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Author Topic: What do you like in a movie site?  (Read 1054 times)
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Knightshade Dragon
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« on: December 14, 2012, 03:06:28 PM »

When you visit a movie site, what are you going there to do?   i.e.

- I look at trailers
- I want reviews of movies
- I want to know who starred in that movie.
- etc.

Once the server is stable (and I think we fixed that finally yesterday) I intend to launch the movie arm of our site, and I want to know what readers are looking for in a movie site.  Any feedback would be awesome.  smile
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 03:30:54 PM »

My admittedly jaded 2 cents is there are already too many sites doing those first 3 examples. In fact, there are so many, that now you have sites like Movieline contracting with Variety to run its reviews. And umpteen sites aggregating work done by other sites (as happens with many gaming news sites). And reviews online just tend to lead to comments threads of 100 screaming, ranting people angry that someone liked/didn't liked a movie. Although that's basically the Internet about anything.  icon_smile

fwiw, though, I tend to enjoy movie sites that focus on:
-Interviews (doesn't have to be with stars -- I love reading interviews with cinematographers, screenwriters, 2nd unit directors, stunt coordinators, makeup FX guys, FX devs, etc. -- I far more enjoy reading interviews about the craft of film making, then another dopey interview with the celebrity of the week)
-Columns about movies (for examples, see Roger Ebert's site's columns, which are to the right of his reviews).
-Retrospectives on classic movies of any genre (there's never a shortage of material)

If you are going to run reviews, I'd try to be up front about what the goal is. Is the reviewer simply stating his own personal opinion of the movie (which is what most film critics do); or is the reviewer supposed to be some mind-reader who's supposed to pronounce approximately what % of the masses will enjoy a film (which is what a lot of folks online think a "film reviewer" is supposed to do -- i.e., read their mind and tell them if they'll enjoy something or not).

I enjoyed reviewing films for my college paper in 1986-1987. It was a blast to attend early screenings with our arts editor, and I got to review things like Aliens, Predator, Raising Arizona and Creepshow 2, among others. Bring your own! Would I do it now? Hell no. I don't want to deal with a thousand anonymous trolls calling me a dumbass *Fist Shaking* for liking or not liking a movie. I love the Internet in a thousand ways but for the most part, I think it's made being a reviewer of anything a miserable experience unless you just decide to cordon yourself off from any online feedback.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 03:55:40 PM »

The idea with reviews is that they'll be short (a page max) that clearly and plainly states the authors opinion.  "I liked this movie because it delivers non-stop action, and that's what I expected going in" or whatever.  Quantification, same as we do on this site.  Not sure if I'm going to allow comments for the very reason you stated though - people feel the need to be over-the-top vicious in their feedback (i.e. "I didn't like your review, you should die in a fire and be eaten by locusts") but I might just police them heavily and set expectations that we don't tolerate trollery.  There won't be anon-commenting on the site, that's for sure. 
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 04:10:38 PM »

I either want a just-the-facts site with:
  • trailers, just the real trailers so I don't have to sift
  • spoiler-free synopsis
  • Rotten Tomatoes rating and link
  • Link to IMDB
  • top billed actors
  • local showtimes, if still in theaters
.
or I want a website that has none of the above and does something unique:
  • thoughtful reviews from a unique and specific perspective.  A historian's take on period pieces.  A science guy's take on a sci-fi movie. A parent's guide to kid-movie appropriateness.
  • interviews, columns, retrospectives, etc. like Blackjack mentioned
  • something I haven't seen before
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 04:50:21 PM »

Reviews, for sure.

I also enjoy seeing tropes pointed out.  Or mistakes.  I even like quick hit articles with Top 10 lists, God help me.  Top 10 Mustaches in Action Films?  I'd read that, sadly, if it was amusing enough.

I use IMDB to a crippling degree, frankly.  I constantly fire it up to see who that familiar face is.

Other than that, the thing I'm looking for most often today is if a movie is appropriate for my kid.  CommonSenseMedia does a decent job of this.  I avoided them for years, due to their heavy Christian origins (seemed like it would be a little too skewed), but they're usually fairly accurate and give a good breakdown.  The problem is that they don't have enough about older movies.  This is probably way too specific a niche and not worth the effort for you, but since you asked...

