2021 New Year Resolutions and Goals

Ahh yes, resolutions and goals. Have you made yours yet?

If you have a website, it’s usually considered good form — at least privately — to write down where you want to go with your website and to reflect upon the results at the start of the new year. We are going to try and do this every year we’re here. In January at some point anyway. This is year #2.

We did this last year on January 1st (see: 2020 New Year Resolutions and Goals) but this year feels so much like an extension of 2020 that time has carried over. It just doesn’t feel like a new year … yet. Not even three weeks plus later.

I recorded a 20 minute video on this earlier in the month and you can queue that up below which goes through where we’ve been and where we want to go in 2021.

2020 was weird, no doubt, and we actually watched less movies in theaters in 2020 (44 movies) than we did from August to December 2019 (68 movies).

2021 MovieReviewsByUs.com New Year’s Resolutions

  1. 4-star, 4.5 and 5 star movies are now the only recommended movies here, increased from what used to be 3-star and above, see: Effective Jan 1, 2021 We Will Only Recommend Movies 4-Star and Above
  2. Classic Twilight Zone TV show 156 episode detailed reviews will continue. Maybe only 1 will appear in 2021, but the goal is to span this over many, many years at this site before all 156 episodes will be reviewed. Speculating 25-30+ years to complete this goal.
  3. Still, no ads! No third party advertising will be added anywhere on the website in 2021, including affiliate links. We might explore a premium area for some behind the scenes on the creation of content and webmaster-specific interest, but none of what we do here now will be charged for.

809 Review Distribution through Jan 23, 2021

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Love it, Must See (22 movies – 3%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Amazing (41 movies – 5%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Great (113 movies – 14%)

176 out of 809 recommended (22%)

Everything above is recommended, everything below is not as of 1/1/2021.

⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Good (143 movies – 18%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Entertaining (169 movies – 21%)
⭐️⭐️½ – OK (114 movies – 14%)
⭐️⭐️ – Mediocre (100 movies – 12%)
⭐️½ – Bad (59 movies – 7%)
⭐️ – Terrible (35 movies – 4%)
½ – Unwatchable (10 movies – 1%)

633 of 809 not recommended.

In 2021, we’ll get over 1,000 reviews. We continue the streak of at least 1 movie review every day. How long this streak will last is anybody’s guess, but we haven’t stopped yet. Also approaching 500 days in a row with at least one post every day on this site. That’s another streak that doesn’t look like it will fall anytime soon.

Thank you for reading and may you all be safe in 2021 and beyond! Happy movie watching to you.

1,000 Blog Posts Milestone – Meta – 9/29/2020

1,000 blog posts made at MovieReviewsByUse.com as of 9/29/2020

This is post #1,000 since September 8, 2019.

This post can safely be skipped for it’s meta nature, unless you’re interested in our blog milestones, facts and figures. It’s only being made for historical reference, we’ll get back to regular programming with the very next post (soon). Thank you for reading!

The next blog post milestone will be at least 2,500, at the current rate of posting this will occur between late 2021 and early 2022. We also track milestones for subscribers and total reviews shared. The next movie review milestone is 1,000 reviews which at the current rate will occur in 2021.

Past Blog milestones

Thank you for reading!

There is no greater compliment for a writer than to have his/her work read. Liking something one has written is an added bonus, but writers want readers to feel something from their work. It doesn’t have to always be “I liked that!” but, yes, it does feel good. If you’ve enjoyed reading something here over the last year or so, I’m greatly appreciative for the time. I don’t just go through the motions with this site and never will. When and if I think there’s nothing left for me to offer, I’ll be done. The beauty of the what this site is about — movies, TV, creativity and art — well, I don’t think that ever has an ending.

It’s like we’re driving to somewhere we see in the distance but around every corner, there is another side road that leads somewhere unknown. That thrill of seeing something you’ve not seen before is unmatched. Together, health willing, we’ll continue this journey.

One can debate (with success, most likely) that an entertainment site like this doesn’t constitute “work” but reading and writing are something I’ve done longer than my memory of watching and enjoying movies. I’ve written some posts that I’m proud of here and others that, given the time and circumstance, I’d have fleshed out more or maybe even not posted at all. Having the time to write is a luxury my current day job affords me and for that I’m grateful, but if nobody was reading it wouldn’t be as enjoyable.

Something neat about WordPress: announced milestones and “firsts” inside the admin menu

Thank you for reading and if you like what’s going on here, please share with a friend or three, and feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or recommendations. Have a great day!

Blog Housekeeping: Coming Soon and Review Schedule July 2020 and beyond

Movies Coming Soon to theaters 2020 now includes sections for STREAMING PREMIERE and DELAYED/MOVED to help better organize and track movie release updates.

Readers, if you enjoy being surprised by posts then you can safely skip reading this post, as it contains dates of scheduled upcoming posts. There are a few surprises here and there however on certain dates and details that have intentionally been left out. After all, not everything fun and worthwhile can be scheduled.

For those curious to know what to expect in the future that’s new review-related to this blog and wondering what types of posts appear here, the frequency and schedule, this post provides details and specifics.

