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Reviewing films before they're released ect.....


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Initial post: 5 Jun 2010 16:44:30 BDT
When I go to the cinema to see a film I will usually go online a few days later and write up a review, that's if it's up for pre-order or whatever and available to review. Obviously a lot of other people do this too.

I have noticed that some people do include product details or comment on the quality ect about a particular DVD/Blu-Ray - I occasionally do so myself, but many just review the movie itself. In my opinion both are valid as reviews.

What I don't consider fair is when some idiot posts a "review" simply insulting other reviewers on the page for adding their own reviews before the item is released. Or when someone adds a "review" simply griping about other reviewers opinions without stating their own.

Obviously these people can be bumped down the page with the unhelpful button, but shouldn't they be removed altogether? Reporting them seems drastic as they're usually not swearing or anything. But they are clogging up the page with completely useless whinging.

I'm just curious as to what other people think of this. If I'm alone in my irritation of it, or if someone possibly has a justification for these non-review-reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2010 16:49:24 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jun 2010 16:52:36 BDT
JJG says:
Are you referring to the Iron Man 2 review?

I saw the film yesterday and sometimes I write reviews from just seeing it in the cinema, but only when I feel like it. Iron Man wasn't one of those, as I know I'd just come over as a total comic geek. But I was surprised about one 'review' that was only complaining about people reviewing it before the dvd release. It had a couple of helpful votes, so I guess there is sympathy with that opinion.

As a customer, I'd like to know if the film is any good (obviously checking the reviewer's other reviews to see if we have similar tastes) and then if the special features etc are present and up to scratch.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2010 16:54:11 BDT
Iron Man 2 is one of the films in question. But I've noticed the same thing on more then a dozen other items and it just annoys me every time I see one. Though IM2 is the first instance where I've seen Helpful Votes, they're even harder to understand than the review itself.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2010 16:57:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jun 2010 17:01:05 BDT
JJG says:
I haven't noticed any others, but then I haven't been looking lately. I just picked up a helpful vote for a review of a film yet to be released on dvd, so some people don't mind. Personally I would go out and get the dvd and edit my review once I've watched it, but that's just me.

Posted on 5 Jun 2010 16:58:48 BDT
Danny says:
I guess it all depends on what you buy a dvd for. Personally I very rarely look at the extras, so am happy with any review if its by somebody who has seen the film in any medium. However, it matters to some people, and they won't like reviews that don't have this information. I can see their point, but I would never post a review just slagging off the other reviewers. What does annoy me is people review things that haven't been shown in ANY medium yet. The worst case is when somebody reviews one thing on the basis of the previous season or version, without having used or seem the new product. Its also annoying to get "I'm really looking forward to this! I hope ACME have done a good job!".

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2010 17:03:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jun 2010 17:06:28 BDT
I've seen a few reviews like that, there was one I saw a while ago which awarded the film a full 5 stars and then went on to ask if anyone had seen it yet and was it any good (though that was on HMV, not Amazon). That's not only completely useless, it also misleads when it comes to the overall rating the movie has based on buyer opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2010 09:08:23 BDT
Quiverbow says:
Some of them do have a valid point, though. Is it fair to 'review' something nobody actually has in their possession? It may be okay reviewing the film itself, but shouldn't a product review be based on everything within that product? What if it was a CD with a second disc of outakes, unreleased songs, etc. Would you just comment on the first disc, even though the second is a part of the whole package? The same could be said of the 'extras' on a DVD/Blue-Ray disc as value-for-money is something many consider.

Posted on 6 Jun 2010 09:44:12 BDT
Danny says:
But where do you stop though? Soon, I will be writing a review for a vacuum cleaner I got via Vine. I will be writing the review despite the fact that I haven't used all the attachments it comes with, because they weren't needed. I will however mention in my review that I didn't use these attachments, so can't comment on them. However, I feel my review will still be useful, as it will say how the vacuum itself performs. I guess somebody looking for a review of the attachments might be disappointed with my review, but other people will find it useful.

I certainly wouldn't expect anybody to write a review criticising other reviews for not mentioning the attachments. Thats what the comments section is for.

Posted on 6 Jun 2010 10:36:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jun 2010 10:37:50 BDT
JJG says:
I can see that point of view mark. For me, sometimes I would want to watch special features on a dvd/blu ray, but usually only on a film I'm already familiar with and would like to know more about. So a review of the film is fairly redundant in that case, unless of course it's a new cut. But I've yet to see a review that exclusively dealt with the extras...

As I've said before on a this forum, I consider reviewing comics my little niche, and in that area I really do like to know what extras a collected book has; sketches, forewords, afterwords, script samples etc. As I enjoy them a great deal, and they do totally add to the value of the product to me. So I review them the way I would want to read as a customer and isn't that what we all do anyway?

Posted on 6 Jun 2010 10:40:28 BDT
Danny says:
Yes, there is nothing wrong in either viewpoint. I do think writing a review just to moan at other reviews is not the way to go about criticising them though. That's my only point.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2010 10:42:27 BDT
JJG says:
Total agreement. Even if that point of view is valid (some people seem to think so), then surely that person just needs to leave comments in the pre-existing reviews, that's kinda what it's for.

Posted on 6 Jun 2010 16:18:52 BDT
Quiverbow says:
Mark Twain. Yes, I agree with your point, but shouldn't a DVD review mention if there are extras and what they are, but not necessarily explaining what they do or how good they may or may not be. In your vacuum cleaner review, no doubt you'll mention what the attachments are, even though you may not have used them.

Posted on 6 Jun 2010 16:59:42 BDT
Danny says:
Well yes, but most analogies don't bear close scrutiny.

