On Rating Media

This post had been a long time coming, where I discuss grading media with a score, and specifically how I do it, particularly with regards to anime on this blog, but it’s transferable.

Now, each reviewer and sometimes each review is different, there are multiple grading systems: You can have each show start at 10, and then deduct points for anything that bothers you, and then you might not know what you liked, but you certainly know what stopped a show from being perfect.
You can do the opposite, start from 0 and add points for each thing the show does well. Such reviews often have categories, such as “Production”, “Plot”, etc. and either average all of them or you can earn up to a certain mark in each score and then you add up.

I don’t engage in these forms of scoring. I also want to stress again, that the number is the least important and least interesting part of any review, especially mine – I mean, I use so many words to describe my thoughts regarding the media, so  that the final few digits shouldn’t carry so much weight.

I also don’t rate all shows using the same measuring system – I have the “How much do I enjoy the show?” meter, and “How good do I think the show is?” meter (often has a lot to do with aesthetics, but not visual only, but also how I judge the plot to be). I can really love a show that isn’t that good and give it a good score, or not that good of a score. I can think a show is “objectively great” (those are scare-quotes) but not connect to it emotionally, and it might get a good grade or an average one. There’s a sort of averaging going on here, but it’s weighted by how much weight I give to the meter with regards to the particular show – that is, whether how much I like it outweighs how not-great it is or vice versa.

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Media Month in Review – October 2009.

So, it’s time to cover what-all I’ve watched/read during the month of October. I’ve went to Icon 2009, the largest Israeli convention of the year, which might get a post of its own. I’ve also begun my third and final year of my B.A., which had been helpful in reading more books.

I am considering every so often perhaps making a post where I give one paragraph to several movies/books I don’t want to talk about at length, but want to give more than a sentence. Opine below.

Uninhibited Media Consumption? Click picture for source.

Read on for my media consumption of lastmonth, which had been quite significant, though I’m not sure if as significant as the spending list. Then again, buying takes less time than consuming what one buys!

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[Humor] Zabuza and the Rare Ingredient!

Zabuza, whose last name is apparently Momochi, which no one but Narutards knows, was the first real antagonist in Naruto. And he was AWESOME! And so, this post is dedicated to Zabuza, who traveled with Haku, the super-trap (Naruto picked flowers with him, thinking it was a girl).

Here I will cover this ultra-rare figure of him, and the rare dust, dust as you’ve never seen in a figure review before!

Zabuza, looking badass

Zabuza, looking badass

This post is intended in humor, read it as such (including the “Narutards” reference), also, I got the links page up and mostly running, it’s only 70% populated, I’ll get the rest done between now and the weekend, thank you.

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Damages (TV show). Not so Cliched.

This is about the TV show Damages. The one that has Glenn Close in it.

Anyway, this will be mostly about the first season, because the second season is currently airing here and we’re only at the third episode, I think.

Ok, when I originally saw the show, I thought to myself, “Good show, but cliched.” I think that overall, it’s both true and misses the point.
It’s basically a thriller movie, or a really well written thriller book. It has flashback, or future-flash glimpses. Where you get to see several moments of what happens, and then the main story is “6 months ago”. Each episode you get to see another several moments of the “now” while the “past” keeps progressing, until at some point they meet.

Politics, subterfuge, lies, relations. It’s a really tight show, with really great acting by most players involved. Shout-outs to Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, and really, most of all, to Zeljko Ivanek in his role of Ray Fiske. BTW, we were watching this while watching daily Becker reruns, and it was quite a shock to realize Ted Danson is so old, and over-tanned :D

So. Here is why to say Damages is cliched misses the point: It is cliched if you look at it as a suspense novel, or even a suspense book. But see, when you switch your medium, and you make something work? That takes skill, that makes it no longer cliched, in that medium.
Each episode of Damages is like a really good part of a movie, and the series as a whole is just really good. And you know, it reminds me of a discussion I’ve had with my mother regarding season 1 of Prisonbreak before, I’ll need to get back to it.

This gets a 9 out of 10 for superb acting and plot-construction. Watch it, y’all.

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Watchmen Review

Watchmen Movie PosterThis will have spoilers. Be ready.

I’ll begin by saying that this is not me talking about my hopes for the movie, I watched the movie. The widely to be released version, dunno about the “Director’s Cut” version.

The short versions is: Unimpressed. Some people who left the screening (we were all comic book readers) said it was “Shit”, and some said they had a lot of fun, but the number of nay-sayers was rather large; I usually notice that people say it’s good or don’t form an opinion after watching a much awaited film, and the negativity mostly comes after 2-3 days, when they think about it, and realize what they’ve seen. I may be off base here, but there it is.

I assume most of you have read the comic book, but for those of you who haven’t, my description of the movie will be lacking, but I will pre-empt those who talk about “Reviewing the movie, and not the comic book” that I actually think it did better as an adaptation than as a movie in its own right.
Many of the points will seem small on their own, but they add up to the movie having neither a real soul nor its own cohesive identity. Aside from the thoughts on the aesthetics, which are small and petty.

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