Winter Changes

January 04, 2006
A thought by James Berardinelli

Every January/February, I make alterations to ReelViews. Some are small, almost unnoticeable except to the obsessive reader. Others are big, and will catch the attention of someone who visits infrequently. Those hoping for a massive site re-design will have to wait another 12 months. I'm already beginning to think about how to make the site look better without compromising the ease of use, but I'm not there yet. But there are a couple of things on the near-future planning board.

The first is the re-launch of Video Views, which will happen some time this month. The intent is to have the Video Views main page mimic the ReelViews main page, with "new releases" reflecting DVD new releases instead of theatrical titles. There will also be newly written reviews of older movies.

I also plan to institute RSS, although at the moment I don't have a clue hoq to do it. (Any pointers toward helpful websites that cater to RSS "newbies" would be appreciated.) This will require some research. Unlike Video Views, which will debut in the next few weeks, I can't promise anything with regard to a timetable for RSS. It depends on how much snow I have to shovel and how motivated I become.

A few things have been scaled back. Producers are no longer listed in review headers - I doubt anyone will miss that (except producers). As was apparent late in 2005, I have eliminated graphics except for the poster image. The direct link to "Commentary" has been removed (although it can still be accessed through the Archives section). This aspect of the website has made obsolete by ReelThoughts. I don't plan to have a "links" section. That kind of page used to be useful, but search engines and places like Rotten Tomatoes have made it redundant (and it's a pain to maintain, because links have to be verified on an on-going basis).

I still have plans to develop a theater database, but that's not going to happen in the next few months. I want to provide movie-goers with a way to pick the best available sites across the country (or world). The key to this will be reader input, since I can only add about a dozen inputs on my own, and I'm not going to go on a theater-visiting road trip. (Who would pay for it?) This is something I want to do, and the sooner, the better. It will be useful and, to the best of my knowledge, something like it doesn't currently exist. My goal is to get this up and running some time during 2006. But since I don't believe in resolutions, that's not a promise.

The Price of Terror will also go on-line at some point. I can't say when. I'm plugging away at it, but things keep getting in the way. I'm a good juggler, so it will show up at some point. I keep waiting for my day job to return to the point when I'm not reading company-related e-mail at 1:00 in the morning.

Finally, the Top 100 has been updated. I finally got to move a few things around.

In the next few days, look for ReelThoughts on movie length and why I'm excited about television in January.