20 Comments

  1. I agree with Charles on the last one. The artwork is beautiful (especially the “Snidely Whiplash” magician), but the caption is really sick. I would have liked it a lot more if she had said, “Your dad and I decided that we really wanted twins.

  2. Somehow again yesterday evening I passed up watching “What Maisie Knew” though I had months ago queued it up. I read the Henry James novella many years ago, and wasn’t sure about wanting a modernization. The way a child can be torn apart by divorce, the subject of that book, is so nicely concretized in the magicians comic in today’s collection.

    Bizarro evidently has a thing for mall directory/map gags. There was a different one last week, and Wayno blogged about it: “I’ve done quite a few gags involving mall information kiosks, and this one may be my favorite. In recent months, however, we all may feel like we’re stranded in the Kierkegaard Galleria”.

    Uh-oh, very ugly image URL, let’s see if it works.

  3. Somehow again yesterday evening I passed up watching “What Maisie Knew” though I had months ago queued it up. I read the Henry James novella many years ago, and wasn’t sure about wanting a modernization. The way a child can be torn apart by divorce, the subject of that book, is so nicely concretized in the magicians comic in today’s collection.

    Bizarro evidently has a thing for mall directory/map gags. There was a different one last week, and Wayno blogged about it: “I’ve done quite a few gags involving mall information kiosks, and this one may be my favorite. In recent months, however, we all may feel like we’re stranded in the Kierkegaard Galleria”.

    (Omitting image that may be responsible for tossing this into modeeration.)

  4. What does a divorcing couple with offspring do? They ‘split the kid’. That’s supposed to be what comes to mind, not ‘OMG MURDER!’

  5. I find mall directory maps somewhat unsettling. I stop by one map and it says YOU ARE HERE. I go to another one, and it says the same thing. Am I being tracked? How do they know where I am?

    😛

  6. Maisie update: I went ahead and watched the 2012 film: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1932767/reference
    Besides the modernizing of the settings and situations (like, what kinds of jobs people had), I thought much of the retelling was okay. But it made the story rather tamer. Although it has been a long time since I read the book, I remember the way it enacted the business of separated parents using the child to convey arguments and threats, and to serve as spy – in a way that was new and shocking, but in a contemporary film is standard fare.
    For me the surprise excellent performance was from Steve Coogan as the preoccupied businessman father. Keeping to his usual persona for the most part, he turned that to a very fitting character delineation.

  7. In the paper airplane one, is the fact that he appears to be missing a third of his head significant, or is that just the artist’s style?

  8. @ Mitch4 – One thing about IMDB that I am really starting to hate is the way the system “automatically” translates movie titles to my (supposedly) “preferred” language. The rest of tge page content is all still in English, so why do these idiots think that I want the movie title in German? There isn’t any way to get it to stop doing it, either, at least not without registering. Twits.

  9. Kilby, you’re contributing to my mental deterioration! I thought for sure it was not here but on Twitter that I half-complained about how IMDb is now apparently listing the movies (or tv shows) for an actor or director by original title, rather than by English title. (Or perhaps the English title convention was instead preferred-language.)

    From a technical or scholarly point of view, using the original title is probably better; but for casual purposes it is inconvenient. From Ingmar Bergman’s writer or director listing within https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000005/ , can I easily pick out “The Silence”? No, because I don’t know that “Tystnaden” is the Swedish word and the original title. Not even in parentheses or something does it say “silence” anywhere, so using within-web-page-search by the browser is no help, and the best thing is to use IMDb’s own search.

    At least that is a translation of the original title. It gets complicated when there are alternate titles for releases in various places, titles more or less remote from just translations of the original title. To find “L’amour, l’après-midi” (Eric Rohmer, 1972) please don’t look for “Love in the Afternoon” which is something else entirely (and it turns out, a pretty good Billy Wilder crime-comedy!)[*]. No, it’s “Chloe in the Afternoon” – not a bad marketing move if they thought there was a conflict.

    My big example of how this goes wrong, but where there isn’t an obvious easy solution, was for a really great philosophical film, “Sans toit ni loi” (1985) by Agnès Varda. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089960/reference . The “Also known as” section now mentions “Without Roof or Law (World-wide, English title)” which is okay as translation — but not as clever as what used to be listed as UK title, “Without Roof or Rule” which is still pretty much a translation but does some sound-play. The key problem is ” Vagabond (World-wide, English title) ” which was how this film was known in American distribution, including the tape or DVD I rented and eventually bought it on.

