The Three-Year Itch

28 07 2012

I had to be reminded by a repeated event in my calendar today (which popped up in the Notifications center on my iPhone) that it was my blogoversary, blog birthday, whatever you want to call it.  Just shows you how shoddily I’ve been treating this blog.  I poured blood, sweat, and tears … no, really just time, caffeine, and sanity … into this thing, and it’s barely staying afloat.

After one year of blogging, I was ecstatic.  I was baking cakes, publishing four posts per day, and enjoying the heyday of my blogging career.

After two years, I labeled the blogoversary post “Anticlimax.”  Yeesh, that was prescient.  Here’s some of what I wrote:

“Well, I had almost entirely forgotten about my blogoversary.  Unlike last year, when I celebrated it with fanfare and cake baking, this year the day just kind of came and went.  Unspectacular, uncelebrated, really just like any other day.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself – er, wait, I did write that myself.

I put some thought into what this day means to me, given that it is a milestone of sorts.  Basically, what my reflections led me to as a realization of my own laziness.  I’ve grown complacent.  Content to simply consume movies, not ruminate and discuss them.  Selfishness.  Gluttony.  Self-indulgence.

When I started this blog way back in 2009, I wrote this:

“What the heck am I thinking?!?  I am a full-time student with hours upon hours of homework each night.  And on top of that, I have a season of athletics, two musicals, one play, two select arts companies, volunteer work, religious commitments, college searching, standardized testing preparation – and trying to retain some vestige of a life.  How on earth am I going to have time to maintain a blog?”

I look back on that time in my life through the lens of retrospective and can easily call that the most hectic, stressful period of my life.  And yet I managed to write this blog at full capacity then.  Now the burden of college admissions has been lifted off my shoulders and the engine is rolling smoothly towards the professional world … and it feels like a heavy burden to write a movie review?!  Come on, Marshall.

So starting today, I recommit myself to this blog.  To write reviews, to analyze, to discuss, to be a part of a community of cinematic connoisseurs.  If I could do it my junior year of high school, I know I can do it now.  So now, after this post, I rest.  Tomorrow, I start with my review of “The Dark Knight Rises.”  And I begin to battle the three-year itch.

I will fight.  And with your help, I can win.  Thanks for reading this piece … glad to know you still exist, reader.


Because I Can-Cannes

14 05 2012

Well, folks, it’s been another good long absence because of school – but have no fear, because “Marshall and the Movies” is about to be back and better than ever.  I’m writing this post now from an apartment in Cannes, France.

Yes, hopefully you read between the lines there correctly.  I’m at the Cannes Film Festival.  Hopefully, I’ll see some incredible movies and maybe even a few celebrities!  But check back here constantly or on my Facebook fan page (shameless plug) for updates on anything I deem significant.  Pictures, reviews, and hopefully more will start heading your way when the festival officially starts on Wednesday, May 16th.

But since I write “Marshall and the Movies” not merely for myself but also for you, the readers, please strap along with me for this amazing ride.  Hopefully, I won’t disappoint!

Anticlimax, or The Second Birthday

28 07 2011

Well, I had almost entirely forgotten about my blogoversary.  Unlike last year, when I celebrated it with fanfare and cake baking, this year the day just kind of came and went.  Unspectacular, uncelebrated, really just like any other day.

But that doesn’t mean this day isn’t significant.  I doubt that I thought I’d go this long when I started blogging back in 2009.  Two years is big because it’s the first milestone that I can kind of let roll off my back, and now that I’m at that point, I realize that blogging is just a part of who I am now.  It’s not just a fling or a half-baked idea; it’s actually a significant chunk of my life and my thoughts.

So in that case, I guess I have quite a few people to thank.  I guess the first (and cliched) place to start is with my family and friends, who either read what I write or put up with the fact that I do it.  I also have to thank all of you all who read this site, whether you are a blogger or normal moviegoer, blog surfer or Google surfer, and a commenter or just a regular reader.  I may notice your contribution through a comment, written or verbal, or perhaps just as a number on my stats page.  But both are equally crucial, and on those days when I’m feeling like I don’t want to write, they can really pick me up and keep me going.

I also have to thank everyone for not giving up on me after my three-month hiatus.  I’m slowly gaining those readers back, and I certainly hope that I’m earning them as well.  I know that taking a break like that means a loss of momentum, and I like to think I’m starting to pick it up again.  I can’t promise smooth sailing in the future as I don’t really know what college will bring for me, but I love writing this blog and feel a certain obligation to keep providing reviews and commentary for you all.

That’s about all I have to say.  I’m going to indulge myself in a little birthday fun now – watching a movie before I go to bed, that is.

P.S. – This trailer is awesome, happy birthday to me.

“Lazarus breathes again” *

12 03 2011

Dear blogosphere,

I have a review for “Bridesmaids” open in another tab as I write this, and now I’m ACTUALLY prepared to say that I’m back for good.  I’ve been an unfortunate tease for the last two months, and I do apologize.  It’s just been one thing after another requiring my utmost attention, and the one thing that can wait is … you guessed it, blogging.  So I’ve been acting, singing, writing plays, studying for tests and quizzes, writing papers, and dealing with the general craziness of my last semester of high school.  I haven’t had much time to breathe – I made myself stop one day a week ago to take a deep breath and realized how little I had actually breathed.

