The most popular form in which we seek out movie reviews has become the Metacritic. An aggregate calculation without a face or a soul. Is this how we really want to choose entertainment?
While filming our review for The Predator last Saturday, a thought clawed my intestines in half. And before my innards drop off, I am going to try my best to describe it:
In our very first episode, the review for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, a movie we all thoroughly enjoyed, I rated it 6 out of 8 stars. I wasn’t planning on this rating, it was completely spontaneous. I felt rating the movie was so unnecessary considering how we just gushed about how much we loved it for the last 30 minutes. So how much would it impact someone’s decision to watch the movie had I given it 5 out of 8, or 7 out of 8 stars?
In each subsequent review I continued to rate movies in this off balance way, never really understanding why I was doing so. Well, until The Predator review.
As someone who spouts their opinion on the internet for the entertainment of others, I feel I have a responsibility with your time. Time is a resource that we never get back. If people are looking to us to help them make a decision on whether or not to spend their time on a movie then I want to take a stronger stance on whether or not they should watch it.
As a kid, every weekend I would watch Siskel and Ebert. Siskel was my dude. If Siskel liked it, I knew I would like it. Ebert, not so much. I could write a whole essay on the things Ebert got wrong in his reviews but let’s let the man rest in peace. I want to be someone’s Siskel. I want to be that friend who you trust with restaurant and movie recommendations.
So for The Predator, I started my “Must Watch” and “Don’t Watch” rating system, but there can be caveats. If you’ve never seen a Predator movie and could care less about the franchise, don’t watch this one. That’s pretty clear. If you’re a fan of the first two movies, I would say watch it. You’re not going to love this movie, but there are a few callbacks to the original that some fans may find enjoyable.
I want to develop trust with our viewers so that when one of us recommends a movie you can feel confident that you’ll have a great cinematic experience.