    The issue was that a simple title search for “Vagabond” on IMDb would take you right to a different movie, whose title actually was “Vagabond”. (Probably this one: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105718/reference though it does not today show any reviews) And several users had left User Reviews and top star ratings on this *other* “Vagabond” , with write-ups that showed they clearly meant the Vardas film. such as a reference to “the episode with the arborist professor” — there is indeed an episode with an arborist professor in the Vardas movie, and I doubt that was a commonplace plot ingredient. After a campaign in IMDb’s error-reporting forms and mention in the text of other reviews, they moved some of those, and eventually (presumably for other systemic reasons) improved search and stopped always taking a user to first exact-match without showing choices.

    Ha! I just saw my own 10-star review, from April 2000, and it contains one of those whines! And confirms which other movie it was.

    [*] I used to give this example thinking that the Hollywood “Love in the Afternoon” by default would be junk, or a spinoff of “Love American Style”. Then I actually looked for it, and was pleasantly surprised, but had to retract some attitude!

  10. IMDB has been in a slow motion arc over a shark tank for, oh, at least 10 years now, but if I’m being honest, probably since it got bought by Amazon. It’s amazing how you can retrograde from something basic, simple and solid (a data base of information!) to what it is slowly, agonizingly, morphing into. Every time I go there, some other vital piece of information that used to simply be one more field in its data base (I harp on that because it’s in its frickin’ name!) is missing, either removed or hidden, or God knows where. Try and find out where a particular film or TV episode was filmed, for example. I often find the information is out there, often on IMDB, but I have to go through an outside search engine to get there; even worse is when they seem to have the information, but it is wrong because they are just applying the default info which doesn’t apply to the particular episode — yes, normally they film in NYC, but this episode, purporting to be in Cuba, was filmed where? Was it Cuba? (No, it was Puerto Rico.) Did they actually go to Mexico City for this other episode, or was that Puerto Rico too? And heaven help you if you happen to be on a cell phone, the interface is completely different, and the information available is also completely changed.

    Something else I’ve been noticing applies to the decline of IMDB, and that is that it seems to be exponential, so that it goes along for a very long time with only small detrimental changes, until you reach that inflection point, and suddenly it’s getting worse and worse very noticeably and fast, and faster. (Our slide into authoritarianism is the other one I’ve been noticing being exponential with an inflection point where it goes from being mostly flat to suddenly almost vertical — living through it explains oh so much that all my previous meditation about Germany in the 30s never let me understand…)

  11. @ Mitch4 – I would be more than willing to cut IMDB a little slack if the movies involved had a complicated history of multiple titles (either in original or translated form), or if the original title was in something like Cyrillic or kanji, for which there are usually multiple competing transcription systems. In my case IMDB’s offensive behavior is much more fundamental. Here’s a very simple example: When I type “up” into the search field, the Pixar movie does not appear in the suggestions. When I tap “Return” to execute the search, the top result is “Oben” aka “Up – Una aventura de altura”. Why are they offering me German and Spanish titles, when I am on an English-language website, looking for the original title, which is in English? I don’t think it’s a browser setting for “default language” (Safari for iOS doesn’t provide this option). No, I think these morons are reading out my IP address, and assuming on that basis that I want to see the title in German. It’s a worthless feature, because (as I said before) everything else on the website is exclusively in English (including the trailer).

  12. P.S. The truth turns out to be a little less insidious than I thought (but in no way less annoying). Since Safari for iOS does not have a “default content language” option, the IMDB website appears to be polling the iOS interface language. Yes, it is possible to reset this language in iOS, but it is a major pain. If IMDB cared about user preferences (which they obviously do not), they could provide a drop-down menu for the display language. However, this would reveal that they have not bothered to translate anything on their website (except for the movie titles).

  13. We have been finding lately a number of movies (not a huge number, but still several) listed on imbd have photos of other movies/tv shows etc and not ones that have the same title. (Meaning, while these are not photo errors found, it is not a case of MASH movie being on the MASH TV show listing or a photo of one version of Cinderella being on the listing for a different Cinderella movie but the photo is from a completely unrelated movie or TV show.

