Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Awkward Beginnings (Hello, World)

      Is it just me or is it difficult in general to start writing?  Every word feels out of place and a bit awkward.  And the more you write, it actually doesn’t feel better… you just learn to force yourself to roll with the punches.  Similar to when you’re going for a handshake and the other guy gives you the fist bump and both of you know that it’s too late to switch it and try to get it right, so you both just continue to connect with the open hand and the closed fist.  Or when you convince a friend to watch a movie they weren’t really interested in, only to find out during the movie that the movie actually sucks.

       Bottom line.  Always go for the handshake, and don’t make crappy movies.   You may be asking, “Why is it important to have good films/movies?”  “What is considered a “good film” as supposed to a bad one?” “Who are rating these films and why?” “Why does it matter to me? To society? To anyone?” And if you weren’t, well it doesn’t matter, these will be some of the questions I’ll be attempting to answer regardless.   Media has always been a powerful tool of influence throughout history.  Newspapers, books, television, posters, art, music, films, etc. and especially, in regard to the dot com generation that we live in now, films have definitely the most power of influence crossing the boundaries of age, gender, and race.

       Films have always been fighting the good fight.  It is an art form that is an outlet for artists to voice their opinions and attempt to portray and justify “the truth” – whatever that may be.   And it is the work and the words of the critics that, at times, convolute the positives into a negative and choke the public with such chicanery. Oscar Wilde once said, “The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.” 

       My job through this blog will be attempting to successfully transform myself from viewing things (films), as an artist, into perceiving and explaining works of art (films) by other artists as a critic.  Hoping to Bear Grylls myself out of this alive with as much vigor and excitement toward every post and in hopes to not lose artist-self in the process.  Not to say that critics are not artistic, but it is definitely a different type of art form, similar to that of a biologist, mathematician, or a politician.

At the end of every awkward moment I feel like this...

Any Inspiration For Sale? (Profile Blog)

     Reigning all the way from Toronto, Canada, in the northeast corner, height: unknown, weight: doesn’t matter, self-proclaimed film buff and founder of Daily Film Dose – Alannnn Bacchusssss (disclaimer: extra n’s and s’s used for dramatic effect only).

     I’ve only recently found out about this blog, and it’s kind of amazing.  It’s no Pajiba, but it’s an amazing feat that this blogger(s) achieves.  Although he does have four other contributors, majority of the writing is done by himself.  Like the title oh-so-subtly implies, the blogger not only attempts, but succeeds in writing a new review/blog about a film (classics, new theatre releases, and/or new DVD releases) every day.  EVERY. DAY. What is he doing right in life?  What kind of deal did he make with the devil to not have laziness hover over his body?  Is it just the Canadian air?  I need to move.

     Each post is laid out with a simple rating system in the beginning followed by a quick synopsis and a brief closing remark of opinions buttered with slight wit.  Again, it’s no Pajiba, so if you’re looking for witty tales from quirky people who probably took drama 3-4 in high school, this really isn’t the blog for you.  But if you consider yourself as being even the slightest film connoisseur, or peers consider you a film buff, or if you just want to sound a bit douchey about how many obscure film names you know at an entertainment schmoozing event, you have got to check this blog out.

     He’s even allowed a little poll at the end of each post for the reader to agree or disagree.  That definitely gives room for a conversation starter – hopefully the comments posted will pertain to the blog post, but it gives leeway to just create a space for other readers/bloggers to converse.

     His style of blogging doesn’t exactly relate to my blog, but the fact that he blogs every day inspires… I mean guilt trips me to write more.  I hope to achieve the same kind of motivation to blog continuously and with interesting topics.  Okay, time to go make an appointment for some vodou devil writing magic.  Or book a flight to Seattle to get a draft of some Canadian air.

Wait... Who? (Voice Critique)

Yeah, I heard you loud and clear.  (That’s… what… she said?  Wait… what.)

      Dustin Rowles.  That name probably won’t ring a bell, unless you’re an avid follower and reader of Pajiba.  And even if you were, you still might be confused as to who that is, because truthfully, who looks at the author of an article nowadays?  I sure do, I’m not THAT lazy.  Correction: I’ll read the post first, and if it’s good then I’ll bother looking at who might have written it.

      So who’s Dustin and what’s so great about him?  All I know is that I am a fan of his writing.  It’s formally opinionative, impressively dense, and clearly clever.  If he wasn’t a writer, he would probably be a professional stand up comic… or a pedophile.  His intro hooks are phenomenally colorful, completely baits your attention and makes you want to listen to what he might have to say just to judge for yourself if this person is blowing smoke or not.  One of my favorite posts by Rowles is his review on 500 Days of Summer.  His opening line is "You're going to hate 500 Days of Summer." Hooo! Aggressive, I like that.  Then he continues on writing, "Wait.  Let me back up and restate that.  In 456 days from now, yore going to hate 500 Days of Summer." OH WHAT!  Did you notice what he just did?  That second line just snatched your wit, threw it to the ground, drop kicked it with his own humor, and threw it back in your face.  In about three sentences he just captured the essence of whole film, foreshadowed the topic of his own writing, and set a concrete tone as to how he's going to go about it.  “Did you see what I just did?!  I Eternal-Sunshine-of-the-Spotless-Mind-the-shit out of you, you just don’t know it yet.”

     He’s no Charlie Kaufman – nor is he close – but he sure knows how to take the audience on a journey with his writing.  Each line is very rhythmic and melodic exhibiting his playfulness and ease with matching up words romantically.  It starts off very formal with a stern critical scale, still a uniform opinion, but in a staccato manner.  Then after the intermission between the paragraphs, he begins act two – in-my-(humble)-opinion mode.  Basically it’s a guide of critical analysis for dummies.  Pure entertainment, passionate, and energetic.

       Like a musical, you get caught up in his whimsical, quirky, offbeat tone of writing.  His writing is so buttered with solid opinion that you want to regurgitate his own damn words and pass it off as your own to anyone who asks your thoughts on that particular movie.  I’m pretty sure I’ve done that a couple of times… I’m not too sure.  Maybe I deleted that from my memory.  For all I know, Dustin Rowles could be a pen name, like Mark Twain, or he could actually be a she.  Like when you meet a male Ashley… that’s always weird.  Ashley is definitely not a unisex name.

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