R.I.P. IMDB Comments

This Monday marked the end of the Internet Movie DataBase's infamous comments section, so I thought I'd write its obituary.

First, let me say that I don't blame them. This was, by and large, a risible cesspool even before the nut jobs took to YouTube and every media outlet's comments section. While there was a fair amount of thoughtful discussion on those boards, too many users were trolls let loose from their bridges, who unfairly attacked other users for liking what they liked. If your tastes tended to art house, you could be sure someone would be in your face about your hipsterism and pretentiousness; if you liked something with mass appeal, then someone would call you stupid and tell you to stick with childish cartoons. Flame wars. Disgusting comments about actresses' anatomy. And I'm sure, these days, political diatribes.

So it's gone and good riddance, right?

Well, we ARE losing some pretty excellent movie discussions as well - insights into film history, thematic underpinnings, and such - but for me personally, it's the end of a long-standing tradition where, after we see a film as a group, we go read the Top 6 IMDB comments (the ones currently on the film's top page). Just the post titles, mind you. We only click on them if a title is particularly intriguing or mystifying. For us, it was like a collage of strange topics, some validating our own opinions, questions or things we noticed, others representing the opinion of those we call "Muggles" - people who either don't see very many movies or are so literal-minded as to find ambiguity completely opaque - and never ever do we take it seriously. We certainly never respond (I think I may have left a comment or two over the course of the last 12 years, but it's always a dangerous prospect).

Monday morning, people were asking me "what'll we do now?" Stop watching movies, I guess.

What did we learn from reading the top 6 topics at the bottom of all those movies' pages? Well, there are some pretty common ones that keep turning up:
- Other movies like this one?
- This movie everyone likes (or that has a high rating) SUCKKKKKSSSSSSSSSS!
- The worst film ever made (followed by commenters telling that person they haven't seen enough movies)
- Why so many haters?
- Explain the ending, please!
- Where can I get the DVD? When does it come out?
- When does the English version come out? (Often followed by YOU DUMB BECAUSE YOU CAN'T READ SUBTITLES!)
- Is this movie okay for kids? (i.e. Does it have nudity?)

It was somehow comforting to see these old favorites in the list. Now, if you want to quality cluelessness or mean-spirited trolling, I guess you'll have to search through user reviews or something. Hopefully, we'll still get gems like this:

IMDB Comments Section, 2005-2017


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't even know what to say about that Harry Potter diatribe; I'm thinking it's a Poe's Law thing ... maybe he meant it as satire, but he wrote it too "in character" so it comes off as an honest (and incredibly obtuse) opinion? I kinda HOPE that's the case, otherwise it's almost too sad to contemplate.

Mike W.

Anonymous said...

My favourite comment ever (cause yes, I have one) is the one written about A talking cat?! Pure. Gold.


Siskoid said...

Well what was it??!


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine