Drawing the Curtains on Reel Opinions
Today I make a big decision, and one I have considered for a while. I am officially bringing Reel Opinions to a close after almost 18 years.
I officially began this blog with the help of the good people at the now defunct website, Stomp Tokyo, which was a site devoted to B-Movies. I joined their message board to talk about and review movies starting back in the Summer of 2002. The first movie review I ever wrote for their board was the M. Night Shyamalan thriller, Signs. I never intended my reviews to be a regular thing. I just wanted to detail my thoughts on the film I had seen with a friend that weekend.
I mark this as the beginning of my film review journey. My review got a very good response from other people in the group, and so I started talking about more movies I had seen. I had always been a regular film goer, usually going every weekend. But getting to write my thoughts on the films I was seeing was an altogether new experience for me. Even better, I was able to communicate with other people through the message group who loved films as much as I did, and loved talking about them. It was a wonderful and supportive community, and I even made a friendship through it that remains strong today.
The opportunity to write about films and talk to others about them became addictive. I started not just going to the movies every weekend, but also seeing just about everything that was playing, just so I could review them and talk about them with others. I even went to films I normally would not usually go to see. This became valuable to me, as it meant I was opening myself to new film experiences, not just the ones I truly wanted to see. I discovered some great films this way, as well as some true stinkers along the way. But, no matter how bad the movie was, I always enjoyed the experience of going to the movies, and I still do greatly. I intend to still go to the movies as often as I can, as I have become fond of a lot of the people who work at my local theater, and see me as one of their regulars.
However, over the years, it has gotten harder for me to write these reviews. This blog was created for me by one of the moderators of Stomp Tokyo as a place for my reviews, due to the attention they always got on their message board. It was created in 2005, and while I was initially hesitant to post here, as I preferred the community on the message board, this soon became my home for my thoughts on film. Over the past 18 years, I have posted a total of 2,274 reviews and articles where I posted my thoughts on the best and worst of each particular year. It's been an incredible time, and while this blog was never very successful and I never made any money off of it, I simply did it out of sheer enjoyment and my love of talking about movies with those who did enjoy my work.
I was 28 when this blog began in the Fall of 2005. I will be turning 46 in less than two months. A lot has changed since then, and my life is starting to go in a different direction. I have done my best to keep this blog running these past few years with a pandemic, and health issues that found me hospitalized twice in the past two years, as well as an outpatient surgery on my foot to help fix those issues. Now that the issues are somewhat more under control, I want to start a new chapter in my life. I have some new opportunities in my life, some of which I'm extremely excited about.
Most exciting of all for me is that I am writing fiction again, something that has been a passion of mine long before I got into reviewing movies. Being mainly housebound since 2020 and getting laid off from my previous job inspired me to try again, along with the endless support of the amazing woman who is the love of my life. Since August 2021, I have completed five screenplays, and I have begun to take some very early steps toward making that dream a reality. Who knows? One day, there may be people critiquing my work, the way I have critiqued others' work for over 20 years since I started on that message board. I don't know what will happen, but I am hopeful for the first time in a very long time about making that dream a reality, as well as pursuing other goals in my life.
That's why I'm drawing the curtains on Reel Opinions. While I still enjoy going to the movies, and will whenever I can, I can tell I am getting to the point where this blog will not be a big part of my life, and I want to stop before it is no longer enjoyable for me. I do appreciate those of you who enjoyed and supported my work here. Obviously, you may have not always agreed with me. Hell, one person got so mad at me over my negative review of the 2006 stoner comedy, Grandma's Boy, that they left a comment saying that I should be shot and that I make America a bad country. Another person once disagreed with me so strongly over one of my reviews that they said if they were driving their vehicle and saw me crossing the street, they would not slow down. Luckily, aside from some "passionate" individuals, the response to my writing here has largely been positive, and I do appreciate the support I have gotten here.
And so, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you to the people of Stomp Tokyo, wherever they may be now, and thank you to those who have read this blog over the years. This blog will remain here for a while, so I can keep a record of all the films I have watched these past 18 years. The good and the bad ones had a definite impact on me, and movies will continue to play a vital part of my life.
You are my favorite movie review site- have had you bookmarked for at least over a decade. Your reviews have been insightful, fair, well-written and fun. I would always look forward to seeing what you thought about the newest films. Usually I agreed, and the times I didn't, you explained your reasoning well. I do wish there was an index- sometimes I catch an older movie I missed, and come here to see what you thought of it!
I'm going to miss your reviews (and I was looking forward to Indiana Jones 5!), but I wish you the best of luck with your future plans. I hope you update this website for any important updates.
By Unknown, at 6:19 AM
I have had this blog favorited since the Stomp Tokyo days (I think I found it through the old Jabootu site, or however it was spelled), I think it was a review of a Tomb Raider film.
Anyway, I've checked back here regularly ever since, well over a decade now. Thanks for the reviews over the years, genuinely hope your writing takes off big for you.
Sorry for not commenting more, though, I've only commented here a few times over the years. Should've done that more often.
By Berserkasaurus Rex, at 4:36 PM
You have been my go-to review guy since I started reading your blog, which I guess was right near the beginning.
Often I've read your reviews of movies that I have zero interest in, just to see exactly why I won't watch them!
Have you ever thought about making the archives into an ebook (or several!) and releasing them on Kindle?
By Benoit, at 10:39 PM
And of course, thanks for all the joy over the years, and good luck in your future endeavours!
By Benoit, at 10:40 PM
I'll miss the reviews, hopefully I'll still see you post occasionally on the boards. But I understand entirely your decision. You are a very good writer and I hope you do well.
By Nathan, at 6:04 PM
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