ReelThoughts: February 17, 2006

"No Longer the Largest Non-Commercial Site on the Net"

Commentary by James Berardinelli


The naked Oscar nominees will have to wait a day or two, but I will get to them.

First, however, it's necessary to inform everyone that I have decided to go commercial - sort of. No banner ads or pop-ups; just a couple of text links. But they are paid for, so the "non commercial" designation has to go. The contract should be signed this weeked with the links prominently displayed on Monday. Never fear - clicking on the links will not send you to Big Al's Adult Toy Emporium. The sites are reputible - IGN FilmForce and Rotten Tomatoes. Since some of you probably arrived at ReelViews via Rotten Tomatoes, there's a certain symmetry to this.

Of course, this opens the door to other ads being "permitted," but I don't plan to run out and solicit - at least not right away. If it gets to the point where I need income from ReelViews to be able to continue reviewing, then there will be more ads (but never so many that they damage the usefulness of the site). The IGN deal is one I can live with, and the links go to quality sites. If you have never visited Rotten Tomatoes, don't even wait for the link - go there now (www.rottentomatoes.com).

Not Screened for Critics

The number of films being dumped into theaters without advance screenings is growing at an alarming rate. Thus far this year, the list includes Grandma's Boy, Hostel, Underworld: Evolution, and When a Stranger Calls. I made the mistake of seeing all of those, and not really enjoying any of them. (Bloodrayne was also not screened, but I skipped that one.) So I have made a resolution of sorts: unless it's something I really want to see, I will no longer subject myself to movies without advance screenings. And there are a lot on the way.

This weekend, Date Movie is being regurgitated into theaters. Next weekend, there's Madea's Family Reunion and Doogal. Rumor has it that there may not be screenings for Ultraviolet, either. (May see that one anyway.) By missing many of these films, I might be skipping something I would enjoy. I acknowledge that to be a possibility. But it's not a likelihood. And it will give me time to stockpile a few more DVD reviews that I will need to have in reserve when I re-open Video Views.

The fact is that I can't review every new movie. There's not enough time. So skipping these potentially marginal candidates represents a good first level of filtering. (The second level involves missing films that open in undesirable locations.)

Now, on to the naked ladies. I promise.


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