Random Reader Suggestions and Website ChangesMay 18, 2005
Given that Revenge of the Sith opens today, I'm sure some readers are expecting me to write about it. Sorry, but I'm all Star Wars-ed out. I think I have said just about everything I have to say about it. Some of you think I have said a little too much, but that's one of the things about making daily updates to this section - I have to come up with a new topic every day. Oh, and the review for Revenge of the Sith has just become my most-read review ever.
Today's topic isn't so much a topic as it is a collection of random subjects. I have been asked whether I will add an RSS feed for ReelViews and whether I'll add a reader response area for ReelThoughts. The answers are: yes and probably not, respectively. However, the RSS feed won't start until early next year. It will take a little studying for me to be able to create it, and the only month when I have the time for that sort of thing is January. With respect to the reader response idea - although I like it in principle, it requires too much work, since I would have to actively moderate it.
Eventually, ReelThoughts will be indexed by topics, but that's another enhancement that will have to wait until January. It requires re-coding of all the old ReelThoughts pages. Nothing difficult, but a lot of busy work.
Starting today, I am instituting a spoiler-sensitive approach to reviews for which I include spoiler warnings. The potentially offensive text will be highlighted in a brownish color that will allow people to peruse parts of the review without having the movie ruined. 3-Iron is a good starting place because the spoilers are all contained in one paragraph and are necessary to the review. The warning characterizes them fairly well. I will not be using so-called "inviso-text" (white text on a white background that shows up when "wiped over") because, as a reader, I find it to be annoying. Plus, it's not aesthetically pleasing to have large white spaces in the middle of a review. And it's too much work to develop separate spoiler and non-spoiler reviews, even when one is only a subset of the other. So this will have to do.
My last ReelThought of the month will be posted May 24. On that day, I will also post reviews for most of the films opening June 1 & 3. The May 27 release reviews will go up on May 22. There is an exception: The Longest Yard. This isn't screening until after I will have left, and I'm not planning to review it (nor will I likely see it) after I return. There's too much other stuff - like Layer Cake - to see.
Finally, I have to acknowledge that this has been an unusually good week for movies - 10 1/2 stars from only three films. It has been a while since things have been that sunny. Sadly, it doesn't look like there's another similar week on the horizon. Most of the summer movies, at least those that I have seen, scream mediocrity.
Flames from the Left, Flames from the Right
I knew when I wrote the review for An Inconvenient Truth that there would be rough waves ahead. I don't enjoy reviewing movies with a political slant because of the volume of negative e-mail those reviews generate. (Actually, it's not the negativity ...
2005: The Top 10
Every year, I get asked why I don't post this list earlier. After all, some critics make theirs available in mid-December. To me, it's unseemly to reveal my favorites of the year before the year is over. So here's the list, with a few comments for...
2004 Top 10 - #4
#4: Moolaadé : For me, one of the great disappointments of 2004 was the anemic performance of this compelling feature at the art-house box office. If one of the purposes of movies is to take us to places we have never previously visited, most ...