Friday, January 5, 2007

Movie Review Format

Here, in this entry, you’re going to get my explanation of my format for movie reviews. In my blog, most of the movies I’m going to be reviewing are movies that have a particular ‘geek’ quality to them—animated films, fantasy/sci-fi films, and the occasional independent film. You’re probably not going to find a review of a political drama or a romantic comedy in here (unless it has some element of magic or time travel or…something along those lines). If a movie has ‘cult hit’ potential, don’t be surprised if I review it here. (Or if it’s just animated—I’m an animation geek.)

In my reviews, I’m going to be reviewing both films that have just been released to theaters, and movies just released to DVD. Why both? Well, while I prefer to see movies in a theater (my home theater system is, uh, nonexistent—just a normal SDTV, or my laptop), sometimes I might not be able to catch a movie in a theater soon enough to make it worth reviewing. Plus, sometimes a movie that I think would be of interest might be released on DVD several years after its release, or given some sort of “special edition” release.

The ratings: Like most of my other reviews, my movie reviews will be scaled based on a 1-10 rating in certain areas, and then given an ‘overall’ rating.

Story: Covers the overall plot of the movie. Among important qualities here is the dialogue, pacing, and characters. How I felt about the acting in the movie is included in this rating, as well.

Art: An all-encompassing rating that means different things to different movies. For animated movies, this is covering the quality of the animation, coloring, and character designs (similar to my anime reviews). For a high-budget film—particularly movies in the fantasy or sci-fi genres, which are often heavily visual—this will look at elements like the effects (computer or otherwise), costumes, and cinematography. For films that are lower-budget or more mellow, this will mostly be about the cinematography, although elements like costuming and any effects the movie might have will be included in here as well. For all movies, this score also includes how I felt about the score.

Overall: My overall feelings about the movie, not an average of the scores. Generally, a high rating in story matters more than a high rating in the ‘art’ category—although there are at times a movie that’s so visually impressive it’ll have the rating go up at least a bit.

In addition, while I try to be as objective as I can, I’m only one reviewer. My own tastes when it comes to movies are naturally going to seep in a little into my ratings. So you can see where I’m coming from with my tastes and opinions, here’s a look at my…

Personal Biases: As I said before, I’m an animation geek. Excellent animation—either used in conjunction with live action, or in a purely animated movie—is something that catches my attention. Also, I have a tendency to tire of clichés—if a movie does a good job of parodying clichés, or does a good job of remaining unique, I’ll rate it higher than I would a movie that is just the same old, same old. I’m a stickler for good characters, too—well written, deep, likeable characters will make a movie worth seeing in my mind.

Favorite movies: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the original Star Wars trilogy (IV-VI), The Incredibles, Toy Story 2, Beauty and the Beast, A Little Princess, The Princess Bride, It’s A Wonderful Life, Stranger Than Fiction

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