Of course other non-review posts are made in/around the posts that are actually planned below and there are also some reviews that aren’t listed as well like ongoing The Twilight Zone (1959-) reviews, which are planned to take place over many, many years at this blog, not days, weeks or months.

COMING SOON TO THEATERS – Additions, changes and modifications

The image at the top of this post shows the subsections on the 2020 Coming Soon to Theaters page and now includes the following subsections:

  • STREAMING PREMIERE – these are higher profile movies that either could, should or are simultaneous theater releases. It’s not intended to be a complete list of all new streaming movies. VOD/PVOD movie releases will also appear on this list. From top to bottom it is date sorted (beginning of the month at top, end of month at bottom)
  • DELAYED/MOVED – movies intended to be released to theaters but have moved to other months are now listed under this subcategory

Someday all these movie release date changes might have to be put in a database, but for now this seems like the simplest and cleanest way to portray this information. Again, it’s not every single movie being released, it seeks to capture the wide theater releases, some [LIMITED] releases and streaming premieres. Basically, we’re trying to keep our eyes on new films that have broad appeal or wide release, academy attention (including some indie films) and noteworthy streaming premieres. New films can and will slip through the cracks, but this should be a fairly detailed overview of the “biggest” and “best” new movies being released in theaters in the United States.

Unless otherwise noted, all movie release dates are for the United States only. Other country release dates are not being tracked.

MONDAY / TUESDAY / WEDNESDAY – Compiled Reviews By Others + Critique Posts

New wide release movies planned for review compilation posts. These dates are subject to change based on the movies actually being released and/or our ability to watch the movies the weekend before. In some rare circumstances, reviews by others are compiled without our review, but won’t critique movies that haven’t been watched and reviewed.

All movie reviews (spoiler-free) appear first and/or primarily at Letterboxd see: https://letterboxd.com/tjsnk/

All movies seen in theaters have spoiler-free video reviews created just after leaving the movie theater at our MovieReviewsByUs YouTube channel

All movie review compilations and critiques — these contain spoilers — appear at MovieReviewsByUs.com usually the week following US release, but sometimes delayed longer. Typically, these review compilations will appear Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. There is no schedule for these posts, but you can follow along with the Coming Soon 2020 or Monthly Coming Soon to Theater lists to see which movies will be watched and reviewed.

The goal is to watch and review all wide release movies released in theaters. Not all VOD and streaming release movies are watched and reviewed.

WEDNESDAY – Coming To Theaters This Weekend Posts

Our coming to theaters weekend list will return as soon as theaters reopen. These detail the wide release movies that are being released in theaters the coming weekend.

THURSDAY – What to Watch on Streaming Channels This Weekend

A recap of MovieReviewsByUs selected titles, mostly new titles, but some older movies available across a selection of the various streaming services including, but not limited to: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, Hulu, Shudder, DC Universe, AppleTV+

FRIDAY – FIRST LOOK Fridays

Preview posts of all wide release movies in theaters, some VOD, some movies and TV series on streaming channels.

These posts are not planned in advance, but try to post at least some movies coming to theaters within the next 45-90 days.

  • Oct 30: The Mandalorian S2:E1: “Chapter 9”
  • Nov 6: The Mandalorian S2:E2: “Chapter 10”
  • Nov 13: The Mandalorian S2:E2: “Chapter 11”
  • Nov 20: The Mandalorian S2:E2: “Chapter 12”
  • Nov 27: The Mandalorian S2:E2: “Chapter 13”
  • Dec 4: The Mandalorian S2:E2: “Chapter 14”
  • Dec 11: The Mandalorian S2:E2: “Chapter 15”
  • Dec 18: The Mandalorian S2:E2: “Chapter 16” (Season finale!)

SATURDAY Morning Cartoon (Spoiler-Free) Reviews

Currently the following cartoons are have been or being scheduled to have reviews posted on Saturdays:

Scooby-Doo Where Are You (1969)
Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973)

Every Saturday morning a new review for a classic cartoon series is scheduled to be reviewed. Here’s the schedule of reviews for what’s already happened and the rest of 2020:

  • July 04: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1:E1 – “What A Night For A Knight” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • July 11: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1:E2 – “A Clue For Scooby-Doo” ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  • July 18: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E3 – “Hassle In The Castle”
  • July 25: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E4 – “Mine Your Own Business”
  • Aug 01: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E5 – “Decoy for a Dognapper”
  • Aug 08: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E6 – “What The Hex Going On?”
  • Aug 15: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E7 – “Never Ape an Ape Man”
  • Aug 22: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E8 – “Foul Play In Funland”
  • Aug 29: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E9 – “The Backstage Rage”
  • Sep 05: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E10 – “Bedlam in the Big Top”
  • Sep 12: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E11 – “A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts”
  • Sep 19: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E12 – “Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too”
  • Sep 26: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E13 – “Which Witch is Which?”
  • Oct 03: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E14 – “Go Away Ghost Ship”
  • Oct 10: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E15 – “Spooky Space Kook”
  • Oct 17: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E16 – “A Night of Fright Is No Delight”
  • Oct 24: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: S1:E17 – “That Snow Ghost” (season 1 finale episode)
  • Oct 31 – Happy Halloween – no review
  • Nov 07 – Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1:E1 – “Beyond The Farthest Star”
  • Nov 14 – Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1:E2 – “Yesteryear”
  • Nov 21 – Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1;E3 – “One Of Our Planets Is Failing”
  • Nov 28 – Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1:E4 – “The Lorelei Signal”
  • Dec 05 – Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1:E5 – “More Tribbles, More Troubles”
  • Dec 12 – Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1:E6 – “The Survivor”
  • Dec 19 – Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1:E7 – “The Infinite Vulcan”
  • Dec 26 – Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1:E8 – “The Magicks of Megas Tu”

