Merit in Reviews

I figure after my last rant disparaging the content of (and, to a lesser extent, the AV Club), I should probably take a little time to discuss why I think what I have to say has any merit.

It's not as thought I have a background in "cinema studies" -- at least, not a "formal" one.I took a couple of film schools back in college, although the term "took" is used rather loosely. it would be more accurate to say that I sat in on a couple of film classes because they showed free movies once a week and I had time to kill (and "movies shown for free to anyone that wants to see them" is my way to kill a couple of hours once a week). The only requirement to these classes was that anyone who watched the movie had to stick around for discussions afterwards, and if there's anything I like more than watching movies it's listening to my own voice discussing movies.

Beyond that, most of the review "experience" has come from the few review sites I've participated in. I contributed content to a Wrestling site for a while (it's was for their "cinema and games" section, not anything actually related to wrestling -- I'm not actually certain how I got involved with a wrestling site since I don't actually watch wrestling). I also co-founded a couple of review sites, the most recent of which was called Asteroid G (and all of which eventually met the same fate when people's lives got too busy: the sites simply died and faded away).

The most success I've had as a reviewer was on the Inverted Castlevania Dungeon, a site I created to parody the Castlevania series which eventually grew into a full review site covering games, movies, and even books and comics.I worked on that site for years and years before becoming absorbed in my comic. At it's height it managed to get to page two of a Google search for "Castlevania" (page two being, as XKCD pointed out recently, a horrific wasteland no one wants to ever venture into).

So why should you listen to me? I guess I don't have a great answer for that. I love movies. I absolutely love movies. Arthouse cinema, stupid popcorn flicks, big blockbusters and smaller independent movies -- I'll watch anything (and often times, buy them all). My house is dominated by shelving filled with all the movies I own (with more shelving elsewhere to hold the ludicrous amount of books, comics, and video games I own as well). If it's possible to become an expert in cinema simply by watching everything I can (and having long, drawn out discussions with friends about what we watched), then I think I've achieved that (in fact, I'm willing to bet that's who people who actually are "experts" became experts, they just paid to get a degree saying "expert" on it... hopefully with a gold star as well).

The point of reviews is for someone to watch something to tell you whether or not you should then watch it. In the past I've written long winded reviews about whole slews of movies (just go check out ICVD if you want to see a bunch of them that are still up -- warning, many of them are old and seem to me to now be poorly written), but for this blog I've wanted to try something different: to lead discussions on movies (and their sequels, and prequels, and similar materials, and really anything that suits my fancy to discuss). At the end of the column, though, when I'm talking about movies, I'm reviewing them.

Hopefully my long winded ramblings give you the information you need to go off and find stuff to watch and enjoy. That's my goal, and that's why I hope you like what I have to say.