So You Think You Can Review? Tournament

by Nick Jobe · June 19, 2012 · So You Think You Can Review · 14 Comments

As part of the week of changes/ updates to the LAMB, I’ll kick start the week off by passing the ball (reviewers pen) over to Nick! Hit it!

Update: I have 32 Contestants and some back-ups already. Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback and outcome!


Hey, Lammies (not to be confused with LAMMYs). This is Nick from Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob. And I have a game I wanna play! 
There are a lot of reality talent shows out there. Some are better than others (for instance, I personally believe So You Think You Can Dance? is one of the best out there, regardless of the fact the winners don’t really become household names–they’re still super talented). And just like dancers, most movie reviewers aren’t household names, either (with some notable exceptions).

So we’re going to have a talent show of our own… sort of. What this particular idea does is play on our primary talent–movie reviews! This is a bracket tournament, where people face off over the span of a few weeks until there’s only one left.

A good reviewer should be able to review anything, so I will give each pairing a movie at random (drawn from a hat or some such). The movie could be almost anything–new, old, good, painfully bad, American, foreign, whatever genre–with a few exceptions. There will be no torture porn (Sorry Martyrs and Hostel), nothing over 3 hours long (Sorry Seven Samurai and Gone with the Wind), and only stuff most people will have heard of (Sorry over half of Netflix Instant Streaming). The two contestants will “battle” each other, in that they will each write their own review to be posted up and to be voted on for which one is better/more liked (not necessarily which one you agree with, mind you!).
But here’s the twist: In order to avoid it being a popularity contest and having the super popular bloggers dominating based on their reputation alone, regardless of quality (and let’s be honest, that would almost certainly happen), all reviews will be kept anonymous. That is, there will be no author name attached to the reviews, and the authors are not allowed to make reference to themselves or hint at who they are within their reviews. Names will not be revealed, in fact, until the contest is over.
This is also a positive in other ways–one, it adds to the excitement of the project. Is your favorite blogger winning… or even participating? And who is this other awesome writer? Two, you might discover new blogs/writers you like to read. Three, if you’re participating and do well, it will be a great personal validation that you’re a great writer, whether or not you have a current big fan base–since that becomes moot with the anonymous system. Oh, and I’ll let you choose nifty movie-related nicknames (as long as they’re appropriate and don’t give away who you are).
There’s going to be a minimum of 16 players. If it seems to be popular, I’ll extend that number to 32, but if it goes past 16 and doesn’t quite reach 32 (or is popular enough to extend beyond 32), it’ll be first come first serve. When I have all interested parties, I will send out further emails giving you more details (and don’t worry, I’ll give you ample time to watch and review the movies at the start).
But for now, if you are interested, please email me at nicholasjobe@gmail.com about said interest. Thanks!

UPDATE: Since I’ve had a few people ask already, I will say that I won’t be able to tell you anything timing-wise until I know how many people are going to participate. So say 16 people participate… if you are to make it to the finals, that’s 4 reviews you would have to do total. For the start-up, I would probably give you about 2 weeks or so to watch your assigned film and get your review to me. And then if you make it to the next round, you will find out your next movie immediately to give you time to get the next one in. But I’m sorry I can’t give any specific times until I know exactly how many people are going to participate. But please keep sending me emails on your interest! I already have some great interest in this, and I’d love to see even more!

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14 Responses to So You Think You Can Review? Tournament

  1. Wait…people still use the phrase “torture porn?” I thought we had finally gotten rid of that label.

  2. amy says:

    Sounds interesting!

    But how are you keeping the reviews anonymous? Is the LAMB hosting the reviews?

    • Nick says:

      Yup! The reviews will be emailed to me and I’ll put them up (along with a voting poll) in a LAMB topic. Of course, since I’ll know who the reviewers are, I will be refraining from both voting and participating myself.

    • amy says:

      Alright! I’ll let the YAM Magazine team know to see if anyone is interested in sending their reviews. :)

    • Nick says:

      Awesome! But just making sure you understand you would be writing completely new reviews for films you haven’t potentially seen yet, as assigned by me when we get this thing rolling. (As opposed to just sending in reviews you’ve already written in the past.)

    • Nick says:

      Oh, and also… if any of them are interested in participating, just make sure to have them (or you) email me your interest instead of telling me here. That way we keep the anonymity.

    • amy says:

      So we have multiple writers interested in this. How do we go about it? Do each of them email you separately their reviews stating their names and their blogs? Or do I send you the emails knowing who sends what?

    • Nick says:

      Have them email me separately.

  3. Dylan says:

    This was a great idea, Nick. I can’t wait to see it all play out!

  4. Chip Lary says:

    What happens if we’ve already reviewed that film? Submitting the one we did might give away who we are, but having to write a whole new one that is different enough to not give it away removes whatever it is that makes that reviewer who they are in their writing.

  5. Alan Grimm says:

    I really need to start paying more attention to my blogroll. This would have been fun. If you do a Season 2, I’d love to be a part of it.