SUNDAY / MONDAY

The following new Stargirl Season 1 TV Show episodes are reviewed (spoiler-free) and posted either Sunday night (PT / GMT-8) or Monday, the date below is Monday, but again some will be posted early on Sunday night, which just depends on whether or not I watch the episode on Sunday or Monday (sometimes I fall asleep before it airs):

Also see: MovieReviewsByUs.com TV Series Reviews:
https://moviereviewsbyus.com/tv-series-reviews/

How To Add Your Movie Review Blog to our Preferred Review Pull Quote List

I’m working on compiling reviews for the above movies, so as good a time as any to break out this post. If you have seen one or more of the movies pictured above and reviewed them on your blog, then I’m out searching for review pull quotes as of this posting.

This post is on the longer side and if you’re not a movie review blogger, it probably isn’t worth reading. But, bonus, there is a little history lesson on me as a blogger, maybe that might interest some. Readers are never wrong about what they like, so your call.

A little history on blogging for the record, and please forgive the meta nature of this post — I actually dislike writing meta posts on a blog that isn’t meant to have those type posts (some blogs sole purpose are blogging about blogging, so relevant there), even though I know they’re often very popular to read. This blog is fairly new (started August 12, 2019), but I’m not a brand new blogger.

I used to run a very busy, active tech blog. It was popular and became one of CNET Top 100 blogs. That was 2003-2009. I walked away from it for one simple reason: got tired of writing about tech.

Seriously, I’d written many thousands of posts and over a million words on new and old technology. Burnt out is probably a better description. The website had become a profitable business long before I quit, but the business, the money, the accolades were never primary reasons for blogging.

If my heart was no longer excited about the material, I felt continuing was no longer warranted.

So, I let it go.

A blogger who cares about the content and his readers, is it possible? Yes, it is. I was one, at least. Didn’t feel that I should just create posts because it was profitable doing so. That wasn’t why I started the blog or why it kept going. It was a personal site that grew into a business site, which was OK until I no longer had the passion for creating the source material. While this might seem implausible, it seemed fraudulent for me to continue under those circumstances.

So, I bailed.

Honestly, thought I’d never blog again. It would be something saved in the internet archive, a footnote in a six plus year adventure that faded away over time. Was OK with that, too.

Now, here we are 10+ years later and I’m blogging again. The fire, if you will, has returned.

The circumstances are similar, but very different. I want new readers here to know blogging history isn’t likely to repeat itself.

For one, I have always watched movies. I mean, since a very young age. Have always enjoyed watching movies and have never done any sort of significant movie reviewing until this past year. Yes, I did write and share a few movie reviews on my old tech blog and it might be interesting someday here to resurrect those posts and compare to rewatches 10-20+ years later. Compare the texts side by side and laugh if I contradict myself (I probably have!).

Being older now and having some detailed record of what movies I’ve enjoyed to pass down to other family, friends and others might be fun and useful from a historical perspective. Not that I am some great movie scholar or anything — I’m admittedly a new pupil to the craft of film critique and reviewing — but do believe experience means something. 45+ years of movie watching experience absolutely must make me at least an expert of my own tastes.

Also, becoming a film critic is something I’m curious to learn more about. Am not sure if I’ll ever become a professional critic, but am interested in researching and exploring the craft and profession. I don’t believe education and research should be bound by any age group.

So, why this blog?

Have told this part of the story a couple other times, so forgive me regular readers if this looks familiar.

I wanted to keep track of all the movies I’m watching. Quickly, I realized the site that I was using didn’t allow for any sort of blogging. It was just about the movies themselves, but no other anecdotal information or news surrounding the movie was available. The site I’m talking about is Letterboxd. It is awesome for just logging what you watch and optionally leaving a rating and/or review (totally optional).

But what if you want to talk more about multiple movies coming in the future (you can make a list and add commentary there), maybe record thoughts or collect news articles on movies and movie-related topics? Keep track of TV shows you’ve watched? What do you do then?

Start your own blog.

That’s how I got back into blogging after leaving it behind. I didn’t come here to start a movie reviewing business site, I came here out of necessity to record and share this adventure known as the world of movie reviews. There are some TV series reviews here too, as there are too many crossovers from TV to movie that to exclude TV seems like a disservice. The primary focus here is sharing and talking about movies, however.

Whenever anybody asks me why I started this blog, I’m going to link them here. Can cross that off the list. Whew.

