Time to fill in some blanks about this place:
Who The Hell Are YOU?
Who? Me? I'm nobody. For some biographical information, go to the right (for all the good it'll do you). I've loved movies ever since I was a dirty rotten little whelp, but it wasn't until I saw 2001 on my thirteenth birthday (and couldn't make heads or tails of it!!) that I've actually been studying film. Lately, prices have been going up, and with home-video and so many cheap alternatives to going to the theater, it just seemed like the right time to say "This movie you won't miss anything watching at home, but THIS movie you should see in a theater."
You can tell from my bio that I've done some post-production work in my career, so the process isn't some "dream factory" concept to me. It's hard work and long hours. That's something I keep in mind writing reviews. But that "sense of wonder" I look for, too.
2010 Update: Right now in the Pacific Northwest where I'm writing from (Seattle is, supposedly, the #7 movie city in the U.S.--eh?) a Full-Price Ticket is $10.50. Matinees are $8.00. With Net-Flix and instant Internet access breathing down their necks (and the cost of gas fluctuating)--you'd think they might want to be more competitive. But why would they, when Avatar made two billion bucks by increasing "all-the-bells-and-whistles" tickets (including 3-D and fraudulently billed IMAX-size) to $14.50 (There still is a sucker born every minute) Meanwhile, in Seattle, you can still buy an evening movie ticket for $5, if you look in the right places.
Why Another Movie Blog?
I'm asking that myself! Next question--
When Does This Thing Get Updated?
There's no set-in-stone schedule. It gets updated when new things appear. I hate deadlines, and there are times I need to "digest" a movie before I write something about it that satisfies me.
2010 Update: There's still no "Set in Stone Sked" (or "Shed" for our British readers). But Sundays are "Don't Make a Scene" Days, where we look at one specific movie scene that resonates. Reviews are generally posted Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays, while Saturday has become the de-facto "Take Out the Trash" day, where a particularly critical review gets posted. But, I want this thing to be flexible enough that I can change things around at a moment's notice. Rarely will there be more than one entry a day (although it's been known to happen in the past!), and if I see a relatively new movie over a weekend, chances are good that a review of it will show up in one of the open spots on Monday or Wednesday morning. Because a lot of work goes into "Don't Make a Scene" every Sunday I prefer to let that be front-and-center for a couple of days. A new movie review, though, can take precedence.
What if I want a review for something that hasn't opened yet?
Tough noogies, I guess. Until I can cadge previews, you'll see things when I do--maybe sooner! We'll work on that this year.
How do I find a movie I'm looking for?
I should have called on you first, Miss Dickerson. There's a link to another blog "The Index," which has all the films listed in alphabetical order (I ignore "A's" and "The's" in the titles), and they have links directly to those entries on this blog. You can also use the "Search" feature--the films have a limited "Label" base to look for (Years, Directors, Titles, Major Stars). Don't be disappointed if you don't find what you're looking for, though. We're just getting started.
And I STILL haven't found what I'M looking for.....
Some of these reviews are really LONG. Some are really short! What gives?
The Long ones--with the posters on the LEFT<--those are for new films. The reviews are new and take a look at the film in some depth. The short ones--with the posters on the RIGHT-->they're reviews of films on video, and capsule summaries. They also don't have the "Full-Price/Matinee/Rental" designation the longer ones do. If there's enough of a demand, I'll put them in, but I figure since these things are on video anyway it nullifies the designation a bit.
Basically, with the exception of the newest films, all the reviews are cobbled from a blog I started a couple of years ago called "An Unpublished Life is Not Worth Living." They came from a variety of sources and formats--that's why some reviews look different from others. There's been some experimentation with color--that sort of thing. Sorry if it's confusing.
Got any Top Ten lists?
