Category Archives: Editorial

Mise-en-Whatnow?

So, while taking a break from the inestimably boring chore that is searching for employment I chanced upon a review for the new, ultra-minimalist Ryan Reynolds vehicle, “Buried,” over on the NPR website. The first sentence of the review reads as follows:  “Sure to become a staple in film-school classes titled “How to Make a Blockbuster With Only an Actor, a Box and a Blackberry,” Buried may be the first thriller where the sole stunt is the film’s mise-en-scene.”

A relatively obsequious opening line if ever there was one. Apparently not for NPR Community reader sfbornx3, who complains, “Okay, Jeannette, a film review is officially as pretentious as its subject when the reader is forced to look up a French film reference in the first sentence.” Continue reading

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The Death of the Double Feature

Fox Movie Palace

There are some things that I like about multiplexes. I know that there are a litany of complaints by people who argue that multiplexes are destroying America’s cinematic culture, by promoting a type of cinema that appeals to a mass audience. And they kill small films because, with space at these large movie theaters taken up almost exclusively by large Hollywood films, it makes it hard for a film to turn a profit, or even get screened in some markets.

All of those things may be true, but they’re just so hard to not admire. I mean, an enormous temple dedicated to film. How can you not love that? Or, at the very least, how can you fully despise that? I love walking through the doors of a large movie theater and being hit with a blast of cool air accompanied by a whiff of overpriced popcorn. I love the kids lining up for the latest animated offering and even the defeated look of the parents as they look at each other with a glance that says that they’d really rather be seeing something else. I love the big, captain’s chair seats the are perched in the steep, stadium like theater set-up. It makes seeing a film incredibly comfortable and appealing. It makes it easy to forget the problems that await your return to the daylight after 2 hours in the comforting, dark womb of the theater. Continue reading

The Once and Future Critic (pt. 4)

So, I’ve scoped the lay of the land. Pinpointed some things that have been done and some things that might change. But, what will it look like? What will film criticism look like as it migrates from the page to the internet? Continue reading

The Once and Future Critic (pt. 3)

It seems that one of the greatest challenges facing bloggers is shedding the stigma of being a blogger. I think that there is a lack of authority, deserved or not, that can be associated with blogs and bloggers. I know that when I started my first blog project I had to overcome that stigma and fear of it being perpetually associated with some sort of megalomaniacal vanity project. However, as I’ve mentioned in the last part to this article, it seems just as, if not more, reasonable to view most bloggers as fans of film. Their writing can be of questionable quality but what cannot be questioned is their desire to share their love and appreciation of film.

Continue reading

The Once and Future Critic (pt. 2)

except not really, because that's more competition for me. growing up in america has taught me to want to crush the competition. so read my blog, don't start your own.

How will this competition with established, paid critics change the way that people write about films online?

Well, first of all it needs to be noted that amateur bloggers are already competing with paid and established critics. Well, maybe competing isn’t the right way to think about it. Perhaps the best way to think of it is that amateurs and professionals have been cohabiting the warm home of the Internet for years. You can trace back the ubiquitous Peter Travers teaser quote to its source and see what films Roger Ebert is giving the meaningless thumbs up to, and its all for free. The game changer, if one can really call it that, is that many, if not all, of these critics will soon be behind the pay-to-read fence, and my guess is that putting them in that gilded cage might push some readers to the more alternative sources of criticism and discussion. Continue reading

The Once and Future Critic (pt. 1)

So, it might be a bit early in the life of this blog to be confronting an existential crisis, but that is, to a certain extent, what is being faced. The questions that are being faced don’t necessarily lie in the “what is it all for” realm, but sit next door and encompass the process, and future, of film criticism. Continue reading

Dear Michael Bay, Please Keep Your Hands Off My Horror Movies.

So, I’ve been seeing teasers for this movie on TV a lot recently. “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” The film that simultaneously built and saved New Line Cinema is being given the big budget redo by the man who knows a little something about big budgets: MichaelArmageddonBay. For the uninitiated the trailer is up after the jump. But, this latest gutting of a classic horror flick and rebuilding it with Hollywood machismo is the latest addition onto Bay’s rapidly expanding horror film production resume. He is also responsible for tearing out the independent spirit of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Hitcher,” “Friday the 13th” and “The Amityville Horror,” and replacing it with good, old-fashioned corporate American cynicism. Continue reading