Bits and Pieces

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Jeff Goldstein vs Ace: Face Off

Ace, Karol and Jeff had some very entertaining most overrated film of all time threads this weekend. While Karol managed to keep her comments on-topic, Jeff's quickly turned into a most underrated film thread, while Ace started his own underrated thread to accompany the other one.

Now, if you're a regular reader of Jeff and Ace, both seem to be disturbingly proud of their taste in obscure, some would say plain bad, movies. I'm sure Jeff, for instance, just makes up half the titles he recommends (prove me wrong, Jeff, ya crazy sum'bitch).

What I want to do, though, is judge these two bloggers on their readers. They were sked to name their most underrated movies of all time, so let's put them to the test.

Here's what I did. I took the first 25 recommendations from each site and ran them through, a site that collates reviews from almost 50 daily newspapers, dedicated industry magazines and so on (ranging from Rolling Stone to my old employer the Wall Street Journal) and infers an average percentage for each film. But don't listen to my drivel. Here's an excerpt from their about us page:

Since its inception, Metacritic has provided a cross-section of reviews from a carefully-screened group of the most respected critics for the latest (as well as earlier) releases in film, video, music, books and games in a clean, user-friendly manner. And only Metacritic uses Metascores to combine all of the individual critic scores into an overall grade for each item, so users can gauge the critical consensus at a glance. In fact, our scoring system is so unique (unique, complicated--what's the difference?) that it merits its own explanation page.

Of course, some movies haven't made it to Metacritic yet. What to do, what to do? Of course! We went to the Internet Movie Database to see what the viewing public thought of these movies. IMDB reader reviews work on a 0-10 star rating system, possibly the finest rating system known to man (percentages give too much wiggle room, as you well know). In keeping with the, ahem, scientific method I converted these rating to a percentage score.

Anyway, the "winner" will be the blogger whose readers have picked those movies that receive the lowest average score. Of course this is probably the least scientific test in the history of man, but there is no accounting for taste. All we can do is discuss the most poorly rated movies. As always, I leave it up to the reader to judge the quality of the movies in question.

Of course, regardless whether you take anything from this post, it's helped me out. It reminded me just what a fucking great movie Office Space was, and I just found in for a fiver on Amazon. Kickass.

Ratings beside an asterisk (*) were obtained from IMDB user ratings. The unadorned, less fancy ratings were obtained from Metacritic.

Protein Wisdom

Cutters Way *68%
Bad News Bears 65%
Henry Fool *73%
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore *73%
Once Upon a Time in America *82%
Tightrope *62%
Nighthawks *61%
Very Bad Things 31%
Blade 45%
Dazed and Confused 78%
About a Boy 75%
Office Space 68%
Groundhog Day 72%
American Psycho 64%
Guarding Tess *60%
Grosse Point Blank 76%
Election 82%
Amongst Friends *52%
Happiness 81%
Miller's Crossing *80%
Corrina, Corrina *61%
Copland 67%
Smile 47%
The Changeling *73%
Smash Palace *72%

Average --- 66.72%


The Thing *79%
Of Mice and Men *75%
The Iron Giant 85%
Better Off Dead *72%
Diggstown *67%
GI Jane *55%
Silver Bullet *56%
Rear Window *87%
Arsenic and Old Lace *81%
Downfall 82%
Proof 70%
Shattered *65%
Frequency 67%
Boondock Saints 44%
Ruster's Rhapsody *58%
Weird Science *62%
Dead Again 66%
Kung Fu Hustle 78%
Bubble Boy 41%
Shaolin Soccer 68%
Kung Pow 14%
Unbreakable 62%
Long Kiss Goodnight *65%
Here Come the Nelsons *68%
Robinson Crusoe on Mars *67%

Average --- 65.36%

Ouch. That was ridiculously close. Ace, in fact, saved himself by proposing Kung Pow, a movie that only garnered an average 14% from the professional movie critics. It's almost as if he knew.

And so, by it has been statistically proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the readers of Ace of Spades are more obscure than those of Protein Wisdom. They are more appreciative of critically panned movies, more steadfast in their convictions and unwilling to waver in the face of overwhelming public opinion.

Or, y'know, they just really like shit films. That, however, is a question for another day.
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