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January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts" 
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Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
JB, my feelings about films in the past year or so have pretty much mirrored yours, which is why I hadn't been frequenting this site over the past 4-5 months as I had before. I don't recall a period where there has been so much mediocrity in films in the past decade. I wish that all years could be like 2008, but it just isn't so.

I do have a theory about this: I think that the majority of *good* writers in Hollywood have been gravitating more towards work in television than in films, as I think that there are quite a few good TV series out there right now. I've definitely been more compelled to watch shows on TV rather than films in theaters over the past year with shows like House, Family Guy, Law and Order (before it got canceled- screw you, NBC), Boardwalk Empire, American Dad, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, etc. The one thing in entertainment that I'm most anticipating right now is an upcoming TV series (re: Game of Thrones). IMO, the small screen is dominating the big screen in quality right now.


Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:58 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
Jonathon9 wrote:
I was just wondering if you have any plans of perhaps endeavoring to secure a position as film critic for a major (or at least somewhat large) newspaper? I know the newspaper industry has been in a steady decline, but there are still numerous film critics that are employed by newspapers, and perhaps if one of those critics ever left their newspaper employer, you could apply to take their place. I'm sure Roger Ebert would be happy to recommend you, and if the newspaper saw your remarkable output of reviews over the past 20 years, combined with the fact that you already bring with you a loyal fanbase, they would be crazy not to hire you.

Anyway, just something to consider.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

That was a good laugh. It's a good thought but newspapers are the past and when critics leave for whatever reason, they usually don't get replaced or they just syndicate Ebert's review.


Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:59 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
X10000 to paying a "donation" fee to get rid of the ads in the forum and your site from month to month or on a yearly basis. I'm a member of quite a few forums where this is an option and I think you might be surprised how many people would go for this James. I know I would instantly.

On topic with your recent depression regarding the movies out there...I went from going to the movies almost every weekend...skipping college classes to go to movies...you name it. To MAYBE going once a month now? I hope for everyones sake things turn around and Hollywood realizes that the retreaded crap they've been churning out is being trumped by TV shows! Who would have ever thought i'd look forward to new episodes of Breaking Bad(or insert any other well written TV show out there) over a new movie release...


Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:08 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
Colin wrote:
X10000 to paying a "donation" fee to get rid of the ads in the forum and your site from month to month or on a yearly basis. I'm a member of quite a few forums where this is an option and I think you might be surprised how many people would go for this James. I know I would instantly.

On topic with your recent depression regarding the movies out there...I went from going to the movies almost every weekend...skipping college classes to go to movies...you name it. To MAYBE going once a month now? I hope for everyones sake things turn around and Hollywood realizes that the retreaded crap they've been churning out is being trumped by TV shows! Who would have ever thought i'd look forward to new episodes of Breaking Bad(or insert any other well written TV show out there) over a new movie release...


Colin! It's been a long time since I've seen your pickle...wait, that didn't sound right.

I always thought the donation-to-remove-ads thing would be difficult to implement, but if it actually isn't then it's probably not a bad idea to consider. Maybe someone could do a poll asking how many people would donate for the no-ads version (that's a hint to any moderator).

Also: there are still a lot of worthy movies out there if you're not happy with what's in the multiplex. With Netflix and all these VOD options (both online and from the cable companies) there's never been a better time to be a movie fan.


Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:22 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
Patrick wrote:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

That was a good laugh. It's a good thought but newspapers are the past and when critics leave for whatever reason, they usually don't get replaced or they just syndicate Ebert's review.


Agreed. Print is an almost entirely dead medium, and that's coming from someone who's worked in it.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:51 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
Hey James

No idea if it helps, or you already consider, but perhaps an enlightening view is really absorb the fact you have so many followers, of both reviews and reelthoughts (plenty of people out there are like that example email you posted)

Just a thought to perhaps provide a little bit of energy; I know that my ego would be fed if I wrote something and knew thousands would likely read it.

There are plenty of us out there waiting for you next review or reelthought.

Certainly not saying feel obliged to write something for the sake of it, but perhaps let it go to your head a bit more that you are an important critic to a lot of people. I've been reading virtually every review since 03 (middle of the top 100), and still anticipate your next ones.

Or even a 'fuck it i'll just make something up today' attitude could be fun. We'll all still be waiting for the next one.

