A lot of what I do on this blog is book and movie reviews. Some of you might wonder what criteria I use when evaluating these things, so I'm setting them down here.
This is fairly simple to understand. This is where I summarize what the book/movie is about.
This is a Christian blog. I review books and movies with a Christian worldview in mind. That being said, if a book or movie is not Christian I don't automatically judge it by Christian standards. There are reasons for this (see 1 Corinthians 5:9-13). If a work is not Christian then I judge its worldview based on a set of objective logical standards. If it is logically coherent within itself and not inflammatory against my, or any other faith, then I will probably rate it favorably. If its logic is inherently inconsistent, or it speaks disrespectfully against another faith, I will not rate it well. I am a Christian, and I believe in Christianity objectively, but I also respect people of other faiths. I know that their faith is as important to them as mine is to me, and that anything that's disrespectful to another faith would hurt them, just as things that malign Christianity hurt me.
I am a huge comic book/ action movie fan. Violence doesn't bother me, as long as it's not gory or macabre. Things that make me want to throw up will not get a good review. So, the slow cutting off of body parts, or torture scenes don't do it for me. I am pretty queasy, so I try to keep that in mind when rating things.
Again, as a Christian, my views come in to play here. I believe in an objective set of moral standards, and I think, when it comes to morality, statistics back up my views on a healthy sexual relationship. I believe that sex should only be had between married, heterosexual couples. In my view all sexual sins carry the same amount of gravity, so I'm not singling any particular group out.
And now, my own personal preference comes into play. I don't like sexual displays in movies or books at all. I know that a case could be made for their necessity in some things, but I'm a Disney princess romance kind of girl. I don't like stories that are dripping with sexual tension, and something with a scene, even between a married couple, isn't gonna do it for me. I prefer things with a more innocent romance (i.e. Disney) that is just as (if not more so) moving than something with a grand sexual build up.
This is basically a review of how good the story line is. I look for clarity, and how engaging it is. It could be a perfectly decent story, but not really memorable or engaging to me, which would cause me to give it a bad review. This is one of those pretty subjective categories. There could be a boring story to me that someone else could find really amazing. I like to think that some things are objectively horrible or wonderful though.
This applies more to books than to movies, because I know next to nothing about movie making stuff. I judge this again, on clarity, but also on elegance and innovation. Vocabulary usage comes into play here, as does the author's description of setting, and other cool word play things. I think that a literary work should strive for beauty in composition, regardless of its subject (there could be exceptions to this rule).
This kind of is subjective again. I base this in whether or not I hated all the characters the whole time or not. I also try to gauge character development. I think that a story should follow the growth of a character, and if no character ever changes throughout the story, then I think there's something wrong. I also prefer positive character development, although some cool things have been done with negative character development.
This is one of my favorite parts. This is where the book's message and worldview can be analyzed philosophically. My Christian worldview comes in to play here once again and without apology. Because I view Christianity as a logically coherent worldview, I use it to make value judgments on the messages of books. Because of that I will probably dislike the messages of many classic works. I try to analyze themes logically and to test their coherency. Some people will probably agree with my assessments, some will not. That is the way life goes.
This is where I try to summarize and condense all the previous points into one conclusion. There should be no surprises here.