Watching a movie is a hobby to many individuals in most parts of the world. A good movie is often objective depending on the person rating it. A movie may be rated so highly by an individual while another critic may give it the lowest possible rating in his scale. However, movie rating is still very important especially nowadays when movie tickets have become more expensive, and one would wish to have a general perception about a movie before committing to watching it. An interesting movie lifts ones spirit, gives vital life lessons or even gives you an insight of how a fantasy world looks like. Before I decide whether to watch a movie or not, I must do some research about it so that the watching can be a good experience. This also makes me feel that the two hours I am glued to the television or in the theatre is worth it considering the scarcity of free time. I usually check how critics rate the movie, watch its preview and also ask any of my friends who have watched it about their general perception of the movie before I take my time to watch it (Anderson 25).
Due to the fact that movie rating is basically a subjective thing, people always wonder which rating to follow. I have, therefore, resolved to come up with my own scale for rating movies, which would be transparent to me and provide all the detailed information so as one would be able to decide whether to watch that movie or not. In this paper, I am pointing to evaluate the movie Titanic 3D, a 2012 movie written and directed by James Cameron. I rate this movie as 5 star. Roger Ebert, a film critic for Chicago Sun Times, on the other hand, rates the movie as a 4 star. Our judgment, therefore, fully concur considering the fact that 5 star is the highest in my scale of rating while 4 star is also the highest in Ebert’s rating scale that depict that the movie is a masterpiece.
In my rating system, I compare the movies with a 1 – 5 scale, whereby, the movie I rank as the best gets a 5 star rating, while a movie, which I have a feeling has everything done, but is the worst in my experience gets a 1 star rating. Between these extremes lies a range of 2, 3 and 4 marks, which are relative depending on some factors in the movie. An ordinary movie will, therefore, be rated as a 2.5 star movie.
My basis of a movie rating lays entirely on my expectations about the movie. Does it meant to entertain or educate? How does the movie achieve this purpose? Is the storyline of the movie interesting or is it flat? What about the characters? Are their roles fitting them or are they trying to force themselves into a role they do not rhyme with? I also consider the dialogue in the movie, how it contributes to the general going of the story and how it develops the plot. The Cinematography also plays a vital part in my rating system; the director’s choice, the best mix of lighting and the theme of the movie, the selection of the costumes and the quality of the movie in terms of display (Anderson 25).
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A 5 star movie would be the most interesting movie, which, I can beat, everybody else would enjoy watching. The movie should be awesome right from the costumes, the storyline is very moving and the characters are also well chosen to suit the theme of the movie and complete it. Generally, the movie hits its target and accomplishes the objective it was meant to fulfill. It also means that I, personally, enjoyed the movie so much that I can gladly watch it once again with much enthusiasm as if I had not watched it before. An example of such a movie would be How to Train Your Dragon, a 2010 animated film directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders. The movie is about a young Viking name Hiccups who has great aspiration to hunt dragons, gets discouraged by his physical stature and a lack of strength. He, later, captures the fiercest of dragons, Night Fury, and learns that dragons are more than beasts people initially considered them to be. Hiccup, being the son to the chief of the Vikings, had to kill a dragon for his passage into manhood and thereby prove he is worth his tribe. 3D effects are very impressive. Technically, the animation is very proficient, and the script is witty and surprisingly insightful, yet, so intelligent. The visuals do not turn murky as in most animations, and no blurring is noted during swift motions. The film has a great storyline and an important teaching to the general viewers. It emphasizes on the family values and the importance of tolerance. The dragons had been understood by the Vikings as very destructive, vicious and dangerous intruders and, therefore, had to be destroyed completely (Anderson 25).
Hiccups bridge this gap of communication between the dragons and the Vikings making them understand the plight of the dragons rather than just destroy them. The film can be loved by anybody regardless of age. Children may see it just like any other adventure movie with scary and yet interesting creatures, but parents, on the other hand, would understand the various values the film communicates. The film follows the story of help coming from the most unlikely of sources; the outcast child saves the day and shows the right path to his former detractors. The film thus scores a straight 5 star in my ratings because I enjoyed it the most despite the fact that it was my youngest brother’s treat of the day.
Continuing on my rating scale, a 4 – star movie would be Troy, an epic movie directed by Wolfgang Petersen, an adaptation of the Homer’s great epic illustrating the fall of Troy under the assault of the united Greek forces. It follows the lives of the various star characters involved. The movie is powerful, very tense and well directed. It brings the ancient world to the comfort of your movie theater with great actors doing things so naturally. The story is as classic as illustrated by Homer’s ‘The Iliad’, which itself is a classic fiction landmark. The movie brings out the themes of love, betrayal, glory honor and bravery, which give it the classic touch. The film is action packed, the costumes well selected and the location for filming also very accurate. The movie is, therefore, very enjoyable and could have attained the highest rating save for some few pardonable mistakes committed by the director. The Greek warriors are seen approaching Troy in thousands of battle ships filing the horizon ready to battle just a handful of Trojan warriors and yet after a three day encounter, the beaches seem deserted, just a few of the Greeks remaining and not so many had been killed. But overall, the film was a great hit with a fantastic storyline, great characters and impressive costumes (Anderson 25).
