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DanBuck

About the A&F Ratings...

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NOTE: Here is the link to the "ratings" thread from which these posts were taken.

Alan, is there a way we can see these scores on the movies ourselves?

Edited by Guest

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Might I suggest that those of us dedicated to world cinema find less value in star ratings or popular consensus in general and therefore don't feel compelled to vote? Personally, if I'm going to invest time here, it's going to be to discuss films, not rate them.

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Doug, feel free to ignore the ratings and continue to discuss and comment here. Even though I don't see eye to eye with you theoretically, I still appreciate your participation.

Pretend those pretty stars just aren't there and I'll continue to read your comments.

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Doug, feel free to ignore the ratings and continue to discuss and comment here.

Sure, I was just suggesting an answer to Alan's question. Edited by Doug C

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Doug: Might I suggest that those of us dedicated to world cinema find less value in star ratings or popular consensus in general and therefore don't feel compelled to vote? Personally, if I'm going to invest time here, it's going to be to discuss films, not rate them.

Here's my gift to myself this year. I'm going to say what I've been dying to say, but about which I've kept button-lipped out of misplaced respect.

Doug, can't you see how statements like these make you seem like an absolute jerk? Not your lack of desire to vote, but your belittling of all those who do. "Those of us dedicated to world cinema..." As though the rest of us are backsliders in your church.

The "if" in your last sentence above is waved around like a threat.

Dude, if its so much of a burden to "invest time" here, please unburden yourself. I don't know why you do come around here. Is it because there are a handful of discussions you're interested in every now and then, is it because you harbor a secret pleasure at being annoyed by our popularist opinions, or is it because the four people who HAVE seen the films you're interested in only speak Pharsee?

Lastly, if you really don't care about popular opinions, why do you spend so much time battering ours?

Merry Christmas (to me really.)

Edited by DanBuck

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Dude, somebody really needs a holiday.

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Sometimes honor involves calling a spade a spade. But preaching to you about honor would probably be better left to a PM.

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No, my beef with you, Alan, is minimal. I'm still a little miffed that my effort to help with the ratings thing was not met with a "Hey, nice try, but let's not do it that way," instead of a 33% warning. It was a petty hall-monitor reaction on your part, but I'll get over it.

I am learning to express what I feel and not worry about how people react to it. I've been living in fear of how people will respond to my feelings. And I don't fear it anymore.

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I am learning to express what I feel and not worry about how people react to it. I've been living in fear of how people will respond to my feelings. And I don't fear it anymore.

I feel like Kirsten Dunst is behind you saying: "Go get 'em, Tiger."

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Jumping in to say why he's NOT particpating hardly feels like the sort of discerning posting you describe Ken. It sounds like, "Oooh, here's another chane to explain why I dislike so much of what everyone here does."

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Maybe come new year's I'll start a thread--"Things We Wish We Could Take Back."

Careful Ken... you're starting to sound like Jerry Maguire: The Things We Think And Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business.

And remember what happened to him (well, before the happy ending). Just make sure that it doesn't resemble Catcher in the Rye.

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I can't speak for Doug, but is it possible that he might have read or heard a query about why international films weren't being rated as a veiled or unintentional dig at him or his freinds...

For the record, not at all--I didn't take any offense whatsoever at Alan's open musing: "Interesting that these are all English-language films. And there isn't an English-language film in the first 10 of the Top100. I hope this isn't steering us in the wrong direction and isn't a distraction from actual conversation about films and the arts."

I actually thought that was a pretty good observation and wanted to affirm that, indeed, it reflected my own thinking on the matter. In fact, I specifically thought the whole purpose of the Top100 was to provide A&F recommendations already, and the star ratings are much less democratic since they only include the opinions of five people AND will not likely become a dedicated project for film buffs. And the results are bearing that out. Alan has posted in several threads I've participated in this week calling for votes and I wanted to offer an explanation as to why I hadn't voted instead of merely ignoring him.

[EDITED]

Edited by Guest

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Given the tone of his post and his subsequent gloating, I don't think "hatred" is out of place, but I'm certainly not married to my comment.

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I'd say the kind of reasoned clarification I provided. (And you might note that I've already taken about 24 hours to reflect on it.)

