Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Media

Gaming Netflix Ratings? 235

Posted by kdawson
from the stadium-seated-astroturf dept.
Nom du Keyboard writes "Not for the first time, I've noticed a new film that hasn't yet even reached the theaters, yet has hundreds of positive votes and/or reviews recorded on Netflix. This time the movie is Inkheart. For a movie that doesn't even hit the theaters until January 23, it already has 428 votes and a rating of 4.3 (out of 5) on Netflix. Seems more than a bit fraudulent to me. Also, it has a review that doesn't even review the movie, but instead says the books are great, therefore the movie should be too. Does the word 'shills' come to mind? With millions spent to promote a movie, are a few hundred of that going to phony voters? Or have that many people actually seen the film and just can't wait to rush home and log onto Netflix to vote? Just what is Netflix's responsibility here to provide honest ratings?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Gaming Netflix Ratings?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:03AM (#26514109)

    But it isn't rare for there to be advanced screenings of a movie a week or two in advance of the public release date.

    I wonder if we'll ever see movie cinemas with terminals or similar at them that let you rate a movie as you walk out after seeing it.

    • by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:08AM (#26514373)

      Not only this, but often times the makers of a film will show it to people before it is even finished. This could be anything from friends and business associates of the filmmakers (such screenings can number into the hundreds of people) to recruited audience test screenings (also often several hundred people). These people see the movie long before it comes out, and most likely not in its final form. Also, after a movie is completed it is sometimes sent around for audience reaction before it is picked up distribution. Of course, if the film plays at a film festival, that's hundreds or thousands of people watching it before it is released in theaters. So a few hundred people rating a movie before it's officially "out" isn't that strange.

      And remember, a significant portion of the people who do watch the movie before it comes out are friends and family of the crew, who aren't exactly impartial. That may explain why the ratings skew high.

      • by LatencyKills (1213908) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:42AM (#26514771)
        Back in college I somehow ended up screening a number of films before release (I think the process was something like a guy on campus asking if I'd like free tickets to a new movie). Before the movie there would be a quick spiel about the film not yet being released and that our feedback was very important, then they'd show the film, then they'd hand out a sheet of questions for us to answer. I recall that I saw Fletch 2 that way, and that the ending I saw in the screening was very different from the one I saw later in the theater. I also remember seeing a Judge Reinhold movie to wretched that everyone trashed it on the sheets, and I don't think it even came out in the theaters. It might have been released direct to video.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by PainKilleR-CE (597083)

          I got in on something similar to this a few years ago, and after the movie ended, we were given tickets to see another pre-screening the next week. As long as we kept going, we got to see free movies every week before they came out (usually only a week or so ahead of time, though). Unfortunately, we didn't really want to see most of the movies they were showing, so we'd end up giving the tickets away, and eventually someone didn't go (or didn't give us the tickets for the next week).

          On the other hand, it's

      • by ClubStew (113954) on Monday January 19, 2009 @12:14PM (#26516633)

        Not only this, but consider the various fanboys. Some people may like Brendon Frasier enough that they think any movie with him is great, so they vote. People - like the OP mentioned - might like the book so much, they vote the movie positive without having seen it. It's idiotic, but so are people often times.

    • by hummassa (157160) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:52AM (#26514555) Homepage Journal

      Inkheart is in the theatres here in Brasil for the last three weeks.
      Maybe it just didn't hit the theatres in the OP's city/state/country??

      • Inkheart is in the theatres here in Brasil for the last three weeks.
        Maybe it just didn't hit the theatres in the OP's city/state/country??

        Or maybe there's some Amazon Mechanical Turk [slashdot.org] at work here.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Yes bribing. If it can happen over at amazon, it can certainly happen on other customer review sites.

          This is why I typically subtract a star from my reviews. It I think a book or movie is worth 8 stars, I'll rate it 7, so as to counteract the Paid Corporate Employees false positives. (Aside: Why is it that I can't leave 0 stars on amazon or imdb? Some things actually deserve a 0.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tirhakah (1223100)
        It's been out in the UK too, since I think mid-December. Not surprising that it should have at least some reviews already then...
    • by joocemann (1273720) on Monday January 19, 2009 @01:02PM (#26517179)

      But it isn't rare for there to be advanced screenings of a movie a week or two in advance of the public release date.