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A 3–star movie would be moderately impressive but not very interesting for an individual who values his time. For instance, I would rate a movie like Hellraiser, a horror movie directed by Clive Baker. This film is based on Baker’s own novella, the Hell Bound Heart. The film opens to a chilling prologue in which a pervert Frank trots the globe in search of the ultimate sensual experience. He purchases a small box somewhere from a dealer. The box turns out to have a puzzle, which Frank solves thereby opening the door to a hellish alternate. The characters are exceptionally good. Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman and Clare Higgins do their best to save the reputations of the celebrated horror movie director, Clive Baker, but the poor plot put their efforts all in vain. The movie conveys the theme of family betrayal in a creepy manner. The film also gets comical, and the puppet monsters start to show up just like one would start feeling that the filmmakers ran out of ideas for the required special effects. The sex theme in the movie, too much gore and inappropriate language restricts it to only adults, and not so much can be talked about when the movie finally finishes (Ludwig 12).
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A film rated as a 2–star by my system would have storylines that are not valuable to many people. Not much can be learnt from the film itself, and the general objective of the movie is not achieved. For example, a film that was meant to be educative turns out to have no moral lessons to derive from it or even worse, a comedy film bores the individual watching it to the extent that you fell asleep. A movie I can rate this low is the likes of AI. AI is based on the 1969 short story by Brian Aldiss, Super Toys Last All Summer Long. The film is written and directed by Steven Spielberg and is drama and science fiction mostly. The film stars Haley Joel Osment as David who is a robot from the future. The polar ice caps have melted, and many coastal cities have been submerged, there is a worldwide starvation and people depend on robots for their help. The robot is made to feel the love of others, and he was created so as to replace the son of Henry, an employee of the company that created David. When the son recovers, they abandon David who sets out to become a real person who wishes to be loved by his real mother. The film is very complex and looks like some form of a messy concoction and, at some point, one gets lost in the storyline since one expects to meet a more of an alien robot who turns out to be actually a human (Anderson 25).
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A 1–star is simply the worst movie I have ever watched. I would rate a movie like Battlefield Earth as a 1–Star one. The movie is based on the novel that goes by the same name written by L. Ron Hubbard. The film stars John Travolta, Barry Pepper and Forest Whitaker. The script of this film is very poor, Travolta also acts so hammy, and conversations have so many inconsistencies. The film is one of the worst according to me as it runs one of the worst pictures ever. The characters do not match what they are expected to. Poor costume design, a boring storyline and an awful plot. This makes it the worst movie of all times. Not many people will waste their time trying to get anything out of this movie (Ludwig 12).
The film I have chosen to evaluate is Titanic 3D. The original movie was written and directed by James Cameron back in 1997 and has since been converted into 3D. The movie sees the great Titanic raised again after a hundred years after it sank, this also marks fifteen years after the movie won several accolades including Oscar Awards. The movie still retells the traditional maritime story of the historical tragedy, but now in 3D. The storyline is about the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic and it wrecking on 15th of April 1912. The release marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship after it hit an iceberg. In the story, it is 84 years later, and a very old woman named Rose tells a story to her granddaughter about her life as a teenager aboard a ship called Titanic. They boarded the ship with her mother Ruth DeWitt and her fiancée Caledron Hockley in the upper class. Jack who was a fine artist wins a third class ticked with his friend for the maiden voyage of the same ship. Rose had agreed to marry Cal after being forced by her impecunious mother. She feels so trapped with this condition that she decides to commit suicide but is saved by Jack before she jumps off the decks. Cal then invites Jack to dine in the first class where he suffers immensely from the attitude of his hosts. Jack then takes Rose to the third class for a dance that evening in return and gives her the best of nights. He also sketches Rose nude, and when Caledron learns of this, he has locked Jack in a cabin before the ship wrecks. Rose, therefore, has to find Jack and escape from Cal. Meanwhile, the ship, which was believed to be unsinkable, let in water and was sinking into the freezing water.
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This movie is stunning and utterly impressive; a great masterpiece from James Cameron. The storyline is great, the cast very fantastic and is very emotional. It also has some terrific visuals; the 3D conversion has made me feel part of the movie itself, the irony of the ship being unsinkable drives the storyline. The captain despite being warned of icebergs sets the ship at its top velocity and goes partying. Bruce Ismay who was the owner of the ship and Thomas Andrews are depicted conversing, and Ismay says, “But the ship can’t sink!”. Andrews opposes him and say,” She is made of iron, sir. I assure you, she can. And she will. It is a mathematical certainty.” According to my system, I gladly give it a 5 star rating in my scale. This is because the movie ranks so highly on the factors I consider in ranking the movies. These factors include; the storyline, plot of the movie, the characters, how realistic the movie is depending on its genre, the comedy or tragedy involved and the special effects that have been employed.
