Saturday, April 7, 2012

The State of the Blog: Year 2

Today is the two year anniversary of the start of this movie blog. It has turned out to suck up a lot more of my time than I really expected and still I haven't been able to do all the things I have planned.

It rather unfortunately still sits here on blogspot, which I absolutely do not want. I still want to build this thing into a real website with new and classic reviews and other features. Some kind of blog might remain part of the final product but the focus would be a movie website.

So in my second year I doubled the number of reviews posted. The number stands at 288. That is in fact exactly double the 144 posted reviews I had at the one year mark last year. And I swear that's a coincidence. I did not do that on purpose. Completely coincidentally again, I've exactly doubled the number of Classic Reviews from 20 to 40. At least I've been consistent in my viewing habits.

Like I did for my 100th posted review I featured another special classic movie review for the 200th: The Godfather. (It actually turned out, on recount, that The Godfather was something like my 201st or 202nd posted review. Oops!) Unfortunately I never completed my plan to post a full analysis of the film. About half of it is written, but from December - February I got bogged down in trying to watch everything that might be nominated for an Oscar. I only ever got the introduction and part 1 posted. Hopefully I will get around to the rest in the coming months.

March was a slow month of posting after the marathon of Oscar contenders in January and February, when I posted 26 and 32 times, respectively. The 32 posts in February was my busiest month since April 2011 when most of my posts were old reviews I had on file from years earlier. If I discount that month and the previous March (which had an unusually high number of posts for the same reason) and June 2010 (the majority of those posts were World Cup related), then February is my highest total.

One of my plans for this past year has been to run occasional features focusing on a particular actor or director. This is a much more time-consuming project than I had thought because it involves watching a lot of movies in a short period of time and writing about them, all while trying to keep up on current films. So I did a small focus on John Cusack last October and am now just finishing up with Charlie Chaplin. The Cusack focus incorporated only a handful of his films and was just some casual viewing of movies I already owned a couple of others that were available at the library. For Chaplin I went out of my way to watch every one of the feature films he directed and several of his short films. I hope to continue projects like this going into my third year. No plans as of yet for which actors or directors I will give the treatment to.

I am proud to say I've maintained my "25 Years Ago This Month" series where I highlight the films that opened that month 25 years ago and also touch on some news events from that month. One thing I've tried to do in recent months is include a review of one of those films each month. In January it was Radio Days, which I had reviewed in the early days of the blog. February was Some Kind of Wonderful. In March I posted reviews of Street Smart and Raising Arizona and for this month I've got two silver anniversary reviews in the works (as well as the actual "25 Years Ago..." post). 

I had hoped I would follow World Cup qualifying more closely. I started ambitiously by covering the very first matches, but I fell off very quickly. Oh well. This isn't a sports blog after all.

So going forward I expect I will continue to post reviews of nearly every movie I see whether they are brand new, old, films I've already seen and those I've never seen. Once again there were fewer than 10 movies I watched over the last year that I didn't review. These include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Belle Epoque, Law of Desire, Bullhead, Puss in Boots, A Dangerous Method and possibly a couple of others that I don't recall. I may start to slow down on posting for a little while if only because I would like to take some of the time I devote to this blog and apply it toward reading more books. I've got several film books that I've never really delved into and others I'd like to read again.

The problem now is that when I watch a movie it triggers an automatic feeling of having to write a review. That's what I wanted, but then I get feelings of guilt when I don't write, or when I wait too long to write and the review ends up being sub par. One thing I'm trying to correct now is to take notes during the movie (a task I find distracting and difficult) or at least set down some notes immediately after watching. Too often I have thoughts that occur to me that I lose and can't get back when I sit down to write a week later. Jotting thoughts down right away usually leads to a better review. So more of that I hope.

1 comment:

  1. Jason Just want to say that I enjoy your work. As a regular blogger since '05 I can't tell you how many times I have told myself that I was either gonna make changes, do more, do less or quit entirely. Blog upkeep is hard. I find that I do better if I don't set too many long term goals. If time affords try and do things spur of the moment--it's more fun that way and keeps you fresh...when I do that readership seems to spike

    Whatever you do,keep up the great work and congrats on year 2!!! All the Best!!!

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