The Post-Oscar Hangover, 2012 Edition (2012 Feb 27)

This year, I tried to remain upbeat about the Oscars, abandoning at least some of my natural cynicism. Many of my contentions have not changed, however. The Oscar-cast remains too long. My attention span for an awards show of this nature is about 2 1...

Beat Berardinelli 2012 Edition (2012 Feb 17)

There's a dual purpose to this post: to provide my Oscar picks and to introduce a contest that will allow someone to win a fabulous prize for doing a better job than me. I don't consider myself an expert Oscar prognosticator; I average around 67% ...

Don't Worry, Be Happy (2012 Feb 07)

Once upon a time, I too bristled with indignation when a film or performance I believed to be deserving was snubbed by those blind bastards who select the Oscar nominations. How dare they ignore the great and worthy performance of William Shatner in ...

By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2) (2012 Jan 31)

Here's a link to Part One, in which I discussed two of the three most common complaints about George Lucas. Part Two picks up with some comments about the third "sore spot."Finally, there's the whole merchandising situation. In some circles, Lucas ...

By George! Defending Lucas (Part 1) (2012 Jan 22)

Note: This was originally designed to be a single post but, by the time I finished writing it, I realized it was too long to be reasonably read in one sitting. So I'm splitting it into two pieces. Part two will be posted in about one week.By now, I...

When a Monster Makes Art (2012 Jan 11)

For many years, I have read the writings of Philadelphia Daily News baseball columnist Bill Conlin. For as long as I have followed the Phillies, Conlin has been there, first as a beat writer then as a featured columnist. He wrote about sports in ...

Rewinding 2011: The Top 10 (2011 Dec 31)

Why does someone like me, an avowed list-hater, go through the process of developing a Top 10 list every year? (Not to mention a Personal Top 100, mid-year Top 10s, and Bottom 10s?) This is the 20th consecutive year I have engaged in the exercise ...

Rewinding 2011: 10 Memorable Performances (2011 Dec 29)

What constitutes a great performance? It's an interesting question that should be addressed when one considers best/favorite performances of any year (or other period). For me, a good performance is when an actor/actress does his/her job with aplomb...

Rewinding 2011: The Death of "Film" (2011 Dec 27)

Many times when writing a year-end summary, it's easy to spot the "big" story of the year. On the surface, that's not the case with 2011. By all accounts, at least based on the movies that made it to the screens, this was a very ordinary year, made ...

At What Price Entertainment? (2011 Dec 14)

How much do you pay to see a movie?At one time, "the cinema" was viewed as one of the most economical forms of entertainment. My grandfather told of times when he could get into a Saturday matinee double feature for a nickel. (Okay, so a nickel was ...

The Self-Serving Column (2011 Dec 06)

Initially, this ReelThought was going to be about the insane, must-be-first mindset that is driving film critics' groups to announce their end-of-the-year awards before they have seen the entire roster of 2011 films. It's the same mentality that is ...

The 2011 Turkeys (2011 Nov 30)

Every year, I feel less confident about calling my roster of the worst movies, a "Bottom 10" list. The reason is simple - there are a lot of terrible films I intentionally miss. By all accounts, two of 2011's most abysmal are Bucky Larson: Born to ...

A Few of My Favorite Things (2011 Nov 20)

It is said we re-invent ourselves every seven years. I don't know if that's true or not, but the objects of my childhood and teenage passions are not necessarily the things that occupy my thoughts today. This inconstancy explains better than anything...

The Porn Analogy (2011 Nov 10)

I'm about to make a connection between porn and film criticism... and it has nothing to do with the boobs, pussies, and asses in both areas.When I started reviewing movies in 1992, making money was the farthest thing from my mind. Calling it an ...

A Good Scare (2011 Oct 31)

As FDR famously declared, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." To that end, we have an entire holiday dedicated to the experience. Haunted houses, once the province of local impresarios who gathered a few friends and opened an amateur ...

The DVD Collector's Lament (2011 Oct 21)

I have amassed what I consider to be a respectable DVD & Blu-Ray collection: about 1300 movie titles and a fair number of TV shows (although not nearly as many). A few years ago, when I moved into my current house, I thought that by the end of 2011, ...

The Anti-Social Network (2011 Oct 11)

My first encounter with the Internet occurred in September 1985. When I started in the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, I was given something called an "e-mail address." Despite being a card-carrying geek, I ...