Digital Bits reviews question

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Kain_C, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    How can the 10th anniversary DVD edition of Ninja Scroll get a B+ for extras when it has some pictures, an interview (that even the reviewer said was tedious), and some text background material while X-Men 2 (freakin two discs worth of stuff) gets a B- while it has deleted scenes, commentaries, art galleries, and many featurettes on it??

    I mean, come on! X2 has a whole DVD dedicated to extra material while Ninja Scroll 10th has enough material to fill a floppy disk, yet it gets a higher rating for extras??!?
     
  2. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    I think like most other sites...

    The review grades are based on quality not quantity.
     
  3. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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    Exactly. There's only so much you expect of extras on a title like Ninja Scroll, as opposed to something like Lord of the Rings or Alien Quadrilogy. Our extras grades are definitely far more reflective of quality than quantity.
     
  4. Derek Faber

    Derek Faber Stunt Coordinator

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    Do not question the bits, ever. They got the best reviews on the web.

    The Once Upon a Time in the West review and the Alien Quad has got me very excited for their releases and I give some credit to their well thought out reviews(the other credit goes to the movies being so damn good).
     
  5. EdwardKarlinski

    EdwardKarlinski Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm sorry, but that does not address the question. There is no way that Ninja Scrool should be rated higher than X-2 given the extras listed. This is typical of the type of lame defenses given to excuse poor reviews which are not based on objective criteria. By the way, please don't argue the nonsense that reviews are subjective. They are not. Good reviews must have objective standards which are uniformly applied to all films else they are just some fool's personal opinion and a complete waste of time.
     
  6. Eric Emma

    Eric Emma Supporting Actor

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    First off Digital Bits can review DVDs any way they want it's their site. It's quite simple on how they grade, if there a movie that 30 years old and it's a cult film, there likely isn't going be many extras they can put on it but if they make the effortt they deserve a good grade. If a new film comes out, that has all the resources to put the best extras on it and they don't then they'll give that dvd a lower score. That the way Digital Bits does it, I'm sure you can find another review website that does it the way you like. Also this isn't the place to whine about reviews, this is discuss DVDs.

    [/rant]

    Posts like these annoy me because they add nothing to the forum.
     
  7. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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  8. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    The key is establishing some type of objective criteria. I too don't believe all reviews (or anything for that matter) is entirely subjective. To prove my point, no true film critic could rightfully argue that "Godfather" is a piece of garbage. If criteria is established as to what good story writing is, acting, etc., etc. this makes reviewing much more objective and no one would say Godfather is garbage because of this. Sure, you can haggle over certain aspects, etc. But, you can define objective criteria. The same goes for arguing technical aspects of DVDs - audio and video quality. Objective criteria exists for judging the best video quality (fewest artifacts, strongest blacks & whites, color saturation, etc.). Again, you can haggle over some aspects as to what is better, but the fact that no one would say Lord of the Rings DVDs look terrible is proving there is objective criteria.
     
  9. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Certainly there are objective criteria. No argument there. But in the same way that NBC News and Fox News will cover the same event differently, so too will reviewer A respond differently to a DVD than reviewer B.

    While, certainly, The Godfather enjoys priveleged status among critics, other meritous films can have widely different viewpoints... especially genre films like scifi.

    Blade Runner is a case in point. Some critics consider it a near masterpiece, while others revile it.

    And... criteria for video quality differs as well. My review of The Honeymooners is a case in point. I give the set high marks (with one notable exception), yet others have criticised the set in my review thread. It's certainly their right to disagree, but it illustrates my point perfectly.

    When I review a title, I consider its age and source elements. The Honeymooners on DVD is grainy and has imperfections, yet the transfer is as true to the source as is possible, and so I give it high marks. Others say that because it is grainy and imperfect, it should not be rated so highly.

    Paper Moon exhibits a fair amount of grain, but its supposed to, and so it gets high marks from me... others will disagree.

    You can read disgreements over video quality on almost every DVD review posted at HTF. If the issues were completely objective, there would be no disagreement.

    Subjectivity, like it or not, is a large part of every review.