      I wonder if we'll ever see movie cinemas with terminals or similar at them that let you rate a movie as you walk out after seeing it.

      I went to google.com

      Typed in "inkheart screener"

      The very first choice at the top is a bit-torrent search engine.

      The page lists a number of different torrents of this movie already being available from screeners and cam rips, etc.
      --------------

      I think it is safe to say that thousands of people have already seen it by now.

      • by billcopc (196330)

        You're right, googling for just about anything will yield links to torrent "search" engines, but there is a large number of fake sites like this, where you could type any random gibberish and the site will say Oh yeah, we have 7312 seeds for "amoeba playing mozart in space on Condoleeza Rice's chin".

        The first three results from your search are such fake sites, a few others down the page are blogs by people who saw a screener. No where is it currently possible, as far as I can tell, to download this movie,

  • Not released? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Seriph (466197) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:03AM (#26514111)

    Maybe not released yet in the US, but there is a world beyond the US borders and the film has been released places there. It's actually quite a good film based on an interesting idea.

    • Re:Not released? (Score:5, Informative)

      by aitikin (909209) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:07AM (#26514123)
      Seriph brings up a perfect point. IMDB [imdb.com] seems to back that information up fairly well.
      • Re:Not released? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Monsieur_F (531564) <ffx@nospAM.hotmail.com> on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:30AM (#26514199) Homepage Journal

        From imdb
        Release dates for Inkheart (2008)
        Country : Date
        Germany : 11 December 2008
        UK : 12 December 2008
        Brazil : 25 December 2008
        Iceland : 26 December 2008

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SpinningCone (1278698)

          In the case of inkheart yes this was already released and could potentially get legit reviews. however Terminator: Salvation has not been released and with a target date of May/June i would be surprised if there was even a screener available. yet despite this there are plenty of positive votes.

          • by Creepy (93888)

            No reviews of it on IMDB and I can't find reviews on Net Flicks (probably because I'm not a member).

            Terminator:Salvation has to be nearly complete due to manufacturing and distribution timelines, which I believe still takes a couple of months. It is likely in final editing and most certainly has had a screened rough at this time (but since those are nearly always under some sort of NDA, it is unlikely that any reviews are legit).

    • Re:Not released? (Score:5, Informative)

      by retyurecvb (1442035) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:08AM (#26514133)
      Doesn't Netflix only service the U.S. though?
      • Re:Not released? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by diskis (221264) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:49AM (#26514285)

        Piratebay services also the U.S.

        If the movie is out somewhere, there is a torrent of it.

        • If the movie is out somewhere, there is a torrent of it.

          Which rule is that? [xkcd.com]

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Sopor42 (1134277)
          Did you actually look?

          A curosry search brought no results for the movie Inkheart on TBP or Mininova...

          Not saying the torrent isn't out there somewhere, but it's not on the big ones yet.
      • Re:Not released? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Bodrius (191265) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:50AM (#26514545) Homepage

        Should that make a significant difference?

        Netflix does not own movie theaters either. Yet that doesn't stop people from watching movies there and reviewing DVD movies (often before the DVD release) based on the theater experience.

        Between advance screenings, festivals, and people who may have watched it in other countries at some point... a few hundred viewers doesn't sound that implausible.

        If anything, the over-eager fan phenomenon (the "books are great, movie is going to rock" review the poster mentions) is the most likely distortion. But that's hardly surprising or suspicious - popular book-sequels tend to demonstrate something like this in Amazon weeks/months before it was released (sometimes positive hype, sometimes negative).

        Why would it be different in Netflix? Most likely it is just less obvious in their user interface.

