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A Proposal for the MPAA (2009 Jul 28)

It's no secret that I have been critical of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), the organization that doles out motion picture classifications (or ratings) to movies in the United States. My criticism comes on two fronts, both of which...

A Quick Word and What's to Come (2005 Apr 23)

No lengthy discourses today. A few random thoughts...On serializing The Price of the Crown... Thus far, I have gotten close to 100 e-mails, and about 98% are in favor of posting it. The others think I should avoid giving away what I might be able ...

A Reversal/Groundhog Day (2004 Feb 02)

Those of you who have stopped by this page before may notice a few changes as of the beginning of February. In addition to the pull-down menu bar (the first step in archiving "ReelThoughts" topics), I have "reversed" the text/background color ...

A Silver Lining (2007 Nov 27)

Let me begin by expressing the following (lest what follows be taken the wrong way): With respect to what's currently happening in Hollywood, my sympathies lie with the writers. With the exception of brain-dead movies like Transformers, it's ...

A Voice from Beyond the Grave (2014 Apr 04)

For the dead, death is a permanent state, its precise composition impossible to determine by anyone able to discuss it. What lies on the other side is something no one can assert with surety. We can believe, but that's another thing. For the living, ...

A Void in September (2010 Aug 17)

For all the benefits fatherhood brings, there are sacrifices as well. This September, for the first time in fourteen years, I will not be traveling north of the border the week after Labor Day. Since 1997, my summers have ended with a ritual that ...

Abbreviated Day-After Thoughts (2011 Feb 28)

As Meatloaf crooned, "Two out of three ain't bad." Or, to be precise, 13 out of 21 for 62%. My gambit of thinking a pro-The King's Speech surge would carry the film to wins in a number of the lesser categories didn't pay off, but it still won the ...

Ads for Ads (2005 Jun 26)

In the 1980s, I was a big Star Trek fan. Not the kind who would dress up as Spock to attend a convention, but one who had seen all of the episodes multiple times and could rattle off an alarming number of quotes. A few weeks before the much-...

Airtight? (2005 Oct 01)

Critics disagree with surprising frequency, highlighting the subjectivity of viewing films. I agree with Roger Ebert as often as I disagree with him. When you're dealing with opinions, that's the nature of the business. Roger has a greater ...

All the Best (Pictures) (2009 Oct 11)

When it comes to reviewing older movies, I'm at my best when some kind of "series" is involved. So, after completing my nostalgic journey through the '80s, which resulted in my watching about 90 movies and reviewing a little more than a third of ...

Alternate Energy (2009 Mar 26)

As has been widely reported, movie theater attendance is up about 10% in 2009 over a similar period in early 2008. A paradoxical aspect of this stat is that the spike in attendance comes at a time when excitement about films is at a low ebb. People...

An A/B Comparison (2008 Jan 16)

I normally don't write ReelThoughts columns on Wednesday, but I performed an "unintentional experiment" last night and I wanted to report on the results because they could be seen as contradicting a recommendation I made on Monday. Read on if you're...

An Expensive Doorstop or Paperweight (2008 Jan 14)

Like an improperly balanced see-saw, the high def industry is tilting toward Blu-Ray. It's happening in slow motion, but it is happening, and it's hard to imagine that any force can stop something possessing the momentum of inevitability. Paramount ...

Anatomy of Review (2007 May 20)

I'm occasionally asked if I have to be "inspired" in order to write a review. The simple answer is "no," but a little inspiration always helps. The sad truth is that when it comes to the motion picture industry, inspiration is in short supply. ...

Anatomy of a Blockbuster (2007 May 18)

Calling a movie a "blockbuster" attributes it with a special distinction. Traditionally, blockbusters aren't just successful motion pictures, they are mega-successful motion pictures. Once upon a time, a movie's gross had to cross the magic $100 ...

Anatomy of a Review (2006 Mar 20)

I frequently receive what I call "procedural questions." These are from readers who are interested in the nuts-and-bolts aspects of review writing. How long does it take to write a review? Do I write immediately after seeing a movie or do I wait a...

And Porn Shall Lead (2007 Feb 28)

Recently, it was reported that the porn industry has elected to "adopt" HD DVD as the format of choice for high def DVDs. This isn't precisely true - no such declaration was made and Blu-Ray has not been summarily rejected. However, from an ...