Reviewing any sort of fictional narrative can be a difficult endeavor. There is no line between art and garbage. There is only perspective. A review therefore is only a reflection of one's own collected perspective. Different reviews will yield different results because of disparate perspectives.
I review fictional narratives (whether that be movies, TV, books, video game story lines) based on two questions. What happens next? Do I give a shit? These are two basic questions that can be applied to most anything that qualifies as entertainment.
How well those two questions are answered is my basis for a positive or a negative review. I'll throw an example out. In the case of The Proposal
, I know what is going to happen next because it is a Hollywood romantic comedy. It's predictable stuff at this point. I ended up liking the movie because I cared about the characters. Another example would be Inception
, which I loved, because I had no idea what was happening but I cared about what was going to happen next. On the negative side, there is Attack of the Clones
. I hated that movie for several reasons, but most importantly I knew what was going to ultimately happen, and I couldn't give a shit less because the acting, the characters, the directing, and the story were all rather poor.
These two simple questions could yield a hundred thousand different answers. It is not the basis for debate and discussion, as different questions will yield all sorts of angles for discussion. 'What happens next' and 'Do I give a shit' are my personal ways to come to an immediate conclusion on the impact of a narrative on me. Keeping those two questions in my mind has worked well as a measurement of how well I was engaged.