Saturday, October 11, 2008

Welcome: An Explination of the ratings.

Greetings, The Low Brow Critic here.

This blog is for me and any other aspiring critics to land there opinions on general media: video games, music, comics, television and film. 

The rating system isn't dissimilar to most generally accepted standards but for different media, ratings may mean different things and what my rating is based of may change

Film and Television:

Score on a scale of 1 to 5 Eyebrows.

1 Monobrow: This movie didn't do anything for me. Plan 9 from Outer Suck. 
2 Eyebrows: This movie did SOMETHING right. Notice the lack of plural. Not watchable.
3 Eyebrows: Watchable, it accomplished it's goal and did a few things right but mostly generic.
4 Eyebrows: This movie accomplished it's goal and did it with style! Good acting and production
5 Eyebrows: HOLY SHIT! WATCH OPENING NIGHT AND THANK THE HEAVENS FOR BESTOWING US WITH SUCH A RARE MASTERPEICE!

Rating is based on 3 criterion

1)Did it accomplish it's goal? 
If its comedy, did it entertain? If it's a thriller did it keep me in suspense? If it's a horror did it keep me on the edge of my seat and my girl in my arms? This goal is important as the next two combined so if a movie accomplishes it's goal it can possibly get a 3. 

2)Was it well produced? 
Did the special effects work? Did the script work? Did everything that went into making this film work to accomplish it's goal effectively? 

3) Was it well acted? 
While this should fall under the category of production, a good actor can make a movie worth watching or make up for some of the later being sub par. Hence, they are given there own specific point.


Music: 

1 Monobrow: Disembowel all knowledge. This album is bogus, not even worth stealing
2 Eyebrows: Steal the one single song that doesn't suck.
3 Eyebrows: Steal this album. It's okay.
4 Eyebrows: Buy this album! The whole album is really good!
5 Eyebrows: Buy this album of iTunes first minute it drops, so you can listen to it on the way to go buying a hard copy! It's just that good!

The Rating for music is based on 3 Criterion.

1) Is it well crafted? 
A good album is well crafted and played by talented musicians. Now, this is objective. I'm not a musician so I'm easy to fool. If I can tell you don't know how to play, EVERYONE can tell you don't know how to play. Now, some people don't know how to play well...that is a different animal and taken on a case by case basis.

2) Does it convey something real?
I know this category is kinda vague but I'm a big fan of honesty. I want to fell something in my music, something earnest. This is a vague thing but my ears can hear dishonesty and it turns me off from whatever your saying.

3)It is well mixed?
A badly mixed album can ruin solid individual tracks. There is a current trend in music where each new album tries to use compression techniques to make the album 'louder' than the last, and it results in hardly being able to hear the music. Errors like this that negatively affect the product will result in me being mad and well...good luck getting your album over a 3.

Video Games:

1 Monobrow: Unplayable. Any offers for you to come over and play this, decline them.
2 Eyebrows: Unplayable, but damn it looks good doing it.
3 Eyebrows: Playable, but you've probably played this before under some other title.
4 Eyebrows: Fun to play, this game is also pretty and well executed to boot!
5 Eyebrows: FUN TO PLAY, UNIQUE, GO MOD YOUR BOX SO YOU CAN STEAL THIS GAME AND PLAY IT WHILE YOU DRIVE DOWN TO THE GAME STORE TO GET IT!

The rating for video games is based on this criterion:

1)Is it fun to play?
This counts for most of the score, because the point of the game is to play it and if it isn't fun to play then likely I will give a negative score. Games like this usually have the problem of spending too much time prettying up the graphics and not enough time making the game fun.

2)Graphics?
Most games required you to stare at the TV for upwards of 10 hours. If that time requires me to look at ugly graphics and iffy animation, I will probably not be a happy camper unless your game is incredibly fun. Guitar Hero and Katamary Damacy come to mind as games with simple –sometimes even ugly-- graphics but make up for it with style and immense playability.

3) Music and Sound
The sound Mario makes when he jumps hasn't changed. Why? It's not broken. I use this as an example because good sound goes a long way. Music too, the themes of Final Fantasy have almost made it into mainstream culture and the familiar victory sound can be heard still today at most nerd cons.

Comic Books/Cartoons:

The rating system goes as follows

1 Monobrow: Rob Leifield and Joseph Loeb. Need I say more?
2 Eyebrows: Somethings mega lacking, the writing is cliché or the artwork doesnt cut muster.
3 Eyebrows: Readable, It's okay but mostly comprised of generic plots and artwork.
4 Eyebrows: Good read, great artwork, this is a damned good book!
5 Eyebrows: A rare classic, a great unique dense book that gives the name “graphic novel” justice.

There are two simple criterion for this:

It is well written?
A well written comic is the basis for the artwork. Without good writing, the artwork will be meaningless and simple a collection of pretty pictures.

Is it well drawn?
A well drawn comic is the basis for the writing. Without good artwork, the writing will fall dull. What could be an amazingly dense and creative work stifled by poor art.

Because comics and cartoons are a highly visual medium the artwork counts every bit as much as the writing. One cannot exist effectively without the other.