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Movie criticism

Roger Ebert says that the hardest part of being a movie reviewer is that you have to watch 200+ movies each year. Most people don’t like movies that much and burn out after several months. I just checked my records. I watched 152 Blu-rays that I hadn’t seen before in the last year. When you add in things I had seen previously, DVDs, Netflix and the theater, I probably am over two hundred. Granted, I only wrote in-depth criticism of a handful of those, though I did post smart-ass remarks about dozens more on Facebook. I may actually have the necessary temperament.

Earlier this year, I decided not to apply for an opening at Rewind (after spending several hours developing a review of Sucker Punch that fit their format) because I don’t think that my TV is good enough for me to accurately judge picture quality. Once I get regular income, I’ll drop $2,000 or so on a decent TV and this will no longer be a concern. Of course, I also won’t have as much time to write.

One of the main issues is I am not really a slave to the release schedule. I am generally watching things that came out years ago. Most demand is for new releases. People who write for websites tend to get free releases from the studios, but I wonder about deadlines. For instance, Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series hit Blu-ray a while back. It’s seventy-three episodes, a miniseries, two movies and a couple collections of webisodes. The majority of episodes have an audio commentary and deleted scenes, plus there are various other special features. In total, there’s about one hundred hours of material. When a reviewer receives such a set in the mail, how long much time do the have to write the review? How much do they get paid. Granted, it’s Battlestar Galactica, so a low hourly rate may be acceptable, but reviewers are also expected to watch a lot of shitty shows and movies.

Sometime in the next few weeks, I should be finishing both Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek. I think that when I’m done, I’ll write in depth looks at the Blu-ray releases of both and something about how the sci-fi genre has changed over the last few decades. I mat endeavor to write about every movie I watch from now on as well. In the meantime, I’ve become active on TV Tropes. I think I’ll write about that experience once I’ve done more actual editing. Right now, my experience is mostly in arguing in the trope repair shop.

Plus, I still have a family event thing to write about. I’ll start that with a question for the readers: How old do you have to be before people stop insinuating that you don’t understand because you’re too young and eventually, you’ll agree with them?

P.S. Is there some way to find posts that Facebook did not see fit to preserve on timeline? There’s some stuff there I’d like to find.


Question for the readers

Sorry I’ve been away lately, but I’ve developed lots of ideas. I’ve been wanting to do an article or series about ideas that you can’t express without a large number of people interpreting you to mean something else. Have I established enough liberal cred to complain about common liberal memes that really bug me because they are slogans masquerading as solutions or otherwise divorced from reality without people taking it to mean that I disagree with the sentiments expressed? Is that even possible?

It Makes One Recoil

This was for US-Japan relations. The assignment was to respond to two articles: one about how dropping the a-bomb on Japan was justified and one about how it wasn’t. Read more…

The Fictional Chinaman: Chinese in American Popular Culture 1880-1930

This was for transnational America. I think we were supposed to write about how American pop-culture depictions of some ethnic group developed. Read more…

Greek philosophy paper

This was for Hellenistic Greece and Rome. Were were supposed to pick on the major ancient Greek philosophical schools and argue for it and not just copy the arguments in the book. Read more…

Response to Augustine’s confessions

This was for Ancient Hellenistic Greece and Rome. I was supposed to read parts of the New Testament, then Augustine’s confessions and a secondary source about church history, then write about how Christianity had developed in the interim. Note: Confessions is a really long book. This was one of my biggest marathon papers because of that, despite it not being very long. Read more…

Alexander the Great in the movies

This was for Hellenistic Greece and Rome. I was supposed to read our actual historical sources on Alexander, then watch Oliver Stone’s movie, then write about how and why they are different. Read more…