The 2011 Nudity Column (2011 Apr 14)

It's not that there isn't nudity in films any more. Quite the contrary; approximately 50% of R-rated movies on average have toplessness, bottomlessness, or something in between. What's different in the '10s is that it's rare for one of the leads to ...

Movies, By Any Other Name (2011 Apr 01)

"James, you take movies too seriously." Those words (or ones nearly like them) were spoken to me 24 years ago by my college girlfriend, Tracie. They were true then and, if anything, they are truer today. Ironically, her theatrical experience (among ...

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 ...

Superbowl for Women (2011 Feb 26)

The first time I watched an Oscar telecast was during the mid-1970s. I don't remember much about it since it started around my bedtime and finished long after I had drifted off. 35 years ago, the Academy Awards were a different sort of program. To ...

The Time Waster (2011 Feb 05)

You could consider this a product review of Apple's iPad. Kind of.I received an iPad as a Christmas gift, so I have had more than a month to put it through its paces and, while I won't claim to have truly plumbed its depths, I have used it for a ...

Real Thoughts (2011 Jan 31)

"Dear Mr. Berardinelli, I have been reading your site for many years now and enjoy your reviews and reelthoughts. Actually, I like the reelthoughts better so that's what I'm writing about. I noticed you aren't writing them as often as you used to. I ...

The 2010 Round-Up: The Top 10 (2010 Dec 30)

Let me be clear about this: this is my personal Top 10. It does not represent an attempt to provide a "greatest" list nor is there any pretense of objectivity. This is as subjective as it gets. I'll leave it to someone else to determine the relative ...

The 2010 Round-Up: Twelve Performances (2010 Dec 28)

Time to look at the dozen performances (six men, six women) that have impacted me the most forcefully while watching 2010 movies. The difference between good acting and great acting is often subtle but unmistakable. Good acting allows the viewer to ...

The 2010 Autopsy (2010 Dec 26)

The word "autopsy" conjures up unpleasant images, but its usage seems appropriate when gazing back through the mists at the cinematic year of 2010. No matter how one chooses to spin things, the results aren't pretty. I'm fortunate that Michael was ...

The Great 2010 Turkey Hunt (2010 Nov 24)

I'm not calling this my "Worst Movies of 2010" list. There are two reasons for that. First, the term "worst" implies a level of objectivity of which I'm not capable. I equally avoid the term "greatest" unless discussing Mohammed Ali. Also, ...

e-life (2010 Nov 21)

Recently, circumstances caused me to muse how much the advances in technology have impacted every aspect of my life over the course of the last three decades. When you think about it, it's amazing how things have changed, and all in the most subtle ...

Michael at Six (Months) (2010 Nov 12)

It has been six months since I returned from a screening of Ridley Scott's Robin Hood to be greeted by the news that my wife had gone into labor. ("I think I'm having contractions," she calmly announced.) This was something of a surprise since she ...

The True Day of Horror (2010 Oct 31)

I don't think I was aware of the existence of Halloween until I was three or four years old. All I can remember about that first night was dressing up in a costume and being escorted into the night by my father. It was all rather bewildering and I ...

Winning through Losing (2010 Oct 18)

Hopefully, this entire column won't be about sports (or, rather, one sport in particular). There is a larger message in here somewhere; I only hope I'm able to bring it out.I started watching baseball on television in 1973 during the summer between ...

Just a Little Crush (2010 Oct 15)

Time to have a little fun...One of the defining characteristics of young romance is the crush. I'd venture to say that 99.9% of those reading this have experienced at least one crush and, if you're like me, the number is much higher. My view of a ...

Life Is Not PG-13 (2010 Oct 03)

Life is full of rich ironies you can't make up. Recently, I attended an evening showing of a PG-13 movie. The auditorium wasn't very full. Sitting a few rows in front of me was a group of five teenage girls. After the film started, they were ...

The Sum and Substance of a Movie (2010 Sep 20)

Why do we watch movies? Seems like a simple question, right? But is it really? And have the reasons for viewing motion pictures changed over the years? Does a 13-year old kid in 2010 go to a theater with the same expectations as his father 25 ...