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The 7 Sponge Rating Standard for Film Reviews


The details of this Rating System have been composed by Squid. This is a good thing, since he does the bulk of the Film Reviews at any rate.



One Sponge: Suppose that this movie is something your sweetie insists on seeing on a date. Well, my friend, a movie at this level represents legitimate reason to break up, whether you want to or not. Trust me, you don't want this person in your life. Or this movie. While I don't believe in censorship, I do believe that at this point, the director should be forced to do some sort of public penance. Like, picking up garbage on the side of the highway, or better, in the middle of the highway.



Two Sponges: You could grit your teeth and bear this movie, if, say, your friends were all watching it together. It might even bring you all closer together, in the same sense that being in an open boat for a week on the high seas would bring people closer together. This is not, however, enjoyable, and you need to know it. You should find some way of avoiding this film. This is why I recommend keeping a list of "Things To Do In Atlanta" handy for just such an occasion, so you can steer people away from this, in much the same sense that radio traffic reports steer people away from trouble.



Three Sponges: Unfortunately, so much Hollywood drivel falls into this category. It is a movie that does not have anything in particular to recommend it. If you find yourself pining for a particular star, you might enjoy it, if you can block out the rest of the movie. If you enjoy the director or some such art-school drivel, you will not enjoy it, because you will be wondering how your hero could have fallen so badly. It might work out for the best; you could contrast this piece to their other work, and the work that you were impressed with from the beginning will seem that much better, I suppose, but really at that level you're reaching. It's not worth the admission price, and it's not worth the ninety to one hundred twenty minutes of your life, you need to find an alternative, but it won't leave scars like the previous two grades could.



Four Sponges: Hey, not bad. If you were, say, the manager of the student lounge at the student activities center in a smallish liberal-arts college in Atlanta designed to emulate Corpus Christi College, and this had been the film scheduled to run on the big-screen projector on the night you were scheduled to work, you could sit quietly in the back and make out your schedule or just make out, and every now and then you'd find something enjoyable in this film, and you wouldn't really mind it running at all. You may not want to pay full admission price at the theater, but if you're bored and have a couple of hours to kill, you could rent this and even share it with friends. Or even the dollar-fifty theaters, that wouldn't be bad either.



Five Sponges: This should be the minimum of most of the movies you like, in the sense that if it came on cable you'd tape it. Here is something that you could conceivably plan an evening around. Better have good snacks, though. At this level, if it's a comedy, you and your friends might start making dumb references off it. If it's drama, you might walk away from it with a sense of listening to a decent story. You're not going to have a burning desire to see this movie, but compared to most of the menu that you might find at the video store, you might want to pick this one up as you're browsing; you might find something better, but you certainly won't go wrong here.



Six Sponges: This is the "zone". Here is where you feel that this is a well-spent evening; you don't mind shelling out seven-fifty to share this movie with your sweetie or your buddies. You will think back on this time and this film with a certain indefinable glow. Okay, maybe not, but you know that this movie was a positive experience for you. At this level, go ahead and start to find other work by the director and the writer, because this will expand your movie horizons into something positive and worthwhile. This is where I feel that people need to see this movie, that you will be missing out on something possibly beautiful or possibly moving or possibly hilarious or possibly profound. Here is where I will occasionally slip out of "Joe Six-Pack" mode; please pardon me.



Seven Sponges: Well, at this level, I must become an active proselytizer of the movie. I feel the need to compel people to see this movie, bodily dragging them to the theater if I need to. A movie that does this is very rare. We could take the original Star Wars as an example, or perhaps Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The danger of movies at this level is that they have attained such perfection that they run the risk of becoming overlooked as time goes on. That's a shame, because these are the movies that you need every so often just to get you through this life.



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