I thought long and hard about my grading system. I decided that I have been unsatisfied with my rankings: Voted Up or Voted Down. I think I should be a little more expansive with how I rank films. I've been playing with a new system that I hope will be a more accurate manner of showing how good or bad a film is.
What I've come up with is a modified grading system: A, B, C, D, and F. Here's how it goes:
A.) MUST OWN (CRITERION-WORTHY). These are masterpieces, magnificent films. They should belong in everyone's personal collection. They deserve CRITERION COLLECTION, ie. all the special features money can buy. These films rank as the very best around.
B.) MUST WATCH. These are very good films, enjoyable ones. Somehow, they didn't quite make the mark to be ranked as among the greatest of all time. However, I enjoyed them and think they should be seen.
C.) MUST RENT (NETFLIX). Harmless, enjoyable, nothing to complain about. They met the standards they aimed for, didn't pretend to be anything other than what they ended up being, and as such, could be enjoyed, appreciated. You should rent them and decide if they are worth your cash but one can wait until they're on DVD to see.
D.) MUST SKIP (SAVE YOUR MONEY). For the most part, they aren't good films. Some are all right, but I wasn't overwhelmed with them. Your life will not be improved if you go through it without having seen them. However, if someone offers to lent it to you or asks if you want to watch it with them, go ahead.
F.) MUST AVOID (DO NOT WATCH). These are TERRIBLE. They are LOUSY. They are BORING. They are crimes against cinema. These are barbaric pieces of trash. No one should watch them. In fact, people should find every copy and burn them--and not onto a DVD.
There will be some oddities. For example, The Silence of the Lambs would rate CRITERION-WORTHY. There IS a Criterion version but it's out of print. There is a TWO-DISC which, curiously, has more features than Criterion save a commentary track by director Jonathan Demme and stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins.
Another oddity is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I thought it slow, pretentious in its own belief to be "art", andboring (I fell asleep at it), and it would rank an F. For this film, however, there is a Criterion edition, which I think is a result of the film's pretentiousness rather than its actual quality.Even though Silence of the Lambs has a two-disc and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has a Criterion edition, it will not change my ratings of A and F for these films.
A., B., and C. are good, while D. is not good enough. F. is self-explanatory. The cut-off point between a good film and a bad film is C: a C+ is still good, while anything C- or lower has in my view failed. I hope this system will work better. All right, let's get started.