets a fair shake to be reviewed. Film democracy lives!
In a film democracy no filmmaker is safe from movie viewer salvos or roses being virtually thrown. I’ve read posts that start by tearing apart a movie until there is nothing left to attack. When not satisfied enough with bashing the movie a forum member sometimes turns their wrath on the filmmaker by personally shredding them to pieces.
I had one online reviewer go way beyond not liking one of my movies. They personally attacked me over my face. No way I could change that part of making a movie. I think the line was, “Your face makes me sick. ” Not only did the viewer hate one of my movies, they hated my face. Hell, I have not ever appeared in a movie I’ve done in a cameo or acting role. That was funny to me. It reminds of the story about the cowboy that catches a terrible beating from another cowboy. The winning cowboy looks down at the losing cowboy asking if he still wants more. The losing cowboy fires back, “Are you crazy?