I don't really "do" top ten lists. I don't like them much. There IS something I did from the old blog called "Anytime Movies" which is a series of films that turn me into a drooling movie-watching zombie who doesn't have the sense to turn them off any time they're on. There were ten of those. Well, actually eleven. There are also essays about some subjects of film whenever the fancy strikes me. There are a couple of movie-related "personal heroes" themes I've written. There's also a series (though since only one's been written, that's a bit of a misnomer!) called "Missed It By That Much!"--a look at films that were almost classics. Also, you'll find a bunch of films bunched in an on-going director series called "Now I've seen Everything!" that looks over a director's entire career touching briefly on each film. There's one on Kubrick, Lucas, Spielberg, Hitchcock, Clint Eastwood, James L. Brooks, Tim Burton, the Coen Brothers, and "the Bond's" and we're tackling Spike Lee, James Cameron, and even Martin Scorsese's career in the coming months...or years. There's other fun things we'll do, too--look at trailers and posters for up-coming movies. I'll even take requests.
What's Your favorite film?
That would be answered in the "Anytime Movies" series.
What's Your Least Favorite Film?
How to choose? For a look at what I thought were "Cable-watchers" last year, which is really low, check out the 2007 in Review--it's a bit varied. I think the lowest for me in awhile have been Hollywoodland, Shoot 'em Up, Planet Terror, and The Spirit, which gives you some idea of my tastes. I like my entertainment to have a brain in its head, rather than bullets in the clip.
Where'd You Get That Weird Name For This Place?
I'd solicited ideas from friends and readers, and I got quite a few (that will be a column some time). Every few days I want to change it to my runner-up--"Looking For Ponies," as in "Getting a pile of manure and optimistically searching through it, saying 'There's gotta be a pony in here, somewhere!'" which is as good a metaphor for writing about films as I've ever heard, if a trifle negative.
But I was at a birthday party where the conversation was fast and lively, and somebody brought up movies, and the Hostess (Olaiya Land) sank in her chair and sighed "Let's not talk about movies!" And so, contrarily, we did. It dominated the evening to an alarming degree. We all love movies. We all have our favorites, and our Golden Turkeys. We've all been dazzled by the flickering blue light, and occasionally wondered why we bothered. It's a Ribbon of Dreams going at 24 frames per second, 30 if it's HD-video projection--a simulation of life, blurred photographs that take advantage of a property of the eye--we very briefly retain an image flashed on our corneas--to present the illusion of movement, when it's actually a fast-moving collection of stills. Moving Pictures.
We've all made movies in our heads, maybe written a screenplay, replaced dialog or said it along with the film. We've all admired the Stars, even though we know it's all a crock and they're nothing like that in real life. We watch the Oscars in disgust...year after year after year.
We talk about movies, and we do it all the time.
That's why the title. You can't judge a book, or a movie by it, though.
2010 Update: When I started this blog, I had two co-horts whose contributions I valued, even though I might have disagreed with them. If you've been reading the by-lines you know that they've not been contributing lately for reasons that are their own. No fights, no behind-the-scenes wrangling—they're always welcome back—it's more of a life-style choice for both of them for different reasons and I respect and sympathize with them. I've been nudging friends who've seen a movie or two to write and contribute, but no takers—although submissions are welcome (but subject to editing).
If you want to contribute, the e-mail address is prominently displayed in the right margin along with a nice shot of Jimmy Stewart from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. That's the place to send all correspondence.
- It's a simple matter to put the highly decorative (and informative) "Let's Not Talk About Movies" "blidget" on your web-site. Just follow the link in the upper right hand corner under the top photo and follow the instructions. It's easy, it's fun and it's free. And so rewarding.
- You can "Follow" us on Face-Book, too. I'm actually surprised who does that, and currently there is no single concentration of "Followers" for the application posting it to track. I find that comforting.
- What's with that picture in the upper-right, anyway? It's just something film related that struck a chord with me. It might be a celebration of a recently passed film-person (I hate writing obits). It might be funny, or heart-warming or be a memory-stirrer. It very well might be an Easter-Egg with a link to something special. It's a whim. Go with it.
2012 Update: And so we poke along. A couple years ago, I joined The Large Association of Movie Blogs (which is, naturally enough, a large association of movie blogs) and every once in awhile, I participate in a meme or blogathon with other workers in the field on some project that looks at a director, star or theme. I still have the greatest enthusiasm for the mission, but time is short, so's life, so sometimes the space goes empty. 2012 looks to be an exciting year for movies, though, so I'll keep plugging away. Thanks to all the Followers of the blog, whether through Blogger (91, so far) or Facebook (95). There's plenty of room in the auditorium, and I appreciate the support very much.