July 21st, 2010
When LoveHKFilm.com returns from its hiatus, it probably won’t add star-ratings to its reviews. This issue has been discussed internally a couple of times, but when all was said and done, Kozo stood firm on the current format. Honestly, I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other. If he wants ‘em, let’s do it. If he doesn’t, that’s fine with me.
Of course, it would likely be a huge logistical nightmare if we were to implement star-ratings.
Not only would it be a massive headache going through the entire back catalog of reviews and applying a star-rating to each film, but what do we do about movies we’ve changed our minds about? For example, I gave Justice, My Foot! a lukewarm review after first seeing it, but after watching it again, I liked it better and put it on my Hong Kong Cinema Recommendations List. So should I award a star-rating based on my old opinion or tweak my review to match how I currently regard that funny Stephen Chow film?
And what about movies that were reviewed by people who no longer work for the site? Do we leave ‘em as is or try to track them down? Or how about trying to rate movies that are neither great nor horrible? The difference between a two-star film and two-and-half star film would probably not have any mathematical basis whatsoever. And most important, what about movies like Murderer that simply defy a ratings system altogether?
Sonny (not Sanney) says, “Murderer should get 40 stars on a 4-star scale.*
Aside from spicing up LoveHKFilm.com’s Rotten Tomatoes page how would ratings benefit the site?
One plus, I think, is that it means that readers would be able to look at any given review and see whether we generally liked or disliked the film. And despite the fact that “The Skinny” usually covers that ground, I definitely see the upside of what a rating could do.
But suppose we did implement something like this in the farflung future, what would be the best format?
Of course, there are the four-star and five-star ratings systems The world-famous two thumbs up/two thumbs down method is off-limits because Roger Ebert trademarked that. And recommendations like “See it/rent it/skip it” sound a little too “consumer reports” to me rather than anything attempting to be real film criticism.
Y’know, if we wanted to be cute about it, we could make up a five-愛 rating.** While it might make sense that Chungking Express gets 愛愛愛愛愛 from LoveHKFilm.com, if we gave The Wesley’s Mysterious File a 愛 rating, that would imply that we “love” it a little. Well, we don’t.
Personally, as a former junior high teacher, a sometime teaching assistant, and a future professor, I’m pretty comfortable with the ABDCF grading scale.
What do you think?
* Can I just say that I really enjoyed screencapping stuff from Murderer? It’s like a gift that keeps on giving. The fruits of my labor will be on the blog soon.
**If you can’t see the symbol for some reason, it’s supposed to be the Chinese character for “love” that graces our website banner.