      • Yes but Americans can travel, work in other countries, etc and manage their account through the website. Instant watch would be great for this.I was able to log on to my account, rate movies, put my account on hold etc from Tokyo. The problem is using instant watch. You have to configure a work around for that one which is too bad because when I'm in Japan that's the only time I'm with people who are happy with Netfix's selection on instant watch.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by indigest (974861)
      Netflix serves the US only. Our equivalent in the UK is lovefilm.com [lovefilm.com].
    • by aug24 (38229)

      That's roughly what my brother-in-law (here in the UK) said to me yesterday, after watching it with his girlfriend.

      ...or - a-ha! - I could be a cunning shill? ;-)

      Justin.

    • Re:Not released? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Atario (673917) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:58AM (#26514577) Homepage

      Who are these foreigners who are so altruistic as to log in to Netflix -- thus far, a US-only service -- to rate a movie and write a review of it wholly for the benefit of people subscribed to a service the reviewers themselves cannot benefit from?

      Come to that, can you even enter a rating and/or review without being a subscriber?

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:06AM (#26514119)

    Wait. I must be lying because it isn't released yet... Or... Perhaps the world extends beyond American borders. What, Americans make up only 5% of the world population? (10% by body mass)

     

    • I don't know how people can ever come to any conclusions. It's cases like this (original post and response) that make me question how anybody can reach any sort of authoritative conclusion. You think you've identified something, and something you never thought of blows it away. Maybe this seems trivial in this case, it's easy for Americans to forget about the rest of the world, or, more likely, not realize how different it is and runs on a different schedule, or realize that something (like Netflix) is glo

  • already out (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:07AM (#26514125)

    kdawson is a drama queen.

    Release:
    Germany 11 December 2008
    UK 12 December 2008
    Brazil 25 December 2008
    Iceland 26 December 2008

  • by AndrewStephens (815287) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:08AM (#26514129) Homepage
    This happens everywhere. Why, even this very comment was modded to +2 before I even made it. You can't trust anyone these days.
  • by Kaukomieli (993644) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:20AM (#26514173) Homepage

    ... or usenet or wherever todays kids get their moviez from...

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      ... or usenet or wherever todays kids get their moviez from...

      Like... The movie theater?

      Damn kids... With their money, and their popcorn and their watching movies released more than a month ago.

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:22AM (#26514179)

    Ebay used to be a decent place to get deals, then a few years ago the scammers found out they can fake feedback, and you ended up with 2000+ "transaction" power-sellers who will take your money and run faster than the nigerian prince.

    Leave any negative feed back and it's "i've pleased all these guys, there's always one troll to screw it up"

    If you browse around a while on sites like ebay and amazon you'll notice the patterns these people have, the same people giving feedback to each other, it's disgusting really, but any peer contributed system is subject to gaming via astroturfing.

    Just see the net neutrality debate, or swiftboat.

    • It's easy to get a high positive ebay score if you have a legit business that doesn't depend on reputation, like selling LED replacement bulbs for cars or something like that. The penalty for failure is low so people will buy from you anyway, and items are cheap so you have high volume and get a high score. The eBay score doesn't really tell you much on their own if they have 1 negative and 2000 positives, and the negative is for a thousand dollar item, and everything else was a buck, either.

      • The eBay score doesn't really tell you much on their own if they have 1 negative and 2000 positives, and the negative is for a thousand dollar item, and everything else was a buck, either.

        But that does tell you a lot. If you look at the items sold for the first page or two of feedback you can see exactly that kind of thing going on, and adjust the bidding acordingly.

        There are issues with eBay feedback but it's still the best system going in a world full of people with shifty motives for online sales.

    • Aside from both being incredibly dishonest, I see little connection between the net neutrality debate and swiftboating. They both involve making shit up, but that's about it. You don't have to look far to find examples of people making shit up in the US. It's legal, too. For example, see any Mickey D's television ads where the burgers look hot and fresh. The vast majority of advertising in this country walks the fine line between puffery and outright deception.

    • Ebay used to be a decent place to get deals, then a few years ago the scammers found out they can fake feedback, and you ended up with 2000+ "transaction" power-sellers who will take your money and run faster than the nigerian prince.

      I don't see how that can work, since it costs money (paid to eBay) to list items and have them sold. I've had good luck with powersellers and eBay in general. Of course I wouldn't buy a big ticket item if all the positive reviews were for small priced items.

