Empty Seats (2005 May 11)

One of the big recent movie-related news stories is the decline in box office receipts. This isn't a one-time thing; it's an ongoing situation that has been building not only for months, but for years, and it is beginning to concern both movie ...

STAR WARS Stars (2005 May 09)

For those who have written expressing weariness about my "endless" reminiscences about Star Wars, you'll be glad to hear that this isn't another one. (Thanks to the one person who enjoyed all the Star Wars stuff as "a break from [my] usual cynical ...

Damn Spoilers! (2005 May 08)

A couple of times each month, I receive an e-mail from an irate reader complaining that a recent review contained an unmarked spoiler. My response is always the same: when I believe that a review includes a significant spoiler, I place a warning on ...

REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005 May 06)

Time constraints don't permit me to go into great detail now about my opinion of the film. (Seeing four films and writing four reviews in less than 48 hours limits available time.) That's what the review is for, anyway. Suffice it to say that I ...

May 25, 1977 (2005 May 05)

Was that the date when you first saw Star Wars? For me, it wasn't. I'm fond of saying that I saw the film on "Opening Day," but "Opening Day" at the theater I attended was June 15 (the day Star Wars expanded to over 100 theaters). The official ...

Which STAR WARS? (2005 May 04)

Will the real Star Wars please stand up? When we speak of Star Wars, which version are we actually referring to? Thus far, there have been four distinct editions, with one or two more likely. Let me identify them individually:(1) The original ...

"Special" Features (2005 May 03)

Is there anyone who buys DVDs for the Special Features? I have often wondered that. Obviously, if there's a choice between a super-duper Special Deluxe Collector's Edition at $19.95 and a plain-vanilla version at $19.95, it's a no-brainer. I may ...

Enduring Popularity (2005 May 01)

I was recently asked if I had a theory about the enduring popularity of Star Wars. Why, some 28 years after the release of the first film, is Revenge of the Sith not only a lock to be the box office champ for its first week of release, but a ...

The Romantic Formula (2005 Apr 30)

Those who know me are aware that I'm a sucker for romances - as long as they are well-made and lacking in excessive sentimentality. Tear-jerkers like Ghost don't do anything for me. (I hate that film with an unholy passion.) But give me something ...

The STAR WARS Experience (2005 Apr 29)

Since I "converted" ReelThoughts into a more conventional blog (rather than just a convenient place to stick commentaries), I have been pretty good about posting something nearly every day. Next week, my resolve may falter, so I have decided to ...

The Dog Days (2005 Apr 28)

The term "dog days" originally referred to the morning rising of Sirius, the "Dog Star," but it might as well refer to the quality of movies that rise in multiplexes during August. Next to February, there is no worse month in which to be a movie-...

Summer Comes Early (2005 Apr 26)

Though the weather may still be warming, summer always comes early to movie theaters. This weekend in fact, with the opening of a couple of high-profile pictures: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (about which I am guardedly optimistic) and XXX: ...

Without a Dead Parrot (2005 Apr 24)

So is "Spamalot" a series of "Monty Python" skits interrupted by irreverent musical numbers? Or is it an irreverent musical interrupted by "Monty Python" skits? The answer will probably depend on what your perspective is. This "new musical ...

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 ...

Serialization? (2005 Apr 22)

I was a writer long before I began penning reviews, and I was a perfectionist long before I started writing. Perfectionism is good in science and engineering, but it's a terrible burden for a writer. Nothing is ever good enough. Re-writing becomes...

My Horse for a Kingdom (2005 Apr 21)

The summer movie season unofficially begins during the first weekend of May. That means that 2005's first warm-weather blockbuster will be Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven. (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was due to open the same weekend, but...

Fixing What's Broken (2005 Apr 20)

Can the ratings system be fixed? Perhaps, but only with radical action. Maybe not as radical as what I'm about to propose, but mere "tweaking" will not be enough. Out-of-the-box thinking is required, and there's not a lot of that in Hollywood. ...