Category Archives: Editorials

The Terrible Threes – The Hard Road of Second Sequels

 

second sequels
The number 3 seems to be unlucky for film franchises.  That’s the thought that came to mind when I watched The Hangover Part III.  Short review; it sucked, and I’m beginning to see how it falls into a pattern.  Movie franchises seem to fizzle out around the point that a third entry is released.  Unless its a part of a pre-planned trilogy, like The Lord of the Rings, it is very rare to see a second sequel rise to the level of its predecessors.  So, why do so many filmmakers insist on moving forward with a series that has clearly lost steam after two films.  The simple fact is that sequels are easy to make and unfortunately the law of diminishing returns applies far too often.  In many cases, the first and second sequels just repeat the formula of the initial films, and that not only shows a loss in creativity, but it also defeats the purpose of building up the brand in the first place.  Audiences naturally want to see new things when they watch a movie, even when it comes from a sequel.  Some sequels do manage to breath new life into familiar stories; even deviate from the previous ones in wild and interesting ways.  But while you can sometimes catch lightning in a bottle in two tries, it almost rarely happens again.
There are many factors that go into making a great sequel.  A sequel has to know what made the first film a success and do exactly the same, only bigger.  In some cases, a sequel can even far exceed its predecessor.  Director James Cameron seems to take that principle to heart when making the sequels to his films.  In the case with Terminator 2 (1992), he not only continued the story of the first film, but made it bigger and more epic in the process.  For many people, it’s the movie they most think about when the hear the word “Terminator.” It’s no simple feat for a sequel to be the definitive entry in a series.  A more recent example of this would be Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008), which became so popular, that it changed the way we market superhero movies today.  We no longer look at Nolan’s films as the Batman Begins trilogy.  Instead, it’s considered the Dark Knight trilogy, which is the direct result of the sequel overshadowing the first film.
Though the track record for a first sequel is good, there’s less success when it comes to the second sequel.  Once a series hits its third entry, that’s the point where it begins to show signs of exhaustion.  By this point, filmmakers are almost trapped by their own success; having to keep something fresh and interesting long after the good ideas have been used up.  Like I mentioned before, unless a series was planned long ahead of time as a trilogy or more, then most of the creativity will be spent by the time the third film comes along.  It’s very hard to be a sequel to a sequel, and audiences can only take so much of the same story before they lose interest.
The genre that seems to suffer the most from this 3rd film curse is the superhero genre.  Usually superhero films that carry a 3 next to it’s name have ended up being the most criticized by their fans.  We’ve seen this with films like Superman 3, Spiderman 3, X-Men: The Last Stand, and now it appears from this year as well, Iron Man 3.  Even Christopher Nolan’s critically lauded The Dark Knight Rises failed to deliver for some fans.  As is the case with most of these films, they are the follow-ups to very some very beloved sequels; ones that fans had hoped these trilogy cappers would’ve built upon.  There are a couple reasons that could explain why these films have fallen short: one, the audiences’ expectations were just too high for the filmmakers to deliver; two, the filmmakers decided to deviate too much from a proven formula as a means to spur on their creative juices; or three, the filmmakers had clearly lost interest and were just trying to fulfill their obligations. The worst case is when a series decides that it’s ready to be done, without the foresight of establishing a means of wrapping up the story.  This was the case with X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), which haphazardly crammed in a bunch of story points and characters in a film that didn’t need them in order to please the fans expectations as they cut the story off way too short.  The final result was jumbled mess that ended up pleasing no one and it hurt the brand for years to come.
Other franchises also suffer from this pattern, but out of some very different outcomes.  Sometimes, a series does plan ahead and creates a trilogy based off the original film’s popularity, leading to the production of two films at once.  This, however, is a huge risk because it puts the pressure on the middle film in the series to deliver; otherwise the third film will be left out to dry if it doesn’t work.  This has happened on several occasions, such as with the Back to the Future trilogy, the Matrix trilogy, and the Pirates of the Caribbean series.  The Pirates films in particular became so notoriously over-budgeted, that it actually led to the end of studios making simultaneous productions for sequels.  While the receptions of the films are mixed, there was no denying that these series lost steam the longer they went on.  The same happens with the opposite as well, when an unnecessary third film is made many years after the previous sequel.  The Godfather Part III (1990) is probably the most famous example, having come nearly 16 years after the last film, and which extended a story that people thought was perfectly resolved earlier, for no other reason other than to do it all over again.
That’s exactly what most 3rd films end up being: unnecessary.  That’s what I thought when I saw The Hangover Part III.  The series has long exhausted it’s potential and is now running on the fumes.  Could the series have sustained enough interest over three films is another question entirely.  It certainly had enough clout for one sequel.  But whether or not a film series makes it too a 3rd film should entirely be the result of the need to explore the possibilities of the story, and not just to repeat the same formula for the sake of making some quick cash.  These films must be able to stand on their own and not just be an extension of what came before.  The best trilogies are ones where each entry has its own identity, and can entertain well enough on their own without feeling like the extended part of a greater whole.  Films like Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and Last Crusade, Goldfinger and The Return of the King are beloved because they entertain while also being an essential part of their overall stories.  And most importantly, they didn’t waste their potential.  Something that the filmmakers behind the Hangover films should’ve considered.