    • Probably most everybody knows about this site by now, but Toolhaus's Negative/Neutral Feedback [toolhaus.org] is indispensable if you're still on eBay. Any volume seller will have problem customers, but at least you can tell if the problems are consistent.
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by boobox (673856) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:25AM (#26514187)
    ... like just about everything in life, from Amazon.com to Slashdot, caveat emptor.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      ... like just about everything in life, from Amazon.com to Slashdot, caveat emptor.

      Quoting latin is well and nice, but how exactly should the buyer beware is all his sources of information are stuffed? Fake "grassroot" movements, fake "consumer reviews", fakes all around. What else am I supposed to trust? Marketing? Bwahahahaha good one. Sure you have some trusted friends but that is anecdotal evidence at best, <dogbert> the best kind of evidence </dogbert>. There's no real substitute for honest polls/reviews by a representative selection of the public, in the end you just ap

  • None (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:27AM (#26514193)
    "what is Netflix's responsibility here to provide honest ratings?"

    What is Slashdot's responsibility to provide honest moderation?

    Both are just aggregates of random people who bothered to comment, and don't pretend to be anything more. If you want a "professional" movie rating, look at the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes [rottentomatoes.com], where currently the Tomatometer for Inkheart is at 63%, based on 19 reviews.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You are taking that out of context. The submitter is specifically suggesting that the rating system which should be an average of 'random' people choosing to rate the movie, is instead subject to astroturfing.

      The submitter is probably on to something here. Yes, this film has been released abroad, but I find it unlikely that not only have 428 people in the United States seen it and bothered to rate it, but they rate it above 80% of possible points when places elsewhere (which _are_ open to people in places w

  • Netflix Handles It (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MWoody (222806) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:37AM (#26514225)

    Remember, however, that Netflix doesn't show you the rating of a movie; it shows you its best estimate of how well you will like the movie. And does a pretty good job of it, too, once you've rated a few hundred films. So there are a few problems with your reasoning, in addition to the painfully obvious "it's already been released elsewhere" point covered in previous comments:

      - Is it even possible to make a shell account? Last I checked, you have to be logged in to rate anything on Netflix. And being logged in means you're a paying customer. I can't imagine paying $5 or whatever per single vote being cost effective, even at the cheapest service tier. Maybe there's a way if you abuse the free trial system, but that still strikes me as an awful lot of work.

      - Say, for the sake of argument, that these ARE shill accounts. They signed up somehow, rated that one movie, and never did anything again. If they haven't rated any other movies on your list, Netflix's algorithm will have nothing to link it to your preferences. I.e. it won't affect the rating you see in the slightest.

      - Let's even examine what happens if it's a multi-movie shill, perhaps kept up to vote highly for every movie released by a particular company. Again, the ranking system will almost certainly end up filtering out the result: unless you also happen to have given high scores to everything else that company has released, it's not likely to matter much in the final star value.

      - Assuming that you're looking at the unweighted score - an inadvisable decision, given that the remarkably astute ranking system is the best part of Netflix - you have to account for the long-term balancing effects of opinionated Internet voters. See, for example, IMDB, where new movies often peak onto the top 250 only to be struck down by Godfather/Shawshank/etc. fans. If someone only sort of likes a movie that's unrated, they might give it a 3, whereas showing up to see it rated 5 is going to result in a 1 and possible an irate comment. The flock will detect the wolf in their midst soon enough and crush it.

      - Who the fuck uses Netflix to get ratings for unreleased movies?

    On a tangentially related note, I first read that title and thought we were going to see a Netflix-like weighted rating system for games. I'd kill for a way to heavily weight lovers of Dwarf Fortress while throwing out comments from Halo junkies when deciding what to play next.

    • Remember, however, that Netflix doesn't show you the rating of a movie; it shows you its best estimate of how well you will like the movie.

      No, it gives both the average rating of people who have watched the same movies as you and the total average of all ratings for the movie.
      Example:
      Average of raters like you: 4.5 stars
      Average of 254,138 ratings: 4.1 stars


      Otherwise you make some very good points.