Anyway, one major problem with the rating system is that it's going to encourage those with the strongest opinions to vote. In other words, those who love it or hate it, thus most ratings will likely fall somewhere in the middle and only reflect a deadlock between the few people who care. I'm just waiting to see who beats who to Andrei Rublev: the Tarkovsky haters or the Tarkovsky lovers.

But to tell you the truth, it has probably been 20 years since I went to the multiplex and chose films on the basis of a star rating anyway, so maybe I'm not qualified to comment. The general way I use A&F for current releases is to check out the titles I'm not familiar with, and then read the threads noting who likes or dislikes the film, deciding if it's a contender based on my experience of talking about movies with them. This is a discussion board comprised of many different people with many different tastes and critical values; some of those perspectives are meaningful or challenging to me and some are not. A star rating doesn't tell me anything.

But your idea to incorporate A&F user comments does sound good.

Edited by Doug C

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A minor note of apology: I did not see Alan's comment about the lack of international films. Clearly, Doug was NOT "jumping in" about something he didn't like, as I believed.

Therefore, I apologize for allowing a misunderstanding to be the straw that broke the camel's back on my frustration.

Secondly, I apologize to Ken and MLeary for my glib or snippy defense of the ratings seystem. Here's my more rational one.

I too have long been an opponent of ratings systems. When I write reviews for magazines or online journals, I never let them include a "star rating" along with it for two reasons. 1. Because I actually want people to READ my review not just get the idea from the rating. 2. The rating is hardly the whole story. I often give mediocre ratings to films that do great things, but have weaknesses. For example, I wouldn't give "Vertical Ray of the Sun" a perfect score, but I would want everyone to go see it. In fact, the number of films I would discourage ANYONE from seeing is very small (and mostly invole the word Matrix somehow).

Having said all that, I found the glory of a rating system as a Netflix member. There I have a dozen or so "Netflix Friends" whose opinions I quite trust. And when I see that several of them have given a film a high rating, it gets my attention. It more has the effect of drawing my attention to films I have yet to see than making me disqualifiying films that get low ratings.

I am hoping the ratings system here has a similar effect. This community is a good barometer of my tastes and when something makes a splash around here, its worth me checkng out. Ratings, hopefully will do that. It will draw my attention to films I didn't know about.

There's a chance that the community is bigger than I give it credit for, and the reliability of tastes has been watered down. But we shall see.

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Yes, and eventually I'd be able to have the system ignore them, or do a weighted average. I could also "handicap" folks who don't use the full range of stars. But that's only after a LOT of information is in the system.

I should note that, at present, the system lets participants change their votes. (*cough*)

Actually, one idea I really like is to publish all of a user's 5s and 1s in their public profile. That might give the votes a little more meaning and accountability.

If only laughter could be heard over the internets.

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Having said all that, I found the glory of a rating system as a Netflix member. There I have a dozen or so "Netflix Friends" whose opinions I quite trust. And when I see that several of them have given a film a high rating, it gets my attention. It more has the effect of drawing my attention to films I have yet to see than making me disqualifiying films that get low ratings.

Sure Dan, this is what I was saying myself, it's useful because you know and trust certain people and can see their individual ratings--it's not a blanket, anonymous rating by five random people on a very diverse conversation board.

I'm not that familiar with Netflix, but don't its ratings continue to evolve over time? If so, I bet each film has (tens of?) thousands of ratings, which would offer a much more accurate bell curve of consensus, as far as that goes.

Anyway, I know the rating system is here to stay, I just wanted to voice my concerns because I thought they reflected some interesting ideas Alan alluded to concerning opinion, choice, and consensus, and valuation versus discussion. And I like the Top100 as being the official recommendation component of A&F, even if it doesn't include films currently playing at the mall.

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Alan Thomas wrote:

: Doug, I edited out your last comment. That was definitely overly provocative and uncalled for. If you are sure

: you want to say that, please edit it back in, but "hatred" seems a bit strong to me -- and would likely start a

: whole new flame war. And, of course, it completely undermines your other comments.

Gosh, look away for 16 hours and you miss all the drama ... :)

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You've got enough drama going on in your life right now PTC! And it involves things that actually matter, not our petty annoyances.

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