Your Movie is Loading – Digital Innovations and the Resulting Tightened Gap Between Cinema and Home Entertainment

 

home theater
Growing up through the 80’s and 90’s, it was clear that going to the movies and watching one on TV were very different experiences.  But in the years since, technology has revolutionized the ways in which we experience a movie.  Thanks to innovations like Movie on Demand and digital camera and projection, that line between the two experiences has been clearly redefined.  Film companies can now premiere their projects on multiple platforms whereas years ago, you had to wait for sometimes even a year before you were able to buy a film on video after it left the theaters.  The accessibility of the internet has influenced that shift more than anything; allowing people to see what they want, when they want, all through the process of video streaming.  Like most new things, this shift in how we watch the movies has its pros and cons.  For one thing, it gives exposure to movies and media that normally wouldn’t have been seen years ago, while at the same time, causing previous standards of the movie industry to become obsolete and forgotten.  We live in an era where things are changing rapidly, and I wonder if these changes are just trends or are here to stay for good.
One thing that has changed movie watching dramatically is the actual digitizing of media for home viewing.  Before, we had to to buy a tape or a disc to watch a film at home, but nowadays, many people are opting to just cut the middle man out and download a film off the internet.  Places like iTunes allow for the purchasing of a digital version of a film the same day it’s released in stores, and sometimes even earlier on certain exclusives.  It’s a good place to purchase a movie for those who don’t want to clutter their shelves with DVD boxes.  This has also changed the rental business, with sites like Netflix and Hulu putting old juggernaut rental chains like Blockbuster out of business.  That development right there spells out just how powerful this new trend has become.
But what’s interesting about this change is that the film industry has yet to figure it out.  Accessing a movie through a digital copy or through a streaming service is difficult because there is no standardization.  You have certain movies available on some formats and unavailable on others.  It all depends on who has the contract with the retailer.  At least in the years past, you had standardization with all movies released on the preferred format.  Yes, VHS and Blu-ray had to gain dominance over BetaMax and HD DVD in order to become the standard, but once they did, selections in a video store became only a matter of which title the person wanted.  Nowadays, a person who wants the digital copy of a film has to download multiple media players onto their computer or mobile devices just so that they can watch the movies that they want.  And all of these media providers are competitive enough to survive in this market, so any standardization will not be happening soon.  Perhaps its a good thing for there to be competitiveness in the market of media sharing, as it leads to more innovations, but it has the consequence of making the market difficult to navigate.
One of the things that I do find to be a troubling change is the loss of a movie being an actual physical thing.  It may be strange to think of a movie as an object, but I consider myself a collector as well as a fan of cinema, and when I like a movie, I want to include it in my collection.  I have been collecting movies since childhood, and that has included VHS tapes, DVD’s and now Blu-rays.  I am the kind of person that has multiple copies of a single film in different formats and my library is bound to continue growing for a long time to come.  To me, its just a nice feeling to be able to look at a film sitting on my shelf and see it as a part of a physical history of cinema.  This is why I haven’t digitized my film collection.  I am far more likely to buy a disc of a film rather than download one, mainly because I still prefer holding a movie in my hand, even though the idea of having everything stored on a computer is one that I do understand.  For many, a digital copy is a preferred method for people who have been wanting it for a long time and in many ways it’s the faster and easier mode of distribution.
