Why are movie reviews so untrustworthy nowadays

I am someone who usually relies on reviews before spending my money watching movies.

However the past year or two I have generally seen that most movies get a better review than they actually deserve so much so that I now instead have to try and decide whether I will enjoy a film based on primitive things such as trailers, genre and lead stars.

Not sure if this is really a recent phenominon but it is definitely more noticeble by flicking through the papers and seeing every new film advert covered in 4 or 5 stars.

Two reviews that have extremely annoyed me are those for the films Traffic and Monsters Ball. Both recieved awards coming out of their ears and both recieved must see review status. Yet to me and many others film finatics I know, these two films are perhaps two of the worst movies ever produced. I feel that they only recieved their awards etc simply because they depicted a certain theme from society despite doing it in a way that was so boring and uninteresting.

I am tempted to watch Syriana this week due to its generally more positive reivews but I can only believe that it will be another traffic, monsters ball type film whereby the actual film will be utter tosh but its theme is the only reason why it is getting attention.

Samething with Brokeback Mounting.

The film Munich was poor despite favourable reviews.

Cant see me enjoying walk the line again despite favourable reviews.

Looks like the only movie available this weekend is Lucky Number Slevin. However unlike the others this didnt get favourable reviews.

If only there was a reliable review source that actually reviews a movie based on enjoyment.
 

Mark_a

Well-known Member
How would that ever be possible? One man's meat... etc.

I reckon the only way you're ever gonna know if you like something is to try it yourself. Anything else is just hearsay and opinion.

Regards

Mark
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
i would like to see a review mag where the movie is rated seperately for

character development
acting
cinematography
action
special effects
comedy
violence
blood/gore
romance

etc

then each person could use the totals they actually care about to decide if they'll like the movie

for instance i would care a lot more about action and special effects than i would about cinematography and acting ;) but that's just me..
 

Mark_a

Well-known Member
The trouble with that approach is it's quite possible to get very high technical merits and yet still be disappointing for one reason or another, or even in some indefinable way that just strikes you as you watch it. How would that be objectively assessed?

Regards

Mark
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
Mark_a said:
The trouble with that approach is it's quite possible to get very high technical merits and yet still be disappointing for one reason or another, or even in some indefinable way that just strikes you as you watch it. How would that be objectively assessed?

Regards

Mark

i think it'd work for me.. i'm really shallow :rotfl:
 

PoochJD

Distinguished Member
Hi,

There are several reasons why film reviews (or DVD reviews, for that matter) are often given "bloated" ratings, but one of the most well-known reasons is usually because if the reviewer's magazine, company newspaper or whatever, is seen to give a film a very good review, then the company who releases the film (or DVD, or whatever), often gives that magazine preferential treatment, in the form of:

- early news about upcoming movies
- free tickets to give away to readers
- free tickets for the reviewer, the staff, and their friends/family
- competition prizes to give away, and/or
- other assorted freebies for the staff

Most magazines will deny this happens, and claim they are completely independent, and will not be swayed by anything a film disributor does to get them to print a positive review, but the media industry know only too well that such practices still go on.

Lastly, positive reviews can be easily manipulated. For example, a reviewer might actually have written or said:

"This film is absolute rubbish, and none of the stars are any good in their roles. In fact, the only great thing about this film is that it lasts 90 minutes, and is less painful to watch than XXX."

The quote can then be extracted and manipulated, ready to be put onto advertising and the movie posters, but will be modified to read:

"This film is.... good. The.. great thing about this film is that it('s)... less painful to watch than XXX!"

In the USA, last year, there was a legal case, whereby film companies created a fictional reviewer, and used that person's "reviews" to promote their movies. Alas, when it was discovered that the reviewer didn't actually exist, and was a fictional creation, consumers were able to sue the film companies in question, and won X amount of money, equivalent to about $10 per ticket they'd bought for each of the affected movies.

