Friday, October 11, 2013

600TH POST! It's Love/Hate Time!

I am so happy to have hit this milestone. It's taken a lot of work, aided in part by the mass of screener DVDs I have received this year - seriously, I have over 40 sitting on a shelf in my bedroom, just waiting to be watched and reviewed.

I almost don't know where to begin, so I'll start with some site business first. On Tuesday, I added a quick site update, mainly to note that I would be attending an advanced screening of Carlo Carlei's new Romeo and Juliet, which comes out this week. I had a crisis at work, though, and had to cancel.

This is actually kinda fortunate, given the unflattering reviews.

I will have a new Movie Review Quickie up this month, and will try to complete two more for November and December. & I'll continue to write about posters each week until I have fully fleshed-out Question entries. My weekly Review with Others have returned from their September hiatus, but I've prepared several reviews for this site as well - some, of course, are for horror films, as is befitting for the month of October.

So back to the matter at hand: my last milestone post, for Net-flixation's 500th entry, was blessed. DJ's exceptional friend got us tickets to Marvel's employee screening for Iron Man 3 at NYC's premiere movie house, the Ziegfeld. I have no such pre-release gift to share with you today, so I will tell you what work I'm proudest of between #501 and #599, and then I'll talk a bit about the site.

It's been 5 months since that IM3 review, and it's actually not too hard to pick my favorites. If you ever wondered why I turn to poster critique as a break, just consider the amount of time and thought I put into most of the Question entries for which they are a substitute. Talking about bigotry issues in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom took a bit of effort, but I was rewarded by receiving more comments for it than I used to receive in a whole month.

And I was very happy to reveal some of my movie ethics regarding movie grades, as well as taking films to task for characters who ask for "a beer."

Yet I was equally-excited by the back and forth comments between DJ and I for my Question about Levine the Machine's breakdown at the end of Glen Garry Glen Ross. My post about Sharon Stone's skirt length in King Solomon's Mines was inspired by college-days conversations with a former acquaintance.

Speaking of DJ: he doesn't post here often, but his five entries over that time were all gems. His spoiler-free review of Upstream Color was fine, and his thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness had me in hysterics. He also wrote a follow-up to one of my Questions, and added several things that I overlooked. I really loved his post about the Hannibal TV series (as well as Lechter's place in movies and novels), and his entry on Redbelt was both incredibly smart, and had the joy of teaching me that Ed O'Neill is a martial arts master(!).

These past 100 have also seen me tackle a handful of truly excellent films. I was so happy to lose a few hours' pay to attend a screening of Short Term 12, I loved the incredible low-budget execution behind the indie scifi film, The History of Future Folk, The House I Live In was one of the most compelling documentaries I have ever seen, and N.A.S.A.: The Spirit of Apollo was sheer audio-visual bliss. I was also relieved that I could do justice to Peter Jackson's splatterfest, Braindead.

Some unusual things also happened to this Half a Film Student over that spell, too. For one, PR people and Man, I Love Films asked me to manage a contest for swag and tickets to ST12. It wasn't easy to write everything up on zero notice, much less receive the entries and pick a winner, but it's always a pleasure to promote a movie as fine as that one. I also got to contribute a list to Man, I Love Films, this one for last-act killer reveals; I still recall DJ asking me if I meant "killer" as a noun or an adjective.

And on the "pure fun" front, there were a lot of hits, too. The sight of Bill Murray's first skydive was majestic. Someone made posters for the fake movies mentioned on Seinfeld, Literal Trailers had me in stitches for their take on the IM3 trailer, and the Batman-Superman interplay by How It Should Have Ended was marvelous.

I should also highlight two Great Moments In... entries - the one for film assassination and the craziest phone call ever, courtesy of a foreign film.

I was very proud to give my third You Shoulda Been a Movie treatment to GTAIII, and my third Too Similar post for Alyssa Milano and Tamara Taylor.

I would also invite everyone to check out the four Recommended entries that went up in September, as each of those are fine TV series that are deserving of your time. Even more, though, I would ask anyone who texts too much to check out Werner Herzog's chilling/sobering PSA on the consequences of texting-while-driving. Unlike so many things that go up here, it's 30 minutes of something that is genuinely important.

It's been written here several times: I chose to blog about movies because I can always talk about it, there's a lot to say and cover, and... the scenery changes. While I work on other things, discussing movies here is the equivalent of a 30-40 minute drive to clear one's head. I love stories, and that includes the kind of stories told by good movies.

There are so many odd adventures I've experienced through a director's lens. Sometimes a movie has so many subtle themes or aspects that they slip past you. Other times, you notice these things with ease. Or you start laughing at unintended things, like how many times people scream "Frodo!" in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Settle for the fallingdown supercut instead, please.

You can ride off the vicarious buzz of two leads falling in love. You watch something as bad as Street Fighter, which leaves you and your best friend are leaning against each other since you're laughing too hard to sit up straight. Or you can walk out of Breaking the Waves and try to console a sobbing date.

Movies can remind you of a relative, because X picture was their favorite. You might see a scene where a kid's pet dies, and you tear up thinking about your own fallen companions. As a person who grew up in dangerous neighborhoods, I love seeing horror films, as gun violence, knives and murder are much better on the big screen than in real life.

And this is all before we get to the complicated wonderment of Jacques Tati's Playtime, the steady dystopian insanity of Clockwork Orange, the terrifying adrenaline rush of Aliens, the spiraling lunacy of Hour of the Wolf, or Raiders, The Lost Boys, Tango & Cash, The Naked Gun, Heathers, Philadelphia, Drunken Master II...

I love the idea that there's this complex, almost unwieldy intersection of art, craft, entertainment, education (via documentaries) and that it can be further populated with sentiment and the unpredictable ups and downs of the shared experience with your peers... Simply put: how f--king cool is that?

And, of course, there are things about all this that I hate. I hate that I can take so much time to write what should be a simple post. I hate the "franchise" mentality that's been gaining strength like some cinematic enemy slowly conquering the Earth. I hate hearing that some small cult (or foreign) film is being remade for the dull, mouth-breathing masses. I hate when I feel like most of the posts I invest my time in are... as good to others as no post at all. I hate when my sister-in-law tells me that every kids' movie is a loud, whiz-bang thrill-ride. I hate everything but the photographic sensibilities of Michael Bay.

Well, that brings us to the end of what is, for this site, the equivalent of a clipshow episode. I am sticking to my four-per-week posting schedule (site updates and this entry don't count, by the way) until the end of the year. After that, I suspect I will need a bit of a blogcation, but nothing is certain yet.

I hope you've liked what I've written over the last 5 months, and I trust you'll stay with me. Do me a favor and drop me a comment every now and then, whether your own thoughts are in agreement or disagreement with my own. If nothing else, I really hope you read my forthcoming review for Looper - I promised to get to it after I saw it in the theater last year, and I think I found the perfect way to cover Rian Johnson's incredible original story...

Friends and strangers, whichever you may, I thank you!



  1. Congratuwelldone dude! I'm so jealous. I have like no brain cells for writing posts. Well keep writing and posting funny videos :D

    1. Thanks, you wonderful woman, you! I think you have plenty of great posts coming up, you just don't have the time to write them out! booo!

      That's why I write ahead...

  2. Congrats on your 600th post, and thanks for the kind words for my miniscule contribution to the last 100...

    1. Hey, man, your posts have only been miniscule in their number - in their quality, they've been superb! No need for modesty here - you are an excellent writer...


Chime in!