WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/13/2010

A look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.

IN THEATERS (WIDE RELEASE):

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: Comic comic-book adaptation about a teen (Michael Cera, who will probably be playing teenagers until he starts to go bald) who must defeat seven evil ex-boyfriends to win the heart of his beloved.  Certainly a stretch for “weird” but looks quirky, offbeat.  Scott Pilgrim vs. the World official site.

FILM FESTIVALS (NEW YORK CITY):

The New York City International Film Festival:  Runs Aug 12-19.  120 films (including shorts) from all over the world are premiering here, which means there should be something weird; the only one we could locate is the Spanish entry Lodo.  The filmmakers offer the following description: “Three levels in Sara’s mind: obsessions from her past, ghosts from the present, push her towards her own inner hell.”  The trailer has a music-video style sheen.  The New York City International Film Festival official site.

NEW ON DVD:

Crumb (1995):  Landmark documentary on R. Crumb, the famously eccentric comic book artist and counterculture icon, an acid-damaged neurotic with disturbing sexual fetishes and questionable racial sensitivities; the surprise of the doc is that R. appears to be the most normal person in his family.  Another quality entry (and surprising choice) from the Criterion Collection. Buy Crumb (The Criterion Collection).

Sea of Dust (2008):  Described as a mindbending gory fairytale done in a retro-Hammer style, starring makeup man Tom Savini and seventy-two year old former sex symbol Ingrid (The Wicker Man) Pitt.  The tagline reads “David Lynch meets the Brides of Dracula.” It won Best Feature at the non-prestigious Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival, but has also scored a ridiculously low 1.8 user rating on IMDB. For reference, Uwe Boll’s nearly universally hated The House of the Dead scored a 2.0; that 1.8 rating and would qualify as one of the IMDB’s 100 lowest rated movies if it had enough votes to qualify.  I confess to being fascinated by the possibilities this one offers. Buy Sea of Dust.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Crumb (1995): See entry in DVD above. Buy Crumb (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray].

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

4 thoughts on “WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/13/2010”

  1. Oddly enough, of the 9 actual reviews left on IMDB, only one gave [i]Sea of Dust[/i] a rating of less than 6/10. I don’t know what kind of math they’re using, but I don’t see how you get a 1.8/10 out of it.

    1. That’s some nice investigative reporting there MCD, I didn’t think to look at the breakdown of the votes. You’re right, it doesn’t add up at all. What it suggests is that the IMDB system suspects “vote stuffing” and is disregarding some of the higher votes or penalizing the movie’s score.

  2. The math-dweeb in me decided to take a second look. There are 13 votes, and 9 reviews with ratings of 9,9,6,6,8,10,9,2, and 10. Even assuming that the 4 non-review votes were 0 stars, you get a 5.6/10. Dump the two 10s, and it’s a 7/10 or a 4.4 (with the non-reviews being zeros). Admittedly, this isn’t a ‘good’ result by most standards – average at best – but it indicates to me that IMDB is doing some sort of manipulation.

    1. From the IMDB description of the “weighted vote average”: ” Various filters are applied to the raw data in order to eliminate and reduce attempts at ‘vote stuffing’ by individuals more interested in changing the current rating of a movie than giving their true opinion of it. The exact methods we use will not be disclosed. This should ensure that the policy remains effective. The result is a more accurate vote average.” The low score suggests to me that their algorithm detected likely vote-stuffing on Sea of Dust and that they punished the movie’s rating. The lesson is that the director, cast and crew, and their cohorts should never vote their own movie “10”! But it also suggests that the movie might not be as terrible as the score indicates, so we’ll take the rating with a grain of salt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.