November 22, 2005
A thought by James Berardinelli

And now for a word from our sponsor...

Since I don't accept advertising, that would be me. Pardon this shameless column of self-promotion, but I want to let those who care know that my second book, ReelViews 2 is available for purchase. It's the perfect holiday gift, although it's too big for a stocking stuffer, and some uncharitable recipients might mistake it for a lump of coal.

How does the second volume differ from the first? 150 reviews from ReelViews 1 have been removed to make way for 150 write-ups from late 2003, 2004, and early 2005. All of the new reviews have been personally hand-edited (by yours truly) to make them sharper, shorter, and more to-the-point. I am aware that I have a tendency to ramble. That's allowed in cyberspace, but is not a desirable quality in print.

One frequent comment about the first book was that it didn't offer any "new" content. Strictly speaking, that wasn't true, since all 1000 reviews (actually, I think the number is 1004) were reworked by me over a six-month period. Some were pretty much the same as their on-line counterparts, but others were significantly different. At any rate, I took the "no new content" comment to heart for Volume 2. This time around, there's an Appendix devoted to Director's Cuts and Easter Eggs. NONE of that material can be found anywhere else. It's exclusive to ReelViews 2, and will not show up on this website. (For those who have been asking me whether I liked the extended cuts of LOTR better than the theatrical releases, the answer is in the Appendix.)

If 2007 or 2008 sees a third edition of ReelViews, I would like to expand the original content section. Time pressures limited what I could produce this time but, given a few extra months, I could triple or quadrupole what's there. And I don't know how many books out there take the time to evaluate a Director's Cut/Extended Cut DVD in light of its theatrical predecessor.

The book has been available for over a month, but the publishers decided that the holiday season was the best time to make the "push" (hence the timing of this seemingly belated announcement). Personally, I think ReelViews 2 is worth buying even if you have the first one (and especially if you don't), but I can't claim to be unbiased.

One final thing - I do not have cover approval, so I'm not sure why there is a dog with a remote control. Maybe it's an attempt to attract dog lovers. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I should state that I'm a "cat person." This does not imply that I dislike canines (in fact, since my wife's lifelong dream is to have a dog, you can bet I'll eventually end up with one), but I prefer cats. I don't know whether the image of a tabby with a remote control would be as interesting.

Now back to arguing about whether the "surprise" of Star Wars V justifies watching the six films out of order...