Sunday, December 12, 2010

All The Right Friends

When I first left my review journal of six years at Rotten Tomatoes for this new blog over a year ago I had a lot of doubts. Over there I was a known figure. I had a good collection of followers, many of which knew my style, my way of dealing with things, and had, on some level embraced me. Coming here was a difficult exercise in risk assessment. Did my taking towards them outweigh my dislike for the rapid blockbuster subservient sentiment that was overtaking the prevailing RT readers and writers? When I found out a few of my fellow bloggers had already made the move here, I decided it was time go ahead and take a chance. Who knows what the world may bring.

With a year under my belt, and 142 (i.e. 19 'real') followers, I can tell you all right now it was a gamble that paid off in full - several times over. You've all made this such a stimulating and fun experience day in and day out that I wish I had a way to give back (and believe me I do intend to one day - incentive to keep reading :P). Now, as I continue to milk the above story for all its worth, let's move on with the show!

Today I'd like to take a moment and single out three writers each of whom have given me something more than just comments, each in their own way.

The Giver:

When the Mad Hatter asked me if I wanted his old copy of The Thin Red Line, him having traded in for a new criterion copy, I was more than willing to accept. I love WW2 cinema, and Thin Red Line is one of those movies that just grows in leaps and bounds with each viewing. And while I was here biting my nails, eagerly checking the mailbox each day, worried the package would be lost in limbo (+1 reference), Mad remained cool and seemingly confident of its imminent arrival. Of course, he was right (not about everything mind you!)

Over the past year Mad has become one of my most dedicated commentators (though I wonder whose commented on whose blog more? Hmmmmm), and in turn readers. It's more than that though, as I mentioned in my Thanksgiving Post, Mad's come to embody much of what I love about online film blogs - the possibility for civil discourse and generous hearts beyond the confines of everyday society. More than that I've come to look up, and admire, Mad. In many respects he is a blogger that represents what I one day wish to be.

The Author:

When I first got an email saying Alex J Cavanaugh had commented on my blog, my first thought was wow, that's a mouthful. My second thought just happened to be well let's see what he has to say. It's a good thing I did too, because Alex is as fun as he is smart. With a wide breadth of knowledge, and a dedication to fantasy/sci-fi films and television, Alex is not only a blogger that gives it his all, he's also a published author. This past October his first book CassaStar hit the shelves and has been gracing my bookshelf right next to the works of Tolkien, Rowling, Martin, and Craig Ferguson (hey, don't judge!) ever since.

I hold the utmost respect for anyone who can get through the long, and strenuous, process of publishing their first novel without coming out on the other side vaguely resembling cheese beaten repeatedly by a meat tenderizer (personality-wise at least). Yet one look at his blog and you'd know Alex is as quick, fun, and open as anyone you'd ever want to meet. Of course it doesn't hurt he also happens to be a fellow Carolinian.

The Contest:

If you don't already read Film Misery then I'm sorry. If you do, then you already know Alex (I know, there's three Alex's I follow - it's starting to stress me out) is an intelligent, well spoken, and community based writer. His 'Of the Day' series perfectly compacts all the film news you'd want to know without all the extraneous garbage. Though, Alex isn't just known for his writing - he's also known for his trivia contests. A month long, with one DVD as the prize, Alex's daily trivia contests are an exercise in dedication, memory (for film and to not skip a day!), and pure old fashion fun.

In October he held a horror film competition. Each day he would post a screenshot from a particular horror movie, and all you had to do was submit your answer. Even though horror films aren't my strong suite, I decided to ante up and kick in (+2 reference). Much to my surprise I did really well. Thanks to a timely viewing of the original The Haunting I started off strong, and before I knew it I was out front, tied with the lead. Towards the middle I hit a snag (darn you Cabinet of Dr. Caligari!) and was afraid that my run was at an end. However, Lon Chaney in his Phantom costume saved the day swooping in at the last moment and taking me safely home to a WIN and a free dvd copy of Paranormal Activity. This win gave me not only a chance to stretch my cinematic knowledge, but it also helped me revisit a film I was rather apathetic to last year. I won't say my original assessment was wrong, but it's a much better viewing with family - as opposed to alone in my apartment.

As for the rest of you, I hope you don't fear I've forgotten you. I haven't, nor will I. Yet I must end this post now, and so I might as well go out in full circle. Long time fellow blogger, and writer of CommonSenseMovieReviews, TheAnswerMVP2001 has decided to close up shop for the time being. MVP was one of those original group who left the world of RT behind for greener pastures, and I'm hoping that no matter where life takes him, he'll always remember to stop in once and a while and tell us how things are going.

To all you, I say thanks. To those of you coming here for the first time going "wtf, where's the movie talk," I say click on one of the above links. It'd be perhaps the greatest gift I could ever give you.

12 better thoughts:

The Mad Hatter said...

Awwww...c'mere ya big lug!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, thanks dude! I hope I don't come off as beaten cheese. (I think you've coined a new term.)
And let's hear it for Alexes taking over the world!

simoncolumb said...

a great post - the community is great around here! Its a real shame MVP is closing-up ... i'm sure he'll come back ... the lure of the blogging community will get him once again. i hope!

filmgeek said...

It's posts like this that remind me why I love blogging - the strong sense of community and the fact that we are all film geeks who share the love.

I <3 Mad too :)

Alex said...

Aw this was really sweet to read. Although I am feeling odd about all these other Alexes... I'm pretty sure when I started blogging I was the only one! I debated just going by my last name, but that happened enough in high school.

Univarn said...

@Mad YAY! Wait, no. *flexes muscles* I'm a manly man. Rawr, harumph, look at those women and sports people, grrrrr.

@AlexJ Does this mean I can expect a blog post from you soon entitled, "'I am Alex, hear me roar'" ??

@simon Thanks, and that it is indeed. I think blogging can at times be a bit of a roller coaster, emotions-wise, but with the right people surrounding you, you know it'll be alright.

@filmgeek No, you can't have him. Mine Mine Mine! :P

@Alex Sorry, I didn't have any say in the naming of them! In high school there was another Ryan, of whom I didn't get along with one bit, and by some cruel school scheduling we always ended up having one class together.

Alex C. said...

That was amazing! I love when fellow bloggers support each other. I'm very grateful for the kind words and I'm glad you enjoy trivia.

I think I might just change my name to Tilda Swinton just to make things easier. Nobody has that name, right?

Lesya Khyzhnyak said...

Oh, this post is so kind.

I hope I'm included in those 19 real followers thing, although I started reading your blog not long time ago but it's very, very well-written :)

Mike Lippert said...

Nice makes. Makes me sad that I barely have time to read and comment on other people's blogs as much as I used to.

MovieNut14 said...

*cough* Kiss up *cough*

Univarn said...

@AlexC Not that I know of, so I think you're good to go ;)

@Leysa Of course you are and thank you very much :)

@Mike You should, though in the mean time I'm still waiting for Part 2 of your brief introduction to hollywood post! :P

@Movienut Don't be hating.

Simon said...

Oh, you...

(Am I a real follower!?)

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