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Why do we follow Berardinelli? 
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Post Why do we follow Berardinelli?
Two apologies first: Sorry for the long absence, and sorry for the provocative subject :-)

Personally for me, its because of 2 reasons: movie reviews that match my own feelings about a particular movie (there are differences, but rather few), and ReelThoughts that are contemporary and "on the money."

In fact ReelThoughts more than the reviews.

The only movie I remember where I agreed with Jim's review and disagreed with most other reviews out there was The Sixth Sense.

So, as far as reviews are concerned - while I love the 0 star and 1 star reviews - one can get a feeling of the film from elsewhere as well.

What we don't get elsewhere is ReelThoughts.

And ReelThoughts is what has suffered most in recent times. There was a time when it used to come out twice a week.Now once every 30 days is if you are lucky.

Even if Jim is primarily a "movie reviewer" - can we ask him to reduce his movie review by one each week, but ask for a ReelThought post in its stead?

After all for every Sixth Sense that I agree to - there are a few Toy Story 3s that I don't agree to (come on!- Toy Story 3 and Inception at same level? :-))

Polar Bear


Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:08 pm
Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
I don't read him as much as I used to, but I like the fact that he isn't a pro. His writings come from the perspective of the everyday viewer.

By contrast, Ebert (just by way of a f'r instance) has been a professional critic for 40 years. He is an excellent writer and has an unimpeachable knowledge of film. He has much of what you might want out of a film critic, but he does not have that everyman perspective. That's where Berardinelli brings value to the discussion.


Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:53 pm
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
I tend to go and see science fiction and fantasy movies anyway but, in trying to decide what else to see, I fall back on a short list of "critics" whose taste seems closest to my own. Although I'm a pensioner and get a discount when I pay at the door, lack of a regular income means I have to be careful with spending. From my point of view, JB is a useful resource and gives me good value.


Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:23 pm
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
I stumbled upon his reviews during my earliest searches on the internet sometime in the 90's. Learned early on that I could pretty reliably gage whether or not I'd like a movie based upon his review (I don't agree with many of his reviews, but I can calibrate myself to them most of the time.) I like the way he writes and I like the way he includes some insights into his personal life from time to time. Makes for a better connection (one way obviously) and a greater variety of material to read than movies alone. I don't really go to other sites except an occasional foray into rotten tomatoes.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:46 pm
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
I do like his everyman perspective, even though I seem to disagree with his views more often then agree with them.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:01 pm
Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
Sad to report that I generally don't read his reviews, but do check the star ratings. James reviews mainly follow a formula that rarely offers deep insight. I'm also a problem here in that I have increasingly fallen in love with foreign and classic movies versus the product that is foisted upon us each week.

I love the community that is here and really do like the comments of people on this forum.

As for critics, Ebert of course, Mark Kermode in the UK is my ultra favorite and I love Slant. The Internet has provided so many great sources of information and few are better than the Criterion website, DVD Beaver and this forum.

Rob


Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:36 am
Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
I found JB in my freshman year of high school in 1998. His first review I ever read was for Ronin. Eventually I found his site and became a regular visitor. Throughout my school years, I've patterned a lot of my writing style after him. I was always careful about plagarization, but there was always something about him that seemed like a perfect fit for me. Literate without being pretentious, informative without being too tangental; he struck the perfect chord and I've stuck with him ever since as my No. 1 critic of choice.


Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:16 pm
Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
A few years ago I read people mentioning Berardinelli in a way that his review is "the" reference. For years I bought Variety yearbooks (mid 90s, pre-Internet) and I enjoyed them. The I discovered Ebert and his philosophical reviews. Then (after having read the above mentioned) I checked out Berardinelli (who often was right beneath Ebert in "reviews" on IMDB. Berardinelli is great reading. Straight to the point, rich yet accessible vocabulary, a broad background and always very clever analysis. I read almost all of his reviews - I think he didn't lose his edge and the man definitely is a reference - and this isn't even his day job. I admire the man. US-English: Period. UK-English: full stop.


Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:21 pm
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
I don't remember what year he started this site but I've pretty much been a followers since very early on. At least since 1996, maybe even earlier.

The look of the site is probably what drew me to it. But the quality of his writing and reviews are probably what kept me coming back. That hasn't changed.

I don't read Ebert as much I use to. But I do read his reviews from time to time. I really loved watching him on television whether with Gene Siskel or Richard Roeper and all the guest critics in between. Most of the time I like his writing and his opinions, but there are times, every now and then, when he rubs me the wrong way. I think his 1/2 * review for The Girl Next Door is the biggest I have ever disagreed with him (and Roeper). He also gave ZERO STARS to Wolf Creek and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) which I liked both, especially Wolf Creek. And I was deeply offended by his view of Texas Chainsaw Massacre with his insinuation that anybody who liked Texas Chainsaw Massacre needed professional help. It honestly made me lose a lot of respect for him. Still enjoy him overall though.


Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:45 am
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
ilovemovies wrote:
I don't remember what year he started this site but I've pretty much been a followers since very early on. At least since 1996, maybe even earlier.