Blogs without readers are likes boats without any propulsion

Face it, if you have a blog, you need readers or what’s the point? You can post reviews all day long, but why not just make it a private blog and only invite your family and friends? Why even make your blog accessible to the public if you don’t want to have readers.

I want to have readers for this blog. Lots and lots of readers! The more, very much the merrier.

Now that I’m here, sharing these reviews, I thought to myself: wow, there are so many good — some freaking outstanding — movie bloggers sharing reviews out there, and too many have fewer readers than they deserve.

That’s a shame. A moviegoer sees a movie and then writes this great review and then … what? Just leaves it buried in the constipated bowels of the internet?

I want to help.

My thinking: let’s do something a little different than others are doing. Let me pull together and highlight quotes from other movie reviews. I pull quote from those blogs reviewing movies. I have collected so far 1,500+ movie review sites as of this writing and keep adding new sites.

No, I have not sought permission to pull quotes from any of these 1,500+ movie review sites. That would be far too time-consuming a practice for something I don’t do as a business and the reading and gathering of these quotes isn’t done by any machine, it’s done by one human being — me.

It can take over an hour or more to manually select and link these quotes for a single movie review post. These are hand selected quotes that I’m hoping will encourage readers here to click through and go to the movie site and continue reading.

BTW, I’m also a programmer and could write a script to scrape quotes from these sites in a fraction of time that it takes to manually pull them. If it’s automated it’s not human-curated, which misses the point and value.

Scaling any sort of manual system like this is problematic, however. So, eventually, I’ll need to either hire or acquire volunteers to help assemble these or automate at least some of the process. Only so many hours in the day, you know?

As for which movies make it to this process? Usually only new releases, since those are the ones that most everybody tries to get out in a timely manner so that movie fans can decide by reading them if it’s something s/he wants to see.

Also, my goal is that if the pull quote is interesting enough readers will travel to these other great movie review blogs and read more of their (your) reviews. Bingo! I’ve added a helpful service.

It sounds great in theory, but in practice there will always be one in the crowd who cries foul. Some very tiny movie blog (less than 20 followers) complained that he didn’t want me using any quotes and questioned my practice of using pull quotes from review sites without permission.

It only took like five months for some movie review blogger to complain about not wanting to be pull quoted or linked. I removed his link, blocked his site and will never, ever, per his request, quote or link to him again. It’s a bummer too, because I enjoy reading his reviews and would like to share with others, but will respect the request. I don’t mean this as a slight, but if you don’t want readers at your blog, then private publish the site. Put it all behind a paywall or something and by default you’ll severely limit your audience. Don’t leave it out there for anybody to sign up to, read and — gasp — help promote.

It’s that simple. If you don’t want your movie review ever quoted and linked here: just say so. Done.

I’d rather do this and then if someone complains, remove them from the list so it doesn’t ever happen again.

Is this a blogger-friendly practice? Good question. I think any related traffic one can receive is usually a positive thing. More readers for your blog is helpful. If one were to take me to court and cry copyright infringement over a small related pull quote, I’m not sure it would be successful, based on the benefit it provides and Fair Use, but am claiming no legal standing on the practice.

What am I gaining from pulling your quote and linking to it? I’m aggregating movie review quotes as part of my original commentary to support and help other moviegoers decide whether or not they should want to see a movie based on multiple, often differing opinion, reviews. This means people can come here to read these compiled and human-curated selection of reviews.

Nobody else on the internet will ever have this same curated list unless they copy ours. I realize Rotten Tomatoes does this with their professional review sources, but again, not every movie blogger can be on that list. You have to be accepted as an approved critic and that requires meeting multiple criteria (see this post for details on how to become an approved critic: 8 Days to Terminator: Dark Fate – Rotten Tomatoes 61% Fresh Initially, Critics Opinions are Mixed)

Some reviews agree with me, some disagree. I think it’s a worthwhile service for potential moviegoers.

This leads to my newest idea which does seek to have permission for this process: a Preferred Pull Quote List.

What I’m planning to do is first go to this list of blogs for pull quotes and links before linking from my growing reading list. I’ll see if these movie review blogs have posted reviews to the movie or TV show I’ve reviewed and include pull quotes from that list as a priority. If the blog has a site search it will make it easier to manually find related reviews, but I’m finding some sites don’t have site searches (TIP: get them and make them prominent!)

Would you like your movie review blog included?

How to get your movie review blog on this Preferred Pull Quote List

It’s easy and FREE. Wow, does anybody ever do anything for FREE on the web any more without some gimmick or catch? Not very often. It’s usually some kind of spam or scam.

Not the case here.

You can see what we’re doing. Look at our domain name: moviereviewsbyUS.com. If you are a movie blogger then you are part of “us” simply because your blog exists.

If you don’t want to be quoted or linked to by this site, that’s cool, you don’t have to be. I’ll happily exclude any blog that doesn’t want to be included, but by default every blog that shares reviews is included with a small few exceptions (IE. we try not to link to sites that list torrent sites for downloading movies illegally).

How is that for being anti-discriminatory?

