hurdy_gurdy_man's profile

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Fri, Apr 8, 2022 8:32 AM

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The keywords "blockbuster" and "movie-flop"

Since these two IMDb keywords are vague-sounding - as a film's box office cannot always be conclusively proved - I propose that they both be deleted.

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8 months ago

? ?

IMDb: Advanced Title Search

Keywords:

Blockbuster, Including Adult Titles (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)
1,361 titles
https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?keywords=blockbuster&adult=include

Movie-flop, Including Adult Titles (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)
795 titles.
https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?keywords=movie-flop&adult=include

Box-office-bomb, Including Adult Titles (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)
3 titles.
https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?keywords=box-office-bomb&adult=include

1. An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1997)

   Keywords  : 78 plot keywords

  
2. Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)
   Keywords  - 29 plot keywords
 
3. Tiger Man (1983)
    Keywords - 78 plot keywords

Wikipedia Blockbuster

Blockbuster (entertainment) 
a term coined for an extremely successful movie, 
from which most other uses are derived.

Blockbuster bomb,
a series of WWII-era air dropped bombs large enough to demolish a city block

Wikipedia bomb

Box-office bomb
which refers to a film for which the production and marketing costs
greatly exceeded the revenue retained by the movie studio.
.

(edited)

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@ACT_1​ Are you a bot?

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8 months ago

Imperfect as such keywords may be, they are also the only way to include box office status in a search.

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@Peter_pbn​ But should box office status even be included in the keywords? Keywords are supposed to be related to the subject matter of the film itself, not the perception towards it.

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@hurdy_gurdy_man​ That's not strictly true. There are other keywords that are about the production, not the subject matter, like "written by director" and "triple f rated".

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@adrian​ But at least that sort of information has some solid facts behind it. Box office is a foggy situation.

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8 months ago

I also know that box-office-bomb is already a forbidden keyword. So why not these two also?

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8 months ago

They should be deleted.  I have even found them attached to student films!  

Another one that should be deleted: "cult-film."  This, too, has been attached to all kids of questionable titles.  I guess ANY film could be a "cult-film."  On student films, if your classmates, friends and family like it (because you were involved with it), I quess some think that makes it a "cult-film."  

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8 months ago

I wholeheartedly support the request to delete and block the keywords "movie-flop" and "blockbuster." 

I was actually planning on eventually posting the exact same request, and for the same reasons: these keywords are too subjective and the similar "box-office-bomb" is already banned.

scgary66

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664 Points

8 months ago

I'll first note that there do not appear to be any Adult titles with the 'blockbuster' keyword, as that may have been unclear from the previously posted search. As I've done some work in this area, I'll explain the criteria that have been used over the years for its inclusion: It's been added to titles that were among each year's top ten films in either domestic (U.S-Canada), international (non-U.S.) or worldwide (combined) box office, with some minor variations when there may have been a film that was close to 10th, but well ahead of #12. Usually, the result has been about 12-13 titles per year, as the three groups tend to overlap. Certainly there are instances in which someone may have added the keyword to titles where it obviously doesn't apply (sometimes even titles still awaiting release). Titles which were among the top ten box office films in one or more countries, but were not more widely successful, get the keyword 'local-blockbuster'.

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@gary_krause_dsb3tl1xamjcb​ I usually don't delete "blockbuster" as a keyword. I understand your points about what you view as proper use of the "blockbuster" keyword, but wouldn't you agree that other users have severely overused this keyword with much wider criteria for when they think it applies?

blockbuster (1361 titles)

I do often delete "movie-flop" when I see it used as a keyword. "Movie-flop" is also severely overused and is even harder to define.

