Reviews of movies


Avatar Movie Review


Movie review time – Avatar.

I’ll cut to the chase here.  Using my newly developed movie review criteria , I give it an A3.  For some people an A1, but for me an A3.

Reminder, all movies with a A rating are very good movies indeed, with the following sub categories:

  • A1: Go see it NOW at a theatre, and buy the DVD too, it’s that good!
  • A2: It’s a great movie – go buy the DVD when it comes out
  • A3: Go see it at a theatre  – you will want to get the “big picture” feel to it

The plot is interesting (if not a repeat of Pocahontas – WARNING plot spoiler in the link if you haven’t seen Avatar) enough to watch.  The special effects are pretty cool, and the message is a “nice” one – if not a wee bit too preachy.

My advice is see the 2D.  But if someone said that to me I would wanna see the 3D just to be sure.  I saw the 3D and found it cool to start with, then just (mildly) annoying, maybe that’s just me.

It’s quite a long movie, but suitable for children (as long as they shut up – or they aren’t sitting near me).

I will comment and say its a VERY good movie, and I can see why one would wanna see it (after all I so say that in my “A3″), but I dont actually think its an epic.  I don’t also think its a keeper in one’s DVD collection, for the same reasons I dont think Lord or the Rings is a keeper in one’s DVD collection.  Once you have seen it once (maybe twice) that’s it.  Some movies of lower quality (lets say, ummm .. Terminator 2) actually have more shelf life.  Lets be clear here, its a good movie, close to being great, but it’s just not one I would invest money (or more likely time) to watch over and over.

Like so many movies, if you expect it to be awesome you might think “what was the fuss about”. If you expect it to be OK, you find it a very good and enjoyable movie.  So I ain’t gonna ruin things and call it awesome.

Black and White Version: Avatar‘s good.  Go see it. (oh and the Vatican should just chill).

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My first movie review – Sherlock Homes


As you may know from my last post about the appalling bookings system of Hoyts, I went to see Sherlock Homes, the movie, last night.

So here’s my first movie review.  Unlike most movie reviews I wont actually say what the movie’s story is, because, well, I think that spoils it (I think its a sign of a bad reviewer when all they can do is regurgitate the story in their review).  What I will do is tell you if I liked it, recommend who (if anyone) might want to go see it, and then give it my overall rating.  I’ll also make comment if I think the acting was good, the story line was interesting, or it make some importantly social commentary.  I might even mention if someone in the movie was particularly hot  – you get the idea, it will just be a random rant.

However, I  have developed a sophisticated rating system, which works like this:

  • 6:  See it now, at the theatre and buy the DVD (My top rating)
  • 5: Buy the DVD (this means you might want to watch it more than once)
  • 4: See it at the theatre (once)
  • 3: Rent the DVD (once)
  • 2: Wait for it to be on TV or watch it on a long haul flight to kill time (you know, if your bored and nothing else to do)
  • 1: When it’s on TV, do something else. (the lowest rating)

UPDATE: I have an updated movie rating system now, but left this post as is using the old rating system.

So on to the review of Sherlock Homes.


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Hoyts – how NOT to do a web site


I decided to go to a movie tonight. I also decided (quite incorrectly) that the easiest way to find out info and book would be online. I think the first part (info) was easy enough, but online booking was both difficult, had a surcharge and overall quite unprofessional. Here’s why:

1) The site layout is VERY cluttered. Click on the image on the left to see what I mean. There is WAY to much going on here. (Btw .. there is more to the main page that shown – it wont all fit in on my screen even!)

I just noticed there is a banner ad, and a large ad at the bottom right that’s not even for their products!. There is even a “dating” link at the top right – WTF?

What marketing school did these guys go to? Ads work to help generate revenue for sites that have CONTENT, but generally not a thing to “sell”. In this case ANYTHING that distracts the end user from their products is counter productive – I think they need to ask the question “Whats the objective of the site” coz it’s not clear they understand. In my view the objective is to provide info on movies, and allow bookings. Not sure what they are thinking.

(2) They charge a $1 per ticket surcharge. Again what are they thinking? The whole ideas is to ENCOURAGE people to book online, not discourage. Web sites are primarily fixed costs media (ie whether or not 1 or 100,000 people view a site it costs the same to code it, host it and update it) as opposed to personal service via staff which has a far higher variable (in this case labour) cost. So the way web sites PAY for themselves is to AUTOMATE them, and get ECONOMY of SCALE. If Hoyts ran a supermarkets is appears they would charge people MORE to use the self checkout kiosks – CRAZY!

(3) Actual bookings are clumsy and awkward. After clicking on a movie, I had to search for the “buy now” button, and then it takes me to a screen where it asks me what movie I want to buy. Clearly the persons that designed this never tried to actually USE it. There are only two things to get right here – info (movie details, times etc) and BUYING tickets (and the later, IMO, is far more important coz it helps make them MONEY).

(4) The final bit is just amusing, and at the same time unprofessional: I received an email after I booked (took me several tries to get it to accept my seat request, and booking). The email refers to “Vista Cinemas” even though I have no idea who they are, there is no address or map, and the “instructions” are clearly from a stock piece of software with the “edit this” notes still there! Click on the image to the right to see what I mean.

Black and White Version: Get your act together Hoyts! Know what your web site’s purpose is, and then at least TRY to achieve it!

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