    • by WNight (23683)

      I think the fake ratings are more of a studio/marketing level thing, so the $5 per wouldn't be a deterrent.

      Also, knowing what you say about Netflix's rating algorithm, these shills would highly simply highly rate everything in their likely target's likely faves list. If you're shilling for a new fantasy, rate it at 5 and LotR at 4.5, say "It even beats the Balrog scene - until now my favorite ever!" for a little bit more realism. They aren't trying to fake their way into the hall-of-fame (which requires bea

    • Netflix doesn't show you the rating of a movie; it shows you its best estimate of how well you will like the movie. And does a pretty good job of it, too, once you've rated a few hundred films

      I object. I've rated 1623. I find that the suggestion of what I would likely rate something to be off by a whole point (iow- +/- 1.0) or even more. I wish Netflix would go back to prominently showing what the cumulative rating is from their subscribers. That would make comparisons so much more realistic. This "yo

    • At worst it'll give bad readings for people who watch all the over-hyped shill movies... Sounds like it works just fine to me.
  • Check out over two thirds of the listings on any 'odd jobs' website.

    This sort of work under the name "writing" makes up the majority of what gets advertised.

    Between those and the "Copy a Website in its Entirety" jobs there's barely any room left for the "scan and send magazines on the night they're released" work.

  • Not shils, fanboys. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:43AM (#26514257)

    You don't have to be a Shil to post reviews before the movie is out, you just have to be a fanboy. The 'I read the books' comment is definitely by a fanboy.

    I used to see a lot of this crap on EBGames.com before they got smart and disabled reviews before the games came out. Now it's called 'Preview Buzz'. You see the exact same comments, but they don't get to provide a rating.

  • I have to wait till the DVD gets out as I didnt find the time to watch while the movie WAS out at the cinemas.

  • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:24AM (#26514433) Homepage

    Getting a link to a movie on Slashdot. How much did they pay you for that?

    Seriously, even if the movie hadn't been released anywhere, there are still plenty of opportunities to see it. Producers hold previews all the time, and it wouldn't surprise me if they modernized things by encouraging those previewers to post their comments right at the theatre lobby.

    This happens on Amazon.Com quite often, with products that are not yet released. Do I consider it fraud? Not necessarily. Once the masses weigh in, the law of averages will too.

  • US Only? (Score:4, Funny)

    by verloren (523497) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:40AM (#26514495)

    I had thought Netflix was a US only service. 400+ reviews for a film that's only been released overseas seems quite a lot - I guess Governor Palin has reignited the legendary American love of travel and curiosity about foreign countries.

    • Re:US Only? (Score:5, Funny)

      by hab136 (30884) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:43AM (#26514777) Journal

      I had thought Netflix was a US only service. 400+ reviews for a film that's only been released overseas seems quite a lot - I guess Governor Palin has reignited the legendary American love of travel and curiosity about foreign countries.

      Russia put up a big, big movie screen so Alaskans can watch from their house.

  • I gamed the rating of a movie on Netflix, just for kicks. King Kung Fu [netflix.com] had a pretty low rating, mostly contributions of 1 star from a number of reviewers. So, to get a feel for the size of the denominator, I had about 6 or 7 friends rate it five star. Sure enough, it was enough to boost it a five tenths of a point.

    Is the film any good? I dunno. It's 71 in my queue though.

  • by thermian (1267986) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:14AM (#26514655)

    My preferences are set to filter anyone below 1, but I still see all the garbage that the trolls are working so hard to post.

    I don't see why this should be happening now, I used to be able to not see any of it, but with this new interface it seems its impossible to escape reading the first line of the troll posts.

    It needs fixing.

  • by krswan (465308) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:25AM (#26514703)

    I teach 5th grade, and many of my students have read and enjoyed these books. I'll bet most of the reviews are kids who liked the books, and don't really think or care yet about whether the book does justice to the movie, if the movie is any good, if Slashdotters think that their rating is fair. They're ten... and they know how to use a mouse.

    And really, do you take any kind of online polling seriously?

