Category Archives: Comments

Priority update

You may have noticed that new reviews have been in somewhat shorter supply the past few weeks.  This is a direct result of a recent trip back to Pakistan, where I grew up, and to India.  The experience altered my priorities in a number of ways, and further involvement in and study of the subcontinent has consumed much of the time I used to spend writing and posting reviews.  As a result, I have only been managing between one and three reviews a week.

I do not wish to cease reviewing films, and will continue doing so as time allows.  My revised goal is to post two or three new reviews each week, a continued mixture of new releases and old films.  There have been over 265 reviews in the 16 months since I started the site, a number I hope is not insignificant.  I doubt I will manage as many reviews in the next 16 months, but I hope each new review will be of higher quality than the last.

The About page has been slightly re-worded as a result of my new priorities, so please check it out.  Also, I hope to post my list of the year’s top 10 films (of those I’ve seen) in the next couple days, so please stay tuned!

Back in the country

I’ve recently safely returned from a wonderful trip to Pakistan and India.  Many perspectives were changed, priorities reset.  More updates will follow with a few details, I’m sure.  In the meantime, it will take me a short while to recommence posting reviews.  Please bear with me in these lean times.

Chatting with filmmakers – and reviewing their films?

You may have noticed a recent dearth in fresh reviews.  I assure you, I will continue to watch films and provide written analysis.  Recently, however, my job has been enveloped by a film festival.  This is a grand thing, and a great deal of fun, but also rather tiring.  As such, I have had fewer opportunities to post new reviews.

At the same time, I have had a chance to chat with a number of young filmmakers from around the world.  These chats have been enlightening but have highlighted a cause for concern as I continue reviewing films.  The more one gets to know a filmmaker, the more difficult it is to objectively analyze and criticize their work.

The same holds true for mainstream filmmakers whom I may interview.  I’ve recently talked with Randall Wallace about his new film Secretariat, and Bruce Beresford and Chi Cao about Mao’s Last Dancer.  After talking to the filmmakers I have felt a conflict of interest in posting an honest review of each film.  Neither film is bad, and both will be greatly enjoyed by their respective audiences, but I will not be posting my reviews publicly.  The same will be true going forward.

Update, again

Many more apologies, but more reviews shall simply have to wait until I return from the Cornerstone Music Festival (I go for seminars on movies; up this year, zombies and The Planet of the Apes).  Waiting in the wings will be reviews of Toy Story 3 (I’m still processing its place in the Pixar canon), Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., and Night of the Living Dead.  Thanks for your patience!

Update

As you might have noticed, I’ve been away from the website for about a week.  Vacation time is pleasant, though it doesn’t necessarily allow for the continual posting of reviews.  Rest assured, there are more reviews forthcoming and I will attempt to continue posting a review every other day.  The next week, also, might be a little sparse, but after that things should be back to normal.

Site update

There is a new addition to the website: the ubiquitous Facebook Like button now appears at the top of every review and update.  It may still be temporary, as it’s a little unclear if it will be worth keeping around, but for now that’s they way it is.

There are a lot of reviews upcoming, including Sergeant York, Blowup, The Greatest American Snuff Film, Forrest Gump, Prospero’s BooksSuspiria, Shinjuku Triad Society, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, and Cremaster 4.

As always, feel free to leave lots of comments and suggestions for future reviews you might like to read.

In the meantime, another truly ridiculous movie poster, the Polish ad for Alligator.

Update

Between the last day of December, 2009, and February 20th, 2010, I managed to post a review every day, except when I posted my Top 10 Films of 2000-2009.  I am now a bit busier than I was during that period, so I’m afraid I will have to slow down a bit, and will probably only be able to review three or four films a week.  Some of them are old reviews from the days of the Piradical Productions message board, but many of those old reviews require a great deal of editing to meet my standards.

In the meantime allow me to leave you with a couple of truly awful VHS covers.  I hope to be able to review both movies in the next month or so.  The first is The Mad Butcher, sporting one of my favorite covers/posters of all time.  The absurdity of the situation depicted is hilarious, as are the odd proportions involved.

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Best Movies of the Decade, Part 1: Honorable Mention

Best Movies of the Decade, Part 1: Honorable Mention

Let me first admit that I have not seen most of the films that came out this decade.  Instead of watching a great deal of studio productions, I delved into some odd foreign fare, ranging from bizarre Japanese films to the new wave of European horror spearheaded by the French.  Most of these films, though interesting, would not warrant inclusion on a “Best of the Decade” list.  Partially as a result of watching these types of movies, I missed some of what would be critically acknowledged as the classic films of the 2000’s.

I say all of this to clarify what follows.  The list below is not definitive by any means; it is merely the best of what I happened to see during the past ten years.  During that time I managed to watch a great deal of truly classic films, though the majority of them have been made over the past 70-80 years.  This list will focus only on those films made from 2000-2009.

There is a difference between films I enjoy watching and films that stick with me through the years.  I’ve found that Avatar [review here], while enjoyable, is not a movie I dwell on more than its media presence (and box office gross) demands.  Others, like Spoorloos [review here], I find myself contemplating long after I’ve seen them, even if they aren’t the most dazzling and technically proficient films.  The latter is the type of film included on the following list.

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100th review posted! And top movies of the year (that I’ve seen)

The Lovely Bones review marks the 100th movie review I’ve posted on the site since it launched in the middle of August, 2009.

I’ve made some enhancements to the website since it first premiered, though there is more I would like to do with it.  You might have noticed that you can now search reviews by both star rating and pirate flag rating on the reviews page.  I have been thinking about adding the option to search by year, since I tend to watch films from a variety of decades.

Thanks to everyone who visits the site and leaves comments and suggestions on films I should review.  Please keep the comments and suggestions coming!

Top Films of the Year

Since 2009 is now over I should probably make mention of some of the notable films I’ve seen in the past year.  Because I am not a professional film critic, I am not required to see every new release.  This is a blessing, because there is a great deal of drivel I would rather not have to suffer through.  On the other hand, there are some acclaimed films I miss out on.  I still would like to see The Hurt Locker and The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Perhaps a combination of the dollar theater and Oscar season re-releases will afford me the opportunity.

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Heartland Film Festival – update

I’m afraid it’s going to be a bit slow on the movie review front, at least for a few days.  I’m just now back from another 12+ hour day (today was 13.5, yesterday was 13, tomorrow will probably be at least 13), so that doesn’t leave much time for reviewing movies.

On a positive note, the Heartland Film Festival is amazing.  So far I’ve met many filmmakers, which is very exciting, and I will meet many more tomorrow and the next few days after that.

Thanks for your patience as the reviews here slow down!