Disclaimer: My reviews of media here do not mean that I lay any claim to the media in question. All reviews are entirely subjective. I may talk about how well the movie objectively works in my opinion, but it essentially all comes down to what I think of the movie. My liking a movie is not the same as thinking it's a great movie. If I trash a movie that you love, or love a movie you can’t stand, it’s not because I hate you. Also, all reviews are likely to contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the movies in question and don’t want to know what happens, then you probably shouldn’t be reading about them here. Finally, a blanket trigger warning for people who don't want to read about common horror movie content such as sexism, racism, violence, etc.: I will likely discuss all of the above when they show up in the films I review, so please tread with caution. Check out this post for more on how my reviews are set up.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Way My Reviews Work:

Since I've developed a pretty healthy backlog of posts that I just haven't bothered to actually, well, post, I figure I should get on that.

But first! A brief note on how my reviews are set up.

These reviews are a mix between subjective and objective factors. How much I enjoyed the movie definitely goes into how high I grade it, but I also look at some more concrete or objective criteria. Generally I grade things on:
Acting. Pretty self-explanatory. How well did the actors do?
Writing. How was the dialogue? How well did the story progress? Did the actions seem natural or realistic, or clumsy and unlikely?
Story. Is this a good or interesting story? This isn't the same as writing; an excellent story can be ruined by shittacular writing, and a well-written film could still potentially have a pretty inane or unoriginal story.
Technical aspects: How good are things like cinematography and sound direction? If the video quality or sound quality is low, that can be a serious blow for the film.
Effects: Most films have some form of special effects, whether it's makeup or CG or costuming. They can range from laughably awful to really amazing.
Finally I give an Overall rating for the film, which is how I felt about the film as a whole. This usually works out to be an approximate average of the other categories, but may be edged up or down based on my own personal enjoyment.

I went back and forth for a while on whether I'd give things scores based on a 1-5 stars scale, a 1-10 stars scale, or a letter grade scale. I decided to go with letter grade. The vast majority of my reviews are in the B, C, or D categories, simply because my standards for As and Fs are pretty high (or low.) I have to really like something for it to be an A, and something has to be near unwatchable in all ways for it to be an F. A tends to be a film that I think is near-perfect, or is endlessly rewatchable for me. Bs are movies that I really enjoy, and would possibly own or at least want to see again. C is pretty average, a movie that is okay but not especially good. D means it's pretty bad, but has something at least slightly redeeming about it. Fs are so awful that I either can't finish them or wish I could purge them from my memory. There are also +/- grades thrown in.

Most of my reviews are split into two basic sections, one with a summary of the movie and another with my thoughts on it. The summary part will almost always contain serious spoilers and my reaction may as well.

An exception to much of the above is if I do a quickie review. These generally happen when I realize that I've waited too long to write a review, and I realize that I might not remember enough detail about the film to give it a fair in-depth review. However, I can still give an overall grade and a few comments on the things I do remember liking or hating. 

On some of my reviews I’ll include specific trigger warnings or other things like that. Please DO NOT consider these to be exhaustive lists. Sometimes I don’t include these lists at all, and sometimes I may either forget something or simply may not consider it as a trigger. I generally won’t warn for things like violence, gore, sex, etc. because those are pretty par for the course with horror.

I also sometimes note things like whether the film passes the Bechdel test. If I fail to include that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the film doesn’t pass it. Again, sometimes I don’t recall, sometimes I just forget to include it. But I think the ones that do pass spectacularly deserve recognition! It’s far too rare, unfortunately.

Most of this explanatory post is probably entirely unnecessary, but in case you were unsure of what exactly I meant by "technical aspects", what the hell the "Bechdel test" is, or just what my basic format is... well, there you go.