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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 3 April 2011
I do like the concept of Freakonomics and reading the book was funny. Trying to make a movie out of that subject is kind of superfluous and does not add anything. You really don't need to see any faces when they try to answer the question whether certain names have a higher chance of success than others. That said, I think they made the best out of it but you don't miss anything if you miss it.
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on 2 February 2011
Smart, interesting and fun. This film is basically a big research project presented in a real modern, wacky way (with some cool word graphics). This film is based on and much like the book and creates a differently welcomed movie experience - it's more like a TV series. This style brings a complex study and subjects (American race, education, and corruption in sumo wrestling) to a mass audience - making research material fun. There are 4 small short topic stories. It does drag after a bit - a rent at best, not a keeper.

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on 21 December 2011
I like the concept behind the film which is that you can prove all sorts of surprising things by careful analysis of data. For instance careful examination of sumo wrestling results has shown that there is cheating within the sport and, although this is officially denied, there is little doubt that it goes on. The authors have also shown that the most likely cause of the decline in crime that happened in the 90s in the US was due to the access to abortion granted 20 years previously and not due to improved policing methods or any similar endeavour. Although the ideas proposed by the film are interesting the film itself is rather inane. It is split into four parts, the first of which considers whether peoples' attitudes and experience are shaped by the name their parent's give them at birth. Amazingly it comes to the conclusion that we are affected more by environment and experience than by our nomenclature. Who would have thunk it? The last part examines whether you can bribe children to be more successful academically and concludes that it is only partially successful and other factors play a part such as the upbringing of the child. Who would have thunk that too? The two middle pieces are more interesting looking at the investigation of cheating within the world of sumo and the cause of the decline in crime in the 90s. Ultimately the film tries too hard to be entertaining and fails to hit the target. I am however tempted to read the book.
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2011
Occasionally somebody comes along and finds unique way to look at life. Some of these people with different types of insights get published. This presentation is based on a popular book by the same name "Freakonomics". The title might be a bit misleading it's really about incentives and misleading statistics.

Here Freakonomics takes the discipline down to the individual I have already had several economics courses that showed things such as all world history including wars and even the U.S. Constitution can be boiled down to economic incentives. So the economic concept is not new but applying it to individual cases or other disciplines is what makes this presentation unique.

As with all concepts there is no way that you can cram the whole theory from the book into an hour and a half program. So here we get a superficial overview which does not quite live up to the standards. I was really impressed when the program started out with the section on real estate; they showed what I always suspected. The section on cheating was pure statistics and not as impressive but useful. The section on parenting was a little dragged out and not quite as focused; however I did find the part on getting kids names interesting. The section on incentives showed nothing new however I could name a few people that could learn something from this feeling. The section on cause and effect pretty much wraps up the concepts that are trying to be presented here.

I suggest you listen to the commentary as it gives some insight as to what is trying to be accomplished in the presentation(s). Why they picked different directors and so forth. Filmmakers will find this interesting.
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on 18 October 2012
The book was a good read but the film is a no-no. The section on corruption has various interviews with Japanese guys and there are white subtitles on a largely white(!) background. One of the authors is difficult to understand - too many Americanisms, jargon & slang. Not for Non-Americans.
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on 18 February 2011
Some interesting ideas, but half the time all I could think was so what?
One of them where the book is better than the DVD.
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on 27 December 2011
It's pretty good. It's nicely put together with interesting visuals so the effect is quite like the book.
I haven't spent a lot of time with it but at 8 bucks a bargain. Minus point is no subtitles bummer for non English language natives.
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on 13 November 2014
Great! Many thanks.
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on 21 February 2015
good watch
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