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 ...

The Least Wonderful Time of the Year (2010 Sep 11)

This year, without the blissful oblivion of the Toronto Film Festival to shield me from the reality of life, I have come to a realization: I dislike September. I'm probably in the minority making such a declaration and, since I was born during this ...

A Void in September (2010 Aug 17)

For all the benefits fatherhood brings, there are sacrifices as well. This September, for the first time in fourteen years, I will not be traveling north of the border the week after Labor Day. Since 1997, my summers have ended with a ritual that ...

Twas the Night Before (2010 Aug 09)

The concept of seeing movies in the wee hours of the morning is nothing new. The James Bond film Goldfinger was such a hot ticket during its initial run that theaters had to stay open 24/7 for about three weeks to keep up with demand. (Of course, ...

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...