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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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

The Top 10 of 2010? (2010 Jan 10)

Every year begins with high expectations: a handful (or perhaps more) of titles that tantalize with the possibility of greatness or, at the very least, of providing a satisfying two hours in a movie theater. When it comes to quality, "Best of" lists...

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 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 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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 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 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...

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 ...