More to the little bit of fine print. It’s not really every movie review blog, because not every blog is creating original material. I’m not interested in spam blogs or other mostly aggregated blogs. Those are crap quality and ripoffs, not real websites. Those won’t be included in the list either.

Also, your blog cannot be an adult XXX movie review blog. Only blogs that primarily review movies up to NC-17 rating. If you are mostly a porn movie blogger, that’s cool and all, but we don’t plan on reviewing those movies on this site so this wouldn’t be useful to your site, anyway. If you only post a few reviews of a few historically noteworthy porn movies like say Deep Throat and the bulk of your reviews are Rated R and below, sure, you’re welcome and encouraged to be on the list. I’m not saying there aren’t any porn movies that crossover to mainstream, but I think it’s pretty clear that this site is about mainstream movies and TV shows, not porn. It’s not an adult site or intended to be, even if the content here sometimes is adult-oriented.

Again, I’m not trying to exclude, I’m trying to include. But the movie review sites included need to fit the list or it won’t be useful for either of us.

So, to clarify, I’m providing this free service to any legitimate movie blogger that wants to be involved, whether you are brand new (0 followers) or have 10,000+ followers. Note: that if a blog is primarily an x-rated or spam site that only aggregates other blogger’s work and doesn’t provide any original reviews or content, I reserve full right to reject and/or remove from this list at any time without notice.

It’s our compiled list, after all. And I’m the one doing the virtual legwork visiting these sites, reading reviews, selecting the quote and linking back. Sometimes I leave comments and interact with these blogs, as several linked up will attest to, so there is an additional activity benefit on your site to being on this list. More traffic in here, leads to more traffic back out to other sites.

So here’s how to become involved, if you want to, anyway:

Just leave a comment below or mention me on Twitter (@Todd_Russell) or DM me if you want to stay stealth about the interest.

We might proactively contact some blogs to include on this list and ask permission. I won’t contact everybody on my reading list because again that would be way too time consuming, but there are certain movie review bloggers that are very good at what they do and I would like to include them in this list, if s/he/they are interested and willing.

Really only need about 100-200 very active movie review sources for this list, but they need to come from movie review sites that post their reviews in a timely manner in/around the date of release of the movie. If it’s a site that only reviews older movies, I will add to my reading list, but likely will rarely pull any quotes from those. As a general practice I don’t compile reviews involving older movies, only newer ones released in theaters and/or on streaming services, including VOD.

Don’t Want To Be Pull Quoted or Linked? Here’s How To Be Removed

The converse is true: if anybody is reading this does not want me ever to pull quotes from your blog, then you use one of the same methods above: leave a comment here, mention or DM me on Twitter. Easy peasy. You’ll be removed and no future pull quotes will ever be used and linked to your site again.

It’s simple, I’m a good blogger netizen and seek to follow the personal and professional requests of others. I do have to be notified, however, in order to comply. Otherwise I’ll keep pull quoting and linking because good bloggers share. Benefit to your site? You’ll get more readers that like reading movie reviews. Quid pro quo.

I think this is a pretty good deal, what do you think?

Happy movie watching to you!

What are other Movie/TV Bloggers Writing About During The Pandemic?

Comments left on a post here, see: Ranking Stallone’s Rocky and Creed Films

One of the strengths of my first blog was an active commenting section.

It grew into primarily a tech-focused blog, but it was so wide-open topic-wise that posts could — and sometimes did — go pretty much anywhere, leading into some really fascinating discussions.

It’s easy missing most of those discussions (the ones that were invaded by drive-by trolls, not so much). In fact, I’m not sure how many of those regular readers and commenters even realize that I’m now blogging here.

An Active Comment Section Goal

We aren’t quite there on this blog yet with as active a comment section, but it’s certainly a goal of mine someday to rebuild that former commenting area activity glory. It’s almost two decades later and social interaction is spread around more now admittedly. In time, hopefully I can convince you, dear readers, that after posting these worked upon words I care about the comments left and social interaction that follows. If a post gets a lot of likes and several comments, that suggests to me it’s a topic of interest to readers as well. If it receives less interaction, I missed engaging you.

If I wanted to just write in a vacuum, I’d write another book (I’ve written seven of them to date, and really should get the eighth one finished). When you write a book the traditional way there isn’t any comment section, it’s (hopefully) published and then the reviews are really the only feedback the author receives. Maybe my eighth book should be non-traditional. Make it part of a blog with chapter by chapter comment section interaction? (that’s been done before, but hey).

There are some blogs that don’t have comment sections. If that’s your thing, it’s cool. I’m not telling anybody else what to do with their sites. Me? I enjoy receiving comments. Likes are good, too, but the more comments the merrier. As long as they aren’t spam or too trollish.

One of the great strengths of blogging is in the feedback and interaction received. It’s helpful for understanding what drives interest. And it’s more than just see if you can write something that makes others leave comments. Clickbait is cheap, easy and like candy. Tastes good briefly and then makes you feel bad if you get too much. I’d rather write something heartfelt and real and receive comments. There is a big difference in what I’m describing.

Engaging readers to take time out of his/her/their busy schedules is tough, but very rewarding.