    -Scott
     
  10. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Scott I disagree...

    Before I do a review, I ask God to make sure that my opinions and perceptions are 100% in line with His own ultimate, objective, view-point.

    That way I'm assured that whatever I write in my review is a reflection of absolute reality and *not* just the subjective opinion from a normal person's point of view.

    I'm not sure if folks at the digitalbits have this luxury with being able to, with certainty, reflect God's perspecitve on things like I do, but it's unlikely given that they've expressed opinions on things from time to time that haven't been 100% exactly like my own.

    -dave

    p.s. [​IMG]
     
  11. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    David,

    I'm still waiting on the installation of my Direct Line.

    I wish I had your inside track...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    While different opinions are surely to always surface to some extent, I think laying out the standards and objective criteria from the outset would help. If I were reviewing DVDs (and I may some day), I would create a rubric or score chart. For example, I would identify the components of picture quality. This would include black and white level, color saturation, level of detail, etc., etc. I would assign a rating scale to each - maybe 1 to 5 (or 1-10). In the end, I would add up the points and arrive at a much more clear idea of what and how I was rating. On any rate, I think this helps the reviewer to be more objective and to organize his thought and judgement instead of just going entirely by some feeling or foggy thought.

    I bring this up because we have all read some of the terrible reviews that exist out there where people have given little thought to criteria.
     
  13. Justin W

    Justin W Stunt Coordinator

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    While rating films may not be AS objective. Rating extras definitely could be. I would assume the reviewer wasn't expecting Ninja Scroll to have any extras so they were happy with what they got. While X2 has numerous extras the B- was probably the quality of the extras. Certainly not the quantity. Either way, if you don't agree, there are plenty of other DVD review sites.
     
  14. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    I agree, everything is subjective, and everyone is entitled to their opinions.

    Digital Bits has been consistently on their game with well-written reviews, and especially with the "big gun" titles (the latest being Two Towers: Extended). While some titles may have gotten overlooked in the mix (still waiting for the reviews of The Real World: The Complete First Season and Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie - hint hint to Bill, Todd, and crew! [​IMG] ), everything that I've seen to date has been top-notch.
     
  15. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  16. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

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    Kain: You'd probably get a better and more thorough dialog by actually directly emailing the people in charge of the site than posting something on the forum here.

    Although I love the modern media and the internet for creating an entire subculture of people who review reviewers. I've done it myself, (For instance, I prefer the technical aspect reviews of DVD File, but I find their actual reviews of the movies are lacking (and smarmy, usually,) while Digital Bits movie reviews are better written, but I feel the technical parts are lacking. DVD Journal's reviews are overall probably the best, but yunno--there's nothing wrong with checking all three) but really, reviews basically are just informed opinions. If you question that opinion or think there's some kind of ulterior motive, it's probably better off just talking directly to that person, chances are you'll get more answers that way.

    That said, I was surprised the Ninja Scroll DVD got as high a rating as it did--it's being heavily advertised like "Buy it, it's WIDESCREEN NOW!" and widescreen is MAR for that title, and it's got only one real extra of any value (The Japanese DTS track). But yunno what? There's probably another website or two or twenty out there that agree with some of my points. So why take the time to rail on Digital Bits because they don't follow the line?

    Reviews are a tool to help YOU decide what purchase you're going to make, that's it.
     
  17. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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  18. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Well Bill,

    If you can't speak directly for God Himself, then I guess that criteria comes up an acceptable second-best!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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  20. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    Derek, do not tell me 'not to question' reviews. I have been going to the 'bits longer than you, I am sure. And I will continue to go there for the excellent coverage. Just as people have the power to critique films (or anything for that matter), we the readers can critique reviews. I just happened to notice an inconsistency, that is all. And I chose to bring it to light. This is a free country, after all.

    Eric, if my post annoys you, why do you both read and reply to it?

    My point was that the reviewer didn't seem to really care for the extras. So why give it such a high mark? And it brings up an issue of how to rate quality and quantity of extras, both of which seem to be lacking on the Ninja Scroll DVD. That is why I chose a more public route.
     

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