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Customer Discussions > Movie forum

Should Amazon Reviews Be About the Movie or the Product?

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 15, 2012 5:37:14 AM PDT
A. Antonio says:
Some people want to write reviews about the movie itself. Others want to write a review about the product.

I have to say that a product review is much more helpful. Honestly how many people are going to buy a movie they did see based on an amazon review?

I think most people who are going to buy a Blu-Ray or DVD already know about the movie and would rather know about the product details.

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 6:10:39 AM PDT
Posting reviews about movies on Amazon before the DVD is released is Evil. Evil, Evil Eeeevillll!*

P.S. don't look at my profile.

Seriously, though, this "how many people are going to buy a movie they did see based on an amazon review" argument fails, obviously. What about all the people who didn't see the movie? I've bought tons of stuff from Amazon because of Amazon reviews that I otherwise never would have bought. It's usually not based on what one single review says, but juging across several, plus you look at what else the reviewers liked/didn't like and see if your tastes line up.

I'm really not into disc extras myself, so whether I buy the DVD or the Bluray depends on whatever's cheapest at the moment. Yet, I realize there are people who care about the extras, so I try to at least mention them. "Hours and hours of commentaries. Um, yay?" Do I have to listen to them all myself?

And in addition, sometimes I actually go to Amazon to help me decide if I want to see a movie currently out in theaters . (I'm trying to think up a good review for Prometheus myself.)

*The #1 review of Game of Thrones season 1 had hundreds of yes votes before the discs were released. How can anyone compete with that? </whine>

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012 6:37:24 AM PDT
Jonathan says:
They should have both and segregate them as much as possible, as they should segregate all product-centric reviews that are for a specific DVD, BD, CD, etc. format, to apply only to that specified version and/or format.

The 'product reviews' are definitely more useful, but they're rendered useless when Amazon stupidly clumps them all together for various formats of the same title. We hardly ever know to which version or format the review in relating to.

It's one of a few of the great problems I've discovered on this site in the last two years, and like the other problems, it's only getting worse.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012 10:33:46 AM PDT
A. Antonio says:
I don't think it does fall flat. I can honestly say I have never bought a DVD or Blu-Ray based on any Amazon reviews that are about the movie and not the product.

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 11:01:23 AM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
The product, the product, the product! Always and everywhere, the product! And be specific about which format you are reviewing (DVD or BD, one or multi-disc) because Amazon won't do it for you since they lump everything under one title.

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 12:55:38 PM PDT
Both movie and product reviews are helpful to me, but especially the product ones--I want to know exactly what I'm getting. What drives me crazy though is when a person will give a review based on the service that they got from the seller they bought from--that type of review is for your personal Amazon account!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012 6:22:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 15, 2012 6:31:22 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
>Bird Girl: "What drives me crazy though is when a person will give a review based on the service that they got from the seller they bought from--that type of review is for your personal Amazon account."<

Of the few times I've ever hit the "Report abuse" button, it's usually when people are improperly utilizing the product reviews section to smear a seller, usually because they made a mistake in not reading the product info correctly, or they might be complaining they didn't get the DVD fast enough.

What a waste of time and bandwidth to keep those up there. Certainly not the biggest waste on Amazon, but it amazes me they never delete those unless they contain "bad words."

Also irritating are those who react to anything in presented in the 1.33:1 frame ratio, and raise false flags that a movie is presented "cropped" or "pan and scan" when in fact the movies may well have been intentionally filmed that way many times, and sometimes those reviews are the most positively-voted on reviews, because in theory they sound responsible and helpful.

Now that many people have widescreen TVs, they want to use every last centimeter of the TV's horizontal space on right and left, and lots of people believe that fib Martin Scorsese told on the TCM featurette about Widescreen movies ('...every film made after 1958 was presented in one widescreen format or another' - paraphrasing from memory.)
The truth is, many movies were shot purposely in that boxy 'Academy ratio' of 1.33: 1, from the '50s and '60s and onward into the last decade. Not only the work of Stanley Kubrick. Many foreign and low budget filmmakers.

To squeeze the image or crop the top and bottom of the screen, is almost as much a problem on DVDs as "Pan and scan" is on VHS and broadcast TV.

Oh, and HBO still shows most movies in pan and scan. Hehah. Why didn't Scorsese boycott them by taking his 'Boardwalk Empire' series to showtime?

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 5:28:47 AM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
Jonathan Baker

HBO has begun airing movies in widescreen recently. It took them an amazingly long time to get with the times, but at last they are here. However, I suspect they are displaying everything in 16:9, no matter if the OAR was wider. Still, it's a vast improvement.

HBO has for years aired their own series in widescreen, including Boardwalk Empire, but I'm assuming you already knew that and were making the point that MS shouldn't have placed BE with HBO in protest over the network's pan & scan policy.

The first film in which I noticed HBO's policy change was Avatar. My guess is that they didn't get the usual chorus of complaints, now that so many people have HDTVs.

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 6:34:32 AM PDT
Mr Dip says:
Actually, I find comments about the Product and the movie equally helpful. I have purchased a lot of movies based on these reviews (usually I am checking out stuff made by a particular actor/director/etc). My big wish, is more clarity on which version of the film is being reviewed. Some films there are soooo many versions available it is hard to seperate the good from the bad. In any case, a big THANK YOU to those folks who take the time to write a meanful review.

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 6:54:57 AM PDT
Hikari says:
Talking strictly about the features and pros and cons of 'the product' is fine if you're rating a belt sander or a Kindle, but movies aren't just 'product'--they're creative works, intellectual properties. Reviewing a movie's DVD package with no discussion of its content would be like rating a meal based on its carryout container.

I have spent many wonderful hours trolling the movie reviews pages. I read for content; I do pay attention if multiple reviews mention a poor video transfer. The product features deserve a mention but personally I do not read the reviews that focus solely on the packaging without mentioning the movie itself. When multiple formats and editions of a film have been released, product info is helpful for sorting it all out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 9:32:11 AM PDT
Both are relevant to me. The thing I don't like is when you see seller reviews on product review pages when they ought to be posted as seller feedback instead. Those "reviews" ought to be removed from product pages.

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 10:16:15 AM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
Hikari and Mr. Dip

What you two say is, of course, quite true. Information on the film is helpful, especially if one has never seen it before. My above post, admittedly a bit over-the-top, was a reaction to those posts that take multiple paragraphs to give us a synopsis and/or the reviewers' reactions and opinions to and about said film, but never get around to saying anything about the product. Particularly when one is interested in purchasing a DVD or BD product information is very helpful, especially when there are several editions of the thing.

One could say that that is what the "professional" online reviewing sites are for, but they usually don't cover multiple releases of the same film, let alone subsequent editions of it. That's where buyers reviews can, at their best, be helpful.

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 7:32:10 PM PDT
I am now the proud author of the 174th review for the Prometheus DVD.
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  Jun 15, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 16, 2012

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