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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Would He Destroy a Star?

I'm getting rid of using star ratings for movie reviews I write. The star ratings I assigned to reviews were originally meant primarily for my benefit. I tended to use star ratings as a quick snapshot, simply to remind myself what I thought of a movie at a glance, as I certainly don't instantly remember what I might have thought of every movie I've seen.

More and more, I'm finding that for some, the star rating has become a substitute for reading the review. Occasionally, I've found myself engaged in a debate over the meaning of the star rating - why this many stars and not that many? why a half a star more or less than a full star? - when the star rating really means so little to me other than as a memory device. In a hobby with relatively few benefits like maintaining a personal blog of movie reviews, that's become an annoyance I can really do without.

In truth, I've also not always been entirely on the up and up with my star rating assignments: I gave Avatar four stars as a joke. The review I wrote for Avatar argues very much against Avatar's excellence. There have also been occasions where the star rating I initially assigned doesn't hold up or reflect my opinion of a movie after a repeat viewing, both positively and negatively.

In the end, I've simply decided to go without star ratings from now on and see how that goes. I'll be retroactively eliminating past star ratings [Edit: no, I probably won't. See comments] and, starting with the next movie I see in a movie theater, there will be no star rating, just the review. Incidentally, the next movie I see is probably going to be The Losers. Apt.