Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Updated Movie Review Project

            It’s not that I haven’t had any free time for the last 18 months.  Procrastination has also been a factor.  And limited powers of focus and concentration—the idea that even if I have 10 hours free a day, I’m only able to focus and be productive for a small proportion of that time.

            But at any rate, I’ve come to the conclusion that my project of writing lengthy reviews of every movie I watch might be unsustainable.

            On the other hand, as troublesome as it is to write all these reviews, I do really like keeping a record of everything I’ve watched, and my thoughts on it.

            So, I’m going to try and keep the best of both worlds here by just posting short capsule reviews from here on out.

Here’s my idea for the future:

            Each review will contain a body which will be no more than 100 words.  And I plan to be strict on myself about this.
            However, in addition to the main body, I’ll give into a little bit of self indulgence by allowing me to add in these extra optional categories, with the following self-imposed rules:
            Why I Saw This Movie: Often there will be more than one reason that I’ll see a particular movie, but no more than one sentence per reason
My History with this Movie: No more than one sentence.
          Positive points and Negative Points: I’ll present this in bullet form.  As many bullet points as I like, but no more than one sentence per point.
            Related Posts: A self-indulgent allowance, allowing me to link back to any past blog posts I feel might be relevant.
            Related Links: If there’s any other links on the web (e.g. another reviewer I particular agree with), I’ll link to that in this section.
            Rating: I have previously avoided initiating a rating system in my reviews, because I thought it impossible to reduce movie to a rating.  Every movie is a combination of things that worked and things that didn’t mixed in with the subjectivity of the viewer (what mood you were in that day, whether you were in the target audience for this film, how many times this year you’ve seen similar movies, et cetera.)
            However, in the interest of making my reviews less long-winded and more succinct, I’m going to swallow my objections here and try and assign every film a rating as a short-hand way of reviewing it. 
            I’ll be assigning each film a rating of 1 to 10 stars. With the option of adding a one sentence explanation of the rating.
            And finally, Other Things I Would Write About if I wasn’t Limiting Myself to 100 Words: for movies where it’s really killing part of me to limit myself to 100 words, I might add a section of other points I wanted to talk about.  But limit myself to one sentence per point.

            In order to avoid procrastination, another rule is that the movie review has to go online as soon as possible after having seen the film—either written immediately afterwards, or sometime within the following 24 hours.  (An exception is when I don’t have Internet access immediately—I’m still publishing this blog largely out of Internet Cafes.  But as soon as possible at any rate.) 
            Then, once the initial capsule review is published, I’ll have the option of going back later and doing another long form written review of the movie if I want to.  (For 99% of the movies I see, I doubt I’ll want to.  But the option will be there just the same.)

            My book reviews can also get pretty long winded, and can also consume a fair amount of my time.  But for now I’m going to apply the capsule review system only to movies, and stay with the old lengthy reviews for books.
            I enjoy writing the book reviews more—I find it intellectually rewarding to put some energy into engaging what I read, but I’m not sure I can say the same thing for movies.

            Besides which, I’m such a slow reader that there’s never too much danger of getting overwhelmed by book review projects.  It usually takes me about 6 weeks or so to finish a book.  Movies, on the other hand, I’m capable of watching several in a day if I don’t restrain myself.

A list of all the movie reviews I've done thus far (under the old system) is here.  New movie reviews will continue to be indexed here.

Update (March 17, 2015)
I'm going to adjust the rules slightly here.  In cases where I have a lengthy history with the movie, I'll allow myself more than one sentence.  But each point has to be contained in one sentence.  For example if there's a movie I remember from both early childhood and late adolescence, I'll allow myself one sentence for each recollection.
Also for positive and negative points, I'll give myself two sentences for each point--I've been finding that sometimes I need one sentence just to set up the point, and then another sentence to explain why I find it positive or negative.

Link of the Day
'Obama Should be taken before ICC for the war on terrorism ' Chomsky to RT
And Must-see morning clip: Fox News is threatened by the word “holiday”

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