Monday, March 14, 2011

You Can't Review What You Haven't Seen

I am constantly amazed by the incredible myriad of idiocy that I have to choose from every day in order to write something in this little box. And for today, from the file of "Who Thinks This Is A Good Idea?" and under the sub-heading "Who Thought Up This S*** In The First Place" we have this: Movie reviews by people who have not seen the movie.

I kid you not. I am not dry shaving you. This is a real thing. I was checking out
Fandango.com yesterday because I wanted to read the reviews for the newly released Mars Needs Moms. Regardless of what the reviews turned out to be, I had planned on seeing this movie because it is based on the book by the incredibly amazing and insanely talented, not to mention rather the witty and quick with a quip Berkeley Breathed. If you're unfamiliar with Mr. Breathed's work, I suggest you stop whatever you're doing right now and wonder what you've really accomplished in your life up to this point. The answer should be "Not nearly enough, as I have missed out on the awesome humor and keen insight of the Bloom County comic strips and the subsequent Sunday strips, Outland and Opus." In short, your life has been wasted. But there's still time to save it! (Not much time, really, but I try to be optimistic in situations like these.)

So there I am at Fandango and I click on the Reviews tab. As I began to read, I noticed that some of the reviews were strangely opinionated. So much so that it was if they hadn't seen the movie at all. And that is when I discovered that they hadn't. See, Fandango let's you review movies if you haven't seen them. I have absolutely NO idea why that would be. I am open to suggestions, however. What good does someone's opinion of something that they've never seen do for me? Not a thing, I'm thinking. But let's look at some of the reviews by people who have never seen it and see if I'm wrong. Maybe there IS something to be learned from people merely giving an opinion based on pure speculation gained from doing nothing. (There won't be, but play along, will ya? I need to draw this post out a little bit.)

Let's see...oh! Here we go. Here's one that reads: "I am so excited about this movie! It is going to be hilarious!! I love the book, so this should be epic!!! Yay! :) " Um, OK? Yeah, I loved the book too, but that doesn't mean anything. You know what other books I loved? The Cat In The Hat. The Firm. How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The DaVinci Code. Were they epic? Hardly. Were they hilarious? Kind of, but they weren't supposed to be, so that really wasn't a selling point. What boggles me ever more is that four out of six people found this "review" to be helpful. Helpful? In what way?! She hasn't seen it yet! She's merely excited! THAT is "helpful" to some folks? For cryin' out loud...(Then again, four out of nine people found a review that simply read "No no no!" to be helpful, so I think it's fair to say that we're beyond help at this point.)

Next we have: "Havent seen it yet but i just no its going to be tbe biggest peice of crap anyone is ever going to see so dont watch it." This individual is apparently a cinematic clairvoyant. Too bad that all of the studios can't just hire him to look at a poster of a movie that they've made and give his opinion on the degree to which it will be a piece of crap. (ie, Big, bigger or, in this case, biggest.) And if he says that he can no that it will be such a sizeable piece of poo without having watched it, who are we to not heed his warnings?

Here is more speculation, only this time, it appears to come from a child. "I think it'll be a so so movie. I think the idea is a little too crazy, but I think people will enjoy it. It'll be good for moms because the kids ( about my age ) will learn to obey their moms. For the kids, I think they will love it for it's humor. I'm not completely sure about that, but I'll just have to go to find out!!!!" Really? You think the idea of a kid having to go to Mars to save his mother who has been kidnapped by Martians is a little too crazy, do you? Interesting. I'd never thought of that. (This is really wearing me out more than I had anticipated.)

From someone who seems to have just barely mastered the English language (and perhaps, even more recently, his way around a keyboard): "Don't go. This movie doesn't look that good to watch. I mean, I've seen many cartoons and most are good. I just don't think this one will be as good." Lots of cartoons are good. Some cartoons are bad. This one doesn't look good. Well, it doesn't look as good. Well, it doesn't look that good. To watch, of course. Maybe it's good if you're not watching it. But this looks bad. (Isn't this review kind of like saying, "I've had food. Most food is good. But that food doesn't look like it will be good food. Don't eat it. Even if you think it looks like something you'd like. It could be bad food that you won't like.") Never mind that it's not really a cartoon. I'm just thankful that no one found that 'review' to be useful.

And finally, from the Ironic Chastising Department: "People are funny. They write a bad review or rate a movie bad when they haven't even seen it.. Who writes a bad review based off the movie poster you're just an idiot. Go see the movie then you're allowed to say something. I'm sure this movie will be good and I'm sure the rating will change when people actually go watch it." Go to the movie and then say something. But make sure that you write your 'review' telling people that you're sure it will be good before you go see it. Yeah, sure. That makes sense.

Really, I didn't care what the reviews were, as I was going to see it regardless because I can't imagine not seeing anything that Berkeley Breathed does. (To say that I am a huge fan of the man would not even do my fandom justice. I met him for the first time just a couple of years go and I almost cried. OK, I cried a little bit in line while I was waiting. But I managed to compose myself by the time I got up there, lest he thought I was the star-struck moron that I was trying so desperately to hide.) But I was just amazed that reviews for something that someone hasn't even watched are allowed on a movie site. I could see if it were someone's two-bit blog or some crap like that. (In case you were wondering, this blog is clearly at least three-bit, so don't start expecting inane movie reviews to be popping up any time soon.) But on a site that is supposed to be giving information, not speculation, about movies? I find it asinine and annoying. And you can expect my full review of Mars Needs Moms after I've seen it.

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2 comments:

Mark said...

It could be worse, we could have these retards voting for President on the basis of hope and change and how things make them feel rather than how things really are. Oh. It is worse.

Mare said...

Hey, Mark.

Yep. Worse it is.

The good thing though is that a lot of people who were overly enamored with ol' Changey McOptimism are now wondering where all of their change that they were promised is. And if nothing else, it IS amusing to hear these people expressing their newfound disbelief that they're not feeling any better. That's fun.

~ Mare