The Rating System

The main idea of this blog is to provide a closer look at all the different not-American Westerns out there – these “Unamerican Westerns”, as I tend to call them. Some movies I might recommend – others I would suggest avoiding at all cost.

However, I tend to hesitate when it comes to rating things, as a rating is always inherently subjective. Sometimes a movie may be inherently flawed, but still worth watching if you enjoy a “so-bad-it’s-good” experience. Some movies may be decently shot on a technically level, but offer a storyline so reprehensible it’s hardly tolerable to watch. And others may just be plain boring – bad on such a level that it’s hard to extract any enjoyment out of them, even from an ironic point of view.

While it is technically easy to say what constitutes a “good” movie, it is harder to tell what any individual viewer might call an “enjoyable” movie. Also, whether I find a particular movie watchable or not might also depend strongly on my personal mood. So, instead of simply handing out numbers or stars, I have decided to try and rate the movies according to three categories.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  • “The Good” is easiest to explain: The movie has a solid script, it is well directed, the actors put up a good performance, it has a great and memorable score. Yes, what may or may not be “good” is sometimes still up for debate, but whenever I’m positive that the common consensus would agree, the movie would be leaning stronger to this category.
  • “The Bad” is not quite as easily explained. Sometimes a movie can be so bad, it turns out to be unintentionally hilarious. Not everyone enjoys these types of movies, though. Also, there are different types of bad: It might be bad, but well-intentioned. Or bad in a technical sense, with boom mics and support beams of the scenery visible in every other shot. Or the worst kind of offender: Bad, in that it is so inherently boring that even watching a tumbleweed blow through the desert may be more entertaining. These type of movies would be in the outermost region of the “Bad” categroy, as far away from “The Good” as possibly imaginable.
  • Finally, there’s “The Ugly”, arguably the hardest category to pin down. These movies may be technically well shot, directed or acted, but are actively doing something that makes them hard to watch; an exuberant overreliance on pointless sex and violence might be one example. Movies that tend to fall into that category are usually exploitative in one way or another. That doesn’t make them bad, but they are definitely not well-suited for every audience.

The worst type of offenders lie at the intersection of Bad and Ugly, as far opposite “The Good” as possible. These would be the type of movies I would find utterly unwatchable.

Of course, as any rating system does, this one is also purely subjective and hinges strongly on my personal tastes. So if you disagree, that is your fair right.