    • by bedroll (806612)
      You could be right, those reviews could come from hundreds of excited children. More likely, I would guess that fans of all ages have submitted reviews for the movie after only reading the books. It's common that excited fans will rate movies highly before they see them, and this is hardly the first instance. I don't think there is any long term damage done, either.

      The reviewer cited -- the one that only read the books -- is easy to deal with anyway. Flag the review as "This is not a review." It isn't ac
  • by $1uck (710826)
    The headline meant netflix style rating for games. I was thinking "yes please". I'm sick of sites that seem to rank on a bell curve 1 through 5 where everything is a 3 (or a 7). Anyone know of any sites that will take your personal rankings (like netflix) and correlate it to others rankings and recommend games? Yes I know this is offtopic.. just trolling for a reccomendation.
  • Saw it at my local Cineworld. I thought it was a good film, enjoyable, creative and a great villian in Andy Serkis.

    I'd say it's certainly worth at least 4 out of 5. Infinately better than bedtime stories (which has a different twist on the same concept). It's been largely been ignored over here though which is a shame. Got almost no marketing.

  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:48AM (#26514801)
    We've been seeing that for years with online reviews. Call it a logical consequence of the "First post" syndrome, with people being so eager to get on top of that page that they'll say anything at all even if it means nothing whatsoever.

    Then again, should we really be surprised to see this happen, with interviews for upcoming releases taking the form of "this will be the greatest thing EVER!" for absolutely any game or movie that comes out, especially those that turn out to be complete garbage? Don't believe the hype machine, folks, is what I'm saying.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Monday January 19, 2009 @09:08AM (#26514889) Homepage
    ...that everything on a retailer's site is advertsing? Is it that hard to find sites that rate stuff but don't sell it?
  • Also, it has a review that doesn't even review the movie, but instead says the books are great therefore the movie should be too. Does the word 'shills' come to mind?

    Actually, the word "fanboys" comes to mind. For any given fictional franchise, there will inevitably be enough people floating around the Internet who care so much about the movie being good that (in their minds) it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • Possibly not fraud (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Monday January 19, 2009 @09:16AM (#26514919)

    While fraud may be a problem, I don't think it is. Pre-screeners get a copy of the films just for these sorts of things.

    I know for a fact that if you look for it, you can get "Taken," "Defiance," and other movies on the internet in DVD quality over the internet "for free." I am further certain that members film community and/or MPIAA uploaded the movies to drive up viewership at the box office.

    For instance, "The Day The Earth Stood Still" sucked, so the "screening" video is not out there. "Gran Torino" was an excellent movie and did well at the box office, and the screening video *is* out there.

    My new criteria for seeing a movie in a theater is looking for the screening video on-line. If it is out there, its probably a good movie because someone put it out there.

  • Not surprizing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rooked_One (591287) on Monday January 19, 2009 @09:21AM (#26514951) Journal
    I remember when "Dark Knight" was at the number 1 spot up against godfather and shawshank [imdb.com]

    Thankfully someone has fixed that, but it just shows how inaccurate internet polls are.
  • Why not go by something like Rotten Tomatoes and word of mouth from friends? I've never really placed much stock in reviews on any site that is also "selling" me stuff at the same time, whether it's Netflix, Amazon, even Newegg sometimes.
  • It's probably crap. Just listen to the people on line at Blockbuster if you doubt this.

  • Go on Amazon sometime and look at DVD ratings. People write "this was an awesome book!!!1!"

    Of course, people also rate something with a zero because the book arrived damaged or their marketplace seller send them an Acceptable copy when they ordered a Like New ("I'm so mad about this poor customer service I want to rate this a zero but Amazon only lets me rate it a one!" Note that there's an entirely separate rating system for sellers and customer service.)

    Look at Yahoo's movie reviews...people write revie

  • Plenty of people are able to find the movies on torrent sites and see it before it's theatrical release. Of course that leaves Netflix with a moral dilemma: Do they let people leave reviews knowing that they saw it illegally? (well not illegal, but you know what I mean)
    For example, horror movie website, bloody-disgusting.com has recently disabled the user review area for movies that have not been released yet. One example is "Let the Right One In", where many users were able to get some glowing reviews in
  • If I were someone in a position of authority at Netflix, here is how I would handle it.

