Rixster on Flixster, Pt. 2: A Wooden Foot Up the Bum

Here's the deal... I already have a couple of other places where I put up my movie ratings: first, there is the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) where I have not only rated over 4,000 movies, but I have also invested a great amount of time in storing and constructing a database for all of the information regarding the 5,000 items in my movie and television collection (now purposefully depleted to a somewhat reasonable level). I also rate movies, once in a while, in my Netflix account, but the purpose there is merely either to get them to show me new movies in which I might be interested, or because I am trying to kill a few minutes of spare time. I also have my blogs, such as the very one you are reading right now, where I have implemented my own personal ratings system -- The Cinema 4 Rating, based on 1 through 9; there are rarely "10s" in my universe -- which is used not only throughout my various blogs, but also on my underused (to this point) website, Cinema for Space Lovers.

So, what is the attraction for me to add and use the Flixster app? Why start clicking annoying little stars on yet another website? The basic reason: I have committed to using Facebook as a base of operations as far as keeping in touch with my friends, many of whom (myself included sometimes) seem to have forgotten how to construct a personal email (much in the way that people gradually stopped trying to write letters to their loved ones), but have no problem plunking down a few syllables as a quick "WTF's up!" message. (I have to agree, it is a very convenient service which these sites provide.) MySpace is simply an eyesore and far too bulky a device to operate with any feeling of ease; Facebook is inarguably cleaner in design, and arguably a more user-friendly service. I'm enjoying the heck out of it so far, as are most of the gang, I believe. And now it seemed that the coup de grace of this venture, once I added Flixster, was the bobbing into my view of the sight of a series of itsy bitsy movie posters, all lined up like tasty little cinematic cereal boxes, and all plopped onto my page via Flixster's robotic perusal of the "Favorite Movie" list in my Facebook profile.

I was overjoyed, because I didn't expect this boon to my profile page. But then, I noticed something terrible. Most friends of any sort of vintage within my life know of my love/horror since childhood of Walt Disney's Pinocchio. The movie shaped so much of my character, that even if I hated the movie (which I clearly don't), I would have to put it on my favorite movie list just because of my closeness to it. And, sure enough, there in my "Top 10" movie lineup of minute posters was Pinocchio. But it wasn't the image of the cute little animated Pinocchio standing next to Jiminy Cricket and Geppetto, dancing about together in his father's toyshop. Instead, it was the figure of a far more human-seeming Pinocchio, and one who was posing limbs akimbo in front of a red velvet curtain. And this Pinocchio was played by none other than Roberto "Life is Beautiful" Benigni...

Nothing against Benigni. Far more than many people, I get him, to a certain degree. I have seen several of his movies, and I have enjoyed, also to a certain degree, most of them. I know he has likely worn out his welcome in the Americas since his Oscar nuttiness, but I have stuck with him since Down By Law all the way through even the atrocious Son of the Pink Panther, and I will admit he is a unique talent, apart from his monstrous and unwarranted ego. And I don't want to trash his version of Pinocchio (though most have), because I have yet to see it, and chief amongst my movie rules is not to "officially" rip on a film until I have actually sat down and plowed through the damnable thing. ("Unofficially," I reserve the right to rip on something just 'cause I feel like it... nyah!)

But for his version of the famous puppet story to be the default poster for Pinocchio on Flixster smacks of a program that needs, not just my foot, but a foot from each and every decent Pinocchio fan in the world, and even the animated puppet himself, shoved up Flixster's silicon ass. (Unless, of course, Flixster enjoys that sort of thing...) Attention, Flixster: There is no more famous filmed version of the story than Disney's version. It was groundbreaking and truly shocking for its day,
and testing true to my reaction as a child, apparently for many days after "its day". The Disney, not the Benigni, should be the default. I found out the reason, of course: it was the title itself. You see, Disney's version comes up as "PINOCCHIO - WALT DISNEY," while Benigni's comes up as simply the name of the puppet. Since I had only written Pinocchio on my Favorite Movie list, I was momentarily stuck with Roberto. I was just waiting with dread for a message from one of my old pals, all raring to rip on me for my inclusion of the wrong film (and now that I have mentioned it, I'm sure I will get one, probably from Sun & Immel, Inc. -- Chicago Division of the Department of Dancing Ahmids). I cursed Flixster for a while until I figured out how to maneuver about the Favorites page in the Movies application, and finally sought out the proper poster. Finally, all was right again with my Facebook, and the Roberto-Monster was vanquished for good. And then I thought, "Hmmm... maybe I'll spend the next half hour rating a couple hundred movies."

Would have been nice to do... (To be continued...)

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