Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

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So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"? 
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Thom20 wrote:
The first Berardinelli review I read was for [i]Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban[/i] in 2004. I had been doing google searches for reviews of random movies, and I clicked the links to several JB reviews in the process. Something about his writing style caught my attention--he seemed intelligent, but easier to read than someone like Ebert. I joined the forum in early 2009 (when Robert Holloway was hosting the weekly competition), but I don't post very often.

Is it just me, or are we gradually losing all of the moderators?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMGXq9_IQBQ

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Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:07 am
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
That was some years ago (can't recall exactly when). As is/was the case with many film buffs, Ebert was my go-to movie critic in the internet-age. On IMDB and in several other places, the name "Berardinelli" started being mentioned as a household name critic. I googled him and read many of his reviews and "ReelViews". I immediately liked his writing style and clear, convincing analysis, often with some autobiographical details sprinkled in - and found it to be perfectly complimenting Ebert's writing which we all know. Unfortunately both appear to have mellowed down quite a bit over the last years - but we've been there already.

I liked the Forum(s) after looking around a little. I joined soon - now you guys have to cope with my long winding ramblings....


Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:53 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
JamesKunz wrote:
Thom20 wrote:
The first Berardinelli review I read was for [i]Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban[/i] in 2004. I had been doing google searches for reviews of random movies, and I clicked the links to several JB reviews in the process. Something about his writing style caught my attention--he seemed intelligent, but easier to read than someone like Ebert. I joined the forum in early 2009 (when Robert Holloway was hosting the weekly competition), but I don't post very often.

Is it just me, or are we gradually losing all of the moderators?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMGXq9_IQBQ

Well, Trevor and Rob don't stop by anymore, but our current moderator team is perfectly dandy thank you very much. :)

If I recall correctly, I first found out about James when I checked out his review for Revenge of the Sith. At the time, I found that our tastes were relatively in sync so I used him for recommendations. He's the one who introduced me to Kieslowski. That was in high school and I've since graduated college, so it's safe to say that my taste has changed over time. I don't agree with James nearly as much as I used to, but I always respect his opinions and biases and I've come to care for the community he's hosted here for the past four years.

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Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:36 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Can someone please explain to me how James seems to have "mellowed" down over the years? I can see how this might apply to Ebert (*** for Taken 2, but only **1/2 for The Master), but what about James?


Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:08 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Sean wrote:
Can someone please explain to me how James seems to have "mellowed" down over the years? I can see how this might apply to Ebert (*** for Taken 2, but only **1/2 for The Master), but what about James?


Wife and kids, man. They fucking ruined him

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Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:47 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
JamesKunz wrote:
Sean wrote:
Can someone please explain to me how James seems to have "mellowed" down over the years? I can see how this might apply to Ebert (*** for Taken 2, but only **1/2 for The Master), but what about James?


Wife and kids, man. They fucking ruined him


He chose his priority, his output has suffered substantially in the process. Also, he chose The King's Speech as his best film of 2010. I know film is a personal medium but still... weak.

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Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:59 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
I don't really go to JB for positions on artsy fartsy/Oscar-baitey stuff. You can get that from any critic. One thing I trust him on more than most other critics is the more middlebrow stuff--the Star Treks, the Batmans, the James Bonds, the Lords of the Ringseses, and so on. He's one of the few who takes an unabashed "one of us" view of this stuff.

A lot of critics, including some whom I like very much, condescend to that sort of material. And that's a damn shame.

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Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:47 am
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Ken wrote:
I don't really go to JB for positions on artsy fartsy/Oscar-baitey stuff. You can get that from any critic. One thing I trust him on more than most other critics is the more middlebrow stuff--the Star Treks, the Batmans, the James Bonds, the Lords of the Ringseses, and so on. He's one of the few who takes an unabashed "one of us" view of this stuff.

A lot of critics, including some whom I like very much, condescend to that sort of material. And that's a damn shame.

This x Million.

This is the main reason why I keep coming back to James. His output might suffer because he has to balance his "real" work, life, wife, kids, watching films, and reviewing them. But his reviews always seem like from the other end of the criticism spectrum, completely shorn of the elitism which I fucking hate.

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Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:39 am
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Sean wrote:
Can someone please explain to me how James seems to have "mellowed" down over the years?


