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January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age" 
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Post January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
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Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:39 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
In a way, I think some critics (or, often, some publications) have yet to catch up. It is an excellent thing to have an entire body of work archived and accessible in one location--and, while Reelviews may be outmoded in terms of visual style, it's a short and uncluttered distance between the search tools and the destination page. Most critics have a site in some form or another, but they're often clumsy and/or incomplete in this regard.

I remember in the full episode that Siskel & Ebert dedicated to Pulp Fiction*, they devoted one segment to discussing the presence of Tarantino fan sites online. It's such an easy thing to take for granted now, but it must have been a bizarre idea in 1994. Weird enough that there should be websites about Tarantino's work, and weirder still that such a thing might exist without any involvement from Tarantino himself. How quickly things change.

*It's on the DVD. In 1994, Pulp Fiction was still far in the future for me.

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Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:51 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
I remember getting on the internet in late 1999 or early 2000s. I think i used those early days to look up professional wrestling and i will admit to look up girls pictures. I think its fascinating the way culture has changed. I discovered your site in late of 2004. I have been a faithful reader for the last so many years. I was wondering where do you see your site in the next 20 so years James.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:54 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Big_Mike wrote:
I remember getting on the internet in late 1999 or early 2000s. I think i used those early days to look up professional wrestling and i will admit to look up girls pictures. I think its fascinating the way culture has changed. I discovered your site in late of 2004. I have been a faithful reader for the last so many years. I was wondering where do you see your site in the next 20 so years James.


That may depend on how the Internet evolves. That's tough to predict. We live in a time when everything changes very fast. 20 years of our lives may not seem that long but it's eons in Internet time.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:28 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Congrats on your new job, imho it's an appreciation that should have been awarded to you much earlier..

Btw I've been reading your articles since 2007


Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:57 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Reader since 1998 here (my freshman year in high school). Indeed I wonder what the future holds. Video-based reviews, perhaps? Not that I'm clamoring for that, I'm perfectly happy just reading. It's just that a vast majority of people I spend time around in real life really, REALLY need their pics and videos for anything on the internet to have any impact.

Does anyone else remember that brief experiment JB tried sometime in the early/mid 2000s where he included screenshots of the movie within his reviews, complete with snarky comments? More often than not, I found those pretty funny, but at the same time I understand why some hated them.

Also, I eagerly await a mobile version of Reelviews someday.

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Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:39 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
The site looks great James :)

Yours is the second online film review site I got into after Scott Renshaw's. Still here :P


Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:31 pm
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Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:21 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Been reading you since late 1996. The funny review I ever read was your Kull review. I would re-read that just to laugh out loud. Though I miss the snarky movie reviews, my wife and I have used your reviews to dictate what movies we see or don't see. Keep up the great work.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:22 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Discovered you in early 2004, which was when I really started to appreciate the different genres of movies. I was 20 going to University and used the shared library computers at late night to google film reviews. Your film review used to appear first on the search results and that's how I ended up on your website and never left really.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:02 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Discovered you in around 2007 and became a regular reader once you first implemented the forums in 2009.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:46 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Like most discoveries in my pre-teen years (books, movies, internet etc.), Harry Potter led me to your site. I first got on internet in 2001 when I was 10 to look at the news and pic of the upcoming first movie. I think I first came upon Reelviews in late 2004 or early 2005 when I was browsing through Azkaban reviews from rottentomatoes. For someone learning to read in English seriously just about 2-3 years, your reviews are concise, informative, and entertaining. Been a regular reader since late 2006.

I loved your UI the way it is, not too hard to get around. Remembered being disappointed when you changed to this green interface in 2008 though because one of the touches I really liked is the color of the movie's title corresponding to the stars (red, purple, green, blue). I think I looked forward to both red and blue reviews with equal anticipation. :D


Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:40 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Was the critic you replaced Lou Gaul? I remember he wrote for the Burlington County Times when I lived in Jersey.

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Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:42 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Woah! To be consistently producing around 250-300 reviews per year for two decades of such quality is indeed a rare achievement, especially considering this wasn't even a full-time job for you until recently.

As someone who is in the web industry, I agree with James that it is moot to look 20 years into the future. Web technologies and design are evolving at a speed where even most of us within the industry cannot even keep up with the latest trends. None of us know where we'll be even 5 years from now, let alone 20.

As far as film websites are concerned, two sites that I personally feel have evolved into the future and are using the latest technologies are the new RogerEbert.com and particularly The Dissolve. The latter in particular features great design, which can be displayed on all devices without any issues. It is simply a joy to read.

Having said that, I feel ReelViews doesn't need anything quite as fancy or heavy. The primary pull for me has always been James' content, which should always be the king. The only thing I would like is for Reelviews to become responsive. Currently reading on mobile devices is pretty hard, but not impossible. If James can keep everything the same and only evolve the design - with the help of an expert of course - to keep up with the latest trends and make it appear consistent across all devices, that would be pretty fucking awesome.

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Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:01 am
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Great article and I can say for sure that I have been a fan and reader of this site since at or around the very beginning.

A Bucks county newspaper, eh? I live in Chester County, but I will definitely look up your reviews.


Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:32 am
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
The more you muck it up with flash and silverlight and whatnot, the less accessible it will become. You can make the front page better, and rearrange the review pages a bit for easier viewing on tablets and whatnot, but generally speaking, the more you play with it for it to look stylish, the less accessible it will be. Esp the forums!

Don't go overboard.

And as for the site being older than many of its readers, i don't really see that in the forums, so I'm not sure where you are getting that demographic from.


Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:55 am
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
ardendulou wrote:
Been reading you since late 1996. The funny review I ever read was your Kull review. I would re-read that just to laugh out loud. Though I miss the snarky movie reviews, my wife and I have used your reviews to dictate what movies we see or don't see. Keep up the great work.

Yep me too. 1996. Those were the days. rec.arts.movies.reviews was a daily read for me, along with alt.sex.binaries... errr, better stop there :lol: .


Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:00 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
A few interesting stats from this ReelThought... in 1996 James already had about 700 reviews on his site that had only been up for 3 months? Also... "I have scribbled nearly 4000 reviews (2700 of which are available via the site)"... so there are 1300 other reviews? Unbelievable.

Where do you get the time and the energy to watch all these movies and focus your thoughts and write all those reviews? Insane. All this and you had a full time day job not to mention a hectic schedule driving around watching baseball.

I've been visiting reelviews since around 1998/1999 and since then I have valued JamesB's opinion on whether to see a movie or pass. I guess I never really got in to the great Roger Eberts reviews.. he has a very different style. JamesB seems more methodical and thorough in his movie analysis which I personally prefer.


Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:38 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Was the critic you replaced Lou Gaul? I remember he wrote for the Burlington County Times when I lived in Jersey.


It is Lou Gaul. A good critic and a nice man.


Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:54 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
James Berardinelli wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Was the critic you replaced Lou Gaul? I remember he wrote for the Burlington County Times when I lived in Jersey.


It is Lou Gaul. A good critic and a nice man.


He was a good critic. Good to see they replaced hi with another good one.

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Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:12 pm
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Post Re: January 26, 2014: "Coming of Age"
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Was the critic you replaced Lou Gaul? I remember he wrote for the Burlington County Times when I lived in Jersey.


It is Lou Gaul. A good critic and a nice man.


He was a good critic. Good to see they replaced hi with another good one.


Lou still does the video columns, some feature stories, and interviews. I do the new/theatrical reviews.


Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:25 pm
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