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Thursday, December 11, 2014

V.L. Jennings Movie Rating System

Your Ending Killed Your Story

 I  rate movies (and books) on an A- C scale. Sure Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble all may try to force me to use a five star system... but really- if you are unfortunate enough to need a one or two star well then I typically don't bother because numerous other people have probably already told you how awful it is and it wouldn't be kind of me to heap on extra helpings of shin kicking.

The same rating system that helps me review movies and books also helps me decide whether they are interesting enough to buy.


My husband and I share our ratings with each other after watching movie trailers, "That will be a B movie". Then after we see the movie we often compare how we would change our keep our rating.

I treat my potential reads the same way- though in this case I'll typically read the back of the book blurb and the first and last pages (I know... I'm odd).

So... Here's My Review Rating System



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We can just tell a C movie by watching the previews, if it doesn't look like it will interest us then we typically won't buy them until they are in the super cheap bin. If I somehow watch a C movie in the theater- yeah I really regret wasting the money.

If the book back copy, first and last page don't interest me then I don't typically pick up these sorts of books to read.

If the book gave me a hard time following the story line, it barely interested me, or was really formulaic then you will earn yourself a C.




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B movies I'd be much happier getting when they hit the stores- we might go see it in theaters if we have nothing else better to do.

These movies atleast strike our interest in previews.

If you manage to hold my interest, I can finish it, and it takes me on a fun journey without too many readability issues- then you earn yourself a B. I Typically don't read B books again, unless I am bored.

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'A' movies I WANT to watch in the movie theater and then also buy as soon as they hit the stores!


These are the movies that ROCK our socks off in previews!

These are the books that I can't put down, the ones that I want to read over and over again!






The most important thing about a book or movie?

The ending must be perfect for the story like- it is a make or break it, all or nothing experience! The ending should blow me away and leave me feeling satisfied.

See the thing is... when a book or movie starts out at as an A and then the ending totally doesn't 'do it for me' well, yeah, it sorta cuts the whole experience down a rating notch for me.

Am I the only one?

 Case in point.... the movie Pompeii.

I loved the movie! (Right up until the end.) 
It had everything I love about these types of movies, action, love interest, a bit of historical politics thrown in there, and a heart pounding destruction scene! One by one the characters get killed off- heck this is Pompeii, we all know what happens by now.

Right until the end- our main hero couple finally looks like they are going to get away! YAY! Then the horse bolts and they stand there to die. *groan*

I disliked that ending. However, the epicness of the movie was high enough that I didn't regret watching the movie. I probably won't buy it on DVD though. (Which is saying something because I happen to love collecting disaster/end of the world type movies. Because yes, I'm weird like that.)

As an author, bearing all this in mind, I see it as a major risk to go killing off your major characters at the end of the book when you have asked your readers (or in Pompeii's case- your viewers) to fall in love with them. If you are going to do so you better make sure the rest of the story is super, or that you left your readers with other favorite characters to keep loving in their dreams.

Walking Dead, for example, can get away with killing off the lovable Beth character simply because there are plenty of other characters that we will all show up next season for. Why? Because we love them too and want to watch their story play out.

The last book that disappointed me? Off the top of my head I'd have to say Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince- killing off Dumbledore almost made me not want to go back. I did, and I am glad I took that chance, but still- that was disturbing to sit with for an entire year. Risky J.K., risky!



Anyhow... what was the last movie or book you finished that started off as an A and then the ending just really left a sour taste in your mouth? Please share!

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