August 21, 2011

No more numbers

Back in the day I was waffling about giving a number rating to every movie I watch. I untimely decided to go ahead and assign a score out of 10. The main reason being that grading or scoring films is so prevalent I felt I needed to do the same. The problem is I hate doing it. I can love certain things about a film and hate others. It makes it impossible to boil contrasting feelings down to a single number. I've think I've decided I want to kill the number thing. I don't like that idea that it allows you to directly compare how I've felt about two completely different films that would otherwise be incomparable.

I am a little hypocritical however. The first thing I look at when I go to somebody else's review of a film is his number rating. Often times I check only that. I don't even bother to read what he had to say. There are a few people I follow online that have a similar number rating to me. One in particular will give almost every film an 8 or a 9. There is no point. When I look at my own reviews the vast majority get a 6 or 7. It is stupid. I am ending it. These numbers mean nothing. I am going to do my best to ignore any arbitrary rating system other amateur or professional critics might use.

One thing I found myself doing in my blog posts is giving the film a high score, then writing mostly about the things I didn't like. Because I gave a decent score I didn't feel the need to explain what I liked about it. The score made the explanation redundant. It got an 8, now here's what sucked about it. That is no way to go about movie blogging.

The more I think about it and the more I read some of my old posts... I am pretty horrible at this. The goal of doing this thing was to improve my writing. At some point I stopped doing that. The posts became a chore. The ratings got more arbitrary. If I am going to continue writing this blog I need to refocus.

I have to write. In real life somebody might mention they watched a movie. I ask them what they thought about it. "Oh, I liked it." Is almost invariably the response. Then they ask me what I thought. I start listing the themes and ideas I found interesting, and then go into how the execution undermined those things. Their eyes glaze over quickly. Nobody wants to hear about that crap. They just want you to agree you liked it and then move on. However, that I cannot abide. Therefore, I must write. When I look back on what I've written I am not doing a good job at communicating my thoughts.

After I watch a movie I will think about it for a little bit and maybe even take a few notes. I have things I want to say and they seem cogent and semi-relevant. When I finally sit down to write a post my thoughts lose continuity and my words become awkward. I'm probably thinking about things too much. I need to just sit down and start writing. Who gives a crap if it flows together nicely? Oh, you do? Okay. Well I'll try my best.