The look of the site is probably what drew me to it. But the quality of his writing and reviews are probably what kept me coming back. That hasn't changed.

I don't read Ebert as much I use to. But I do read his reviews from time to time. I really loved watching him on television whether with Gene Siskel or Richard Roeper and all the guest critics in between. Most of the time I like his writing and his opinions, but there are times, every now and then, when he rubs me the wrong way. I think his 1/2 * review for The Girl Next Door is the biggest I have ever disagreed with him (and Roeper). He also gave ZERO STARS to Wolf Creek and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) which I liked both, especially Wolf Creek. And I was deeply offended by his view of Texas Chainsaw Massacre with his insinuation that anybody who liked Texas Chainsaw Massacre needed professional help. It honestly made me lose a lot of respect for him. Still enjoy him overall though.
Yeah, Ebert's biggest problem is that he sometimes seems unable to comprehend the idea that his opinion is not the "correct" opinion, and so he assumes that anyone who disagrees with him is ignorant, at least that's the impression I get, and too often he lets his own personal feelings get in the way of properly reviewing films, like in the case of Kick Ass, he barely spent any time talking about the acting or story and instead spent most of the review dwelling on one scene(and he still felt the need to bring it up in his review of Green Lantern for whatever reason)
I still do like him though, the fact that he gave Speed 2 a postivie review and has sonsistently defended said review is reason enough for me to respect him, glad i'm not the only one who liked that film.


Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:54 am
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
I love the fact that he's the only critic to give a positive review for the Burt Reynolds dud Cop and a Half. Watching him and Gene spar about that movie was great. Fun stuff.


Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:57 am
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
ilovemovies wrote:
I love the fact that he's the only critic to give a positive review for the Burt Reynolds dud Cop and a Half. Watching him and Gene spar about that movie was great. Fun stuff.

Yeah, I liked that movie as well, so it was nice to see him defend it.


Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:02 am
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
Well I'm not really a fan of the movie. I don't think it's horrible, but it's not good either. I just loved seeing him like a movie that everyone else hated and see him defend it to Gene Siskel. Like I said, fun stuff.


Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:11 am
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
ilovemovies wrote:
Well I'm not really a fan of the movie. I don't think it's horrible, but it's not good either. I just loved seeing him like a movie that everyone else hated and see him defend it to Gene Siskel. Like I said, fun stuff.

Yeah, god knows i'd see that film over most of Reynolds filmography(Physical Evidenace anyone?)


Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:13 am
Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
If all this proves anything, it's that you can at least depend upon Ebert to be honest about what he's thinking, even if he finds that it's out of step with his peers. There are many film critics who cannot be trusted to do the same.


Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:40 am
Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
Because he doesn't write jackass one sentence obits.


Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:44 pm
Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
Oh wow; so many reasons. The most obvious is that I appreciate his taste in film but also, I enjoy his writing style - informed and intelligent without coming across as too stuffy and elitist.


Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:13 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:00 am
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
I read Jame's reviews because I find myself in agreement a great portion of the time and for the specific reasons he mentions. But the irony to that great harmony is when we disagree, it's usually for a vast cavern of reasons. It's an interesting contradiction that seems to be rooted in personal biases he has with certain topics and actors. Too bad. I think if he opened his eyes a little more to some of these films, he would find some gems in there. James is a little quick on the trigger to judge and broad stroke genre's and actors (both for and against). I'm not a big fan of labeling. You can't critique what you haven't seen.


Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:15 am
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
Because nobody else will lead us.


Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:00 am
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Post Re: Why do we follow Berardinelli?
I found James a couple of years ago through a blogger and was immediately drawn to him. One of the main reasons I hate full-time critics is that they never really understand what the audience is expecting. To them, it is mostly about the higher plane of cinema, and their first criteria when watching any film is to be "critical" about it. That is not an unreasonable position because it is their job, but I never read a majority of the critics for that reason alone.

When I started reading JB's reviews, his history with film and bio. I realized that he is pretty much like any of us who blog about our passions - be it movies, games or music - but he has the ability and conviciton to do it more regularly than most of us can afford. If a movie is entertaining without appealing to the "elite" critics, then JB's review stands as a level-headed opinion amongst others. Of course, needless to say, I soon realized that my taste in film was starkly similar to James', and I have stuck with him ever since.

Also, his writing style is so simple yet offers everything you need to know about a movie. For part-time bloggers new to writing, using his style as a basic template is the best thing that can be done. That cannot be really considered plagiarism since you have to start somewhere and James' style is the best pattern on which to base your writing on.

Another reason is that he is one of the contemporary reviewers who have kept up with technological advancements. I lost all respect for Ebert's opinion after his tirade against videogames. He has zero insight on the topic and the growth of games over the past few years as a story-telling medium. He is too short-sighted in thinking that games never really evolved from being only about who gets the highest score. Yet he somehow thinks his opinion is universal and his statement is final. Contrast that with James who has told that he is not really a regular gamer but has played something like a Dragon Age and can understand what the medium is about.

I can point out more examples, but all of them put together make his opinion on such matters more valid than countless others. Needless to say, his Reelthoughts are also more insightful and pleasure to read as a result.

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Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:46 am
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