Titanic 3D has been rated by other individuals who are recognized in the movie critic industry. People like Roger Ebert who writes for Chicago Sun–Times gives it a 4 Star rating. He refers to the movie as a magnificent motion picture in his website. He finds the movie spell binding, especially, after the ship hits the Iceberg, the actions that lead to this occasion are also seen as a masterpiece by this credible individual. When we compare his rating with mine, they communicate the same thing though my scale is a bit higher, which may be due to personal taste about such genre of movies. He writes, ”James Cameron’s films have always been distinguished by ground braking technical excellence” (Ebert). In this comment, Ebert approves of how James Cameron sets the movie, state of the art designs and modeling work for the animations (Anderson 25).
There are some flaws in this film, and Ebert recognizes them, but had this to say, ” James Cameron’s film is not perfect. It has some flaws, but I hate the way film critics employ the word flaw” (Ebert). He proceeds to comment that,” We could say there are elements that could have been handled differently but we can begin with those that were superb just as they stand” (Ebert). Here, he acknowledges how fantastic is the movie generally, and is even defensive against other critics. The storyline is a fabulous one as it deviates from the monotonous one sided story of the ship hitting an iceberg and sinking killing many people. Ebert comments that, ”Cameron avoids the pitfall of telling the story everyone knows its ending, he uses the backdrop of stories about hubris, greed, and class conflicts” (Ebert). This shows how the director enhances suspense in the story despite the fact that many people are already well acquitted with the storyline (Ludwig 12).
Characters are also a great choice. In this case, Ebert writes that, ”The old and the young Rose provide a through line from the day the ship sets sail until the present day. She creates the psychological illusion that she is the heroine throughout, rescuing the film from a chronological timeline and providing an eye witness” (Ebert). He finds the cast very appropriate thus there are no flaws in the timeline of the film neither discrepancy in the actors’ ageing factor. Ann Hornaday who is a film critic for The Washington Post was also all praise for the film giving it a rating of 3 out of 4. She wrote,” Cameron stages the sinking with flawless sense of detail, pacing, import and dread” (Ann). She is utterly amazed how the film could be so striking all-round with very enhanced 3D technology, which is so vivid and looks so realistic like you are in the real scene where the filming occurred. The film took her by storm and swept her off her feet as it did in my case. She also states that:
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“Titanic was never spontaneous naturalism but finding ways to lead viewers through the 52-ton, 880-foot entirely of the Titanic, from the sumptuous state rooms and the grimly environs of the boiler rooms to the cramped bunks of steerage where Jack takes the aristocratic Rose for a wee drink and a romantic spin while Irish fiddles play” (Ann).
These she says in praise of the creativity of the film director who is able to create scenes that vividly portray the message he seeks to pass across. Here, I concur with Ann as it is evident that Cameron is able to make the rich really look rich in the film and peasants to look poor (Anderson 25).
Peter Travers who is a film critic for the Rolling Stone also was amazed at how a film could be so moving and rated it at 3.5 stars out of 4. He wrote that,” How is Titanic in 3D? The answer is pretty damn dazzling.” (Travers) The film is more dazzling than Travers could explain and I totally agree with him. Here, Travers was giving a general comment about the movie. He also proceeds to comment that, ”Titanic 3D is revelatory, not just for the scale it brings to the maritime disaster of an unsinkable ship but the hushed closeness it brings to the interplay between the characters. The 3D intensifies Titanic. You are there” (Travers). This shows how marveling film is in 3D. One feels to be a part of the movie despite the fact that he is just a minor viewer. The graphics are a masterpiece and helps in making the story so lively compared to other movies that have been done in 3D turning out to be the dullest of all movies (Ludwig 12).
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Alex Zane, a film critic for The Sun rates the movie at 5 out of 5. He finds the 3D version quite fantastic and thrilled, he even went ahead to recommend it to the new generation. He wrote,” the movie has to be watched on the big screen and will enchant a new generation of fans and is a – see 3D experience” (Zane). He feels the movie, a great piece of work from Cameron, just as the other critics and I feel too. He also wrote that, ”It is not difficult to understand the film’s success, Cameron pitched it as Romeo and Juliet and the Titanic, and it satisfied fans of romance and those looking for destruction on a scale never before seen on the big screen” (Zane). The life teachings from this movie is timeless and very straight forward. It contains the theme of everyday life smoothly intertwined to receive viewings from every walk of life. Zane agrees with this in his above comment thereby confirming what I felt myself.
Film rating is very important despite the fact that people’s tastes about movies are different and often subjective. What makes you like a movie may make me hate it, but I still find movie rating somehow important. In the comparisons about movie ratings as the one above, a nice movie like Titanic 3D will always be nice regardless of who reviews it. The ratings simply give an insight of what one should expect from the movie or to make a decision which movies to watch. A personal criterion is also another way of rating the movies though it has some elements of bias on what you like in a movie and not the general perception one would have. The critics also help the industry in certain ways like making people curious to watch a movie or making people indifferent about it.
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