Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Movie Review: A Little Introduction

Me and My Goals

As this is my first movie review post I thought I’d do a little introduction.  I am not a film critic.  I have never gone to school for filmmaking, but, like many people, have spent a large chunk of my life at the cinema.  I have a deep love for the art of film and enjoy discussing it.  I may not always have the language necessary to describe the subtle elements of a movie,  but I like to think I’m getting better as I go.  My taste in films ranges from absurd Kung Fu flicks to the esoteric exercises of Terrence Malick.

My goal here is not for everyone to agree with me all of the time.  I don’t agree with my favorite film reviewers all of the time.  My goal is for people to disagree with what I say some of the time, but enjoy and appreciate the way I say it all of the time.  Lofty?


The Rating System

Most film reviewers have some kind of rating system.  I’m not a fan of traditional rating systems.  It’s often that I enjoy certain elements of a movie, don’t enjoy others, but as a whole it’s a worthwhile experience.  To simulate that; I’ve come up with a four category rating system, which is then averaged out into an “overall rating” for a film.  Some people may put different weight in different categories, and that’s what I hope to accomplish.  If a 2 out of 5 in story is a dealbreaker for you, despite amazing visuals and acting, that may be your cue to skip it.

I will make every attempt in my full reviews to explain my ratings, if not explicitly, complaints or praise for the performers in a film is a pretty clear nod to the rating I’ve given the acting.

The following will appear at the bottom of every post to explain how my rating system works:

Explanation of Ratings

All ratings are on a 5 point scale where 1 is the lowest possible score.  A score of 3 indicates the film was simply effective in this regard.  A score of 5 indicates perfection in a given category.  The overall rating is a simple average of the four scores.

  • Story -- How well the film was written?  Did the story make sense?  Were there plot holes?  Was the dialogue natural for the style/genre?
  • Direction -- How well was the film put together?  Did all of the elements come together properly?  How was the pacing?  Was the tone consistent and effective?  A subcategory of this would be editing, but for the purpose of these reviews it is combined into one category.
  • Acting -- How good were the performances?  In a drama did the lead actor/actress draw the audience in?  In a comedy where the performers funny?  This is an amalgam score of all the performances in the piece.  A single great performance can elevate the entire score, but a bunch of bad performances can just as easily bring it down.
  • Visual -- How did the film look?  If there were visual effects were they used appropriately and did they look good?  Did the overall look enhance the telling of the story?

Summary Reviews

Following this post I’ll begin adding posts with one paragraph reviews of the films I saw in 2012, with a few reviews in each one.  Once I’m done with that massive undertaking I’ll get on to a few full reviews for movies I saw recently.

I hope you enjoy.