When Movies Don’t Live Up to the Trailer


I can’t tell you how much I love the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com). I love The Times’s movie reviews too, but I don’t always agree with them. The wisdom of the masses on IMDB — thousands of people’s collective grade for a movie on a 1-to-10 scale — very rarely misses.

(Hint: It’s not really a 1-to-10 scale. By the time you average together all the scores from a huge number of people with different tastes, the scale gets compressed. On IMDB, an average movie usually gets around a 7. Anything that averages an 8 score is sensational; below 6, it’s a turkey.)

Last night, I took my two older kids to see “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.” I knew from IMDB that it wasn’t going to be a masterpiece; it scored only a 6.9, and the comments warned us that there are plot holes big enough to drive a convoy through. But we’d liked the first “National Treasure” movie, with all its historical references and clever puzzles, and thought we’d give it a shot.

On the way home, what we discussed wasn’t the plot or the shaky grasp of history. It was all the good stuff we’d seen in the trailers (the ads) that weren’t even *in* the movie.

(Source: David Pogue Blog - NY Times)


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