What are other movie bloggers writing about right now?

Enough about here and me, let’s talk about you, you, you. Readers. Some, perhaps most, of you are also movie bloggers.

Now that we’re in the middle of this pandemic, it got me thinking about what other movie bloggers are writing about right now on their blogs. If new movies were your primary source of content, as they were here, what are you doing instead?

As of this writing, I follow over 1,500 movie bloggers. Some of them stop by here and drop likes on posts once in awhile (thank you) and a smaller subset will even leave comments. If you’ve left a comment here in the last 60 days, then you’re the focus of this post.

I decided to check comments made on recent posts and anybody who has left at least one comment, visit his/her/their blog and report and share what they are writing about now. Who knows, maybe some of you will pick up some new readers. I feel like I’m getting to know these bloggers through their comments and blog posts. Our way of saying thank you.

Let’s get to it.

Readers with blogs that have left comments here recently

Empish

As I get older my sight is weakening, but Empish lost her sight over 20 years ago, as she explains in My Blindness Doesn’t Determine My Happiness. She writes a blog with a mission statement that reads: “Educate, empower and enlighten you with news, stories, and info about the blind and visually-impaired community.” A very interesting perspective, so check out her blog.

It doesn’t seem that Empish’s blog posting frequency has changed, but her posting material is geared more toward topics involving the pandemic. Recent posts include: Watching Movies at Home During Covid-19, Zoom Videoconferencing Helps Me Live Work and Play During Covid-19 and How I Manage Anxiety Around the Coronavirus Virus.

Giadreams

G is still doing her thing, seemingly unchanged by current times, posting movie reviews, trailer commentary and more with a post a day. Most recent reviews include: Onward and The Postcard Killings.

Commenter and blogger Ross Braterman at The Middle-Aged Critic offers “Movie, Concert, Comedian and Experiential Reviews” at his blog.

Ross has made a half dozen or so posts since January 28, 2020 with his most recent post March 27, 2020: Event Review: AJR Instagram Live Event and movies reviews for: Impractical Jokers: The Movie and Just Mercy. It doesn’t appear from my reading that he’s changed his frequency of posting very much during the pandemic. His concert review posts are interesting, check them out.

DouginNC

DouginNC has been blogging about a wide variety of topics for several years, and in 2017 he added movies, books and stage production coverage.

Like Ross, DouginNC has made a half dozen or so posts since the end of January 2020 including movie reviews of Closer (2004) and Yesterday (2017) and disappointment over the lack of this year’s March Madness, titled: MARCH SADNESS 2020.

The Conductor

Lighttrain Reviews is chugging along with 5 posts in March, 7 in February, 4 in January and 1 this month as of this writing April 2020: Top 7 Most Expensive Theatrical Film Disasters – Out of Order — it seems like The Conductor at Lighttrain Reviews has actually increased his post frequency undeterred by the current climate.

Good. Keep posting! I made sure to weigh in on The Conductor’s post: How My Ratings System Works — ratings are a much more complex animal than meet’s the eye. The simplest and most commonly recognized 5-star rating system (what we’re using here) is flawed on a number of levels. It has led to many creative ratings systems that, unfortunately, moviegoers don’t always understand. Rotten Tomatoes system is widely misunderstood (the % is simply the overall positive reviews, not an overall % review score) Maybe the simplest review rating is simply yes (see it) or no (don’t) and everything else just muddies the waters.

The Critic

On 3/3 The Critic started working on a site design revamp that should be launching any day now according to the most recent message on his site.

The blog feed is very much still active and has March 2020 reviews of Turbo Kid, Summer of ’84, Halloween (2018), Halloween, Black Christmas, Ouija: Origins of Evil, Ouija, The Lodge, Goodnight Mommy, The Invitation, Jennifer’s Body and Portrait of a Lady On Fire.

PatrickWhy

The Ebert Test is an intriguing name for a blog. Googled it and learned the definition from Wikipedia is: “gauges whether a computer-based synthesized voice can tell a joke with sufficient skill to cause people to laugh.”

From the subtitle this blog says “Nerding Out & Diving Deep” which is right up my geeky alley. So, what is PatrickWhy blogging about?

5 posts in January, 2 in February, 3 in March and none in April so far, PatrickWhy writes deep, pensive posts which form a mosaic of compelling topics like HOLLYWOOD & HIGHLAND(S): ROB ROY, BRAVEHEART AND THE SCOTTISH MOMENT, THE QUIET ONE: LIQUID SWORDS, STILL CHOPPING OFF HEADS AT 25 (ed. love this title!)

It doesn’t seem like PatrickWhy has changed his post material, depth or voice during these times.

Likes on Recent Posts

Here are a list of reader blogs that have (very) recently left likes on posts — thank you! I skipped listing those who also left a comment, because those are covered above.

If your blog is listed above and you have not left a comment here before, hopefully you’ll find a post to leave one or more on in the future. Or, if inspired, comment on your blog and link back in — trackback and pingbacks are accepted from linked in blog posts.

When Do YOU Leave Comments? What are YOU Writing about during the Pandemic?

