Five is the New Four

So this is probably more of a process story than anything else, but it’s my blog and if you don’t like it…GET YOUR OWN! 🙂

But seriously folks. For years, I’ve done my 140 character film reviews on Twitter, then collected them all and put them here once a quarter. I’ve done my reviews on a four star system, the more stars the better, because I grew up watching Arch Campbell on channel 4 in Washington DC and that’s how he did it. So I’ve always thought about things that way.

Ultimately though, it was a couple of weeks back when I gave King Arthur 2 1/2 stars, a week after giving Guardians 2 the same grade, that I realized I needed a little more room to work with.

I like King Arthur a lot – it’s certainly a lot better than the critics would have you believe. It’s got a confidence about it that’s hard to ignore, it’s kinetic and just doesn’t let up on you. But the editing gets to you after a while, and the story needed a good bit of work – it was clear the film had been severely cut to make a specific run time to the point that the story had structural problems.

Guardians 2 was better. I may be in the minority, but I prefer Guardians 2 to the first outing. The first one was fresh and new, but it never quite found the right balance between its action, drama and comedic tones, and relied a bit too much on some standard sci-fi tropes. The second fixed all of those problems, moving seamlessly back and forth, though it has an over bloated second act.

Ultimately, the 2.5 star rating fit for both films, which is why I decided to make a change – so 5 is the new 4. Under a 5 star system, Guardians 2 would get 3 stars from me, while King Arthur would still check in at 2.5.

Here’s how the scale would kinda-sorta break down for me…

5 stars – One of the best films of all time (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)
4.5 stars – Should be a significant awards contender (Hell or High Water)
4 stars – Great film – could be one of the year’s best (Nocturnal Animals)
3.5 stars – Really good film/highly recommend (Rogue One)
3 stars – Above average/had a good time (Guardians of the Galaxy 2)
2.5 stars – Average/recommend (King Arthur)
2 stars – Below average but still enjoyable (Kong: Skull Island)
1.5 stars – Significant problems, but got through the film. (The Hobbit)
1 star – Just bad. Likely wouldn’t finish it if I didn’t have a reason to. (Vacation remake)
0.5 stars – Terrible film, annoyed me in some way, but maybe good performances or something (The Lobster)
0 stars – One of the worst films ever made (Not Cool)