Reviews are rated on a scale of four stars. The grades roughly proceed as follows:
- FOUR STARS: Cinematic perfection. May have forgivable flaws such as non-ideal pacing or uncreative cinematography. A must-see feature film, even if you don’t like it.
- THREE AND A HALF STARS: If the review is fairly raving, then it’s marked down from four stars, likely for casting issues, scoring issues or other non-essential flaws. If the review is fairly tame, then it clawed its way past three stars with elements I felt were brave or unique.
- THREE STARS: At the top end of this is A Bug’s Life and at the bottom end is Cars. If your movie isn’t better than A Bug’s Life but isn’t worse than Cars, it’ll end up here. Can still be must-see features, annoyingly enough.
- TWO AND A HALF STARS: Casting issues compound directorial issues compound editing problems, but the overall project comes off as worse than Cars but by a forgivable margin.
- TWO STARS: Skip it. This movie has more issues than it has things going for it. It has passed the equal measure of bad and good, and come out bad, if only by a bit. You can find better movies in your DVD collection; do so.
- ONE AND A HALF STARS: Here we pass into the realm of the boneheaded and ill-intentioned. Maybe it was well-intentioned, but the final project seems more a deliberate act of cinematic sabotage.
- ONE STAR: Why?
- HALF STAR: Just why?
- NO STARS: Artistically inept and/or morally repugnant. I liked Kick-Ass, so you know I’m no moral guardian. But if you can picture a rape revenge movie without the revenge and portraying the rapist as the hero, that’s pretty much where this is.
The scale breaks down similarly for television series, anime, books, comics and albums. Things that are intentionally so bad it’s good will be rated as good; things that are unintentionally so bad it’s good will have a glowing review and a negative rating.
Yous guys get the message? Let’s go t’woik.