Any thoughts on whether "movie-flop" should be blocked and mass-deleted?

movie-flop (798 titles) 

I don't have strong opinions about these keywords either way, but if it were up to to me, I would at least block and delete "movie-flop." How does one define what is a "flop?"

scgary66

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I'll agree that flops are a LOT harder to define, as the term is usually used relative to the expectations for the movie, and its budget. A movie that cost $100 million but only took in $20 million at the box office is regarded as a flop, while a movie that cost $1 million and also grossed $20 million is a "sleeper hit". You could come up with a parameter involving budget-to-box office ratio, I suppose, but I doubt you could find a reliable way to accurately determine budgets, so it's likely a hopeless cause. I'll bring up another related issue - titles that have the keyword 'blockbuster' AND the keyword 'cult-favorite' (or a variant); these two things seem contradictory to me, as they suggest something in the cultural mainstream and something out of it. I don't think of Star Wars as a "cult favorite" simply because it has a devoted following.

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@scgary66​ 

463 titles currently have the keyword combination "blockbuster" and "cult-film."

Most Popular Movies and TV Shows tagged with keywords "blockbuster", "cult-film"

I agree with you that these two keywords are contradictory (and in most cases mutually exclusive).

scgary66

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@keyword_expert​ And then there's the issue of the numerous variants of the keyword:

cult-film (and cult-tv)

cult-favorite

cult-classic

cult-movie

cult-comedy

cult-horror

cult-following

cult-western

cult-character

cult-short

cult-hit

cult-television

cult-status

cult-musical

cult-cast

cult-episode

american-cult-tv (etc.)

cult-film-reference

cult-movie-cast

cult-tv-series

cult-male-character

cult-female-character

cult-animated-film

And so on...

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@scgary66​ Such is the world of keywords.

Most of those are not true duplicates, though, except "cult-film" and "cult-movie," which should be merged. I will make sure those are on my list for a future mass merger. 

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@scgary66​ 

I think I am at the point where I am willing to ask IMDb staff to permanently delete and block the "cult" keywords, like the ones you mentioned.  These keywords are over-applied to the point that they have become meaningless. What say you?

@keyword_expert​ And then there's the issue of the numerous variants of the keyword:

cult-film (and cult-tv)

cult-favorite

cult-classic

cult-movie

cult-comedy

cult-horror

cult-following

cult-western

cult-character

cult-short

cult-hit

cult-television

cult-status

cult-musical

cult-cast

cult-episode

american-cult-tv (etc.)

cult-film-reference

cult-movie-cast

cult-tv-series

cult-male-character

cult-female-character

cult-animated-film

And so on...



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@scgary66​ p.s. Probably not all of those keywords should be deleted. Some of them, like "cult-following," might actually be plot points within a title.

But keywords like "cult-film" and "cult-tv-series" have definitely become meaningless and serve no good function on IMDb.

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The keywords blockbuster and cult-film are in IMDb's own list of "interesting keywords" to explore.

https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/

Cult-film is also one of the selected keywords that can be searched in the IMDb app (iOS).

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@Peter_pbn​ That's a very good point. I was already reconsidering my suggestion of asking staff to intervene, especially after not receiving any positive feedback from @scgary66.

It does seem to be an undeniable truth that certain keywords like "blockbuster," "cult-film," "psychotronic-film," and "grindhouse-film" (and their variants) have become overused to the point of meaninglessness.

Perhaps the absolute worst of these is "psychotronic-film."  That particular keyword was ill-defined from the start, and definitely has no universally accepted definition today.

With all that said, I don't feel strongly about how to fix the problem. This is just another keyword malfunction that will probably persist indefinitely. 

