When I watch a movie, my main thoughts when considering the review is my enjoyment. First and foremost. I can dismiss bad acting or dodgy special effects if above all else the film was enjoyable. Films I have scored full marks in the past are not necessarily PERFECT. Perfection is a very difficult thing to come by in all walks of life, and especially in the film industry, and therefore if a film sets out to work as a comedy, thriller, drama or horror and is effective in its own subject matter, then it will score highly. Good examples being Speed Racer and Switchblade Romance, films that have both scored 5 /5 but have their faults … but none of these faults distracted me from their overall impact. They did enough things right to excuse minor problems, such as the silly story in ‘Racer, and the idiotic twist in ‘Romance.
I also look for good acting, especially in films that require it, such as Oscar hyped dramas or films featuring talented actors that are already acclaimed for their skills. I may knock a film for not showcasing an actor’s ability of which I may already be familiar with, such as Jody Foster in Inside Man or Michael Cain in The Dark Knight. Then again I won’t be looking for good acting in say a Dario Argento film, and will score the film in this case down to the director’s known skills with camera work and panache for gory murders.
A knowledge of actors, directors and genre is a good starting point when considering how to review a particular film, and as a fan of horror, I can be more critical than say in the comedy genre, of which I don’t feel I have as much to say. Also when mentioning a DVD or Blu-rays extra features or picture / sound quality in a review, this will never influence the final score. That is left for the film itself.
So to conclude when I review film, I look at what the film is trying to achieve, and whether or not it succeeds in doing it’s job, regardless of whether its a sequel, a straight-to-dvd b-movie or a showcase for a particular actor. Only then will it win my approval and score that coveted 5 /5.