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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 05:19:12 PM »

Get to the point quickly.  That's one of the reason I use Rotten Tomato
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 06:19:41 PM »

What I would like is:

1) A section dedicated solely to Ceekay's love of girly movies and shows.  Perhaps call it "Silky Ceekay's Cinema".  He would rate these films using a hanky system.

2) A page dedicated to Canadian cinema and run by Purge that would cover Canadian films that are...okay...okay...I can't write that without laughing so much that my tears begin to blind me.

3) Two words:  Hepcat's Honeys

4) Peterock:  Stylist to the Stars.  Each week we could get an insightful review of the latest conditioners and moisturizers on the market.  

5) A foreign horror review section called Razgon and Tilt's Nordic Nightmares.  These two could be the new Siskel and Ebert...but with a Swedish Chef vocabulary.  Films would be rated in "borks".

6) PR_GMR's Michael Bay Appreciation Page.  
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 06:33:12 PM »

Beyond what others have said, I like being able to add movies directly to my Netflix queue (as I do with the Flixter app).

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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2012, 03:14:20 AM »

I like seeing an aggregate score and amateur reviews...but I get both of those on netflix. I guess my main suggestion would be to keep it concise. When I'm looking for info on a movie, I'm usually trying to decide if I want to watch it.
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 05:54:28 AM »

HD trailers!
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 03:02:17 PM »

btw, maybe think about doing Phone  App reviews
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2012, 04:29:41 PM »

a movie site is a good idea, considering that the off topic forums seem to be about 75% movie topics.  You could of course expand it to be a overall Movies/TV series site as there seems to be ample interest in tv series as well.

Regarding the content, youve covered the main needs, reviews, trailers and actors.  The issue is likely going to be more about style than content.  Are you going to go minimalist with your reviews or full blown with minor spoilerish stuff.  Myself, I prefer minimalistic reviews that focus on general impressions and avoid any plot revelations.  Basically a rating system with very general comments.  Things like "Jack Reacher is a fun action popcorn flick thats great for what it wants to be"  or "Quite surprisingly, Tom Cruise really nailed the essence of who Jack Reacher really is"   ( disclaimer: the previous comments are just examples and have no foundation is reality as Ive not seen Reacher yet )   Keep things general and avoid being overly specific and youll avoid a lot of unwanted nerd rage while still providing a very useful service to your forumers.    You could also provide kind of a spec list for the movie that at a glance provides information like running length, available formats IE: 3-D, IMAX, 48fps etc,  the movies rating and your review rating.  Since youre likely to avoid allowing comments on the review site, it might be nice to provide a link to the actual forum topic on the specific movie, if one exists and of course in turn provide a like to the review in the forum topic itself, much like you do with game topics.  This is an excellent idea guys, I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2012, 06:18:06 PM »

If I was to frequent a movie site hosted by a game site, I'd want it to really speak to the Gamer audience.  IGN does this to a certain extent with their reviews, but not nearly enough IMO to really differentiate them from the other sites. I think reviews really should speak of some of things that are more important to gamers along the lines of the tech that rshetts2 referred to above.

The one thing I'd really like to see -more than any other feature actually- is a clear presentation and highlighting of any Movies' actors' voice acting roles in videogames. That info is far too often buried deep in the body-of-work listings on movie review sites and some don't even bother listing it - as if such performances don't count for anything. As an example, hardly anyone would know the Hobbit's Graham McTavish (Dwalin) from other movies or TV, but his list of videogame voiceacting credits are really remarkable and includes some very high profile titles. If you're shooting for 1 page review I wouldn't expect you to provide links to body-of-work, but it would be really nice if at least the voiceacting roles for performers could be included on that page or if even if there was 1-click links to a secondary page.

I'd also like to see reviews on movies that are adaptations of videogame settings/stories for once critically address how true they are to the source material. I.e. the Resident Evil series, while providing a few OK movies and no doubt a number that are entertaining to some gamers, have IMO been very weak in their treatment of the source material - that should be clearly reviewed.  I mean we all know that Uwe Bolle sucks dead donkeys with his adaptations, but it'd be nice for once to have a review actually discuss how much he shamelessly hijacked and screwed up  a video game story/setting. I'd also like to see 1 click links from movie reviews to any corresponding video game reviews where they share the same source material. My guess we don't get a lot of this on current sites because many of the writers are from a non-gaming demeographic, so these could be areas where Gamingtrend really differentiates itself.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 06:27:23 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 12:27:15 PM »

This is something I've been thinking about for a while. Not as much about the movie site, but about Gaming Trend as a whole, and of course by extension, any Movie site.
You need some edge. Something that people can identify you with - Right now, I have no clue what Gamingtrend stands for - Do they back costumers? Companies? Are they mostly interested in Console games? Do they have an opinion about something?