In the UK, all quotes must be proven to have been genuinely written and used by the author of the quote, but there are no restrictions of which words they delete, or if the quote is manipulated to turn a negative into a positive!

The main thing is, don't beleive hype! See a film because you want too, and not because others say it's great! :lesson:


Pooch
 
R

rmoxon

Guest
I'm sorry UKbondraider, but you seem to be missing the point of movie reviews.

While Munich was by no means one of my favorite films last year, to say that its anything other than a great film would be wrong.

The same goes for brokeback mountain which was beautifully shot and well acted, but Ang lee films often bore me and this was no different really. But thats just down to my personally taste and is not a reflection on the quality of the film.

Reviews are based on how good a film somthing is, and those two were great films (which plenty of "movie fanatics" did actually like) even though they will never be close to being personal favorites of mine.

A good reveiw should state if the film is well made and acted etc... but it should also say what is enjoyable about it and what is not. When reading a review its a bad idea just to decide that you want to see a film becuase the person reviewing it said it was good. you have to take in to account everything they say about the film in general and THEN decide if its right for you.
 

elicash73

Active Member
Did you ever think that you dont like good movies?

People who care about movies enough to write about them don't only see them as entertainment.
 

BadAss

Banned
Well I just bought Serenity that said "film of the 2005" on the cover. I wont get to see it untill tomorrow so can anyone say this is a true statement or not?
 
R

rmoxon

Guest
Not the film of 2005, but if you enjoyed the TV show its deffinitley a must see.

However, if you didn't see the TV show, as good a film as serenity is I think you should watch that first in order to get to know the characters.
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
oohh Serenity is based on a TV show? have to watch it then (the series i mean), was a good film, sort of a Starship Troopers level film, damn good fun to watch with a loud sound system, a big screen and a bottle of something alcoholic...heh

i dont bother reading reviews to choose my films, i just wander past the shelves in the shops and think, ohh that looks like it could be worth a shot, and buy it.....or if i think, nah, then i dont......i know what i'm gonna like pretty well, and usually the screenshots on the back, the synopsis, the actors/makers involved and the age rating normally tell me if its worth my hard earned, or i'll wait for it on sky....lol
 

Bristol Pete

Well-known Member
One thing to consider is that the ability of 'film reviewers' has diminished somehwhat over the last few years and the phenomona of using celebrities who may be able to watch a film like the rest of us, but not really review it. An example would be Johnny Vaughan who writes for the sun. His reviews are simply a brief summary of the movie/plot and a score that hardly constitues a review, likewise with Paul Ross, Richard Bacon etc.

My youngest brother is a film critic and freelances for various mags and has had stuff published in the states, notably for movie premier. He was telling me that lots of reviewers now try and use /get what the media call 'drops' into reviews . Paul Ross is the master of this with lines like 'Probably the best movie ever made' for something like Tomb Raider. Odd too as his brother is a decent film critic.

Also, the advent of DVD has seen review of a movie take a back seat as the content of the disk seems to be far more important than the movie sometimes which is a shame.

Pete.
 
R

rmoxon

Guest
Knyght_byte said:
oohh Serenity is based on a TV show? have to watch it then (the series i mean), was a good film, sort of a Starship Troopers level film, damn good fun to watch with a loud sound system, a big screen and a bottle of something alcoholic...heh

Yes it is, the show was canceled and so there is only one season, but IMO there is simple no better TV show ever and it is beyond tragic that it was canceled, if you liked the movie, the show is about 10 times better and can be picked up quite cheap now.

The show which it is based on is called Firefly btw, not Serenity.
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
Captain Benefit said:
An example would be Johnny Vaughan who writes for the sun. His reviews are simply a brief summary of the movie/plot and a score that hardly constitues a review

Pete.

True, but i was always a fan of that old review show where johnny got some uni students from a different town each week and reviewed the new releases. i felt like for a change i was getting a review based off a regular person, who is just as likely to love independence day as schindler's list, not a critic who lost his enjoyment of film years ago.
 

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