Sometimes I picture myself going back in time and having the following conversation with myself as a kid:
Present Me: You know how Star Wars is awesome?
Past Me: Totally.
Present Me: Well in 2008, there will be a new Star Wars movie.
Past Me: That’s totally tubular.
Present Me: But you’ll barely notice it’s in theaters, and not bother seeing it.
Past Me: That doesn’t sound like me.
Present Me: Six years later, you’ll use your fancy future technology that beams movies directly into your home to watch it. But then you’ll get bored after 20 minutes and turn it off.
Past Me: What the hell?
Present Me: Because new Star Wars is terrible.
Past: Bogus. But that beaming movies into your home thing sounds bad.
Present: Actually, it’s pretty good. Oh wait, you’re in the 80s, and are using “bad” in the Michael Jackson sense of the word. Speaking of Michael Jackson, there’s something else I should tell you…
Here’s a neat little website that lets you enter a movie or TV show, and tells you what streaming services it’s available.
Can I Stream It
(Thanks to my friend Celine who pointed me to this on Facebook)
I’ve had my blog going for a little over a month now, and I would be interested in feedback from my readers.
1. What do you think about the length of posts in the Movies We Still Care About series? 1986 A-M was 1250 words and 10 embedded videos. 1986 N-Z was 825 words and 6 videos. Which length do you prefer? In general, do you wish posts were longer, shorter, or about the same? (That’s actually two separate questions, now that I think about it. Do you want me to write more or less about each year, and do you want each year broken up into more or less individual posts?)
2. How do you visit the blog? Checking the site periodically, an RSS feed, through my Facebook automatic links, or some other means?
3. Do you have a preference for what time posts should appear? I usually write the MWSCA posts ahead of time and schedule them for the next morning, so I can easily start scheduling them for a specific time if my readers prefer it.
4. Do you have any suggestions for improving the layout and formatting? I’m not very happy with these, but I’m not sure how to improve them. Note that complaints like “The layout is stupid, it’s hard to find old posts, and you should choose a different layout” are less helpful than suggestions like “Switch to the XXXX layout” or “You should add an navigation bar, which is an option that you can find in such and such a WordPress menu.” Even if you don’t know enough about WordPress to tell me *how* to make an improvement, suggesting specific improvements to make would be more helpful than vague complaints.
5. Are there any other suggestions or opportunities for improvement that you would like to bring up?
Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond to this.
I’m a struggling screenwriter with an MFA from USC. In the years since I’ve graduated, I’ve had some gigs writing dialogue and trivia for video games, and have had a few near-misses in terms of selling my scripts. But I certainly can’t be said to have “made it.” I have to work a day job and do my writing on the side. But I still regularly write, and I believe that through practice my writing is continually improving.
I have a love for the craft of storytelling and how it can be done most effectively. This love leaves me feeling personally hurt and offended when a story fails to live up to its potential. My attitude toward movies can be summed up by Anton Ego in the film Ratatouille. When he is told “You’re thin for someone who likes food,” he responds with, “I don’t like food, I love it. If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.”
Many years ago, I had a somewhat popular LiveJournal where I frequently blogged about movies from a cranky and snarky perspective. Sometimes I would give a detailed analysis of exactly where a movie went wrong and how it could have been done better. But more often, I would give an off-the-cuff mockery and dismissal of a film. “From the writer of [some comically terrible movie] and the director of [some other comically terrible movie], comes a yet another blatant rip off of [some movie that keeps getting ripped off.]” Or “The Emperor has no clothes and [some critically acclaimed but pretentious director] can’t direct his way out of a paper bag.” Things like that.
While these posts were popular with my readers, I eventually realized I needed to quit doing this. I felt that relentlessly focusing on the negative was hurting me, both in terms of my writing and as a person. I had to protect my anonymity for fear of alienating someone that might be hiring me in the future. And I just got burned out on hate in general. I used to claim that even though almost all of my reviews are scathing, I’d much rather write a positive one, because that means that I got to see an excellent movie. Perhaps that was true, but I certainly didn’t act like it was true.
But I did enjoy blogging, and since I quit I’ve missed having that creative outlet for critical analysis. I can write essays on Facebook that will be seen by some of my friends, but that’s not the same. So I’m starting this new blog, with a more positive focus.
Which is not to say that everything I write will be roses and sunshine. I can’t highlight the positive without contrasting that against where things fall short. But I will endeavor to direct this blog toward what’s great about movies, rather than what’s wrong with them.