This trend has definitely changed distribution in Hollywood in a good way.  Some movies in the past have struggled to get appropriate distribution, whether they lacked the funding or they were just too risky a project for the studios to make a fuss about in the first place.  In some cases, movies would become hits long after their run in theaters, once they were seen on cable or home video; cult classics like Office Space (1999) or Clerks (1994).  Now, it is possible for a film to bypass the pressure of a theatrical exhibition and be seen almost immediately on whichever format a person chooses.  This is especially true with documentaries, which can be seen on anything from movie screens to YouTube, and not lose any of their impact.  Director Kevin Smith saw the potential in this multi-platform model of release, and decided to self-distribute his most recent film Red State (2011) outside the Hollywood system.  The results were mixed on the success of the release, but Kevin Smith did make waves due to the attempt, and it has made multi-platform distribution just as viable a trend as anything else we’ve seen in the past few years.
Another surprising thing that technology has done to the film industry is to change the way films are both made and processed nowadays.  Digital photography has advanced so much, that it’s oftentimes hard to tell if a movie is shot digitally or not.  Digital projection has certainly taken over cinemas completely, as it’s now hard to find a place that still runs film prints; another sad change, where a film stops existing as a physical thing.  But digital projection has been around long enough to make audiences no longer see any real difference, unless they have a trained eye.  The same goes for digital photography.  Digital cameras are now able to shoot in such high resolutions that it actually exceeds the clarity of regular 35mm film.  This has enabled some new advancements in the presentation of movies, like Digital 3D and 48 frames per second.  While unique, these trends are sometimes just a gimmick, and are usually dependent on the quality of the film to work for an audience.  But the trend has moved in favor of digital photography for a while now.  Only a few filmmakers have stuck by traditional film, like Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg, but for many filmmakers who have limited means and want to bypass the film processing phase, they are embracing the new technology with great enthusiasm.
This has also crossed over into television as well, which has made that line between cinema and home entertainment even more blurred.  TV shows today are filmed mostly with digital cameras, and that has significantly changed what kinds of TV productions that are seen now.  Shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are done with such complexity in their production, that they can be comparable to the quality of a theatrical film.  This is thanks to digital camerawork that is able to replicate film clarity and allows for manipulation in post production, either through color grading and/or the additions of visual effects.  Years ago, there was no mistaking the difference between what a film looked like and what a TV show looked like.  They were completely distinctive forms of entertainment.  Now the gap has tightened, and it’s probably what has drawn more people towards home viewing.  Can you imagine what shows such as M.A.S.H and Happy Days would be like if they were made with today’s technology.
It’s an interesting tug-of-war that we are seeing today between film and television; one that has been brought about through digital innovations.  While some things will never change, there are other trends that have clearly made things different than what we grew up with.  I for one have my line with what I’m willing to embrace from these new trends, but I am pleased to see so many advancements made in the last few years.  I certainly like the increased accessibility to films that I would normally have had trouble finding.  Digital photography has also made television a whole lot better in recent years.  But, I also miss the experience of working with actual film.  My years as a projectionist gained me a strong appreciation for the look and feel of a film print, but it’s sad to see it become an obsolete tool in film presentation today.  Also, while digital presentation and video streaming are convenient and innovative, the movie itself is what will make or break the investment in the end.
Ultimately, there’s nothing that beats a good time at a movie theater with an auditorium full of people.  Home entertainment may be at a high standard now, and techniques like 3D and high frame rate may be eye-catching, but it ultimately comes down to the human factor.  I enjoy watching a movie, no matter what technology is behind it, as long as it remains entertaining.  And that’s an experience that will always be timeless, even if the ticket prices are getting painfully and astronomically higher.

