Scary Movies (2004 Oct 31)

Not everyone loves scary moves, but most people do. This isn't a new phenomenon, although the genre commonly referred to as "horror" has changed radically since our great-grandparents hunkered down in theater seats. This brief essay is not in any ...

The Review that Almost Wasn't (2004 Oct 26)

In each of the past few years, I have seen about 200 movies theatrically (with another 100+ per annum on DVD). Of these, I typically review about 150. (Last year, it was 171.) However, although the 75% "review rate" might be considered aggressive, ...

Halftime Report: The Top 10 (2004 Jul 09)

Generally speaking, no one talks about Top 10 lists until the November/December timeframe. While that makes sense for annual (January-December) lists, there's no reason not to take a snapshot of an evolving Top 10 list any time during the year, and ...

The Phantom Defense (2004 Jun 22)

It has become fashionable over the last five years to bash all things related to George Lucas in general, and The Phantom Menace in particular. Let me be the first to say that Lucas deserves a fair amount of criticism. He's not what one might call ...

Summer Preview (2004 Jun 20)

Since I posted my review of The Terminal, I have received numerous e-mails taking exception to the following comment: "The premise - that a man could live months of his life in an airport terminal - holds a certain fascination (especially for those ...

Whither ReelThoughts? (2004 May 30)

I have received a number of e-mails inquiring whether I have given up on ReelThoughts. The answer is "no," but, in terms of priorities, this column doesn't occupy a high space. With respect to the site, it's in third place, behind reviews of new ...

Two Kinds of Censorship (2004 May 12)

So the real question is: Is Michael Moore being censored? Is Disney's refusal to allow Miramax to distribute his Farenheit 9/11 a business decision or a politically motivated attempt to stamp out criticism of the Bush administration? The real ...

Down and Dirty (2004 Apr 30)

I briefly considered writing a "formal" review of Peter Biskind's Down and Dirty Pictures, but decided that I didn't want to officially branch out into book criticism. I'd rather be able to read things without thinking about how I'm going to present...

Overkill Bill (2004 Apr 29)

When it comes to studio greed, Kill Bill isn't the only example, but it's the most egregious one. Not only did Miramax have the effortery to break the movie into two pieces in an obvious attempt to collect twice as much money, but one look at their ...

TV Thoughts (2004 Apr 15)

There's a reason I don't review television shows - because I don't watch much TV. Part of it has to do with time constraints. I spend enough time sitting in movie theaters, traveling to and fro, and writing reviews that taking an hour off here and ...

April Foolishness (2004 Apr 06)

For me, April is one of the busiest months of the year. In addition to the usual early spring rush of movies, there are the opening of baseball season (when even followers of perennial losers try to watch as many games as possible) and a local film ...

Spring Fever (2004 Mar 23)

It's always this way for me during the closing days of March - I'm filled with an unfounded sense of optimism. You see, I'm a warm-weather person. My ideal weather is a cloudless, 85-degree day with high humidity. A summer with dozens of 90-plus ...

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...

Kevin Smith Strikes Back (2004 Mar 12)

Live and learn, I suppose. Relying on a quote from the book Down and Dirty Pictures proved to be a bad idea. The quote in question, found on page 204 and attributed to Kevin Smith, is as follows: "[The Brothers McMullen] had as much edge as vanilla...

Thoughts of Passion/Smith the Hypocrite (2004 Mar 06)

When it comes to The Passion of the Christ's box office performance, I was right and I was wrong. I correctly predicted that it would capture at least $100 million in its first 5 days, but missed when I said that repeat business was unlikely (too ...

Oscar the Grouch (2004 Mar 01)

Sadly, I was too tired at the end of last night's Oscar ceremony to launch into a full-scale tirade, disappointing a few readers who found my comments to be too kind. "Berardinelli has poured too much sugar on his sour grapes." (A Best Actress win ...

Pirates of the Cinema - Postscript (2004 Feb 29)

Initially, I had planned for this series to be three parts (plus the introduction). However, the volume of e-mails received about it, some of which raised interesting points, led me to append this final piece. Since this is essentially a response ...