TIFF #2: Controversy's Groom (2009 Sep 11)

September 11. The ghosts of years and festivals past. Last year, due to the early coming of Labor Day, I was home before the anniversary - the first time that happened since 2001. This year, the festival is just getting underway. It's difficult ...

TIFF #1: The Leaves of Fall (2009 Sep 10)

Summer is over. The kids are back in school. The nights are getting longer, the days shorter. Baseball is moving inexorably toward the playoffs; football season has begun. Heat is escaping from the northern hemisphere like air through the slow ...

Wrapping Up the 1980s (2009 Sep 03)

After spending more than a half-year wading through memories, recollections, and movies from the period of 1980 through 1989, I have had an opportunity to take a new look at an old decade. Personally, it represented my coming of age - I grew up ...

I Hate Vampires (2009 Aug 30)

For nearly a century after the publication of Bram Stoker's classic novel, the term "vampire" was synonymous with the name "Dracula." The only vampires anyone remembers from the '20s (Schreck), '30s (Lugosi), and '50s (Lee) were Draculas (although, ...

Black and White (2009 Aug 20)

Originally, this week's ReelThoughts was going to be about how the practical length of human immortality is about 175 years. Or why I hate vampires. But an issue about which I have a perspective has leapt to some prominence in the so-called "...

1989 (2009 Aug 12)

If 1988 was lacking in earthshaking current events, 1989 more than made up for it. The first major international news story began percolating in late April; at that time, most of the news outlets either ignored it or relegated it to a back-page item...

Summer Breeze (2009 Aug 06)

As temperatures are finally starting to warm up in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, the domestic box office is cooling down. After a record-setting spring, multiplexes saw attendance take a dip - and not into the pool - during the ...

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...

1988 (2009 Jul 20)

1988 was a strange year for me - one in which I felt dissociated from the world at large. In the pre-Internet era, it was necessary to seek out news by turning on the television, listening to the radio, or reading the newspaper. For the most part, ...

Out of Touch (2009 Jul 15)

There's a growing sentiment in some corners of the blogosphere that, because the majority of the critical community disliked Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, we are "out of touch." Really? What does that mean? As Roger Ebert noted, "It's not a...

Where the Links Are (2009 Jul 10)

How the Web has changed in just a few years…I have noticed that e-mail is fast becoming passé. It takes some remembering to recall when it was the newest, hottest thing in communication. Now, it's often viewed as a step up from the telegraph. ...

The Halftime Top 10 (2009 Jul 07)

Recently, a friend asked me if I was going to provide a mid-year Top 10 list as has been my habit in recent years. "After all," he remarked, "Can you even find ten films worth being on the list?" A good point, although anyone who has seen ten or ...

1987 (2009 Jul 03)

If I was going to choose a year in which I became more than a casual movie-goer, it would be 1987. My total that year, when combining theatrical and home video titles, came in around 100 - far more than in any previous year. In the past, my bread-...

Berardinelli's Top 100 (2009 Jun 25)

From time-to-time, I receive e-mail requests about where to find the Top 100, so I thought this was as good a time as any to create a special page devoted to the list, which I originally generated in late 2001 and posted over 100 weeks during 2002 ...

Let's Get Digital (2009 Jun 20)

Analog television is now dead, gone the way of the sabertooth tiger and the dodo. From a purely practical perspective, this doesn't impact me. The two television sets I use for watching TV programming are connected to cable; I haven't used an ...

Say "Cheese!" (2009 Jun 15)

Paparazzi are almost universally despised, and with good reason. The most aggressive of them tend to be an arrogant, opportunistic bunch who enjoy squashing the right to privacy of others by hiding beneath the cloak of "freedom of the press." There...

1986 (2009 Jun 09)

My memories of 1986 are not much about movies, although it can't be said that I avoided multiplexes during the course of the year. Rather, when I gaze back through the mists of time, other things dominate my thoughts about the year when I ...