The old rule "garbage in, garbage out" also applies to criticker.
Criticker only works correctly for a user, if his/her votes are correct.
But what does "correct" really mean ?
I want to rate films correctly.
Because I want criticker to work and also because I want to find out - by way of critically questioning myself - how much I really like a given film.
Therefore I am from time to time pondering questions about how I should rate films.
I wanted to share my thoughts, expecting or hoping to find like-minded souls here on criticker, given that this is a rating platform, no less. In hopes of triggering a discussion that would enlighten me, I posted 2 threads on that subject:
- • "How do you rate movies you have abandonned halfway through ?"
- • "How do you rate movies you have seen a long time ago ?"
But the reaction mostly varied between non-existent and indifferent (with a few exceptions maybe).
Or at least I didn't quite have the impression that responders cared all that much about this type of questions.
Nevertheless, I'd like to try one more time.
This time, I want to ask for your opinion on the following question:
On what basis do you rate films ?
On the basis of how much you liked the film ?
Or on the basis of how "good" you find a film ?
... or on another basis altogether ?
For lots of films this distinction (likeability vs goodness/quality) might be moot.
But there are films, for which I really grapple with this distinction.
For example, I consider the film "Eine verhängnisvolle Nacht" nearly "perfect" in the sense that it perfectly captures the terror of a woman stalked by an obsessive man. I think if you want to make a film about this subject, it's almost impossible to do any better than that. So as far as film-making craftsmanship is concerned, I would rate the film 10/10.
Now, how much did I like/enjoy the film ?
I think it's hard to enjoy a film full of such misery as much as you would enjoy a good comedy.
If I purely had to rate the film on the basis of "how much did I like the film", I would rate it 6/10.
Up until now, I forced myself to solely vote on how much I liked a given film, regardless of how "well" it was made. And in many cases, these 2 criteria align anyway.
But when I see a film like the example above, it gives me heartache to rate a film in the vicinity of e.g. 6/10 when it is a fine piece of cinematic art, especially when I think of the idea, that I will very probably not like/enjoy *any* film on that subject. After all, the subject on its own should not determine a film's rating ...
... or should it ?
A simpler example:
How should someone deal with a film of a particular genre, he/she generally dislikes (e.g. horror movie), when he/she recognizes that this particular film is of very good quality or even flawless (except only for the "wrong" genre) ? When he/she dislikes the horror genre generally, should he/she rate an otherwise flawless movie at a score of 0-2 /10 ?
Or maybe an even better example:
What about a heartbroken person, who after his/her relationship of 10 years just broke apart, suffers from lovesickness and temporarily hates romantic films, although this is normally his/her favourite genre ? Tastes can change/fluctuate, sometimes only temporarily, sometimes for forever ...
So maybe he/she hates a film, he/she would otherwise like ...
... should he/she now give this film a dismal score ?
The reverse might also occur, by the way.
There are some bad films, I enjoy watching.
So should I give a bad score, or a good one ?
For example I find 3 coeurs a bad film (incredibly stupid story [spoilers ahead!]: man encounters completely unknown female in a big town, misses next RDV, then - out of pure chance - encounters her sister and marries her unbeknownly [if that's the right word]) ... I kept thinking "oh, what an awful story" while simultaneously wanting to know how the story unfolds/ends.
Rating is not all that easy, when you really think about it a bit more in depth.
Maybe you will find better examples than me. I am not the best in picking examples.
By picking those examples, I just want to show that IMO how much I like/enjoy a film does not necessarily correspond with "how good" I find it ...
... which makes me unsure what the basis for my vote really should be.
What about "artsy" films, which I (myself) recognize as artistic, but when I can't find any pleasure in watching the film. Should I give 0 points ?
Or what about films, that are excellently made, but are extremely hard to watch, e.g. films which spend a good amount of time showing physical/sexual abuse, torture or sheer terror (like the stalker victim mentioned above feels). Examples are aplenty.
I also don't know how to rate excellent films, which trigger a strong flow of emotions inside me, but which make me feel depressed, e.g. Requiem for a dream. Since it makes me feel bad, I somehow "dislike" the film (0/10) but at the very same time, I think it's a good film (7/10) ... what gives? Should I thus choose the average of 3,5 ?
I don't always find it difficult to rate films.
But some films I find very difficult to rate ...
What are your thoughts (generally speaking as well as on these specific examples) ?
What are your guidelines when you rate films ?