A Note on Star Ratings

I decided to go with star ratings for this third or fourth movie blog of mine, after a lifetime of deriving mild joy from them but insisting they’re the death of media criticism. Or at least, silently agreeing with media critics as they insisted so. I’m swiping the awkward four star system from Roger Ebert, but also from the TV Guide magazine of my youth. Once upon a time, ABC was airing its summer of James Bond, and I went next-door to my best bud’s house to watch The Man with the Golden Gun with his family. To date, my favorite 007. I discovered the TV Guide in a heap of the Sunday paper and perused for the next airing, which was supposed to be Diamonds are Forever, but it was substituted. I guess the lesson should’ve been, “Trust don’t the TV Guide,” but I became fascinated by its shorthand for evaluation. It was only in comparing their giving Robocop a 3/4 and The Matrix a 3.5/4 that I could begin to decipher the language and understand the critic behind the printed ink.

All that said, I do find the star rating such a brutal literalizing of the jerky thing people like me do in judging the creative works of others. So in that sense, it’s more honest than I first thought. But to get a feel for my approach to the system, here’s a frame of reference, and an opportunity for me to indulge in my beloved quantitative bullshit:

Shinjuku Triad Society

Ninja Scroll

Ichi the Killer
The Wailing
Battle Royale II: Reqiuem

A Bittersweet Life
Thirst
Rashomon
Mother (2009)
One Fine Spring Day
Tokyo Story
A Tale of Two Sisters

The Man from Nowhere
Curse of the Golden Flower
Wicked City
Police Story
The Huntresses
The Good, the Bad, the Weird
Versus
In the Mood for Love

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Blade of the Immortal
Akira
Yes, Madam
Train to Busan
Ip Man
Sholay
Princess Mononoke
Battle Royale
Audition
The Night Comes for Us
Early Summer
Fallen Angels
Lady Snowblood
A Better Tomorrow 2
The Bride with White Hair

I Saw the Devil
Godzilla: Final Wars
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
The Handmaiden
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
Enter the Dragon
Hara-kiri (1962)
2046
Grave of the Fireflies
The Raid: Redemption
The Killer

Lady Vengeance
Parasite
Shin-Godzilla
A Touch of Zen
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
The Road Home
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Spirited Away
Hard-Boiled

Not sure if I’ll do a no-star rating, though certainly movies get my goat every now and again.


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