Monday, January 16, 2017

And Another Thing...

For the past few years, I have faced a dreadful conundrum: How can I reconcile my love of reviewing movies with my desire to work in the movie industry? Critics aren’t exactly beloved in Hollywood, and for good reason. So, as my life progresses, I’ve come to a decision that will affect major changes on this blog’s content, though not – I hope – its quality.

I’m going to stop reviewing current movies.

Well, mostly. We’ll still be covering certain modern releases on my podcast, Scream 101. And if something really strikes my fancy like a La La Land or a Mad Max: Fury Road, I’ll be compelled to jot down a few words. But it’s a futile exercise for me to pan the work of other people also trying to make it in the industry. That’s just not fair.

That doesn’t mean my blog will become all sunshine and rainbows. Hell, no. I’m still the opinionated crackpot I’ve always been, but those opinions will be relegated to more retro films and nothing before – let’s say – 2010 or so. I won’t be touching the reviews I’ve already written, but henceforward the current release posts will be few and far between. Although I'll probably have monthly updates on what's good in theaters (hint: not The Bye Bye Man). And that doesn’t mean you still won’t be getting a whopper of an end-of-the-year list.

This is actually very exciting for me. I’ll be able to enjoy movies in the theater without feeling obligated to take notes. And that will open up the pages of this blog to new features I’ve been itching to try out, like director retrospectives, the unclogging of Census Bloodbath, and maybe – just maybe - the successful return of Fright Flashback.

Again, thank you for bearing with me during this transitional period. If you want to continue reading my thoughts on contemporary releases, only with much more brevity, please feel free to follow my exploits on Letterboxd.
Word Count: 331


  1. Interesting tack to take; I don't begrudge you it, and (obviously) I wish you all the success in the industry, though I'll miss your take on new flicks.

    I've had whole months where I've only done one new release (technically, March 2016 had none--I did Pixels, which was pretty far from a "new release" at that point).

    For me, it's often harder to write about older movies than newer ones, because they've often been covered so thoroughly, and (more importantly still) because when I write about older movies, I feel like I'm implying that I have some sort of scholarly authority that I only sometimes have, and I feel like I'm not doing it right if I don't watch two or three other movies in order to put, say, Orca: the Killer Whale, into its context (in that case, the context being "Jaws rip-offs").

    Also, something like 80% of my real traffic is new releases, and virtually nobody but me gives the first crap about what I have to say about (again, e.g.) Orca: The Killer Whale--and especially when it seems like I have all day to say it, in fairness to all the readers who skipped over it. Of course, I do say "real traffic," because, for some reason, Russian bots appear to truly love sci-fi movies from the 1950s. Maybe it's some kind of affinity thing.

    Meanwhile, Moana gets eyes--like, legitimate numbers (and actual human beings). And I'm happy to say I almost certainly squandered all my new readers by ramping down as a wintry depression and general distraction descended upon me, whereupon my output went from "almost competing with Tim Brayton, when Tim Brayton was spending fifty hours a week doing graduate work," to "one suspects the reviewer has actually died--no, wait! here's another review of another stupid Conan movie, nine days later."

    ANYway, I am looking forward to a renewed Census Bloodbath push.

    P.S.: you were asking around about old-fashioned musicals the other day. Well, I'll tell you what not to watch, and that's Carousel. Total. Garbage.

    1. Yeah, it was definitely a tough decision to make. It would be tougher if I was actually getting any money off this thing, but as it stands I'll just have to live with being a niche blog for a while.

      And hey, those Conan reviews are gold, man.