I’m not sure exactly when star ratings became so important to me—not as in putting them on The Stop Button, which I’ve always sort of not wanted to do at all. I wanted the site to be idealistic and let its readers decide for themselves whether or not I was recommending a film. I even got rid of star ratings for a couple years only to lose half the site’s traffic. Re-adding the star ratings never brought back that traffic. Thank goodness I run my blogs as “not profiting.” But at some point, probably in the late nineties, giving things star ratings all of a sudden meant a lot to me. Probably the more I got into film in high school? I just remember lengthy conversations in college about when a film shifts up to a star rating or shifts down to another one. At one point, in the early days of The Stop Button, I wanted to somehow track a film’s star rating throughout the film—like on a timeline. I always hated star ratings as a teenager, just because Roger Ebert turned them into a joke. Long before I found movielens, I had a spreadsheet setup to try to predict whether what star rating I’d give a film based on the Maltin guide. I gave up on it long before I started blogging. I don’t even know if The Stop Button has an accurate description of what’s recommended and what isn’t (anything under three stars isn’t recommended to general viewers). What’s so amazing about college is I did well, learned things, and still managed to have brain power to waste figuring out this kind of thing.