My Secret Unpaid Job on Twitter

Unlikely Boyhood Heroes
Some of my friends tease me, while others still don't even realize it, but for over three years now, I have been tweeting film reviews for movies I watch, especially those new to the theater, using "#MovieReview". Growing up on Siskel and Ebert, "professional film critic" always seemed like a dream job. The depth and thought I put into my reviews is difficult to express in 140 characters, but it allows me to quickly go over the essential information: How was it? Should I see it in a theater? What stood out? Where did it go wrong?

I rate every movie on a 10-point scale. Friends who tease me think I give too many movies a 7 or 8 out of 10. A big reason for this: I pay to see these movies, so my reviews pre-filter out movies that look awful (e.g. Max (2015)), or I know weren't made for me (e.g. VeggieTales (2002), or 50 Shades of Grey (2015)).

First, allow me to explain my rubric:

Films scoring a five or lower mirror online 1-10 customer satisfaction surveys. a "5", to me, is a hybrid of indifference, and a 50% test-score. Basically, these fail as movies, and the lower the score, the more I hated watching it.

For the record, a "1" movie would be House of the Dead (2003), or Babel (2006), a.k.a. the worst movie ever! For the deceptively attractive concept and A-list actors, ultimately the movie was just several short stories, poorly connected by an arbitrary object, about sad people whose lives get worse, and fail to learn or grow in any way, all disguised as art by the one-word title and use of foreign languages. Feel free to disagree, but watch it again, and tell me you don't at least understand why  I say this!

Anyway, scoring gets much simpler after that:

Films I enjoyed, despite major problems, such as plot holes, inability to sustain disbelief, cheesy stories or bad acting... you get the idea. Sometimes these movies are not worth the price of admission, but I felt they did not completely waste my time. Would I watch a movie scoring 6 or 7 again? Probably not.

Films I loved and would watch again. In fact, I usually watch movies that score a 9 or 9.5 again, in the theater. Things that keep them from earning a higher score are artistic, or issues with editing and pacing. Many films get bumped up to this level, by my personal bias towards sci-fi, superheroes, comedy, animation, and post-apocalyptic futures. (FYI, My last 9.5 score went to Guardians of the Galaxy)

The all-mighty 10:
Films I want to watch over and over again, just as they are.
Examples include: Super Troopers (2001), The Matrix (1999), and of course The Shawshank Redemption (1994).
I understand why some people might disagree, but a score of 10 does not mean the film is a perfect peace of moving, transcendent art, like Jakob the Liar (1999). It simply means the movie reached the pinnacle of its genre, I wouldn't change a thing, and can't wait to see it again.

Click here to see all of my reviews on twitter, and feel free to comment here, on twitter, or out-loud at your screen.


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