You've Got Mail (2010 Jul 18)

It was early September 1985 - the day after Labor Day, to be precise - when I looked down at the little piece of paper and tried to intuit what it meant: "Username: jamesber@seas.upenn.edu; Password (temporary): classof1989." Several days later, ...

The 2010 Halftime Top 10 (2010 Jul 10)

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only critic who does this. By "this," I mean that around the mid-point of the year, I take a look back at the first six months' of releases and highlight the ones that have impressed me the most. This "halftime" Top 10...

Fandamonium (2010 Jun 28)

The concept of "fandom" is not new, but the idea of attaching it to an aspect of pop culture is. The idea of being a "fan" of something entered the public awareness via sports, and stretches back a couple of centuries. The further back in human ...

When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary (2010 Jun 15)

It was the summer of 1977 when everything changed. I can't claim to recall much about that year - bits and pieces, to be sure, but a fragmentation of memory is expected when gazing back more than 30 years to age nine. But I remember Star Wars. Not...

Welcome, Michael (2010 Jun 11)

This entry, which is part narrative and part rumination, will likely come across as indulgent. So be it. Michael Robert Berardinelli was born on May 12, 2010. The evening before he emerged from the cramped but safe confines of his mother's womb, I ...

The ReelViews Shift (2010 May 10)

In 1996, as the snows fell heavily outside, I embarked upon the then-radical concept of establishing a "personal website." At the time, few people outside universities and tech-related corporations knew about the Web, and the idea of a site that ...

The Ebert Foreword (2010 Apr 30)

It has now been nearly seven years since I stepped tentatively into the world of print publishing and, although I can't claim the experience as a whole was negative, there were enough negatives associated with it likely to prevent me from working ...

Art for Art's Sake (2010 Apr 25)

Roger Ebert is the E.F. Hutton of the entertainment-based blogosphere: We he "talks," people listen. Some of Ebert's columns generate more notoriety than others, but his latest, published on April 16, has resulted in an unprecedented number of ...

Pimping (2010 Apr 05)

One subject that fascinates me relates to the boundaries of journalistic ethics. At what point does legitimate criticism and reporting cross the line into the realm of promotion and marketing? This question can be approached from any number of ...

Multiplex Economics (2010 Mar 23)

Once, not that many years ago (or so it seems), taking the family to a movie was easily the most cost-effective way of spending an evening out together. That remains true today, even with sky-high concession prices and 3-D surcharges - it's cheaper...

Grouching the Oscars (2010 Mar 11)

Now that the Oscars have come and gone and I have had a few days to digest the experience, it's time for some random (although hopefully coherent) thoughts. To begin with, the 82nd Academy Awards validated something I have been arguing for some time...

The Live Oscar Blog (2010 Mar 08)

Here, verbatim, is my live commentary from last night's Oscar telecast. I will post something more analytical in a day or two discussing my overall feelings about the entertainment value of the program and whether the night was as historic as is ...

Has AVATAR Changed the 3-D Game? (2010 Feb 28)

Not that long ago, my position on 3-D was that of a Doubting Thomas. Then along came Avatar, which has been called everything from a "game-changer" to the "latest great cinematic breakthrough." It has been compared to The Jazz Singer in its ...

Beat Berardinelli (2010 Feb 21)

The time has come for me to provide my annual Oscar picks, although this time they are arriving accompanied by a "Beat Berardinelli" contest (to be run through the forums) which will provide an opportunity for one lucky contestant to win something. ...

Boredom, Incivility & Other Symptoms (2010 Feb 08)

Life was simpler when I was growing up. Please note that the term "simpler" does not imply "better." Life, like technology, advances. The complexity of day-to-day living has increased as the number of possibilities has multiplied. Every time my ...

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (2010 Jan 26)

Over the 30-year span that comprised his retirement, my grandfather regulated his life with impressive consistency. He adhered to a standard routine every morning when his golf game didn't take him out on the links at the crack of dawn; I witnessed ...

Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon (2010 Jan 17)

Do we stand at the brink of an abyss? Could it be that all of the disaster movies invading theaters are closer to reality than anyone might like to expect? When humanity's end comes, could it be from something as seemingly minor as the absence of a...