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On movie reviews and movies …

While reading dooce‘s reasons for why she stopped reading music reviews, I had a thought along the same lines, but for the movies.

A music reviewer runs into a problem that plagues most writers: coming up with new ways to say the same thing.

Why is that most of my movie review reading consists of checking the first half of the IMDB page for the movie?  (The part with title, genre, user rating, producer, and top of the cast).  Well, because that’s all I need to know about most of the movies that I get a chance to see (TV, rentals, and cinema).

Yes, most of these movies are either total crap or half crap.  They don’t amaze. They don’t make me think.  They don’t bring back the memories, and neither do they stimulate my imagination.  Most of these movies have a pretty straightforward story, shallow characters with long time coined phrases. You know the ones I’m talking about.

It’s a tough job being a critique for such movies.  You’ll indeed run out of words to describe them, and that will happen pretty fast.  I know, because I tried a movie blog ones.  It’s dead for a long time now, and I don’t have much will to revive it.

I’ve been thinking about this for some time now.  One thing that scares me a little bit is this move towards shorter time frames.  I’m guilty in participating, of course, but that makes it even scarier.

What I am talking about is this general move towards smaller pieces of information and entertainment.  We used to have printed books.  Those took a few days to read each.  Gradually, the majority of the population moved from books to movies.  Movies are much easier to consume, and then only take a couple of hours.  With the raise of the Web, the time frames got even shorter.  YouTube is one of the most popular entertainment resources on the Web, and it has a limitation of a 10 minute clip.  You just can’t upload anything which is significantly bigger than that (give or take a few seconds).   Now with mobile devices coming up strong, and popularity of short message services, such as Twitter and Jaiku, something tells me that we’ll go much under those 10 minutes of YouTube.  Of course it won’t happen in a day or two – I’m talking a general trend here.

Now imagine the reviewers going in step with the progress.  Writing a book review was simpler ( I guess).  Movies got tougher, because there are so many of them and because they are so much alike.  YouTube clip reviews turned into tiny user comments and star ratings.  You just can’t talk about a few minutes of video for hours I guess (again).  What will happen with a reviews of Twitter messages and tiny mobile video clips?  They’ll disappear.  It’ll be easier and faster to watch the original rather than spend time on the review.

Of course, it won’t all turn out that bad.  It’s just I’m having one of those pessimistic days…

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