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Comments

Edward R Murrow

That's like asking which brand of paper towel do you like the most: Bounty or Scott. They both serve the same purpose.

Both recommendation engines recommend movies which are very similar to my tastes. I have this suspicion that more classic movies get recommended by the Cinematch engine for heavy users so that Netflix can steer us away from new releases and save the new releases for the 1 or 2 out program folks. Actually, it's more than a suspicion since every time I ask Cinematch for recommendations, I get a list of pre-1950's movies returned to me. You can only watch so many Cary Grant movies before you're ready to watch Samuel Jackson for the rest of the week.

Kimberly

I wnoder if Matt is rating the movies he's seen? I've rated 1300 movies, and I never get recommendations of movies I've seen. In fact, as a rule, the recommendation engine should never recommend movies that you've already rated. How else would it know you've seen them?

CJ

I always rate every movie I rent, mainly so I know later I've seen that title and don't mistakenly rent it again. Of course that shouldn't make any difference, since Netflix already has perfect knowledge of all the movies you've rented.

Wonder which of the recommendation pages Matt is questioning. I've noticed that the obnoxious box with recommendations that pops up every time you add any movie to your queue, does not seem to discriminate between movies you've rated and those you haven't rated. However, the separate recommendations page you have to click through to, only shows movies you haven't rated (or maybe haven't rented - no difference in my case).

The whole recommendation subject seems totally confusing to me, and don't even get me started on how Netflix gins up the ratings that you see for future rental titles in your various queues ....

Matt

kimmie: The recommendations system is recommending to me movies I have rated. In addition, when I go to the page to rate more movies, I am presented with movies I have already rated. This only happened to me with Blockbuster. The Netflix recommendation system consistently gave me movies that I had not rated.

CJ: The movies on my recommendation page does not show movies I have rented, but does show movies I have rated.

jimofoz

I've rated 883 movies and have had very little luck with Netflix's recommendation engine (Movies You'll love tab). It very rarely shows movies I'm interested in. I don't know why, but it doesn't seem to list movies that I'd want to rent.

shoobe01

NF regularly suggests movies that I have already seen and rated. Why? Because they do not understand what a movie is, just what a DVD edition is. So, new version of Blade Runner, OOOH! You would love this!

Yes. Of course I would. I already said I did. Needs to be some extra linking, clustering or behind-the-scenes smarts to recognize what a movie is, and let you and the system in on the differences between them.

Aside from these, I get lots of crappy movies suggested that I would not or did not or do not (after viewing) like. Seems to be getting worse, though. I swear it used to recommend pretty well.

Barrett

The new version of Blade Runner is actually a completely different cut of the movie, so it's possible you would like it more (or less) than the previous version of Blade Runner. Therefore both need to be rated separately.

DocForbin

"NF regularly suggests movies that I have already seen and rated. Why? Because they do not understand what a movie is, just what a DVD edition is."

I like it this way. I want to know when they have a new edition of a DVD I've already seen available. btw, they only have 2 versions of Blade Runner, the theatrical and director's cut. And if you haven't seen the director's cut, you absolutely have to, it is very different.

TK Kingfan

I rarely get recommended a movie that I have already seen. I avoid this by browsing the various categories that interest me and rate all the movies that I have seen.

Since most people that read this are already subscribers, it is probably useless to say that new subscribers who visit www.blockbuster.com/bbfamily can sign up using promo code: 1616TA can get 4 weeks free.

Try it if you haven't and share it with those you know who haven't.

Flibberman

Matt, I share the exact same problem. BBO always recommends movies that I've already rated, that's the only reason I keep my Netflix subscription, because I like their site and recommendations much better. If BBO would include custom lists, friends feature, and stop showing me movies I've already rated, I'd cancel Netflix.

Old Timer Too

Blade Runner and Abyss are two films that come out with a decided difference in story line between the theatrical and "director's cut."

Anyway, I ignore the recommendations (both NF and BB) since they seldom match what I am interested in. I tend to use imdb.com to find movies by keyword or by performer / director / composer, depending upon what I'm looking for.

type-cast

"I always rate every movie I rent, ...so I ...don't accidentally rent it again. ...that shouldn't make any difference, since Netflix already has perfect knowledge of all the movies you've rented."

Netflix does not know you actually watched a movie just because you rented it. Unless you put down a rating of some kind, they have no way of knowing. Haven't you rented something and decided not to watch it? I've found both recommendations systems useless. Also, their reviews are worthless, since they can't let sort them like IMDB and Amazon do.

hawk5391

The lousy recommendations engine was a major reason I chose not to stay with BB during my "free" trial period (for which I was charged, by the way, leaving a bitter aftertaste). I also was constantly recommended movies that I had already seen and RATED. I mentioned this to the clerk last week at BB who was trying to upgrade me to the online site. He coolly regarded me as though I had wandered in wearing a straightjacket, and said, "yeah, our site is mostly for people who ALREADY KNOW what they want to watch." Thanks for hiring idiots BB, and thanks also for continuing to be second-best online. The March Towards Ongoing Mediocrity continues....

Netflix does recommend special editions of movies I have already watched, but, as mentioned above, some of those are significantly different from the original, so I can't find fault with that. (As a side note, it's not a "new" version of Blade Runner -- the Director's Cut, to which I believe everyone is referring, was originally released theatrically in 1992, and I've had the DVD versions for years). I do think Netflix tends to push foreign and classic titles, along with TV shows, instead of new releases, but then again it makes sense (kind of) that I haven't seen a lot of movies that were released before I was born.

I have a related problem that I haven't seen anyone mention. I rated Brokeback Mountain and all seasons of Six Feet Under four stars, so now Netflix highly recommends all gay-related movies to me, even though I have rated the genre one star. WHY DOES NETFLIX THINK I'M GAY???!!!

Signed, Confused in California

hawk5391

Oh yeah, I should mention that I am very pleased with many of the recommendations from Netflix. I would never have seen To Have and Have Not and The Battle of Algiers without Netflix's recommendations, for example, and I rated both five stars.

kolohe61

"I have a related problem that I haven't seen anyone mention. I rated Brokeback Mountain and all seasons of Six Feet Under four stars, so now Netflix highly recommends all gay-related movies to me, even though I have rated the genre one star. WHY DOES NETFLIX THINK I'M GAY???!!!"

I get that too. I share my movies with the people I work with (at a gay-friendly retreat in Hawaii) Therefore I rent a lot of gay-themed movies. Even if I 2 or 3-star them or rate them no-interest, my rec's are full of gay-themed movies. LOL

I have actually enjoyed many of them. But don't bother with Another Gay Movie. It sucks. LOL

Account Deleted

Frankly I've never seen a recommendation site as bad as the one in Netflix. What a horrible experience. I honestly don't even think there's anything working behind that... I think they just randomly try and pick movies for you.

The site I use is MovieLens (http://movielens.umn.edu/main) and it's scarily accurate. It even predicts what you'll rate a movie... and for me it's been accurate within half a star for months now. I've found a ton of movies I've loved from that site. Once I get done watching a flick I avoid Netflix and go straight to MovieLens.

hawk5391

I had another thought: why is the recommendations page not customizable, like Google? That way, when I click the "Movies You'll (Heart)" tab, I could see genres that hold some interest for me, instead of the foreign films Netflix keeps trying to cram down my piehole.

hawk5391

While I disagree with your opinion of Netflix's recommendations, Jimmy, I enjoyed visiting MovieLens at your suggestion. I don't know if you're one of those paid spammers like that irritating TK guy, but either way, thanks for mentioning that site.

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