    When you rent a movie, Netflix has record that you rented it.

    Don't allow anyone to review a movie that hasn't first rented it from Netflix!

    This will shut out people who have seen it in the theaters, of course, as well as pirates. But it will also make it a lot harder to shill without first renting the movie.

    But no matter how many times you rent it, your account only gets to review a movie once.

  • Fresh on the heels of the story of the individual from Belkin, does it surprise you that the online review fiasco delves into other industries?
    Big producers such as Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, and others probably have thousands of employees in their marketing departments, and it would not surprise me in the least that part of their job is to go online and give positive reviews to thier films (and maybe negative reviews to competitor's films).
    Personally I don't give much credence to any online review of p

  • by PyroMosh (287149) on Monday January 19, 2009 @12:02PM (#26516473) Homepage

    ...by stupidity.

    I think Hanlon's Razor [wikiquote.org] applies here. Many people here on Slashdot like to put on a tinfoil hat and shout "AstroTurfing" for almost anything. I'm harder to convince of that.

    I'll put aside what many have pointed out here, that the film in question has already been released in places.

    NPR had an interview a month or so ago with David Edelstein, a film critic who happened to be the first to go public with a negative review for Dark Knight [npr.org]. In other words, he was the one responsible for first knocking it down from a 100% rating on metacritic and similar meta-rating sites.

    In the interview he said he regretted having been first because of the backlash he received, but that he stood by his rating.

    He also went on to point out the deluge of emails he received from angry fans. Many of whom would go on to criticize him at length while prefacing the email with "I haven't actually seen the film yet, but..."

    Fanboys are rabid. They defend movies, hardware, software, etc, often sight unseen, because they want their horse to win. Even if they don't actually know what it looks like.

    In this case, the movie is based on a book. I don't doubt that many of the votes on NetFlix are folks who have rated the film sight unseen, because they WANT to like it. They're jazzed about it, and they want it to be rated highly.

  • In addition to the fact that the specific film mention is already released in other countries, I think it would be much more likely that fans are the ones rating the films than it is that the film companies are doing it. If the film is based on a book, a play, or a remake, it already has a built in audience who will be fanatical about it and if it stars a famous actor then there will almost certainly be a group of people who will give a movie 5 stars site unseen because they love that actor so much.
  • > Also, it has a review that doesn't even review the movie, but instead says the books are great, therefore the movie should be too.

    Right, because there's never been a crappy movie made from a good book.

    And Brenden Fraiser has never made a crappy movie, so it has to be good!

    And I'm the tooth fairy! So floss every day or I won't bring you any candy!

  • So a site that allows posted feedback from any customer at all has less than perfect entries? The deuce you say! Next you'll be telling me that letters to the editor in the local paper might contain logical fallacies in their political arguments. No, I can't accept this! Such a chaotic world cannot be true! It's the devil's work!

  • Sounds a lot more like rabid fans than actual shills. One fan mailing list could easily account for the observation. Is it actually news to anybody that fans of stuff will go and encourage other people to check out the thing they are a fan of, without waiting to really review the new thing objectively?

  • Remember that people that work in the movie industry will get free screeners or other promotional chances to view a movie before it comes out in the U.S.

    Also, 428 ratings on Netflix is likely to correspond to much more than 428/# subscribers-percentage of people that have already seen it, because many people don't rate.

    On Netflix, I'm not surprised to see thousands to ratings on some titles before they come out in the U.S. Usually the low hundreds pre-release indicates a smaller audience when it does come o

  • Netflix is not a movie review site intended to help you decide what movie to see in the theater. There are plenty of those. But Netflix is a movie rental site. The reviews are there to help people decide what movies to order. By time a movie is actually available on Netflix, the handful of pre-release reviews will be swamped by many more reviews from people who saw the movie during its theatrical release. So it doesn't really matter to anybody whether those early bird reviews are from people who happened t

Their idea of an offer you can't refuse is an offer... and you'd better not refuse.

Working...