tek's film reviews - Rating system guide
Caution: reviews may contain spoilers

For the longest time in my TV and movie review sections, I had a system of tiers based on how well I liked the shows/movies I was reviewing. But I was never entirely happy with it; in fact, I retooled the tier system a number of times, but basically it consisted of a few different levels of "liked," a few of "well-liked," and one of "loved." Now I'm trying a new system, which isn't entirely different, but it doesn't exactly involve tiers. Instead, it will be divided into two separate rating groups: "liked" and "loved". These are both, of course, my subjective opinions, but I try to usually base my rating on a mix of my enjoyment and my estimation of the show or film's objective quality. Even so, it'll still be my opinion, and anyone is entitled to a different one. I should also mention that I may occasionally go back and alter ratings I had previously given, whether because my overall opinion changes over time, for whatever reason, or because I alter the basic definition of each rating level, so that the previous rating I'd given an item doesn't match the new definition as well as it did the old.

...But it's still going to be hard for me to decide exactly how to rate each item, and I'll probably still never be entirely happy with my decisions. And there may be times that I add a ½ to my ratings, when I'm especially conflicted, torn between two different ratings, for whatever reason. ...There may also be some things I don't give any rating to, simply because I don't remember it well enough, or... for whatever reason.

While I don't want to draw direct parallels between this new system and the old one, I suppose the new "liked" group will roughly cover what once would have been tiers 2-8, which included both "liked" and "well-liked" (plus tier x, aka "meh," which doesn't really count) in the old system. But since there are now basically only four levels of "liked," I'm going to have to adjust my thinking when assigning ratings. Meanwhile, it's important to note that there will be some overlapping between "liked" and "loved." More on that later....

"Meh." Ignore this icon. I used it for awhile, but now I intend to just type "meh." As for what this rating means, it's kind of hard to explain, but it's basically, I don't necessarily "like" it, but I don't necessarily dislike it, either. Although in some cases maybe I do sort of dislike it, I dunno. I suppose each film's actual entry will explain better, on a case by case basis. But the important thing is, whatever the movie is, I felt I should at least mention it, for whatever reason. Whatever the case, I certainly won't hate it... I'm sure there will be plenty of things I've seen that I choose not to mention, because I didn't feel they merited even a "meh." (But bear in mind that there will probably be some things I don't mention for other reasons, like I forgot about it or just haven't had a chance to get around to writing an entry for it yet.)

"Kinda liked." Better than "meh," sometimes by a little, sometimes by more than a little. But it's still stuff that I'm a bit iffy about, perhaps because I'm not sure the quality is that great, or perhaps... I just like it a little. You know... "kinda liked" is sort of self-explanatory, I guess.

"Fairly liked." A fairly solid rating, something I definitely have no qualms about saying that I like. Nothing too special, perhaps, but definitely not bad. I might vaguely consider myself a fan of movies at this level, though only mildly so. Still, it's a decent movie.

"Rather liked." At this level, I definitely consider myself a fan, I think the movie is pretty good.

"Quite liked." I'm not really sure what to say except that I think these movies are exceptionally good, and very nearly something that I would place in the "loved" category... but not quite. Still, a very respectable rating, in its own right.

In the old system, "loved" was a single, ultimate tier, which was also referred to as "favorite." But in the new rating system, there will be, let's say, four tiers of "loved." I always felt that I didn't necessarily "love" everything I reviewed on quite the same level, so I just want to break it up a bit, now. It is, however, important to note that if I say I "love" something, even if it only gets one heart, that should not be taken too lightly. "Love" is not a term I ever use particularly lightly. Do bear in mind that art and entertainment... well, that all is the most important thing in the world to me, so any such thing that I love is... pretty damned important. It's the kind of stuff that makes life worth living.

"Kinda loved." This represents the main overlap between "liked" and "loved." It's hard to properly explain, but suffice to say I'm a bit iffy about whether to really say I "love" the movie, per se. But I do have that impulse. Maybe it's like a sort of infatuation, rather than true love. It's also possible that it has something to do with the objective quality, which I may think isn't as good as my personal enjoyment (i.e., I might rate it as "liked" based on quality but "loved" based on my enjoyment). I dunno. Whatever, it's still a good rating, obviously.

"Fairly loved." This is something I certainly have no qualms about saying that I both love and quite like. Still, there's still room for improvement. Even so, we're now heading into the territory of stuff that kinda makes life worth living, for sure. Not that stuff with merely "liked" ratings can't also make life worth living, but, you know.... *shrug* I told you not to take my use of the word "love" lightly, and now I'm reminding you, okay?

"Rather loved." A medium level of love, you might say, but still the penultimate level of the whole shebang. This stuff is, in my opinion, head and shoulders above most of the other entertainment in the world, totally teh awesome, you feelin' me? It frickin' owns. You might even call this a sort of "sub-favorite" level, that is to say, movies with 3 hearts could be among my favorites in their genre or category, even if I don't necessarily love them quite enough to call them all-around favorites....

"Quite loved," aka "Favorite." This, folks, is the proverbial "it." If three hearts own, then four hearts pwn all. This is stuff I'd seriously rather not live without. The kind of stuff that if I was going to meet the creator of the project, I'd have a friend come with me so we could drop to our knees, bowing and chanting "We're not worthy!" Wayne & Garth style. Because if you created something I give four hearts, congratulations... you win at life. The fact of my loving this stuff is an innate aspect of my personality, a large part of how I define myself as an individual. I may say that of things on just about any rating level, but this... well, you're always free to have different opinions from my own, that's fine. But if you don't at least like the stuff I put on this level, then... we're just not that compatible. It's hard to imagine we could be particularly close friends, and... well, not only is what entertainment I appreciate part of how I define myself, it's part of what would make me fall in love with a person. (That's right, if you don't love this, I don't think I can love you.) Because the stuff that I love on this level, my friends, is a truly, madly, deeply kind of love. When I use the word "favorite," I mean very favorite, absolute favorite. Some stuff with lower ratings could make me "squee!" like a schoolgirl (and you do understand that I'm a man, right?), a "squee!" that comes from my heart and/or mind, but this... this here "squee!" comes from my very soul. Capisce? Comprende? Dong ma? Ya feel me?

and icons taken from ezboard. icon composed of two different icons taken from Proboards.