Pencils to Pixels – The End of Hand-Drawn Animation?

I have been a fan of animation for as long as I can remember.  My friends growing up would always refer to me as the “Disney” kid, and that’s mainly because I was an unashamed fanboy at an early age.  I made an effort to soak up as much as I could from the Disney company’s output during my formative years, and now I am an expert in all things Disney.  Nowadays, I’ve moved beyond just animation and have come to love films of all kinds.  I still do share a special fondness for Disney animation all these years later, however.  To me, it was my gateway drug into the world of cinema.  Unfortunately, as I’ve gotten older, the state of animation has moved away from the stories and the styles that I grew up.  Today, computers have replaced the artist’s sketch pad and hand drawn animation is almost non-existent.  What troubles me most is that Disney, the studio that set the standard for quality animation, has also been forced to catch up with the current trends and they’ve gone on and replaced 2D with 3D.  As a student of film, I understand that the market dictates what goes into production and right now hand-drawn animation is not as commercially viable as computer animation, and it makes me concerned that that style is now truly gone.
As far as the history goes, animation has been as big a part a of cinema as anything else.  In the early days, cartoons were mainly experimental in nature, and were usually thrown in-between feature films at the local cinemas as time-fillers.  But in the 30’s, pioneering filmmakers like Walt Disney proved that animation wasn’t just entertainment, it was art as well.  With films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Fantasia, Disney animation proved to be just as popular a draw as a John Wayne western or a James Cagney gangster pic.  Other studios also added to the mix, with Warner Bros. hilarious Looney Tunes series and UPA’s experimental use of limited animation.  In the 60’s and 70’s, animation started to fall back into relying on a niche audience, mainly dismissed as kid stuff.  Disney still made features, but they were few and far between, and usually done with limited budgets.  This led to the departure of many artists who felt that animation was not being taken seriously enough, like famed independent animation producer Don Bluth (The Secret of NIMH).  In the late 80’s Disney considered ending all animated productions, after their film The Black Cauldron (1985) lost a lot of money at the box office, but new talent and management decided on a wait and see policy and that led to the production and release of The Little Mermaid (1989).
The years following the release of The Little Mermaid are what is commonly known as the Disney Renaissance, and this occurred just at the right time for a fan like me.  Mermaid arrived when Disney was starting to release their catalog of films on home video, and I had already seen a bunch of them already at this point.  I had developed a sense of what a Disney film was and what it can be, and The Little Mermaid showed me that the Disney style was not only still around, but thriving.  In the years that followed, I eagerly awaited every new Disney feature; from Beauty and the Beast (1991) to Aladdin (1992) to The Lion King (1994), each a bigger success than the one before it.  These films were my childhood and to this day, I am still an avid fan, as I am collecting each of these films on blu-ray.  This success also spawned a great revival of animation throughout Hollywood.  There were numerous attempts by other studios to make feature animation at the same level as Disney and they range from brilliant (The Iron Giant) to admirable (The Prince of Egypt), to mediocre (Rock a Doodle) to un-watchable (Quest for Camelot).
Unfortunately, The Lion King was such a colossal hit, that it ultimately set the bar too high to match.  Even Disney struggled to follow that success, as the budgets got higher and the returns got lower.  By the time I was in high school, hand-drawn animation had once again started to recede into the background.  At this same time, we began to see the rise of Pixar and the success they achieved with the new advances in computer animation.  The turn-of-the-millennium brought about a big sea-change in not just what animated films were being made, but a change in the perception of what an animated film was.  Today, children are growing up believing that an animated film should look more like Shrek and less like Sleeping Beauty.  Which makes me worried that the end truly has come for hand-drawn animation; to where not even a mermaid princess can save it now.
There are other people out there, like me, who still hold hand-drawn animation close to their hearts.  In 2009, after Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, there was a noble attempt to bring back the traditional hand-drawn animated musical with The Princess and the Frog.  Unfortunately, the film under-performed and the revival turned out to be only a momentary reprieve.  Princess is a good film, and it did okay business; just not Pixar-sized business.  Audiences did say they were nostalgic for the Disney films of the past, but recreating that same kind of success is something that you can’t manufacture.  The Little Mermaid was the right film at the right time, and the success that followed was built upon the goodwill that the film delivered.  Princess had too much riding on its shoulders and that caused the film to suffer in the story department.
One thing that hand-drawn animation needs is a genuine and honest surprise.  One of the last big hits Disney had at the box office was Lilo and Stitch (2002), a film that many of the studio brass brushed off initially until it found a big audience.  It showed that animation doesn’t need to be a fairy tale to be considered a Disney classic.  Really, if you look at all the Disney films overall, there are only 7 or 8 fairy tales among them.  Also, the reason why Pixar’s films are so successful is not because of the quality of the computer animation (though it does help), but because they put so much emphasis on getting the story right.  That’s something that you find lacking in most animated features.
Overall, the reason why I prefer hand-drawn animation, even over the best Pixar films, is because of the human touch.  When you watch traditional animation, you are seeing something that was drawn out by actual people.  Not that computer animation is easy; and I know a lot of computer animators who put a lot of work into what they do.  But, when you watch a CG-animated film, you are watching something that was put through a computerized intermediate before it’s put on film.  Some of it looks nice, but I find most of it artificial in movement and texture.  With traditional animation, everything is exaggerated and less bound to reality, which helps to makes the drawings look more interesting.  There is subtlety in character movement that you just can’t get in computer animation.  Would the Genie from Aladdin have been better if he was animated in a computer?  There is a clear fundamental difference between these styles, and neither should replace the other.  Unfortunately, computer animation has claimed victory in the feature department.
Hand-drawn animation has however survived in unlikely places, such as television.  There are only a hand-full of fully computer animated shows out there, as many of them are still 2D.  The Simpsons and Family Guy are still animated by hand, as are many shows on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.  Even shows entirely animated in the computer, like South Park or the Flash-animated Archer, create a hand-made look in their presentation.  Also, hand-drawn animation is still going strong overseas, with the success of Anime.  Asian artists seem to have found that perfect medium of embracing the mechanics of computer effects, without abandoning the hand-drawn style altogether.  Hayao Miyazaki’s films in particular represent what modern Disney films could be with the tools that are available today.
 
