Date:         Fri, 9 Feb 2001 06:25:14 -0500
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
Comments:     Resent-From:
Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen

From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS -- 8 FEB 01 -- METACRITIC
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               TOURBUS Volume 6, Number 58 -- 8 Feb 2001
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Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from beautiful Tuscaloosa,
Alabama, the fourth largest island in the Philippines.  :P
TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors.  Please
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On with the show ...
Earlier this evening, I had to make a disturbingly profound decision:
do I break out my textbooks are read about brain research, knowledge
management, and all the other stuff I really should be learning if I
am going to graduate this summer, or do I go to the video store?
So, there I was at the video store  ... :P
Actually, I don't like to go to the video store that often because I
can NEVER decide what to rent.  And the video boxes aren't much help,
either.  I don't care how dreadfully vile a movie is, that movie's
video box will have a review from some obscure reviewer somewhere who
thought that that movie was the greatest thing to come along since
Billy Bob Kurosawa's "Ernest versus the Seven Samari."
So, how can you find the REALLY good movies among all the dreck in
your local movie theater or video shop?  Well, you can always read the
movie review column in your local newspaper ... but that is just one
person's opinion.  A better solution would be to consult a chart that
shows you the reviews of a BUNCH of different movie reviewers.
Entertainment Weekly has just such a chart at .
Unfortunately, Entertainment Weekly's "Critical Mass" chart only shows
reviews for movies (the stuff they show in movie theatres), not for
videos (the stuff you rent and forget to rewind).  So, our search
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) at 
is pretty cool -- in fact, it is one of my favorite sites -- but
finding reviews at IMDb takes a little work.  You have to search for
the movie or video by its title, go to a page that tells you
everything you could ever want to know about that movie and its actors
(it is THIS information that makes IMDb such a great site), click on
the "External Reviews" link on the left-hand side of the page, and
you'll see a list of links to reviews from around the world.  That's
helpful, I guess, but the only way to see what The New York Times or
Film Australia actually wrote is to click on a link and go to yet
ANOTHER Web site.  That's too much work for a professional lazy person
like me.
Enter Metacritic, a movie review Web site that combines the breadth of
IMDb's reviews with the ease-of-use of Entertainment Weekly's
"Critical Mass" chart.
You can find Metacritc on the Web at .
The folks behind Metacritic created a one-stop site
     where movie fans like us could easily find the most important
     reviews for each new movie at a glance.  Thus, in addition to
     quotes from reviews from major critics on each movie page on our
     site, you will find links to each of the full reviews. We also
     wanted to design a system for comparing reviews between critics
     and between movies.  To accomplish this goal, we developed our
     Metascore formula.  Each movie is assigned a Metascore, which is
     a weighted average of each of the individual reviews for that
     film.  This number, on a 0-100 scale, lets you know at a glance
     how each movie is reviewed.
The site couldn't be easier to use.  Click on the orange "film" or
"video" links near the top of the Metacritic homepage.  (Metacritic
also offers music and video game reviews, but those sections really
aren't yet ready for prime-time).  For example, if you click on the
Film link, you'll be taken to the Metacritic Film page (GASP!).  Look
on the left side of the page and you'll see an alphabetical list of
movies currently showing in your local theater.
Here's the cool part.  The numbers and the colors next to the title of
each movie give you that movie's average score on a scale from 1 to
100 and tell you if that movie has received good reviews or not.  Red
means bad, green means good.
Also, if you click on the title of a particular movie, you are taken
to a page that shows you that movie's average "metascore" as well as
DOZENS of brief snippets from mainstream media reviews of that
particular movie.  Click on one of the snippets to read the full
As I said earlier, Metacritic combines the breadth of IMDb's reviews
with the ease-of-use of Entertainment Weekly's "Critical Mass" chart.
Now if only the site was portable -- you know, if I could access
Metacritic on my Palm Pilot or Windows CE device -- then Metacritic
would be my new best friend.
Oh, wait ... you *CAN* access Metacritic on a Palm Pilot or a Windows
CE device.  Metacritic is one of the channels on AvantGo.  To find out
more, check out .
According to Metacritic, "when you sync your handheld to your
computer, you'll get the latest METASCORES and reviews for movies now
playing in theatres and the latest releases at the video store."
It doesn't get any cooler than this.  :)
That's it for today.  Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll talk
again next week.
GRAIN (noun).   The color between yellow and blue in the visible
HAY-UM (noun).  A cut of meat from a pig.
Usage: "I do not like grain eggs and hay-um ..."
[Special thanks go to Cade Bryant for today's wurds]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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