I don't see much investigative journalism here, something sites like RPS do very well. I think I know RPS rather well by now, but I still have no clue who Ron is, or what his beliefs (regarding games) is, or even if he is a real person or 5 of them (I do know, but I have no identity connected to the persona)

The last time I took a look at all your reveiws, you unfortunately fell in the new 7-10 categori, and I think thats a damn shame. It *looks* like pampering to distributing companies to get review companies, but I have no idea - again, because I have no real feel for the identity of the site and the people here.

I hope people understand what I mean by the 7-10 category. Its that many sites use the 1-10 (or, 1-100)scale, but actually only uses 7-10 in reality. I think here at GT there was *one* game that was below a 7 last time I checked.

Now, all of the above may be completely wrong, but that isn't really the point. The point is, that you have readers (at least two that I know off) that feels this way, and that is perhaps something you may want look into.

Honestly, I have no idea what the plans are for the site, or whether its a full-time job for you guys, so all of the above may be way off tangent, but it seems the last year or so you guys have gotten serious, so I thought I'd give a reply that wasn't just a pad on the back and my opinion on what I like to read on a movie site.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 12:29:11 PM by Razgon » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 03:04:22 PM »

I'm pretty much all done with Hollywood blockbusters, so something that focuses on indie and foreign films would appeal to me. I watch most film via Netflix streaming or Amazon Prime, so that would be of interest (much like the Netflix thread in off-topic).

I really hate reviews of any variety. I find that it's impossible to judge whether or not I'll enjoy something based of another persons opinion of that thing. Most reviews are either too glossy or too bitter and nitpicky for me.

I love anything about the craft of cinema. I even love films about the making of a film. I find the techniques and personalities to be as fascinating as the films themselves An example would be Overnight. I loved that, despite (or perhaps because of) hating Boondock Saints. More of that would get me to tune in, as it was.
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2012, 12:19:05 AM »

I don't go to the theatres a whole lot, and I don't buy DVDs/Blu-Rays so what would interest me the most:

Will the movie be on:

Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming
Vudu
Epix

If so when will it show up on there?

Could this also be branch into television shows?

Right now I know of no good way to tell what will be on what when. Since everything is so split up and generally crappy, some sort of aggrate of the streamings options would be great.

I really don't know how feasible that is but it would be awesome.
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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2012, 01:45:28 PM »

Quote from: SkyLander on December 20, 2012, 12:19:05 AM

I don't go to the theatres a whole lot, and I don't buy DVDs/Blu-Rays so what would interest me the most:

Will the movie be on:

Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming
Vudu
Epix

If so when will it show up on there?

Could this also be branch into television shows?

Right now I know of no good way to tell what will be on what when. Since everything is so split up and generally crappy, some sort of aggrate of the streamings options would be great.

I really don't know how feasible that is but it would be awesome.

I have to agree.  And while it would be nice to know if a movie is coming to a streaming site, I would settle for knowing what it's on right now.

Nintendo TVii is launching today, and it will supposedly collect the data from all the streaming sites and let you know if a particular movie or show is on one of them.  I can't believe that nothing exists on the internet yet that does this.  There's definitely a need here to be filled.

Again, though, I can't imagine that this is what you guys are looking to set up.
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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2012, 03:26:38 PM »

I agree with those that said it should be something different than what's already out there. How about a section where every so often (once a week? twice a week?) you review some obscure movie that can be found on Netflix or Amazon Watch Instantly? Something that most people haven't heard of but might appeal to some people here? Or, as Bullwinkle suggested, maybe have lists of the top 10/20 best Watch Instantly movies from various genres?