But, as things stand, animation now belongs to the digital world.  I hope to someday see another revival of hand-drawn animation, but that seems less likely as the concept of an animated film changes over time.  Seeing this sea change has made me feel more like an adult than anything, as I find my childhood ideals transforming into nostalgia.  I am grateful that Disney still treats their film canon with a great amount of reverence, and my hope is that future generations are able to accept the animated classics of the past as something equal to the films of the present.  It may be a drought right now, but good art always manages to stay timeless.
  

Little Troublemakers – Why the controversy around Django Unchained was unnecessary.

 

django unchained
Last week I purchased what I thought was the best overall film of 2012 on blu-ray; Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.  Watching it all over again, I couldn’t help but revel in the way that Mr. Tarantino was able to put his own spin on the Western genre, with vivid characterizations and instantly quotable lines of dialogue that you will only find in his body of work.  Anyone who hasn’t checked this movie out yet should do so, because it has to be seen to be believed.  But one inescapable thing that you will encounter in this movie is the near constant usage of a very derogatory word: nigger.  I’m not going to sugarcoat it here and refer to it as the “n-word”, because it defeats the purpose of my argument in this post, which is the importance of free speech in film-making.  It is a hateful word, no argument there, and I usually am disgusted when I hear it used so casually in popular culture; but Django Unchained is a different case.  I believe that the controversy that surrounded Django’s release, with regard to it’s use of the word nigger, represented an unnecessary condemnation of an otherwise thought-provoking film and only highlighted some of the hypocrisies that are apparent in the media.
One of the first things that you will see made obvious upon watching Django is that it not meant to be a serious examination of slavery.  It does represent the Antebellum South as a horrific place and time, with sometimes hard to watch cruelty towards African-American slaves depicted on screen.  But to say that Tarantino’s movie was trying to deal with history seriously is clearly missing the point.  The film makes it’s farcical tone apparent right from the get go, once we see the bouncing tooth on top of the wagon belonging to Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz).  From that point on, it is clear what kind of movie Tarantino is making.  And by the time you reach the “baghead” scene, you’ll not only be invested, you’ll be laughing your ass off.
But somehow it’s the use of a single word that got people upset, and that was before the movie was even released.  Director Spike Lee, a filmmaker that I do respect, commented in VIBE magazine that, “I can’t speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it.  The only thing I can say is it’s disrespectful to my ancestors, to see that film.” (December 12, 2012)  Now I can’t fault Spike Lee for taking a strong position on the use of the word nigger.  It obviously affects him a lot more than it does me.  But what bothered me about what he said is that he called the film “disrespectful,” after clearly stating that he wasn’t going to see it.  I think it’s hypocritical to condemn a film publicly that you haven’t seen personally.  Mr. Lee isn’t new to making ill-informed judgments about other people’s work; he’s condemned Tarantino before for using the word in Jackie Brown (1997) as well.  It’s unfortunate for a person as talented as Spike Lee to take such a low blow towards something he hasn’t watched.  If he put aside some of his own pride and take in the film objectively, he might have come away with a different perspective.
It goes to a much larger issue that I have with the media in general; the way we easily condemn people over the use of language, without understanding the context.  Tarantino wrote the word nigger into his script mainly to represent the way people spoke in the Antebellum South, and not to be shocking or crude.  There’s a context for it to be there.  It’s highlighting the hurtful nature of the word and the way it demonizes a whole group of people.  But at the same time it’s also highlighting the barbarity of the whites who use it so casually.  Much in the same way that Blazing Saddles (1974) dealt with the word nigger, Django walks that fine line between humor and harsh reality.  This movie plays with people’s emotions like a grand piano, and Tarantino is a pro at it.  He’s often stated that he deliberately plays with people’s sensibilities as he builds his scenes.  A typical Taratino scene can often be described like this: Laugh, laugh again, keep laughing, now stop laughing, disturbed, horrified, really horrified, now laugh again.  But unfortunately Django exists in a more sensitive time, where people will now hold you accountable for what you say, even when it’s in jest.  There are several examples now where comics, of all people, are getting in trouble for things they have said in their acts.  Whether it’s Louis C.K. getting in trouble for his jokes about AIDS, or Ricky Gervais getting slammed over a rape joke, there’s a disturbing trend of people being punished for things they say, without anyone looking at the context.
But, thankfully, Django Unchained weathered the storm of controversy.  It earned $168 million at the box office, the most for any Tarantino film; it was almost universally praised by film critics; and it won two Oscars, including Best Screenplay for Mr. Tarantino.  The film’s controversy died out fast, thanks partially from the support of the film’s African-American stars Jamie Foxx (Django) and Samuel L. Jackson (Stephen), and mainly because most of the audiences got what the movie was about.  It’s a love letter, not just to the Spaghetti Westerns that Taratino grew up with, but also to the blaxploitation films of the ’70’s that addressed issues of race, but with a clear mocking style that subverted the norms of the period.  There were many blaxploitation Westerns too that Tarantino had to have been inspired by, like The Legend of Nigger Charly (1972) and Boss Nigger (1975).  And yes, those movies were released with those titles.  There’s a trailer below if you don’t believe me.  Personally, I’m happy that Taratino won out in the end.  There’s no word yet on whether Spike Lee has seen the movie by now.  Hopefully he will someday.  I certainly loved it and I hope it will be considered a classic in the years to come.
Well, this was my first official blog post.  Sorry I took on such a harsh subject the first time around, but it’s what’s been on my mind this past week.  Next week I plan to give all my readers something more upbeat to look at, as I give thoughts on the upcoming movies of the Summer of 2013.  Until next week, it’s time for me to Ramble off.
“MY NAME IS DJANGO.  THAT’S D-J-A-N-G-O.  THE “D” IS SILENT.” – Django (Jamie Foxx)

