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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 ...

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...

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...

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 ...

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 ...

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-...

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 ...

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 ...

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 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 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 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 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 Perk (2008 Jun 30)

"I don't get no respect." That's how Rodney Dangerfield put it. And that's how Internet critics sometimes feel. I occasionally write about how slow Hollywood is to recognize cultural shifts and a failure to acknowledging the growing importance of ...

A New Philosophy (2004 Mar 14)

A few weeks ago, after seeing both Welcome to Mooseport and Eurotrip during the same week, I came to a conclusion: it is time to change the philosophy I use in determining which movies to review. I wasn't particularly interested in either film, yet...

A Milestone Passed (2005 Sep 29)

Festival decompression is over. The major problem with going to a festival is that, after non-stop movie-going and writing for eight days, laziness asserts itself. I need a period of limited movie-going and minimal writing. That period has come to...

A Long Time Ago... (2007 May 29)

So, what was I doing on May 25, 1977? Frankly, I have no idea. The date is unmemorable to me. If it was warm out, I was probably skateboarding. If it was raining, I was probably curled up in a chair reading. Or maybe I was unpacking boxes (we had ...