Hey there, dear readers! Here we are, fully immersed in 2016 and I think now is the perfect time to reveal to you my new rating scale. Before I reveal what it will be, I want to give you a little background on why I’m changing my ratings. I have always said this blog was written by a reviewer, not a critic. The contents of my reviews are what I did or did not like, what I enjoyed the most, or was irritated by or any similar feelings about a film. They aren’t critiques. They aren’t in depth analysis about where the film might fall compared to similar films. They are me and my thoughts.
Regular readers may (or may not) have noticed my reviews have become more conversational, using “I” and phrases like “I think” and “I feel” and “to me” (you know, mushy feelings stuff). This was the first step to making them more feel like something I would say if I were talking directly to you and less high-school-paper-y, otherwise known as formal. Now I’m at the next step with adjusting how I rate the movies I review here.
When I started writing reviews two and a half years ago, I was going through different scales I could use. A few ideas that I thought about included a binary scale, four-point and five-point “enjoyment” scales (which eventually was implemented in my Disney and a Beer reviews), and a six-point numeric scale. In the end, I settled on my current five-point (ten if you count half points) system because I felt it allowed for the most variation, and eventually the best accuracy. However, as I wrote more and more, I found it to actually be a limiting. As any movie maven will tell you, everyone has their favorite films but it’s really, really hard to rank those at the tops of your lists. I tried to do this but often found myself ranking movies different than ratings I had given them. It is kind of stupid but it got in my head and bothered me.
So not too long ago I came up with an alternate scale to do away with the confines of numbers that is also flexible. Without further ado, my new scale is as follows:
I tend to be a positive person and found myself rarely using lower numbered ratings in my reviews. By removing numbers I remove these unused parts of the scale. It also allows me to group movies together based on my enjoyment of them rather than feel restricted by a numbering system. My biggest deciding factor for this new scale is it is more in line with how I would talk about the movie in actual conversation, which is my ultimate goal for my reviews as mentioned on my About page.
To kick off this new era is the latest entry in my all-time favorite movie franchise: Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Being the Star Wars fanboy that I am, I saw The Force Awakens at a Thursday preview. However, I didn’t post my review until now for two reasons: 1) Everyone and their twin sister was posting their reviews for it so I wanted some space and 2) I needed some time (and more viewings) to collect my thoughts, process the film, and get my thoughts written down because *gasp* I’m not as ecstatic about it as everyone else seems to be. Now before you start throwing pitchforks at me, read my review because I had a lot to say about it (It is my longest review to date, nearly twice as long as my previous longest review).
To accommodate the rating changes, my reviews will no longer have a “Rating” section. Instead, the final paragraph of my review will begin with the rating and act as an extended summary. Like any system, it will probably take some tweaking to get to where I’m completely satisfied, but this is a step in the direction that I think is right for me. I haven’t decided how extensive I want to go through my old review and convert them to this new scale yet but I’ll worry about that later.
I hope you guys enjoy the new system as much as I do. You can check out my review of The Force Awakens, the first review with my new ratings scale, here.