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A list of some of the many keywords of this nature that have become problematic in their usage:

psychotronic-film (8936 titles)

psychotronic-series (1228 titles)

psychotronic-short (1013 titles)

psychotronic-short-film (63 titles)

psychotronic-video-game (459 titles)

psychotronic-tv-film (72 titles)

psychotronic-tv (4 titles)

psychotronic-comedy (68 titles)

psychotronic-music-video (49 titles)

european-psychotronic-film (153 titles)

spanish-psychotronic-film (27 titles)

british-psychotronic-film (20 titles)

psychotronic-episode (28 titles)

trash-movie (870 titles)

trash-cinema (3 titles)

trash (821 titles)

euro-trash (859 titles)

blockbuster (960 titles)

cult-director (847 titles)

cult-movie-cast (62 titles)

cult-cast (2 titles)

cult-character (10 titles)

cult-male-character (11 titles)

cult-female-character (9 titles)

cult-favorite (408 titles)

cult-hit (4 titles)

cult-film (5067 titles)

cult-movie (86 titles)

cult-animated-film (2 titles)

cult-short (6 titles)

cult-tv (939 titles)

cult-television (3 titles)

cult-tv-series (29 titles)

american-cult-tv (647 titles)

japanese-cult-tv (64 titles)

cult-episode (1 title)

cult-comedy (83 titles)

cult-horror (54 titles)

cult-western (9 titles)

cult-musical (2 titles)

cult-video-game (361 titles)

based-on-cult-tv-series (77 titles)

based-on-cult-favorite (63 titles)

based-on-cult-film (15 titles)

based-on-cult-scenes (2 titles)

based-on-cult-comedy (1 title)

grindhouse (49 titles)

grindhouse-film (2517 titles)

grindhouse-short (16 titles)

grindhouse-series (8 titles)

grind-house (1 title)

And so on.....

(edited)

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@scgary66​ While we are still on the topic of the overuse of these keywords, I have also noted the tendency of one more contributors to add the word "cult" when what they really mean is "cult-film." This misuse of the "cult" keyword is most readily apparent in this search for the keywords "cult" and "cult-film" combined on the same title (which currently returns 219 titles):

Cult-film, cult (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)  (219 titles)

The contributor(s) who have done this are diluting the keyword "cult," which should be reserved for titles that actually include a cult as a plot point.

(edited)

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7 months ago

@hurdy_gurdy_man 

hurdy_gurdy_man
Thu, May 5, 2022
Solved
The keyword "movie-flop" still exists.
https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?keywords=movie-flop

Can we just ban this permanently? Thank you.
https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/conversations/data-issues-policy-discussions/the-keyword-movieflop-still-exists/62740695768de216cd5cd034

- - -
  
Michelle, Employee
Mon May 9 2022 
Hi hurdy_gurdy_man -
The "movie-flop" keywords you reported have now been removed from the site and blocked.
Cheers!
- - -
  
ACT_1

Wayback Machine
http://web.archive.org/web/*/https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?keywords=movie-flop

  
https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?keywords=movie-flop - 800 titles

2 hours later
https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?keywords=movie-flop - 766 titles 

2 hours later
https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?keywords=movie-flop - 215 titles

1/2 hour later
https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?keywords=movie-flop  0 titles !!

.

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3 months ago

I have come across student films that have "cult-film" and "blockbuster" as keywords.  Wow!  Talk about self promotion! Or, is it just wishful thinking!  Deception? What?

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ 

It does seem that one or more contributors have been making progress at weeding out the usage of the "blockbuster" keyword. That keyword was at 1,361 titles (according to @ACT_1's records) when this thread was started 5 months ago, and is at 960 titles today. 

To whomever is reducing this bloated keyword, nice work!

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3 months ago

Psychotronic films are a subgenre that is clearly defined. There have been several books written about psychotronic films, including Michael J. Weldon's The Psychotronic Video Guide To Film.  

And, of course, there are psychotronic film societies around the world, some of whom, I would think, use IMDb in their programming.

Psychotronic may need some clean-up, but it should DEFINITELY not be deleted.

(edited)

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@bradley_kent

If "psychotronic" is so "clearly defined," as you put it, it should be pretty easy to provide your perceived definition. 

So, what is your definition of "psychotronic?" 

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How about the Oxford definition (which you could have easily looked up, too):

denoting or relating to a genre of movies, typically with a science fiction, horror, or fantasy theme, that were made on a low budget or poorly received by critics.