    Hah ! remembered what I found first – I looked up David Hyde Pierce to see what he had been in other “Frasier” (as other than during Christmas movie seasons in December and July we (he) watches same while we go to bed at night) and came across a movie listed as “Happy Birthday”. The photo shown for the movie is of a different movie (which apparently he is also in) called “On the Edge” with a different cast other than him and is listed separately as a movie with its correct photo – but “On the Edge” is not listed among the movies Pierce is in. I found this when looking on my cell phone (what else does have at hand to use at 3 am) and the next day checked it on my computer – same error there. I wrote to imbd and asked them about it (a couple of months ago) and, of course, no reply – and since I had to find it just now to remember the movies/tv shows in question – it has not yet been corrected. If the two had the same cast I would figure it had been renamed at some point – but the casts are different.

  14. When we go (well, when in the past we went) to a mall we had not been in before and were looking for a specific store or (more likely) the food court we would come to the mall directory board. Robert will start to go past it – l stop to look at where we are and where we want to be – he will be confused looking at it – then again, there is a reason I am in charge of where we going in the car and how we are going there, even with GPS with all of their errors I always look at a map (even if it is googlemaps) ahead of time so I know how to go. And, yes, I still have paper maps (though not new ones) in the cars – helped a great deal when the entrance to the NJ Turnpike was closed by an overturned truck and the GPS kept trying to send us back to the Turnpike entrance and I did not have time to boot up a laptop – stuck my hand in the box between the seats of our RV and pulled out the map which told me what I should have known if I was not panicking from trying to keep him from panicking – head to US 1 instead.

  15. (Mall directory topic)

    Meryl’s comment leads me to ask about map kiosks that are positioned like the one in the topmost Bizarro cartoon here. In that drawing, the maps on the two visible sides are the same map (apart from the “You are here” marking, or its absence).

    So it seems they are printed maps and follow some standardization, perhaps “north at top”. If the graphics were custom jobs, an alternative possible design would be to have a different orientation of the map for the different sides of the kiosk, notably “direction you will be facing goes at top of map”.

    Which of those schemes do you normally see? Which do you support? — That is, do you think the standardized map, which requires mental rotation, makes it harder for people to find their way? If sticking with north-to-top, does it help if the “you are here” marker is shown as an arrow, illustrating which way you are actually facing?

    Some time in the 90s, I think, the university where I was working installed large maps at key outdoor spots, for visitors etc. The first one I noticed was not on an existing bulletin board or kiosk at all, but a newly installed custom chest-level tilted-horizontal table-like display — you know what I mean, a big flat plexiglas surface, tilted up about 15 degrees at the side more distant from you. So there was basically one place to stand, and one direction to stand looking at the map.
    And that standing point was north of the display, with viewers facing south. And the map was printed with north on the top. So a person looking to identify and reach a destination had to rotate the map mentally by 180 degrees.

    I at first thought the map was a custom job, and started circulating a suggestion that they redesign it. But then that same map (in a smaller size) showed up at the visitor center to be handed out, and I realized it was printed by standard north-to-top convention. Eventually, that first outdoor standing display was relocated to the other side of the sidewalk,

  16. (IMDb topic)

    Meryl, I started recently noticing the phenomenon you mention with the photo galleries at IMDb. Definitely a but confusing. But I’m not sure it would count as an error.

    Below is a screencap from their page for Catherine Keener. That’s https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001416/ ,

    In the “Known For” row, none of the pictures are her. But it sort of makes sense, as these are particular movies she has been in, and the picture is meant to stand in for the movie as a whole, so it seems chosen from the promo materials for that movie without regard for which actor page you are on.

    Above that, the “Photos” row in this case does seem to include her in each shot, but I think I have seen examples like what you describe, where the apparently automatic cropping has not landed on the right part of the picture and manages not to show the target person!

  17. Mitch 4 –

    I could understand that and have seen it many times. But the listing page for the particular movie mentioned itself has a photo of the wrong movie and not the movie that the listing page describes.

    it is as if I looked up the Wizard of Oz and the small photo of the same was instead a photo of “A Star is Born” – it is not correct for the movie being described.

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