If you've missed me, either here or on the small empire of outlets I've been privileged to write on (check the link on Twitter profile), here’s the deal my friends:
Let’s just say yours truly took a position writing for one of the longest running television shows in cable history. It’s not the best kept secret of where I am, but it is easier just to keep it kind of quiet; for the “passionate” fans that follow the product have already begun stalking in ways one would never think of. Although, you (or I) have to admire their respective creativity…But that’s a story for another time down the road.
Having said that, one little hint that will be divulged as to where this guy ventured off to, is that in the realm I currently play in, it is a common practice to put someone “over” if you believe in their performance/work. And since I cannot predict when another review/article/interview pertaining to the film industry will be written (I will be voting during this award season however), allow me to put “over” some people you should read during my out-of-nowhere hiatus, as the 2013 Award Season heats up:
I chose to write this particular piece on Examiner.com simply because this is where my journalism career started for the most part. So that’s that. Ideally, you would think that the below list will be comprised of just strictly other Examiner.com writers who specialize in the movie news beat. Truth is, the majority of them need to find their own voice and actually give a crap about every article they write (that was the polite way of putting it).There are some who have come and gone that would be worth your time, but there’s really only a few that are worthy reads these days. An example of someone who understood those above mentioned attributes, and therefore, has earned a following by sticking to said attributes, is David Wangberg out in little known Chico, California. If Examiner.com had more people with a work ethic like Dave – and trust me, if they paid these guys more perhaps that would spark motivation in others – then this article could be laced with other Movie Examiners.
But, since there aren’t many out there, in fact, there’s only one active guy residing in the outskirts of Seattle, Washington that will get put over, here are a few others outside of the Examiner.com (dysfunctional) family you should be checking out regularly until the day I return:
Jason Roestel, National Movie Examiner
Although the forthcoming mantra has been said many times in my articles and random TV & radio appearances, I made a conscious effort not to read anyone else’s reviews for the first few years when I jumped into this crazy business. The reason behind this practice was simply to cultivate my own voice in an industry where just about everyone sounds/reads the same. Only one other guy has done this - well, done, and executed his voice beautifully - and that’s my pal Mr. Roestel. When he’s not doing his other gig, being a family man, and sipping on a bottle of bourbon; it’s a pure joy to read a review and/or interview Jason has written. A guarantee is that they’ll always be unique, thoughtful, and bluntly hilarious.
This man is a machine! From his always engaging reviews, to his articulate editorials and top ten lists, you will always be riveted by the mind of Bill Gibron – even if you don’t always understand some of the big boy vocabulary he wields at times. He’s a member of many accredited film critic organizations and is respected throughout the fickle film critic community. Also, if you’ve been a regular reader of my work, and by default, know how much I adore the horror genre, allow me to fully recommend Bill as your new guide to all things scary and gory. He has never steered me wrong in that arena…Or others for that matter.
Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times
Persall is what I like to call the classic film critic/journalist. And that’s not a dig by any means. His film knowledge is superior to mine, and his reviews cover every pertinent detail in whatever film he’s either praising and/or tactfully ripping a new one. He’s also, in my not-so humble opinion, not given nearly enough credit as a reporter when he’s not braving the barrage of daily screenings with the mouth-breathers of Tampa Bay. And admittedly, he’s the only guy to ever “scoop” me in that town when a worthwhile story came through (though I’ll always have the Colin Farrell tip on him, ha).
William Bibbiani, CraveOnline.com
In the last year it’s tough to think of another critic/reviewer that puts more thought into every review and interview they scribe than William Bibbiani. Bibbs is the very definition of thorough. And his articulate and methodical writing style is starting to gain the national recognition that it deserves. Every minute of the day, he hustles for a fantastic site. (Seriously, the dude does need to catch some sleep).
Now obviously, there are other active journos out there that should garner your attention. Rene Rodriguez at the Miami Herald - someone I would describe as a hybrid, who blends the traditional style of critiquing with an edgy modern-day flare - is definitely a guy to bookmark; for he’s a reviewer who is always in tune with whatever type of flick he delves into.
That’s enough buttering up of people’s asses.
And on that note, it’s so long for now! But if you’re still with me, here’s one last thought on the most recent flick I saw…Could be the last for some time…
-It’s paced like something Tom Green would have done when he had his 15 minutes of fame around the turn of the century. What that translates to is a steady raunchy comedy that showcases the essence of the "Jackass" franchise, yet starts to show that this type of gimmick can have a few dud moments based on the onslaught of copycats over the years. With that being said, Director Jeff Tremaine and co-writer/star Johnny Knoxville still do it better than anyone else. And I have never laughed harder for an extended period of time during the climactic scene at the end!
I’ll see ya when I see ya. Greatly appreciate all of you that subscribed to my scribbles these last 5 years!!!
Joe Belcastro Vice Chairman of Florida Film Critics Circle Member of Southeastern Film Critics Society