Saturday, March 05, 2016

Greetings, wayward traveler!

Welcome to my own private corner of the internet.  In all likelihood, I am just one of millions of people online who have a website/blog dedicated to sharing their opinions on something they like.  I happen to like movies.  I also like books (hence the aptly titled section link in the navigation bar above).  While I reserve the right to add any other sections as life goes on, these are the two I am sticking with for now.

If you’d like to know more about how I got into writing movie and book reviews, please keep on reading.  If you’re not a backstory person, feel free to head directly to my movie and book reviews and feel free to share your comments.

Still with me?  Awesome.  Since most of this site (calling it a blog makes me shudder) concerns movies, we’ll start there.  During my first semester of college, I took an alternative comp & speech class where the whole semester focused on one large topic.  My class was called Heroes, Villains, and Outlaws, and the goal was to analyze the use of these archetypal roles in American cinema.

During the course of the semester, we watched eleven films.  Sometimes we would write a paper on just one film or we would compare and contrast two films if they were in the same genre.  We also talked about the films we watched in small groups and as a class.  It was a refreshing take on comp & speech.

One thing we decided as a class was to develop a rating scale and keep track of how we each felt about the different films we watched.  We decided on a five-star scale, where a zero-star film would represent the worst film ever made and a five-star film would represent the greatest film ever made.  We further decided that ratings of zero and five stars could only be valid ratings if everybody stopped making films.  We tried to stick with half-star increments the best we could to keep the process simple but I’m pretty sure we changed to quarter-point increments mid-semester.

A funny thing happened when the semester ended- I didn’t stop rating films.  As I watched films on my own and with friends, I used the rating scale from class.  The more films I watched, and the more I learned about the history and process of filmmaking, the rating scale gradually became more and more refined.

Now here I am, re-starting this pet project for the fourth or fifth time.  I am hopeful that I can stick with it for good now.  Life gets busy, but once I catch up on all the films I’ve seen, doing one review at a time should be easy to maintain.

In 2014, I started a companion project in which I intend to read every book in my house.  You can learn more about that here.  As a young rating scale project, expect to see it refined as we go along.

Thank you for reading this long spiel of mine.  Now go check out those movie reviews and reading posts of mine!