It turns out reviewing movies on a regular basis is harder than I thought it would be, however, they’ve sort of become the back bone of this blog. I suppose it was inevitable since I don’t care to pick over ever detail of a movie before it’s even released, I have zero interest in box office projections or recaps, and even less interest in Hollywood gossip. Until movie stars start flinging themselves at me, begging me to interview them, I guess it’s going to continue to mainly be about reviews.
I do enjoy writing them when they go well, unfortunately they don’t always. As we speak, I’ve got two full drafts sitting there in my pile languishing; unfit for human consumption. For several more films I have yet to even set fingers to keyboard. A quick glance at the Review Index shows me that 7 movies are listed as Coming Soon, but “Soon” passed a long time ago. They should read “Coming Maybe”.
One of the problems I find is that it’s difficult to be quick yet still get inside of a movie. The stock and trade of the internet is immediacy which doesn’t play well when you’re a rewriter, a tinkerer and a ponderer like me. The end result is that either I rush something up before I’m really happy with it or I work on it and work on it until long after everyone has moved on to the next batch of new releases. Yeah “Get your fresh, red hot Ratatouille review here, folks!” Indeed. Maybe in time for the DVD release. I’ve tried to be faster and I’ve tried to be less picky, but with limited success.
Another problem is the Spoiler. Spoiler warnings are awkward and inconvenient and I don’t like how they interrupt the flow of a review. I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone, however, so I generally just try to dance around a plot in a way that won’t reveal anything significant. That way I can avoid spoilers altogether. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to talk about a movie in any depth without revealing key information, and because I believe the less you know about a movie in advance the better, my definition of key information is extremely liberal. It’s a surprise really that all of my reviews don’t read something like “One time, there was this guy, and he did this thing, and then this other thing happened, and it was so awesome you should totally check it out.”
So how do I react quickly, avoid spoilers and still manage to pick a movie apart while hopefully inspiring some kind of discussion from other people who’ve seen it? Well, the current experiment I’m trying out with 3:10 to Yuma is to put up a general spoiler-free “what’s it about, who’s in it, did I like it or hate it and why?” kind of thing as quickly as possible and then to come back later in the week with a follow-up that’s a little more direct, in depth and thoughtful; something that will likely be packed with spoilers, that will likely begin with a general warning, but is really intended for people who have seen the movie. It could be inspired by something I’ve read after the fact or it could just be the result of further consideration or an email I got from a friend. It may even include a shift in opinion. I’d spend zero time regurgitating the plot and all the time wallowing in some aspect of the film that moved me, confused me, inspired me or pissed me off.
That’s the theory anyway. I think it sounds good on paper, but it remains to be seen how it plays out (if it plays out) in the real world. I’ve already diverted from my intentions with a more detailed review of Yuma than I’d planned, but whatever. I’ve got more to say on that film and will follow up in the coming days. Let me know what you think of this idea if you think anything about it at all.
Also, on a final note: what do you think of the cheesy star ratings? I know they’re simplistic and corny, but damnit I matured into a movie lover with a tattered, but always current copy of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide in my hands. I like to think I’ve grown beyond the blurb-and-grade, but I’m not sure I ever want to completely let it go. Call me nostalgic. Call me a simp. What do you think? Do you like them? Do you hate them? Do you care?
I give this post 2 1/2 stars. I enjoyed it I guess, but it dragged in spots and ultimately left me wondering what the point was.