If you have never left a comment here before, I’m also curious to hear what your writing about during the pandemic? Have you changed your blogging habits at all? Posting more? Posting less? Why?

Am interested what makes you decide to leave a comment? Some posts, like this one, end with a question for readers, because I’m hoping you will engage on the topic and share your opinion. Yes, your opinion matters, even if/when we disagree. We will disagree on movies and TV shows from time to time. You’ll like some I don’t and vice versa and it’s all good.

Let’s discuss.

Now Featuring FIRST LOOK Fridays

Every Friday here at this blog, at least two new FIRST LOOK at coming soon movies starting … today 1/17/2020

TGIF!

In my ongoing quest to better organize and deliver more of what readers and myself are finding interesting, announcing something new on Fridays called: FIRST LOOK Fridays.

Every Friday starting today, 1/17/2020, there will be at least two new FIRST LOOK posts featuring movies coming to theaters in the future. Some movies might be only a week or two away, some as much as six months or longer into the future.

If you’re new to reading this blog, you can read our past first look posts by following the FIRST LOOK tag, so the type of post isn’t new, it’s simply a designated day where readers can reliably turn in each week and find some of these posts.

If you look at the image at the top of this post there is a hint at (likely) FIRST LOOK coming to theater movies that will be showing up in posts throughout today and Fridays beyond. My usual workflow has me loading these into the drafts and watching and rewatching the trailers, riffing thoughts off that as well as any news articles and blog posts.

The FIRST LOOK: Doolittle (2020) is the most read of these type posts to date here, so I’m guessing this movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. was of great interest and curiosity to moviegoers, even though the early reviews are not good. I’ll be seeing Doolittle at some point today.

Will still be posting FIRST LOOK posts on other days of the week as has been the case since this blog started and there will be non-FIRST LOOK posts some Fridays too to go along with the 2+ posts mentioned above.

There are links to FIRST LOOK posts in the coming soon section as well. These coming soon posts are also popular here, so I’m working on those behind the scenes too. You can follow the coming soon link at the top of the page.

Thank you for reading and happy movie watching to you!

2020 New Year Resolutions and Goals

How does this look the day after?

Ah yes, another year is upon us. Looking forward and back. Hopefully, if you went out last night you didn’t party too hard. Will try not to burn too many neurons with this post.

While most movie review blogs are posting their best/worst of movie lists for the year and, some, posting best of the decade lists, this year we can’t really do that here because I only started reviewing movies in August 2019 and this site started in September. Yeah, we’ve got that new car smell still.

We all start somewhere.

Baby Yoda started somewhere … too … just don’t poke his eye!

Doesn’t seem fair to me to post best/worst of lists where only 4-5 months of 12 were analyzed and reviewed in detail, so need to wait until next year to share those lists. Still, I may link, comment and discuss lists others are making. Came across a few good posts in my reader from others already today.

Full disclaimer: I made one best new movies in theaters of 2019 list (since August 12, 2019) on Letterboxd, but, again, it’s incomplete, so don’t feel it’s worth talking much about here, much less linking.

For those curious, my favorite new movie watched — of the 68 seen in theaters — since August 12, 2019 — was Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I watched several other new movies in 2019, but since those weren’t reviewed and rated, they aren’t included in that list. See, it’s messy, hence, the reason I’m not bothering with posting any lists or trying to rationalize why something was my favorite for the year when not even the whole year is included. Next year.

I can, however, discuss what was watched, rated and reviewed in 2019. For the statistics-friendly readers, let’s look at star rating distribution.

Star Rating Distribution

Since August 2019, a total of 385 movies were watched, rated and reviewed either via streaming (Amazon [176], Netflix [35], Hulu [16], Disney+[14], etc) or seen at the theater [69 – 68 at Regal, 1 at independent]. The picture below shows how it looks like climbing up a mountain and then down. Here is the actual breakdown of the star ratings:

Movies watched, rated and reviews in 2019 (actual count is 385) ratings distribution

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Love it, Must See (16 movies – 4%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Amazing (18 movies – 5%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Great (62 movies – 16%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Good (72 movies – 19%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Entertaining (77 movies – 20%)

A total of 245 of 385 (63.6%) above are recommended. Below movies watched are not recommended:

⭐️⭐️½ – OK (55 movies – 14%)
⭐️⭐️ – Mediocre (39 movies – 10%)
⭐️½ – Bad (27 movies – 7%)
⭐️ – Terrible (11 movies – 3%)
½ – Unwatchable (8 movies – 2%)

The remaining 36.7% movies. Curiously, I see some Letterboxd users having almost no reviews beneath three stars. These users must have chosen not to post any ratings of movies they didn’t like.

I can see some logic in being an upbeat, mostly positive movie reviewer, but others reading and trying to establish a reviewer’s taste need to see both the good and the bad, not just one or the other. Also, it’s impossible that every movie you ever watch is liked. I mean, you’ve never seen any movie you disliked? Ever?

I don’t know if my rating distribution is indicative of what it should look like, but the law of averages suggest that regardless of taste, if you watch a lot of movies, over time a five star rating curve should favor the middle with rarities at either spectrum. From a purely mathematical standpoint, the curve appears accurate.

