Applying a rating to a movie may be futile and certainly subjective. In our world, movies are art - and that can't be quantified.
We do not consider ourselves movie critics - we just get a kick out of recommending movies we've enjoyed to other people. To do this effectively, a rating of some sort is useful ... if only to give a broad indication of the movie's quality and enjoyment factor. It goes without saying that this is really only meaningful when taken, as it should be, as a personal opinion.
We don't have a problem with giving a film 10/10 - this doesn't mean its *perfect* - we're not judging Olympic diving! It simply means that the film is awesome, and is one of the best of the year. Ordinarily we'd expect about 5 films per year to be worthy of the top score.
8/10 - 9/10
This is an excellent movie in its genre. Any movie with this score or higher is highly recommended, and one we regard as a must-own.
This is a movie we have enjoyed and is probably worth buying on DVD. It's not a must-own movie, but is good entertainment and worth checking out.
5/10 - 6/10
Movies with this score are deemed *average*. Generally we wouldn't recommend a purchase. Although they're not dreadful, they're not that great either. Sometimes a movie we didn't really care for will get this score, because it was obviously well-made, but just didn't do it for us.
4/10 and below
Anything with this score is pretty bad, and definitely not recommended. It has to be pretty damn crappy to achieve this.
Of course, any rating system depends heavily on the criteria being used. And here's ours:
We have no hesitation in awarding a high score to a b-movie, if said film's intention was to BE a b-movie. If the film accomplished all it set out to do, and did it well, then it deserves appropriate respect. For instance, we are well aware that movies such as Zombie Strippers and Tokyo Gore Police are not exactly high art. However, they are very successful entries in their genre, and what we believed the director was aiming for.
Many Roads to a high score
A movie can gain a high score in many ways - it could be because technically and artistically its just pure class. The acting is top-notch and the story is engaging. This is probably the usual way to rate a movie. However, a movie could also get a high score just because its enormously enjoyable, despite being technically deficient.
Rant on Hollywood
We're not big fans, as a rule. Some of the most amazingly talented people are working in Hollywood, after all its where all the money is. However, we believe that artistic integrity has been severely compromised by monetary concerns. It's understandable ... top tier American actors are grossly overpaid and so the costs of any movie are sky-high. For backers fronting up many millions of dollars, they certainly want to ensure they get it back.
However, this means that we get a prevalence of cash-in sequels, remakes and generally taking the easy way out. Anything that can't be understood or be acceptable to at least 90% of the population is going to be nixed in favour of a safer alternative. In real terms, this means a dumbing down and a cleaning up, so that the all-important 11-19yo demographic is not excluded from the profit scenario. We call this film-making for the Lowest Common Denominator. (See, math turned out to be useful after all).
As adults, we don't want our entertainment options based on what's suitable for kids. Unfortunately, an R18 rating is considered box-office death in Hollywood. Just think about that for a second. Thankfully most of the rest of the world does not subscribe to this prurient and capitalistic view of its cinematic art.
And equally thankfully there are many extremely talented people who find a way to work the Hollywood system and get some truly top-class movies out there. It's just that they're in the minority.
We love movies that look and sound great. We're definitely of the MTV generation because we also love what some reviewers negatively refer to as 'music-video' style or 'eye-candy'. Fuck them - film is a visual medium, and we love eye candy! We also love music. If we can crank a movie up loud and enjoy a feast for the senses it will always impress us.
We're also suckers for intricate and mysterious plots. Trying to work out wtf is going on is fun. Yes we're fans of David Lynch. We don't care if it makes perfect sense first time round ... it just means 'replay value'.
Last but not least, we can be swayed by hot actresses. See 'eye-candy' statement above. It may be shallow, but its in the genes!
It should go without saying, but no reviews here are paid 'endorsements', there's been no kick-backs or anything else involved to influence our review. We simply review the movies that we like - because that's what makes it fun! Our opinions might not be reasonable or even coherent, but they're at least real and unbiased.