So in vain attempts for a cool website I haven’t given up on, I realized that normal reviews were lacking a certain scientific approach. I mean, sure, there’s no real solid way to explain exactly why a show or book or whatever tickled your buttons right. Sometimes its all about mood or whatever. But I did come up with a way to remove a lot of the guttiness of the review and have a score out of 10 that MEANT something. Something where those points were able to be cited and debated and, ideally, in the long future, used as part of a site where a computer would say ‘AH! you two like the same plot resolutions. Try this movie.”
This review process has ten questions. For each question, you simply answer yes or no. If yes, you add a point. If no, you add no points. Sum your results for the total score.
I do understand that its really hard to take a large subjective experience and break it down to a binary result. You just got to go with your gut. It gets easier after a while, when you can put yourself in the mind frame for answering it properly.
Quick side note. I’m going to use book/movie/work/whatever interchangeably throughout. Please don’t get confused? it can work for all of those.
Number 1: Did you like it?
What, are you surprised we’re starting with such a subjective question? I think this question has a lot of merit and makes it qualified as a rubric for proper grading. There are some movies I just don’t like that are flawlessly executed. There are some movies that I like that are horrible. This gives the human side of the review a bit of say in the matter, before we jump down into the grit of the work itself.
Number 2: Did you like the Main Character?
The main character is the soul of the work. Ideally this is one individual, sometimes that’s not the case. But if the MC leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you don’t want to be handing out a point here.
Number 3: Did you like the Villain?
I can never spell Villain right the first try. Anyway, how was your antagonist? Did you like his interaction in the book? Its really hard for me to not use my personal definition of a good villain here. I likes them Shakespearean. Presence commanding. And I dock points where I don’t see that.
Number 4: Did you like the secondary characters?
The secondary characters are anyone who wasn’t covered on the last two points. How do you give a single point for the rest of the cast? With your gut. And rewarding specific amazing people. For instance, in Sam Rame’s Spiderman Trilogy, No matter what else, each movie got a +1 for side characters for their J. J. Jameson. No matter who else was in those movies, he earned that trilogy 3 points.
Number 5: Did you like the plot?
All the twists and turns and getting from the opening to the end. All he scenes stitched together.
Number 6: Did you like the resolution?
Sometimes a good plot drops the ball at the end. Sometimes a poor plot was a gfreat setup. Resolution is different than plot.
Number 7: Did you like the writing?
This is where books and movies differ. You could substitute directing for this question. Or even the audio mixing. There’s a lot of technical skill that goes into a narrative work, no matter what its form is exactly. If it deserves to be recognized, give it a point here.
Number 8: Did the work immerse you?
You know that feeling when you suddenly notice the credits are going and you’re not in the story anymore? That feeling is immersion and it deserves a point.
Number 9: Did it provoke the proper emotional response?
Did you cry when the book wanted you to cry? Did you laugh at the jokes? Or did you think ‘ah, the author wants me to do such and such’ and carry on? If the author snared you in his world, he deserves a point, no?
Number 10: Would you [watch/read/listen/etc] to it again?
we’re pulling back out of the rubric and getting back to the subjective. And, yes, I know if your best friend in the world wants to watch it with you, you’ll watch it again. But do you think you’d fire up the old DVD drive and pop this sucker in, if there was no one influencing you from the outside? If so, point that sucker up!
That’s the list. Tally your score. See what you got. See if you notice trends. And enjoy!
(This list seemed so straight forward this time. I might be too tired to think outside of myself. Please let me know if I should elaborate more. Thx)
Here’s the 10 questions as I’m applying them to D&D manuals!
- Did I like it?
- Is it useful for players?
- Is it useful for DMs?
- Does it provide good prompts for stories and campaigns?
- Is it system agnostic?
- Is it setting agnostic?
- Is there enough lore?
- Is the visual design worthy?
- Will you refer to this often?
- Is it well indexed?