Keep up the good work mate, even if becoming sparse :)


Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:56 am
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
Do what you like, like what you do. Kudos! :)


Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:41 am
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
James,

As someone who is also 43 and also born in Sept 67, it is kind of scary how I feel very similiar. My example is not that of being a film critic, however for the past 18 years I have bought Empire magazine every month (and yes, i still have them all). I have found over the last 6 months that I am buying it now more out of a sense of completeness of collection rather than a genuine interest in the Movies discussed. Where once I devoured every article, knew the 'spine messages', I now simply skip to reviews of new movies, check the DVD reviews and file the magazine away.

The wow factor when it comes of Movies is not there. I can honestly say that not since the final LOTR movie has there been a movie I simply had to see.

I am still holding out hope that the magic will return. I am hoping it is like my favourite football team, currently going through a transition period, but we hope and expect then to reach former glories some stage in the future.


Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:43 am
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
I'm going to wax profound.


An avid trout fisherman dies and his soul is transported to the bank of a beautiful trout stream. A rod and reel appear beside him and he decides to see if the stream is as productive as it is attractive. He approaches the water to see a beautiful Brownie rising to the surface. He casts his line and the fish takes the lure immediately, putting up a brief but tenacious fight before arriving in the man's basket. He steps back to the water's edge to see another trout rising and, to his amazement, he repeats his fortune. This happens several times before a shimmering figure appears on the shore. The apparition informs the man that every time a trout rises he must cast to it and reel it in.
"Wow!" said the man, "This is incredible!"
He casts again and says to the figure, "I never thought Heaven would be like this."
The figure responds, "Who said this was Heaven?"


James, enjoy whatever you're doing while you're doing it. Congrats on recognizing and moving towards improvement -whichever direction that might be.


Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:47 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
Nice article. I can totally understand your being jaded with Hollywood and finding that movies aren't as important in your life as they once were. What I'd say is, only write to the extent that you enjoy the product enough to justify it.

That having been said, I think I'm not alone in feeling like I would happily read your writings on things other than movies. I like your movie reviews, but what keeps me coming back to the site isn't them in particular, but more that I like hearing your take on things. You project a likeable online persona. One thing that I always liked about your writings is that you come across as someone who is somewhat sensitive, and smart--smart enough to not have to be pompous or phony to maintain a certain image. Also, your engineering background suggests a certain character (to me, anyway), because I think math and science are humbling things to study. So I'd say consider branching out to write about other stuff. I liked your iPad review.


Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:02 am
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
" Five or seven years ago, I dared to dream bigger, but the shoals of reality dashed those hopes".

James, I've only been reading you for about a year. So could you explain to me what "hopes" were crushed five years ago?


Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:58 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
Duke wrote:
" Five or seven years ago, I dared to dream bigger, but the shoals of reality dashed those hopes".

James, I've only been reading you for about a year. So could you explain to me what "hopes" were crushed five years ago?


The hope of Reelviews being a sustainable source of income so he could quit his day job


Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:25 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
I suspected that, but I was wondering the specifics of it ... like what did he do to try to make "Reelviews" his full-time job? I don't know, I would love to hear from him.


Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:44 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
Duke wrote:
I suspected that, but I was wondering the specifics of it ... like what did he do to try to make "Reelviews" his full-time job? I don't know, I would love to hear from him.


Hi Duke, welcome to the forum.

You can find some of it by searching through the older Reelthoughts entries. Here's one that will give a little backstory:

http://www.reelviews.net/reelthoughts.php?identifier=246

Basically Reelviews had a banner that proclaimed it was the Largest Non-Commercial Review Site on the Net. About 5 years ago JB gradually started introducing Ads and other possible revenue streams (Amazon links) in an effort to make Reelviews a full-time job. He has several Reelthoughts on the ad revenue. It was decent at first, but has dropped drastically since.


Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:59 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2011: "Real Thoughts"
James,

Many thoughts about your excellent posts.

One of my businesses was doing well in 2007 but the recession killed ad revenue and rev share streams so we switched to a subscription model and it has worked OK.

I moved to a diet of more classic and great movies about three years ago. I was simply bored with the packaged junk that was being served up each week. There's only so many hours of my life that I can spend wasting away in front of mediocrity that I just don't give a damn about. You're different as you need the traffic.

If you have given up on reel views ever gaining enough momentum to give up the day job, why not do the stuff you love?

Hollywood or the major studios will not improve. With ever increasing budgets come ever safer and less marginal decisions. They will continue to focus on average and sub intelligence, teens and family style 3D animation. the structure of media and the time frame requirements of video increasingly require huge opening, fast burnout movies. That's what we get. These are products born out of segmentation analysis rather than works of art.

Thoughtful movies will remain the preserve of indis and the off shoots of the majors.

I used to go to the movies 70+ times a year. last year was 6 and most of those were to take my kids.

All the best
Rob


Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:53 pm
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