If you’ve read my stuff recently or listened to the podcast (HA!), you’ve probably heard how I have become disillusioned with the rating system as it stands. It wasn’t always this way, of course. Originally, I was content to do the standard four-star system that you know and love. It’s a perfectly serviceable system for most people. But people change, and lately I have decided that the star-rating system is no longer an accurate representation of how I view films. What am I doing here? Am I telling you which films are good or bad? Not necessarily. Whether the films are good or bad is up to you and everyone’s opinion is different. I am merely sharing my opinion and whatever background knowledge I may or may not possess, and telling you whether I personally recommend a film or not.
And that’s what I’m going to do now.
I will continue to use the star system for the main reviews, just like Jesse and Austin. But for the purposes of my column, Scott’s Film Geek Journal, we’re going to look at the films a little differently. I think you can see the change.
The Best – Reserved for the absolute cream of the crop.
Highly Recommended – Very good. Far better than your typical film and one that I will remember for some time.
Recommended – Just what it says. This is a good film and earns a recommendation. Don’t think that because it’s not one of the top two categories that these films aren’t worth your time. The “recommended” tag is a winner and nothing to sneer at.
Barely Recommended – The middle of the road. Those films where I didn’t feel it was a complete waste of time, but it didn’t set my world on fire either. Not bad, but leaves me feeling bored and/or apathetic.
Disappointing – Close but no cigar. Does a few things right but is ultimately a whole lot of wasted potential. Not recommended.
Awful – A bad movie. Pure and simple. Not worth your time.
The Worst – The Britta Perry of ratings, though not as entertaining. The bottom of the barrel.
What was the film trying to accomplish and how well did it meet those goals?
In addition to (or sometimes despite) that, how does the film hold up on sheer entertainment value?
Gone is any notion of what classically makes a “good” movie. Because you know as well as I do that certain technically proficient films are emotionally empty while many cheap flicks wind up masterpieces. This is a simpler system that better conveys how strongly I would recommend a film. And even though it’s an easier system, it also allows me more fluidity in interpreting which films really stand out from the pack.
Okay, I know. I’ve probably over-explained things and might have even come off a little pompous. Totally not what I’m going for. But this should solve things nicely.