Movie database needs to stop ads

THE GRIPE

The Gripe

May 19, 2006|By CHRIS KALTENBACH | CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

I've learned to endure advertisements being shown before movies; theater owners, after all, have to make their money somewhere, and they don't get all that much from ticket sales. And I'm no longer overly bothered by product-placement in the movies. In fact, I find it more silly than anything else when cans of Coke or Pepsi are displayed more prominently than the characters in some scenes.

But these full-page pop-up ads on imdb.com have got to go!

Don't get me wrong. I love the imdb, and my job would be immeasurably harder without it. When it comes to double-checking what year the original Poseidon Adventure came out, or ensuring that Lindsay Lohan did, in fact, get her start in a remake of The Parent Trap, there is no substitute for this Internet font of cinematic information.

And I certainly understand the need for its operators to make money by selling ad space. (Although isn't it about time to replace that ad asking visitors to identify Jessica Simpson's legs? That ad's been there since the Nixon administration.)

But these full-page pop-ups are infuriating. Earlier this month, every time I tried to click on something, up popped an ad for the DVD release of The Producers. This week, it's an ad for today's theatrical release of The Da Vinci Code. Each time, those of us seeking information are forced to wait while the ad runs its course (which seems to take about 30 minutes, especially when you're writing on deadline), and sometimes, the ad seems to freeze up the whole screen, forcing visitors to the site to start all over.

Ads are one thing, irritating but necessary. But those pop-ups, over-sized potholes on the information highway, are the work of the devil. Do away with them, please.

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

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