Sunday, June 18, 2017

My first 100 reviews, and then some

Not of all time, mind you. I'm close to 1,400 if you include all the reviews I've ever written for one publication or another.

But this "milestone post" celebrates my one hundredth review for ReelGood, the Australian website that has engaged me as a freelancer since December of 2014.

My Cousin Rachel ignominiously claims the honor, or "honour" if I want to be Australian about it. "Ignominiously" not because the movie is bad, but because I've already forgotten about it five days after seeing it. (Not true, but I thought it was rather average -- meaning I still awarded it a 7/10. See other posts for my ongoing struggle with my personal ratings system.)

On the occasion of this milestone, instead of giving you a ponderous think piece about what it means to be a critic in our current world or what criticism means to me, I thought I'd do a "service" to potential future readers. (Hello, potential future readers! How has the future been treating you?)

That "service" will be to create a repository for all of these 100 reviews ... though unless you read this post within the next few days, there will be more than 100 in the list.

That's right, I'm going to create links to all of my ReelGood reviews, and add a new link every time a new one posts.

The purpose of this -- since I'm sure you're asking yourself that right now -- is to create a single location to point people who have asked to see some of what I've written. They can then choose from the whole list, in order to read a review that's germane to their own experience. I mean, if you want to see if I have valid film opinions and can argue them successfully, wouldn't you rather read a review of a film you've already seen, on which you already have your own perspective? With this post, you'll now have a chance to choose between all of them.

The way I used to handle this when it came up, which was maybe every other year, was to send them a flat list of all the reviews I'd written for AllMovie, the site that employed me from 2000 to 2011. By the end of my run there, it was more than 1,200 movies long. They'd then have to go to that site and search the title, if my disproportionate response to their innocent query didn't already shut them off to the whole idea of reading my reviews in the first place.

Now, technology is my friend and I can do this in a much easier way. Though to be honest, it's been more than a couple years since anyone's actually asked me this.

Never mind that it's now possible to search my reviews on ReelGood by clicking the hyperlink that appears on my name, something that wasn't possible until the site was redesigned about a year ago. So yeah, I'm about to commit to a fairly arduous undertaking that will also be essentially redundant.

But, I can't speak to how future redesigns may handle this functionality, so might as well.

Oh, and don't worry. I'll still keep updating my most recent three on the right side of this page. (I know you were worried.)

Reconsidering this list has allowed me to notice some funny things, like the fact that I reviewed The Assassin and Creed consecutively, and that five movies before that, I reviewed Justin Kurzel's Macbeth. A year after this, Justin Kurzel would direct Assassin's Creed ... which I did not review, nor see.

Okay. Probably don't need to bore you with any more preamble, although whether you'll continue "reading" at all after this is up to you. "Glancing" might be the better word.

Here we go, in chronological order:

1. Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
2. Foxcatcher (2014, Bennett Miller)
3. The Interview (2014, Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen)
4. St. Vincent (2014, Theodore Melfi)
5. The Wedding Ringer (2015, Jeremy Garelick)
6. Love is Strange (2014, Ira Sachs)
7. The Gambler (2014, Rupert Wyatt)
8. The Last Five Years (2015, Richard LaGravenese)
9. Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015, Mark Burton & Richard Starzak)
10. The Age of Adaline (2015, Lee Toland Krieger)
11. Clouds of Sils Maria (2015, Olivier Assayas)
12. While We're Young (2015, Noah Baumbach)
13. Gemma Bovery (2015, Anne Fontaine)
14. Woman in Gold (2015, Simon Curtis)
15. Spy (2015, Paul Feig)
16. Inside Out (2015, Pete Docter)
17. The Emperor's New Clothes (2015, Michael Winterbottom)
18. Freedom Stories (2015, Steve Thomas)
19. Love & Mercy (2015, Bill Pohlad)
20. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon)
21. The Gift (2015, Joel Edgerton)
22. Irrational Man (2015, Woody Allen)
23. Everest (2015, Baltasar Kormakur)
24. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015, Marielle Heller)
25. Tangerine (2015, Sean Baker)
26. Sicario (2015, Denis Villeneuve)
27. Pan (2015, Joe Wright)
28. Macbeth (2015, Justin Kurzel)
29. The Walk (2015, Robert Zemeckis)
30. Mistress America (2015, Noah Baumbach)
31. Sleeping With Other People (2015, Leslye Headland)
32. Knight of Cups (2015, Terrence Malick)
33. The Assassin (2015, Hsiao-Hsien Hou)
34. Creed (2015, Ryan Coogler)
35. 99 Homes (2015, Ramin Bahrani)
36. Hotel Tansylvania 2 (2015, Genndy Tartakovsky)
37. The Night Before (2015, Jonathan Levine)
38. Truth (2015, James Vanderbilt)
39. Room (2015, Lenny Abrahamson)
40. Mississipi Grind (2015, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck)
41. The Good Dinosaur (2015, Peter Sohn)
42. Suffragette (2015, Sarah Gavron)
43. Carol (2015, Todd Haynes)
44. The Big Short (2015, Adam McKay)
45. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016, Michael Bay)
46. How to be Single (2016, Christian Ditter)
47. Zootopia (2016, Byron Howard & Rich Moore)
48. Rams (2016, Grimur Hakonarson)
49. Midnight Special (2016, Jeff Nichols)
50. Eddie the Eagle (2016, Dexter Fletcher)
51. Green Room (2016, Jeremy Saulnier)
52. The Meddler (2016, Lorene Scafaria)
53. Money Monster (2016, Jodie Foster)
54. Hello, My Name is Doris (2016, Michael Showalter)
55. Miles Ahead (2016, Don Cheadle)
56. The BFG (2016, Steven Spielberg)
57. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016, Jake Szymanski)
58. Swiss Army Man (2016, Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert)
59. Star Trek Beyond (2016, Justin Lin)
60. The Salesman (2016, Asghar Farhadi)
61. Certain Women (2016, Kelly Reichardt)
62. Toni Erdmann (2016, Maren Ade)
63. The Lure (2016, Agnieszka Smoczynska)
64. Christine (2016, Antonio Campos)
65. Seoul Station (2016, Sang-ho Yeon)
66. Paterson (2016, Jim Jarmusch)
67. The Shallows (2016, Jaume Collet-Serra)
68. Don't Breathe (2016, Fede Alvarez)
69. Snowden (2016, Oliver Stone)
70. Pete's Dragon (2016, David Lowery)
71. Yoga Hosers (2016, Kevin Smith)
72. The Red Turtle (2016, Michael Dudok de Wit)
73. Deepwater Horizon (2016, Peter Berg)
74. Cafe Society (2016, Woody Allen)
75. Under the Shadow (2016, Babak Anvari)
76. Hell or High Water (2016, David Mackenzie)
77. American Honey (2016, Andrea Arnold)
78. Arrival (2016, Denis Villeneuve)
79. Morgan (2016, Luke Scott)
80. The Family Fang (2016, Jason Bateman)
81. Office Christmas Party (2016, Josh Gordon & Will Speck)
82. Little Men (2016, Ira Sachs)
83. Bad Santa 2 (2016, Mark Waters)
84. Hidden Figures (2016, Theodore Melfi)
85. Manchester by the Sea (2016, Kenneth Lonergan)
86. Lion (2016, Garth Davis)
87. The Birth of a Nation (2016, Nate Parker)
88. Fences (2016, Denzel Washington)
89. Loving (2016, Jeff Nichols)
90. A Cure for Wellness (2017, Gore Verbinski)
91. Life (2017, Daniel Espinosa)
92. The Lego Batman Movie (2017, Chris McKay)
93. The Fate of the Furious (2017, F. Gary Gray)
94. Raw (2016, Julia Ducournau)
95. Colossal (2017, Nacho Vigalondo)
96. Free Fire (2016, Ben Wheatley)
97. John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017, Chad Stahelski)
98. 20th Century Women (2016, Mike Mills)
99. Hounds of Love (2017, Ben Young)
100. My Cousin Rachel (2017, Roger Michell)
101. Cars 3 (2017, Brian Fee)
102. Transformers: The Last Knight (2017, Michael Bay)

If you've kept reading, congratulations! You get some stats, which will be written in June of 2017 and never updated.

In my first three calendar years writing for ReelGood, I reviewed my #1 movie each year: Birdman, Inside Out and Toni Erdmann, though since Birdman was my very first review for the site, I didn't feel comfortable giving it a full 10/10. So I opted for the 9/10 ... and in two-and-a-half years of hindsight, that's probably the appropriate rating for it anyway. (Is a person more likely to make a movie his #1 if he has written about it rapturously? Discuss.)

I have not reviewed three films by any one director among these first hundred, but I've reviewed two each by the following: Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent and Hidden Figures), Denis Villeneuve (Sicario and Arrival), Ira Sachs (Love is Strange and Little Men), Jeff Nichols (Midnight Special and Loving), Noah Baumbach (While We're Young and Mistress America) and Woody Allen (Irrational Man and Cafe Society). Come on guys (because you're all guys), leave some reviews for somebody else!

I have given 10/10 four times (Inside Out, Creed, Toni Erdmann and The Red Turtle) but 1/10 only once (Yoga Hosers). I've never given 0/10, though my editor did give Jupiter Ascending a poop emoticon as its rating, so I know less than 1/10 is possible.

Alright, you're free to go.

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