Welcome to CineRamble.com, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Movie Blog

Hello Everyone.  My name is James Humphreys.  I am the author and creator of this humble blog.  It may look amateurish now, but this is my first foray into internet literature, so I hope to get better as time goes along.  In any case, this will the first post that I’ll ever write on this site, so I better make it count.  (Sits alone at the computer)…………(time passes)………. Is it time for work already?  Shoot.  That was a waste of time.
Okay, seriously, I do have a plan for what I’m going to write here at CineRamble.com.  In case it’s not obvious already from the title and picture I put up, this will be a blog about movies.  I’m very opinionated when it comes to films and filmmaking, and I enjoy sharing my thoughts with anyone; friends, family, and sometimes just the person I’m sitting next to in the movie theater.  Yeah I’m that guy.  I always try to stay informed and keep up with all the current trends in the media, as hard as that sometimes can be, and I always try to keep an open-mind and look for new and exciting things that are developing in Hollywood.  Until now, I’ve had a lot of things to say, but no place to say it, hence my decision to start a blog.
My mission on this site is to present my views on a variety of subjects within the movie realm, through an entertaining and often informative personal perspective.  My posts will mostly be opinion pieces, where I will share my own two cents on what’s currently happening.  But, I also plan on writing movie reviews for this site, both for current releases and movies already out on video.  I will also write reports about my experiences in the film world itself.  I live in Los Angeles, just over the hill from Hollywood itself, so there are plenty of potential things for me to report on, such as special screenings, premieres, or exhibitions at the local museums.  I also plan on doing top ten lists and retrospectives for this site; whatever I think would be worth writing about, I will bring it here.
In any case, I’m not looking for agreement on everything I say on this blog; in fact, if you disagree with me on something, I welcome it.  I’m always looking to inspire discussions about movies everywhere I go and I hope that this website is able to do the same.  If I can inspire a passionate rebuke that is able to change my perspective on things, it will be incredibly worthwhile.  My hope is that I can bring people’s attention to movies and ideas that have sometimes fallen through the cracks, and help shed new light on them.  I welcome feedback, because frankly, I’ll need it if I am ever going to get the hang of this.
So, having said all this, I’m going to formally welcome everyone to CineRamble.com and I look forward to actually getting this thing off the ground.  Expect my first official post in the next week, or so.  Hopefully it expands from here into something special.  So, it’s time to take that first step down this rabbit hole and see where it goes. “LOOK, MEIN VIEWERS, I CAN WALK.”