Fixing the Movies

I’ve spent a chunk of the last two weekends going through all of my movie reviews and fixing them up. A lot of times when I write a review, I might reference another movie I’ve reviewed and I’m too lazy at the time to put in a hyperlink reference. Also, because I usually write these on AMUG and then just copy them into a separate file for my web page, I don’t italicize movie titles like I’m supposed to. So I went through all of my reviews (I’m up to 238 movies reviewed over the last 10 years) and fixed them up. It took a lot of time, but at least this weekend I was doing it while I was encoding new episodes from Seinfeld Seasons 3 and 7 DVD’s (which I got a good deal on at Fry’s yesterday; now I have everything through Season 7 and will wait to buy the just-released Season 8 when the price comes down).

In cross-referencing movies, some kept showing up over and over again. The Matrix and American Beauty showed up quite a bit, both from 1999. In fact, 1999 was referenced more often than any other year. Toy Story 2, Notting Hill, Fight Club, Three Kings, and Sixth Sense are all referenced. I didn’t like all of those movies, but they did set a certain type of standard or were good examples to reference later. It’s hard to know when you’re in a year whether it is really a good or bad year for movies, but after some time, it does start becoming clearer.

While adding the italics, I had to make a decision about whether to include any punctuation like a comma or period at the end of the movie title. I decided the hyperlink should not include the punctuation, but to prevent an abrupt style change, the punctuation should also be in italics. This meant I needed to include the italics tag first and the hyperlink tag second. Then I started getting in to things where there was a question mark or a parentheses following the movie. Pretty soon I was doubting myself. I looked it up and apparently the punctuation isn’t supposed to be italicized unless it is part of the movie (like Monsters, Inc.). So then I went back and fixed that.

I don’t get many visitors to the movie reviews web site because the market is overcrowded with reviewers and there are a lot better reviewers than I am, but I do enjoy going back and reading what I first thought about something. My review of Pleasantville mentioned the very strong cast including the two teenagers: “the guy who was a college student in The Ice Storm and a girl who I didn’t recognize.” Those two were Tobey Maguire (who would become Spiderman among many other roles) and Reese Witherspoon (who I’ve seen in at least five movies since then).

4 thoughts on “Fixing the Movies

  1. We just watched Pleasantville on TV last night. I like the movie but hated commercial interruptions. It felt like you got 5 minutes of movie for every 5 minutes of commercials. It was funny thinking about Bud as Spiderman.

    You should move your whole movie database to MovableType because MT structures all pages to be more search engine friendly somehow. Or maybe Joomla. I could set you up either way.

  2. It would definitely lend itself to a database of some kind so that it could be sorted by year and automatically generate the different lists. Like, for instance, when I write a new movie review, I have to also change that year’s dropdown list and the archive page which lists all of the movies. If the year has already passed, then I also put the movie in my rankings of all the movies I saw that came out that year. Some of that could be done automatically. It might also be nice to automatically generate a list of the best and worst movies and a list of all movies alphabetically instead of by year (though if you’re on the archive page it is easy enough to do a search).

    I don’t know if Movable Type itself is improving blog placement or if the search engines intentionally look for blogs (including MT blogs) to rank higher, just as they rank IMDB and Wikipedia higher by default.

  3. Good grief. 238 movies! Why don’t you get them all mixed up? I have to write down the movies I’ve seen in a notebook just so I won’t order them again from Netflix (I actually ordered one again one time). I think you could use at least some of the time more wisely. Maybe you should write your movie reviews while you are at work so that you can do some other things while you are at home?

  4. I think Ted should watch the movies at work AND write the reviews at work. That would even give him more time at home. (Because he quickly would not have a job!)

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