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@bradley_kent

Thank you. I was familiar with that dictionary definition, but I didn't want to influence your response by pointing it out first.

And since you pointed out Michael Weldon (who coined the phrase "Psychotronic TV" in the first place), I note that Weldon himself never gave a consistent definition.

In case you haven't seen this before, this official source quotes Weldon's book, criticizes the dictionary definition that you have cited as too narrow, admits there really is no true definition, and struggles to arrive at a definition, while acknowledging that it may be like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's nondefinition of "obscenity": "I know it when I see it."

Toward a Definition of Psychotronic Film

https://psychotronicreview.com/2018/06/04/psychotronic-definition/

At any rate, I wasn't suggesting that the keyword "psychotronic" should be deleted or blocked. But I do believe that the keyword is completely dysfunctional at this point as used on IMDb. 

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ 

And just to clarify, that Psychotronic Review blog post that I cited quoted from Weldon's book The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, but not his earlier book The Psychotronic Video Guide.

As pointed out in one of the comments on that blog post, Weldon's definition in his earlier book was as follows:

"Psychotronic . . . means horror, science fiction, fantasy, and exploitation movies.” 

That original definition had no mention of budget or popularity, but instead was simply limited to specific genres.

There are currently 2,373 titles on IMDb that have the keyword "psychotronic" but not the keywords "exploitation-film" or "exploitation" and not any of the genres listed in that above-quoted definition:

Not Fantasy, Not Horror, Not Sci-Fi, psychotronic-film, Not exploitation, Not exploitation-film (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)

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Looks like someone needs to do a thorough auditing of the "psychotronic" titles to add needed genres and subgenres.  Why not take on that project?

t any rate, I'm glad that you agree that "psychotronic" keywords should not be blocked (although some probably need correcting).

Even among people really "into" psychotronic films, there is probably a lot of disagreement about a definition.  "Hard Ticket to Hawaii," anyone?

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ To be honest I don't care enough about the "psychotronic" keyword to do any "auditing" of it, and I also predict that even trying to audit it would be like sticking one's finger in the dike, only for the flood to burst out all over again in other places.

"psychotronic" may be the most overused keyword on IMDb; it's hard to think of a better example. I'm sure that unfortunate trend will continue regardless of any "auditing."

And yes, there is definitely no universal definition of "psychotronic," even among its aficionados. That's part of the problem with even trying to "audit" the keyword.

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3 months ago

Here are some additional quasi-genre keywords (really more styles than genres) that have been underdefined and overused on IMDb nearly to the point of meaninglessness:

postmodern (329 titles)

post-modern (489 titles)

postmodernism (72 titles)

post-modernism (18 titles)

maximalism (134 titles)

surrealism (10551 titles)

surreal (610 titles)

surrealist (144 titles)

At the very least, the "postmodern" keywords could be merged. These are on my private list for future mass mergers.

There are currently 33 titles that have "maximalism," "surrealism," and "postmodern" all on the same title:

Sort by Popularity - Most Popular Movies and TV Shows tagged with keywords "maximalism", "surrealism", "postmodern"

(edited)

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2 months ago

Here is yet another keyword that has been severely overused on IMDb:

midnight-movie (245 titles)

I would be fine with this keyword if it were limited to a plot keyword. For instance, it has been applied to this title:

Midnight Show (I) (2016)

75 min | Fantasy

  6.7
 
  Rate this

A serial killer is about to get his revenge with the people inside a movie theater during a midnight showing.

The problem, of course, is that the same contributor who has been overusing the "grindhouse-film," "psychotronic-film," and "cult-film" keywords has also been applying the "midnight-movie" keyword to the same titles. This is not a truly justifiable use of the "midnight-movie" keyword.  Even if it's true that these titles may have once been shown at midnight somewhere in the world at some point, that's still not a plot point or even a genre.

I also question whether some of the titles with this keyword were actual midnight movies, like this one for instance:

Mandy (I) (2018)