James didn't necessarily mellow down regarding "forgiveness" in his star ratings. James very often works from the "outside in": describing former works of the directors or when it's a sequel he fills us in what happened so far, then he describes the style und finally goes to synopsis and individual key scenes, not always in that rigid order, but that's a very clear, informative and disciplined writing style in my book. Ebert on the other hand is more of an "entertainer": he works mostly the opposite: "from the inside out". He might start giving us background or overall information, then jumps to a certain scene which he discribes in detail, throws in funny remarks, and goes back to the overall synopsis, pointing out some logical flaws and his typical "rules" and "cliches" plus some (often very insightful) philosophy. This sometimes can lead to an incomplete or unevenly written review, but I'm pretty sure this is all deliberate and on purpose. And it's fun.

Now Ebert clearly has mellowed regarding his star ratings, but I think James has mellowed regarding his writing: Still very informative and comprehensive, his writing seems to have been drained from the passion I clearly see in his earlier work.

Is it just me?


Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:43 am
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
JJoshay wrote:
He chose his priority, his output has suffered substantially in the process. Also, he chose The King's Speech as his best film of 2010. I know film is a personal medium but still... weak.


If I want only to read critics with which I agree, I would spend all day with the mirror.

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Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:00 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
I first discovered ReelViews after reading a review for The Man Who Wasn't There (via a Google search), probably back in 2003/2004. Then I started reading other reviews on the site and liked James' writing style and found his opinions usually agreed with mine. That's changed over the years, and I usually go to other review sites for movie recommendations, but I still like to read James' reviews and hang out in the forums.


Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:12 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
I kind of love The King's Speech, though its place would be towards the lower half on my 2010 Top 10 (at least Toy Story 3 and Inception would be higher), but his top 10 write-up clearly and succinctly stated the reasons of it being #1, and his writing really made me understand why he would choose it.

I still think he hasn't changed much over the year, save from the decreasing output (in both reviews and the reviews' content) and sometimes questionable liking of a few comedies.


Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:41 am
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
I remember reading and enjoying James' reviews on usenet in the early 90's. Cut to a decade or so later, on a random whim Google searched his name wondering if he had more of an online presence. And here we are.


Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:24 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Guapo wrote:
I remember reading and enjoying James' reviews on usenet in the early 90's. Cut to a decade or so later, on a random whim Google searched his name wondering if he had more of an online presence. And here we are.


That's a cool story

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Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:08 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
I started to realize I was a bit of a film buff back in high school, and I would frequently visit the MRQE site for reviews on upcoming films. This was back in the late '90s, and I was actually taking a Desktop Publishing class as an elective. I ended up with a lot of free time, and would use that time to scan movie reviews and info. I began finding the critics that I enjoyed reading more often, and James was one of my favorites. I don't always agree (who does?), but I found I could get a good idea of what I would like from the way he would describe a film. Eventually, I stopped going to MRQE and just went straight to the sites I enjoy.

Nowadays I still visit almost daily, still when I should be doing other things, now while on my job. I will visit Rotten Tomatoes also, for the snapshot of other critics and for news, but still visit this site for full reviews.


Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:25 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Altavista or Yahoo search back in the late 90's - probably a couple of years after Jame's started posting reviews.


Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:30 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Interesting reasons. I miss the days back when he would post at least five ReelThoughts per month. I will admit that some of the passion is gone, but I certainly prefer Ebert's use of entertaining anecdotes and droll wit more than I do the style of James' reviews. Nevertheless, I feel that James' thoughts are far more comprehensive, especially given the fact that Ebert often skips out on some new releases because of medical complications and the like. Has he even reviewed The Hobbit or Les Miserables yet?


Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:20 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Strange. Lately, Ebert's website has been featuring reviews written by Richard Roeper. I'm a fan of his, but I find his manner of writing very generic and predictable, not to mention somewhat superficial. His video reviews are far better.


Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:23 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Sean wrote:
Interesting reasons. I miss the days back when he would post at least five ReelThoughts per month. I will admit that some of the passion is gone, but I certainly prefer Ebert's use of entertaining anecdotes and droll wit more than I do the style of James' reviews. Nevertheless, I feel that James' thoughts are far more comprehensive, especially given the fact that Ebert often skips out on some new releases because of medical complications and the like. Has he even reviewed The Hobbit or Les Miserables yet?


Ebert mentioned in a blog post that he hated Les Mis

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Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:39 pm
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Post Re: So, How Did You Guys Discover "ReelViews"?
Was reading James' reviews in late 1990's or early 2000's on the old site. Came along for the ride and been an active reader, if not the most active poster, ever since.

-Should add though, I had a WAY higher post count until something went screwy on the server....

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