SHIFTED Perspectives : An Update to my Review System

Introduction

Even though it’s only been a few months since I first started this site, my experiences and expectations for what constitutes a “good” movie has changed. My writing style has become more distinct (I think) and my current reviews are a far cry from where I first started. It makes me all the more excited to see how my style develops and is the reason I’m making this update/announcement. My opinions change and develop, and I want my reviews to reflect those changes. It’s why I went through and completely re-wrote my ranking/rating system. I want my reviews to be adept and accurate at communicating who should experience a piece and why they should prioritize it over other pieces in the same genre, so changing reviews are a necessity. However, I don’t want to constantly change and iterate over my reviews constantly. Given that my reviews go up and down by the hundredths, it’s always possible for a movie’s score to change a few points here or there. Committing to perfect accuracy is impossible as a result. As such, any review re-write needs to meet a specific set of criteria to ensure that :

  • The update is meaningful and can be used to measure my change in perspective.
  • The change in rating is significant to affect how strongly I’m willing to recommend it. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I would be willing to recommend the movie to more people. Rather, the intensity of my recommendation to the what I think the media’s target group would be more intense.

Proposed Change

Given our objectives, the best solution I’ve come up with is to write a new review only under the following conditions:

  1. I have a more nuanced analysis about the themes/purpose of the media and/or I can better explain how the media makes use of each of its independent elements to better explain its theme/story.
  2. The change in rating represents a change of .5 or more numerically

The first condition satisfies the first objective and also ensures that every additional review adds new insights. Sometimes I got the theme or story right, but didn’t pay attention to how important the cinematography or score were to selling those “more” important elements. Sometimes, I missed a big point entirely. This condition provides me enough wiggle room to justify a wide-variety of re-writes without completely opening the floodgates. The second condition makes sense given the alphabetical grading system. A .5 increase is the difference between a base grade and a “plus” grade, so the shift would be meaningful and easily distinguished. Put together both conditions should ensure that each re-write is meaningful by providing new information that would increase the reviews ability at persuading target audience to engage with said media.

Such a review would be added to the previous review. I thought about initially just publishing another review entirely, but that would make comparison of the reviews harder to do. Having everything in one article keeps the information centralized so the difference in perspective becomes more apparent. It would also make searching for reviews a logistic nightmare because you would get multiple hits without the ability to delineate which one is more “accurate”.

Regularity

I don’t plan on re-writing every single review I’ve ever done ever. At least not intentionally. I don’t re-watch a huge amount of movies anymore. Ever since I started this site, I’ve been trying to cover more types of media (not just horror) so most of my entries will continue to be new. I expect updated reviews to pop up whenever I create any lists ranking or comparing entries because my personal philosophy dictates having to watch a movie fresh to really get into it. It makes my list generation take forever, but I feel more comfortable about the results.

For example, I’m currently writing my list of the best horrors of the past decade and as a result I’ve been re-watching a lot of horror movies. My opinion for most movies has stayed relatively the same maybe changing at max .1 in either direction, but there have been a few early instances of my opinion drastically improving. For example, after a recent re-watch of The Cabin in the Woods , I realized the movie was far better than I gave it credit for and I had absolutely rated it too lowly. I feel like I gave a lot more in my new review that should convey more to fans of horror,comedy,meta-narratives why they should give the movie a chance if they haven’t.

Anyways, I worry about getting flooded with updated reviews if you’re subscribed to the site. They’ll happen in predictable spurts if they do they happen and because they’re not new posts they won’t inundate your feed. Also even if I do a lot of re-watches, it’s not like my opinions change that often or I miss a ton in a movie that makes me completely re-evaluate everything about it (as of yet at least), so the occurrence should be rare.

Living Reviews

The goal is to have a living review system by the end of the process. I think a lot of people get caught up in thinking that once they review a piece they can’t change their mind or admit that maybe they were too harsh or too lenient. That’s a waste of the experience in my opinion. My thoughts always changes for a reason and analyzing why my perspective shifted is always insightful. On a personal level, it helps me gauge how my tastes are changing and constantly iterating as I experience more media. It’s like a diamond in the rough and the more I branch out, the more I figure out about myself. As a reviewer, it helps me give my audience an insight into different approaches to the movie.

It’s important for people to understand that nothing I say is sacred and everything is always open to conversation. The changes in my review represent a conversation with myself, almost is I’m conversing with my past self. There’s a discourse that’s created that becomes productive as a system in end of itself. I think it’s an interesting dynamic that a lot of review sites/groups can’t access. It’s also philosophically interesting as a way to gauge the way my different tastes take priority and how they arise. More importantly, it means my recommendation can become more specialized. If you slot into one paradigm of media consumption versus another paradigm you can gauge different things about a piece before diving in. This helps the reviews in their purpose- providing exposure about pieces to people who would enjoy consuming the same.

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