Anything that points out movies than most of us have easy access to but might not know about would be great.
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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2012, 02:54:22 AM »

Quote
This is something I've been thinking about for a while. Not as much about the movie site, but about Gaming Trend as a whole, and of course by extension, any Movie site.
You need some edge. Something that people can identify you with - Right now, I have no clue what Gamingtrend stands for - Do they back costumers? Companies? Are they mostly interested in Console games? Do they have an opinion about something?
I'll answer these - we stand for the consumers.   We tackle whatever we can get our hands on, and with the industry as it is, that means mostly console.  I do want to take 2013 and really strike out and make more of a name for us - I want use to be known as a site that is honest and thorough. 

Quote
I don't see much investigative journalism here, something sites like RPS do very well. I think I know RPS rather well by now, but I still have no clue who Ron is, or what his beliefs (regarding games) is, or even if he is a real person or 5 of them (I do know, but I have no identity connected to the persona)
I concur.  I'm actually hiring writers specifically for this purpose and I have an article that is not going to be well received entitled "Journalism is regurgitation" that talks about how journalism in general has degenerated into regurgitation of press releases and bullet points.  smile   Drop into a podcast and you'll hear that I just simply can't shut the hell up most of the time.  heheheh

Quote
The last time I took a look at all your reveiws, you unfortunately fell in the new 7-10 categori, and I think thats a damn shame. It *looks* like pampering to distributing companies to get review companies, but I have no idea - again, because I have no real feel for the identity of the site and the people here.
  So this is an issue industry-wide.  For instance, we got Call of Duty Black Ops 2 for the consoles, but to prevent us savaging the Vita version they simply didn't send it to us.  It makes our scores look somewhat inflated.   I can honestly say that I rate games based on my experience though - if I enjoyed it, I score it accordingly. 

Quote
I hope people understand what I mean by the 7-10 category. Its that many sites use the 1-10 (or, 1-100)scale, but actually only uses 7-10 in reality. I think here at GT there was *one* game that was below a 7 last time I checked.
  I'd have to search the database, but I want to say we handed out a 30% for something or other...it happens.  smile

Quote
Now, all of the above may be completely wrong, but that isn't really the point. The point is, that you have readers (at least two that I know off) that feels this way, and that is perhaps something you may want look into.

Honestly, I have no idea what the plans are for the site, or whether its a full-time job for you guys, so all of the above may be way off tangent, but it seems the last year or so you guys have gotten serious, so I thought I'd give a reply that wasn't just a pad on the back and my opinion on what I like to read on a movie site.
I completely agree.  The movie site, just GT, is run in the spare time of volunteers and entirely out of my pocket.  I appreciate you taking the time, and it's good to see that our efforts to step our game didn't go unnoticed.  smile
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Ron Burke
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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2012, 03:04:23 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 20, 2012, 01:45:28 PM

Quote from: SkyLander on December 20, 2012, 12:19:05 AM

I don't go to the theatres a whole lot, and I don't buy DVDs/Blu-Rays so what would interest me the most:

Will the movie be on:

Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming
Vudu
Epix

If so when will it show up on there?

Could this also be branch into television shows?

Right now I know of no good way to tell what will be on what when. Since everything is so split up and generally crappy, some sort of aggrate of the streamings options would be great.

I really don't know how feasible that is but it would be awesome.

I have to agree.  And while it would be nice to know if a movie is coming to a streaming site, I would settle for knowing what it's on right now.

Nintendo TVii is launching today, and it will supposedly collect the data from all the streaming sites and let you know if a particular movie or show is on one of them.  I can't believe that nothing exists on the internet yet that does this.  There's definitely a need here to be filled.

Again, though, I can't imagine that this is what you guys are looking to set up.

Hmmm....difficult to pull in in an automated fashion, but if I can do it, I'll see if we can make a home for it!
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Ron Burke
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« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2012, 03:05:29 AM »

Quote from: Ralph-Wiggum on December 20, 2012, 03:26:38 PM

I agree with those that said it should be something different than what's already out there. How about a section where every so often (once a week? twice a week?) you review some obscure movie that can be found on Netflix or Amazon Watch Instantly? Something that most people haven't heard of but might appeal to some people here? Or, as Bullwinkle suggested, maybe have lists of the top 10/20 best Watch Instantly movies from various genres?

Anything that points out movies than most of us have easy access to but might not know about would be great.

Bingo - I want to dig and find movies worth having that people may have missed.   Our reviews will be pretty short - a page at most and without spoilers.  smile
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