The kesseljunkie Method for Rating Movies

Before going in to watch Alien: Covenant: Prometheus 2, @craigsorrell and I got into an interesting discussion. Judging by his reaction, my approach to rating movies is so foreign as to warrant disdain.

Suffice it to say that it’s not uncommon for him to bestow disdain on opposing viewpoints. As I thought more about it, though, this could be one of those moments that acts as a way to understanding someone’s worldview.

The point of contention became that, when I go into a movie, I stated that I treat it as “starting” with 5 stars, the theoretical maximum of any rating. (Going any higher is akin to breaking Warp 10, which can only be done when Star Trek writers really need it to be done.)

As I sit there in the dim theatre, with the blank screen, and nothing has happened save for the production logos, that movie has five stars. So far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason it shouldn’t. What happens after the movie starts determines whether it keeps those five stars.

T Rexes attack a jeep in the rain in The Lost World Jurassic Park
The Lost World: Jurassic Park lost stars precipitously, as a rainstorm.

I don’t have any pretensions about what this says, per se. Everyone has their own method of evaluating a movie. However, when contrasted with the opposing viewpoint, it becomes an interesting conversation.

There’s no real point to me going through “how it works” or come up with some ridiculous metaphorical scoring system, because the point is that it’s more an approach than a precise method. I prefer to give every movie the benefit of the doubt; otherwise I wouldn’t have spent the money on Prometheus 2: Alien Boogaloo in the first place.

An interesting note with this is that my approach to books is quite the opposite. I basically sit down with a new book, and it’s up to the author’s skill to woo me into spending the time.

I’m curious on which side of the aisle people find themselves with this one, and if patterns of “ratings” are therefore influenced.

3 thoughts on “The kesseljunkie Method for Rating Movies

  1. Pretty much the same with me. With rare exceptions, I’m not paying for a movie unless I am expecting to be thrilled by what I’m seeing. Where I’m different from you (perhaps) is I can be fairly easily thrilled by abstraction and extrapolation – what my mind and biases bring to the movie. In other words, I can connect with the movie in ways that go well beyond its structure and craftsmanship, nearly rendering the two irrelevant. I go into the theater with that connection already in place; thus my stars are rather sticky. There are reasonable limits to this, of course. But I think this simply reflects that you are a film connoisseur, and I am not.


  2. I should add that, when I heard the news today that Roger Moore died, I shared it with a friend. He said, “eww, he was a cheesy Bond. Camp. I like Daniel Craig.” My reaction, naturally, was “awww!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even if Moore wasn’t your favorite Bond, he was iconic. Dare I say, he’s the first name I think of for Bond, just because he *was* Bond during my formative years.


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