Posted on 6 Jun 2010 17:48:48 BDT
I pretty much agree with everyone to varying degrees. People are entitled to think a review should contain specific product details - that's a perfectly valid expectation. But adding an entire review that simply insults all the other reviewers is pretty pathetic in my opinion.

Posted on 6 Jun 2010 18:51:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jun 2010 08:37:26 BDT
JJG says:
I don't think anyone here would disagree about that.

By the way, did the characters constantly talking over each in Iron Man 2 bother you? It ruined a lot of it for me, as I always thought I was going to miss some crucial piece of dialog. Turns out I didn't, but the fear that I would kept me on edge and stopped me enjoying chunks of it.

P.S Scarlet Johansson needed to be in that film, trust me as a man. :)

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2010 21:48:29 BDT
You know, I didn't even realise that they were talking over each other in Iron Man 2! I think my mind wandered off pretty early on. I didn't seem to have much trouble follwing the plot but I did miss big chunks were I realised I'd been thinking about something else and forgot I was even in the cinema.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jun 2010 13:21:55 BDT
JJG says:
LOL, I get that sometimes, especially in bad films. If I'm sitting alone I just take out a pen and paper and start writing (has to be a very bad film though).

There was one ridiculous scene in Iron Man 2, where Paltrow is on the phone (having a conversation), Downey Jr walks in and tries to start talking to her (over her own conversation), and a news report is on the TV in the room. I can't follow all three that well, so I'm worried one strand is going to reveal something important and it pass me by. There was at least another four or five scenes that did similar, and got annoying after a while.

Posted on 11 Jun 2010 11:25:45 BDT
M. Dowden says:
I don't think there is anything wrong in writing a dvd review before it is released, after all we all seem to do it. It isn't just films, the same applies for tv productions as well. If something finishes on a Friday and the dvd comes out next week you may as well write it after the last episode, not until the dvd release date, after all most people want to know whether it is worth ordering or going out to buy. Some people want to know about all the extras, but who really trolls through everything on a dvd? I just watch any funny outtakes or if there is one a mini documentary about making the film, I don't know anyone who watches everything.

The only dvd reviews that really annoy me are those for things like Doctor Who, where the person has seen one episode and then writes a review for the whole series. I liked the first episode and I hear the next episodes are better is not a review as the person writing hasn't seen it all. I saw one review of specials, but the reviewer had only seen the first one and had written a review, they seemed to have forgotten about the other specials that hadn't at the time appeared.

Posted on 11 Jun 2010 13:55:02 BDT
Danny says:
Yes, reviews of a series that haven't been shown yet, based on the open episode or two, are really really inane.

Posted on 11 Jun 2010 20:17:16 BDT
Hi folks - many bluray fans would argue that there is a specific issue with Blurays. Take a look at the Amazon high definition forum, one of the concerns regularly raised there is that DVD and Bluray reviews are often combined by Amazon.

Blurays are still relatively new, and one of the big concerns for people who watch them is the quality of the transfer. A Bluray can be substantially better than any domestic version of the film that has been available before - see Bladerunner for instance. Or it can be widely criticised as a poor transfer - Gladiator being an example. Some studios will spend a great deal of money sympathetically restoring and transferring an old film to HD, whilst others seem to just port them across to get some more sales. Many Bluray fans will already have read film reviews, or seen the film, and predominantly want a review to tell them about Picture Quality (PQ) and Audio Quality (AQ) Many of them will also have a substantial DVD collection, and although the original post was about new films, they want to know whether it is worth upgrading to Bluray or whether they are better to stick to their existing disk.

I've only recently started reviewing on Amazon, mainly Blurays, and have been trying to say a bit about both the film and the PQ to cover all bases, but many HD fans will struggle with reviews that say nothing about the picture quality, because that is the main thing they want to know!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jun 2012 14:21:48 BDT
Lark says:
I think its alright to review films before their release and to rate it on the basis of content, style etc.

Those things are important and probably more important than details about extras or discs in a buyers decision, that is unless it is a special or limited edition or something like that.

Posted on 17 Jun 2012 07:05:49 BDT
Crookedmouth says:
Trawling the threads Lark?

I also see no harm in pre-release reviews. I honestly dont iunderstand why some people take such exception to it. If the review is genuine and not especially egregious, what is the problem?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 08:08:26 BDT
Lark says:
Yeah, just looked at every other page and found some interesting threads, there seem to be more topical discussions here than there are threads created impulsively or compulsively in response to whatever group dynamic or mood prevails among posters here.

I dont see a problem with it, to be honest the people who have attacked me for posting the same have simply been in the game of attacking people on whatever pretext they can invent or imagine. The objections I dont believe are serious or have a real point. I think its the same mentality which has resulted in the proof of purchase idea entering into reviews.

Posted on 22 Jun 2012 10:54:44 BDT
Mr. J. Ryden says:
Though I am guilty of doing the same thing (Cabin in the Woods) I suspect the motivation for some people is to get the first review up there insomuch it has a greater chance of attracting the most votes (so long as it's reasonably written). What pains me also is people reviewing games after playing a demo or an hour of gameplay; I mean WTF?

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 11:38:57 BDT
Crookedmouth says:
"the motivation for some people is to get the first review up (and) attracting the most votes "

Well, of course it is! :-) But that wouldnt be much motivation if I didn't also enjoy the process of writing. I write a lot of technical reports (at least I used to - not so many these days) and get a big kick out of doing creative stuff. It's nice to change tack and write with a different voice and exercise my sense of humour as well.
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Participants:  11
Total posts:  30
Initial post:  5 Jun 2010
Latest post:  26 Jun 2012

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