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January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries" 
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Post January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
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Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:39 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
That one paragraph where you discuss your writing style (is it the first time you've ever done that?) is why I keep coming back to this website. There is something so accessible about reading your reviews. It doesn't require Oxford education. Any layman can easily follow it from start to finish without getting lost in a maze of metaphors and wordplays and come away with an understanding of whether you liked the film or not and what aspects you did/did not like in it. Yet as you've pointed out, you're not averse to some clever wordplay, and there are reviews of films you're particularly fond of that any paper might want to run in their daily. But the fact that you've kept it so simple and adhered to a standard structure is one reason why I've enjoyed, and still enjoy, reading them.

The other being the structure of your reviews is easily imitable. Any up-and-coming blogger (like me) can take the simple Introduction-Plot-Couple of Paras of what you liked about the film-Cast and Production Quality-Conclusion (not sure whether you actually write it like that but that's the general coherent structure I've noticed in many of your reviews) and twist it to begin writing their own reviews. I'll be the first to admit that I borrowed that same structure when I started out blogging with great success as well. I learnt quite a bit of writing and structuring my thoughts from reading your reviews. And I owe you a personal thanks for that!

The main reason I've never understood criticisms against James is that he's never advertised himself to be anything he's not. He loves cinema and loves writing and he's put the two together for what's turned out to be a rather expensive hobby (in terms of maintaining ReelViews). For someone who has a day job, wife and kids, but one who still finds time to churn out so many quality reviews, it is a clear demonstration of his passion for cinema. I've always maintained that James deserves to be commended for that alone.

I'd also like to throw my hat in for seeing ReelThoughts become a "standard" blog. As most people have said, your commentaries on general topics in the form of these thoughts make for a much better read than some of your reviews even. I believe shorter, more frequent ReelThoughts would definitely be welcomed by your readers.

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Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:07 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
Quote:
The Wayback Machine is from May 5, 1997.

That really takes me back! I kinda miss the minimalistic websites of old.

I am an awful nitpicker, but you got two typos, and in a remarkable coincidence both regarding the word "on" after saying "lot of time"!
Quote:
I spend a lot of time of the flow of the piece

Quote:
lot of time in the phone with Cybernex's


Last edited by nitrium on Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:13 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
Before Midnight?!?!?!?!?!

Where the fuck have I been?

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:-)


Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:39 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
I was film critic for my college newspaper, and I wrote the same kind of reviews you do (we called it "writing for the weekend"). I've got admire the early workload you took on. I've written reviews for two and sometimes three movies in a weekend, but never five or six. That's a lot of writing, and it's hard to keep your thoughts in order when you've got that much on your plate.

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Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:18 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
I found Reelviews around 2000 while looking for a take on a good little thriller I had just seen called The Bone Collector. I started browsing the site and after reading your review of Memento, rushed out immediately to rent it and have been coming back ever since.


Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:32 am
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
Congrats, Mr. B. As a long time reader (and one who remembers those posts you made from your "blake7" Bellcore account!), I'm always glad that you are still watching and commenting on film.

Thinking back to Trek from the early years of the Internet also reminds me of the great work Tim Lynch did with his reviews of the TNG episodes. Alan Sepinwall has turned the TV review into an art form, but I'll always remember Tim Lynch for his detailed and insightful reviews.


Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:25 am
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
sjwoo wrote:
Congrats, Mr. B. As a long time reader (and one who remembers those posts you made from your "blake7" Bellcore account!), I'm always glad that you are still watching and commenting on film.

Thinking back to Trek from the early years of the Internet also reminds me of the great work Tim Lynch did with his reviews of the TNG episodes. Alan Sepinwall has turned the TV review into an art form, but I'll always remember Tim Lynch for his detailed and insightful reviews.


Tim's reviews were among those I read; his certainly stood out for their intelligence. Can't believe that was more than 20 years ago.


Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:58 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
James Berardinelli wrote:
Tim's reviews were among those I read; his certainly stood out for their intelligence. Can't believe that was more than 20 years ago.

On rec.arts.movies.reviews (or whatever it was called), I always looked forward to your reviews but also read Scott Renshaw's and Mark Leeper's, which usually were also worth reading. I was too poor to have a newspaper subscription, so internet reviews were pretty much all I had at university.


Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:11 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
I started reading JamesB in college around 1998/9. Whenever a movie was coming out I was interested in I'd do an internet search for "Berardinelli [name of movie]". It took me a few years to bookmark the website in my browser and to spell Berardinelli correctly but the search engine (infoseek I think?) always found his reviews anyway!

Quote:
Maybe someday I'll hire someone to create a professional-looking website.


I don't see any reason to change the reelviews website at all, it's perfect the way it is and impressive considering James is basically an amateur film critic (I guess?) and taught himself web publishing.

The ReelThoughts Situation:
I definately wish James could write more ReelThoughts, they're my favourite part of ReelViews. I'd prefer they were always pretty long since I enjoy them so much although I know there has to be a trade off due to time constraints.

Looking forward to hearing more about James' book.


Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:42 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
First off, congratulations, James, on 20 (or 21) years of movie reviewing! That's quite an accomplishment, and I'm glad you're still doing it.

It's funny, because when I read this ReelThoughts on Saturday (I was too busy to post at the time, unfortunately), I also immediately thought back to reading your reviews on rec.arts.movies. Your mention of Star Trek brought to mind Timothy Lynch's excellent TNG reviews of the day as well. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who remembers those days.

nitrium wrote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
Tim's reviews were among those I read; his certainly stood out for their intelligence. Can't believe that was more than 20 years ago.

On rec.arts.movies.reviews (or whatever it was called), I always looked forward to your reviews but also read Scott Renshaw's and Mark Leeper's, which usually were also worth reading. I was too poor to have a newspaper subscription, so internet reviews were pretty much all I had at university.

Yes! I'd nearly forgotten about Mark Leeper and Scott Renshaw. I particularly enjoyed Leeper's reviews, as I recall. I thought his -4 to +4 scale was really innovative. I wished everyone would adopt it. I just googled him, and it looks like he's still reviewing movies. You can see his top ten lists and stuff at http://leepers.us/markleeper. Cool!


Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:21 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
Darth Ed wrote:
Yes! I'd nearly forgotten about Mark Leeper and Scott Renshaw. I particularly enjoyed Leeper's reviews, as I recall. I thought his -4 to +4 scale was really innovative. I wished everyone would adopt it. I just googled him, and it looks like he's still reviewing movies. You can see his top ten lists and stuff at http://leepers.us/markleeper. Cool!


I've met both of them. Mark, by happenstance, lived in a house almost directly behind one in which my grandparents lived back in the '90s. So I met Mark and his wife, Evelyn (who for many years was the moderator of rec.arts.movies.reviews). I met Scott out at Sundance one year - he lived in Salt Lake City (maybe still does).


Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:18 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
Oh, I remember Scott Renshaw. I use to read him as well. Is he still reviewing movies? If he is, I'd love to catch up on his reviews and read his stuff. Anybody know?


Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:44 am
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Post Re: January 26, 2013: "Anniversaries"
ilovemovies wrote:
Oh, I remember Scott Renshaw. I use to read him as well. Is he still reviewing movies? If he is, I'd love to catch up on his reviews and read his stuff. Anybody know?


He writes for a weekly in Salt Lake City. Here's his twitter page: https://twitter.com/scottrenshaw


Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:10 am
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