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Confessions of the Philistine Critic (2007 Aug 12)

Over at rogerebert.com, the argument rages on: Can video games be art? This discussion is into its second year, and has its genesis further back. A few e-mails have asked my opinion about this issue. They presume - rightly or wrongly - that since I ...

Clear Blu (2007 Dec 13)

Consider this to be my initial first-hand report on Blu-Ray, and its nature may surprise a few people. To start, it's necessary to note that for many videophiles, the fervor that accompanies adherence to a new technology or format borders on ...

By the Numbers (2007 Dec 31)

In the wake of my recent statement that IMO 2007 was the worst year for movies since I started reviewing, I received a reader's challenge asking if I could come up with numbers to support that assertion. So I spent a few hours this past weekend ...

By the Light of the Hunters' Moon (2007 Oct 07)

For those curious about the title, the Harvest Moon is the first full moon after the Autumnal Equinox. It is usually the October full moon, but this year it happened to occur in late September. The first full moon after the Harvest Moon is the ...

Blu-Ray of Hope (2007 Apr 05)

The question hanging over the DVD industry is simple: Has Toshiba's HD-DVD become the new Betamax?The facts are indisputable on the high definition DVD front. Not only have more of Sony's Blu-Ray discs been bought in total, but Blu-Ray is ...

Best Guesses (2007 Feb 24)

In actuality, I get more enjoyment out of making Oscar predictions than I do watching the telecast. It's sort of like entering an NCAA Men's Basketball Championship pool. I don't spend a lot of time watching the games (unless there's a team playing...

Bad Mojo (2007 Nov 30)

Going forward, I'm going to use the Friday ReelThoughts to reflect on the week's new releases and make some general comments that are intended to be less "spoiler-ish" and less specific than the individual reviews. This week, however, there are only...

Art-Porn (2007 Mar 15)

The DVD release of Shortbus got me thinking about the growing body of films often referred to as "art-porn." These are "legitimate" titles featuring explicit sexual activity. For the most part, art-porn films do not star recognizable actors but ...

April Showers (2007 Apr 02)

This was ready yesterday, but I decided it was probably not a good idea to post any substantive content on April 1...Looking ahead to April's theatrical releases, I have to admit it doesn't look more promising than March, which appeared much like ...

And the Winner Is... (2007 Jan 17)

I hate this PC crap. Why does it have to be "And the Oscar goes to..." instead of "And the Winner is..."? Does the wording make the losers feel better? "Hey, I didn't lose. The Oscar just went to someone else." Stupid, stupid, stupid... But that...

And Porn Shall Lead (2007 Feb 28)

Recently, it was reported that the porn industry has elected to "adopt" HD DVD as the format of choice for high def DVDs. This isn't precisely true - no such declaration was made and Blu-Ray has not been summarily rejected. However, from an ...

Anatomy of a Blockbuster (2007 May 18)

Calling a movie a "blockbuster" attributes it with a special distinction. Traditionally, blockbusters aren't just successful motion pictures, they are mega-successful motion pictures. Once upon a time, a movie's gross had to cross the magic $100 ...

Anatomy of Review (2007 May 20)

I'm occasionally asked if I have to be "inspired" in order to write a review. The simple answer is "no," but a little inspiration always helps. The sad truth is that when it comes to the motion picture industry, inspiration is in short supply. ...

A Silver Lining (2007 Nov 27)

Let me begin by expressing the following (lest what follows be taken the wrong way): With respect to what's currently happening in Hollywood, my sympathies lie with the writers. With the exception of brain-dead movies like Transformers, it's ...

A Long Time Ago... (2007 May 29)

So, what was I doing on May 25, 1977? Frankly, I have no idea. The date is unmemorable to me. If it was warm out, I was probably skateboarding. If it was raining, I was probably curled up in a chair reading. Or maybe I was unpacking boxes (we had ...

A Festival Comes to Town (2007 Apr 20)

In the film festival pantheon, there are three levels of prestige. Tier One is inhabited by The Giants. Cannes and Toronto are the only undisputed members of this select group. Some would argue that Venice belongs there, or Telluride, or Berlin. ...

2007: The Year of the High Def DVD? (2007 Jan 13)

Not quite, or at least not as I see it.Despite the protestations of some e-mailers, there is nothing to indicate that 2007 is going to be the break-out year for high-def DVDs, regardless of whether they are referring to Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, or some ...