No 4.5 or 5 star ratings were given to new movies in 2019

Just didn’t think any 2019 released movies I watched were worthy of that high rating. Realize that might be controversial for some, but that’s my opinion. If you had 4.5 and 5 star ratings on movies I rated lower, that’s awesome, I’m glad you enjoyed them. I’m a strong proponent of defending individual taste. Yours will undoubtedly differ on some, perhaps many, titles. I think the larger the group of people, however, the best movies will have higher overall ratings.

My #1 movie seen in theaters since 8/12/19

An example of a 2019 movie that I didn’t think was amazing like many other moviegoers is Parasite. It’s an entertaining, creative movie, yes, but didn’t think it was The Shining ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Toy Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ or the James Bond masterpiece Goldfinger ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I wish every movie I saw was 4.5+ rated, really I do. But I’ve seen way too many movies to compare against and as time soldiers on, I’m getting more picky about which movies meet that threshold.

A few 2019 movies were close to 4.5, but that’s all I can say. Again, keep in mind this is only movies that came out in 2019 on/after August 12, 2019. My sense is that I probably would have given some 4.5 or higher ratings to movies watched earlier in 2019. As time goes by and I catch up reviewing these other 2019 movies, we’ll both find out.

(Avengers: Endgame fans: I still haven’t seen that movie yet)

Clearly, I’m stingy with 4.5+ ratings. Those are reserved for the most amazing movies I’ve ever seen. When you talk about 40+ years of watching movies, that list is proportionally smaller.

One movie reviewer I read indicate that he never gives five star ratings on the first watch to any movie. I like that policy, although probably won’t adopt it. He said he liked to watch at least two times before deciding a movie was “perfect.”

Can you tell a movie that is perfect the first time you watch it?

2020 MovieReviewsByUs.com New Year’s Resolutions and Goals

Something else bloggers everywhere are doing is posting New Year’s Resolutions for 2020. On this very topic, I shot an 11+ minute or so video on Christmas day outside the movie theater about to enter and watch Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

2020 New Year’s Resolutions and Goals for MovieReviewsByUs.com

Let’s break down the goals for this website in 2020 in order presented in the video above (not by priority):

  1. More Themed Movie Viewing Challenges: the January 2020 viewing challenge will focus on new movies, February will be rom-coms (Valentine’s Day!).
  2. Ad-free! No third party paid advertisements: no popups, banner, text, rollovers, affiliate links, etc on the site in 2020
  3. Expand and share more movie-related opinion posts
  4. Start an ongoing review process for the 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone TV series (my favorite TV series of all time), detailed episode by episode reviews, that spans 20+ years. A new episode review every other month or so (would take 26+ years).
  5. Always have a current, active TV Series episode by episode being reviewed. Just finished the first season of The Mandalorian (Disney+) and currently reviewing new episodes every Friday of Harley Quinn (DC Universe).
  6. Continue the Wednesday OPENING wide movie reviews and NOW PLAYING REVIEWS after watching the wide theater reviews
  7. Continue the collected reviews the “US” part of the domain name (moviereviewsbyUS.com) and including with critique, perhaps with a focus on a preferred list of other movie review sites to highlight and share

What do you think of these site goals and/or for those reading who have their own websites, what are your site goals? Any feedback, insight, criticism, commentary is welcome as long as it isn’t completely troll-hostile. I’ve got fairly thick skin having been active on the web for 20+ years (yes, I was there in the pre-AOL dial-up days), but I also don’t tolerate much BS.

The last blog I ran had a very active commenting section, although it took awhile to build, so I do welcome and encourage interactive comments and discussion for those who feel obliged, just please keep it civil between each other (comments are moderated). If you leave comments here, the likelihood of me at your site leaving comments, likes, shares, links, etc increases. Quid pro quo.

100 Movie Blog Posts Milestone – Meta – 10/28/2019

Reached 100 post milestone 10/28/2019

Will keep meta posts like this one to a bare minimum, it is here for historical reference, so feel free to pass it by and read something else.

There are at least 100 blogs posts about movies to read here, including our first 10 day countdown to Terminator: Dark Fate (only 3 days left as of this writing).

But for those interested …

Blog Statistics

This blog was created on September 8, 2019. Started logging reviews on August 12, 2019. Just passed the 100 blog post milestone on 10/28/2019 and has 59 followers (thank you!). Reached 100 reviews logged back on September 28, 2019. As of this writing, have now rated and reviewed 207 movies, including 38 new movies seen in the movie theater, perhaps the most amount of movies I’ve ever seen in the movie theater in a year.

5 Most Popular Blog Posts (most views)

For other bloggers who are curious, you might note from the screenshot that there are 20 posts currently sitting in draft mode. All of those will make their way to published posts in the coming days, weeks and months, perhaps combined in some cases. I use the WordPress “Press This” plugin as I’m out reading to save content of interest for possible future sharing. Having draft helps for those writer’s block moments

Thank you for reading and if you like what’s going on here, please share with a friend or three, and feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or recommendations.. Have a great day!