This won't be the Sidewalk account I'm hoping to write (that'll have to wait until I have some time to spare) but I've noticed a few things about the reviews on the Sidewalk website. If you review a movie you have to post a rating of one to five stars, then you have the option of writing something. I think it should be the other way around. When I give a film a five-star rating and someone else gives it one star, I wanna know why. It's cool that they disagree, but let's hear their reasoning. That's one thing I like about the Netflix website-lots of written viewer reviews, so you can figure out which viewers look at movies the way you do and which ones don't. If a movie gets really mixed reviews, but all the high ratings come from people who seem to be your kinda movie watchers, you know you should check the movie out, right?
On a documentary called Lost and Found in Mexico on the Sidewalk board someone gave it one star, while I gave it four. The cool thing is we both wrote detailed explanations of why we rated the way we did, so you can decide between two different points of view, not just two different abstract ratings.
Another thing that struck me, and I'm sure statisticians have a term for this: a movie that everyone gives three stars will have the same aggregate rating as a movie that half the voters give five stars and half give one star. But which movie would you rather watch? The one everyone thought was okay, or the one that really polarized people? I'd rather check out the one everybody disagrees over.