I started my own entertainment website MovieGeekFeed.com in 2008 for a few different reasons which I’m going to lay out for you here. The first reason was to get free product to review so I didn’t have to spend countless amounts of dollars seeing all the movies and reading all the comic books I wanted to. I wasn’t trying to get one over on any of the different studios or publishers I worked with. I felt that my time reviewing their product merited a free item that valued $15.00 to $20.00.
Secondly, I wanted to be the everyman reviewer for the masses of movie and comic book fans out there. These are the normal consumers and viewers who just want to know if what they’re buying is worth their time and hard-earned cash. I didn’t want to be “professional” or Siskel and Ebert.
Thirdly, it sounded like fun. I love movies and comic books and wanted to be right in the thick of all the action as they came out. It was exciting getting to see films and read comics that hadn’t even come out yet. I knew what was going to happen before a majority of the world did.
A fringe benefit to all this has been opportunities to meet celebrities I never thought I would in my wildest dreams. I’ve had the pleasure to meet icons of film and comic books I grew up reading and watching on the silver screen and television. How many people can say they’ve shook hands with and spoke to Harrison Ford, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neal Adams, Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson, Howard Chaykin, and so many more I literally can’t even fathom them right now.
All this is to tell you that I’ve lost my identity along the way. The problem started when I began writing for Yahoo in 2010. They sent me their “handbook” for writing for an online audience and I soaked it up like a sponge. I didn’t go to school for writing so this huge textbook taught me some of the greatest tips to being a “professional” online writer I could ever dream of experiencing. It also sucked all the personality out of me.
I began writing in such a structured manner that my words became uninspired and lifeless to me. I was just going through the technical motions for every review I wrote. Sure, they covered all the bases I needed to in order to be an average writer. However I wasn’t telling anyone what they really wanted to know. Is the movie any good? When I walk out of the theater, get off my couch, or close the book did I feel entertained and touched by what I just saw or read?
One of the three jobs I work right now is as a shift lead for Movie Trading Company. I am surrounded by movies over 40 hours a week. As one of the only stores left on the planet Earth who still specialize in actual physical copies of films, you can only imagine the amount of people who come through that place on a daily basis. 90% of them couldn’t care less how pristine the video transfer to Blu-ray is or if the 7.1 sound is balanced for their $10,000 home theater. Most of them don’t even buy Blu-ray yet. They want to know if the movie their paying money for is worth their time and any good. Will it make me forget about all my problems for a couple of hours? I’ve strayed from doing what I originally meant to do for these normal watchers and readers.
Here’s my disclaimer before you even start reading my reviews and articles. I’m turning over a new leaf in 2015. I’m not going to be tied down by studio and publisher expectations anymore. I don’t get paid enough (or at all). I’m tired of living my life watching movies I don’t want to because they’ve been sent to me. I’ve spent more time watching movies I’m not even interested in that I’ve missed out on ones I really wanted to see. Is that going to piss some publicists off? Yeah, but that just means I’ll have even more time to watch and read the actual things I really want to. Do I appreciate everything I’m sent to review? Absolutely I do! And I’ll continue reviewing the stuff I really want to engage myself in.
Let me also take this time to warn you about what I’m into when it comes to movies and comic books. I love cheesy horror and sci-fi movies, B and Z-movies, and other crappy films many people won’t like. However, I also like big-budget blockbusters many people don’t. I didn’t mind “Ghost Rider,” the “Star Wars” prequels, or even “Daredevil.” I think Christian films like "The Remaining," "Left Behind," and "The Black Rider: Redemption Road" are fun.When it comes to comic books, my tastes are pretty common. I love Batman, Aquaman, and Swamp Thing to give you perspective. Some think my tastes in movies and literature sucks. I consider it to be “unique.”
I’m also a Christian. I have been for my entire life and will continue to be. This means my reviews are affected by my standards and moral code. Do I love slasher flicks and other irreverent genre offerings most fundamental Christians would frown upon? Yes, I do. Am I going to review them? Yes, I am. However, I call the material out in my reviews that I find unnecessary and offensive. I can also warn you that if you’re politically correct you might want to steer clear of reading my reviews because, quite frankly, I’m not.
All this is to tell you that I’m changing things up in 2015. I’m not living my life for studios and publishers anymore. I’m going to write about what I want to in a style that I think normal everyday folks will appreciate. I’m going to answer the simple questions in life: Is the movie any good and will it entertain me? Can I watch it with my kids or is it late-night fodder to make my own decision about based on my own personal convictions?
Life’s too short and time is too precious to waste on movies and books I never wanted to see or read in the first place. I have a family to spend time with and have wasted too much time away from them. I’ve met Han Solo and Indiana Jones. I’ve met Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. I’ve even met two Batmans and several of his villains. After all these great life experiences, the rest is just gravy.
Thanks to everyone who works with me and continues to send me cool stuff to review. The rest of you can accept my sincere apology and resignation as a work partner.
All the best,
January 5, 2015