So breathe easier, readers.  I’m back with my breath.  And with that breath, I intend to blow your mind (punny, I know).

I’m ready to earn your clicks and eyes again. So SPREAD THE WORD – I’m back!


* Biblical allusion but also lifted directly from “Angels in America,” the play I’m reading in my English class/am totally obsessed with at the moment.

I’M BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!! After a month’s leave to write a play (yes, I actually wrote a play; it will be performed in a little over a month), put on a production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” and just deal with second semester senior year formalities, I am back to the world of blogging.  It sure feels good to be back!  I’ve missed engaging in such a vibrant community of film lovers and blog readers!

I’m headed for a lovely Spring Break in Hawaii and will have plenty of time on my plane flight to write loads and loads of reviews.  I’ve been watching plenty of movies in my absence, so you’re about to get hit with a tidal wave of opinion.  Heads up.

Thanks to those of you who still stopped by (as traffic didn’t totally come to a halt!) and understanding that I can only handle one writing job at a time.  For a month, I had to be a playwright.  But now I’m back to being a blogger.

So bring on Marshall and the Movies 2.0!

UPDATE: 43 days later, I finally get to work.  This post sure haunts me, “Mission Accomplished”/George W. Bush style.

I’m NOT Dead!

20 02 2011

To everyone that reads this site:

I am alive. You probably doubt that given my total lack of activity over the past two weeks. And for that, I apologize. We all come to points in our lives where the things we love can’t be our priority. Blogging has taken a backseat this month, and I’m sorry to disappoint my loyal readers. I realize that I have to earn your readership, and I look forward to winning you over again once I get back on my feet. But for now, please be patient as I try to regain that footing.

I thank you all so much and apologize again. I think all will be well in the end, but my energies have been required in a lot of places recently. Hopefully it all turns out the way I hope.

Until the next reel,

“Easy A” Poll Results

27 01 2011

Well, Emma Stone didn’t get an Oscar nomination.  Shocker.  It’s unfortunate because – get this – I think she gave a better performance than Annette Bening AND Jennifer Lawrence, both nominated actresses this year.

It’s just another tough year for comedic actresses, who fare only slightly better than Christopher Nolan nowadays.  A truly comedic performance is rarely nominated, probably around once or twice a decade.  We technically classify some performance as comedic – Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine,” Keira Knightley in “Pride and Prejudice,” Kate Winslet in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” to name a bunch – but these are really just light-hearted dramatic acting in movies with some laugh.

There were only a few that charted with the Academy over the last decade: Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder,” Ellen Page in “Juno,” Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and Renee Zellweger in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” are the only nominated performances of the last decade that I consider to be truly comedic actor.  I’m willing to debate a few others, but all of those are heavily tinted with dramatic shades.  These comedic actors get, in the words of Rodney Dangerfield, “no respect.”

In my Oscar Moment about “Easy A,” I didn’t offer any hope that Emma Stone would be nominated; in fact, I didn’t even ask the question in my poll.  I defended the award-worthiness of comedic actors and actresses, saying that they excel in a very different kind of acting that requires a different but still challenging set of skills.  My poll asked voters whether they thought comedic actors deserved to receive Academy Award nominations.

The results were overwhelmingly in favor of actors like Stone receiving nominations.  Nearly 90% of voters replied that they think that comedic actors ARE deserving.  I don’t think that Emma stone’s snub represent a sort of “last straw” for audiences in the consistent overlooking of comedic actors, but I do hope that the unofficial policy gets some serious thought soon.

“Another Year” Poll Results

24 01 2011

There was a time when “Another Year” seemed like not only a sure-fire Best Picture and Director nominee, but a legitimate threat to win them both.  That was back in the summer after the Cannes Film Festival when it had all the buzz.

Fast forward two seasons and Mike Leigh’s movie is on life support, barely breathing in an awards season that has given the movie little love other than for Lesley Manville from the BAFTAs and National Board of Review.  Mike Leigh’s direction and writing have gone basically unnoticed.

Now, the movie hopes to draw enough support from the Mike Leigh-loving Academy voters to get a nomination and salvage itself.  I can’t say whether or not the movie merits a nomination as it has yet to open in Houston.  But I can tell you that its prospects are slim.

Back in September when the Oscar race looked entirely different, I wrote an Oscar Moment piece covering “Another Year.”  In it, I pointed out that the deserving factor could work to Mike Leigh’s advantage:

“… at 67, Leigh may be the beneficiary of ‘let’s-give-it-to-him-before-he-leaves-us’ syndrome in the Best Director category.  If he’s nominated, he’ll be a big threat because he’s been there twice before and many will feel that he finally deserves it.  Plus, according to Kris Tapley of In Contention, ‘to say the least, it’s Leigh’s finest hour in years.'”

The poll voters were split back then with half thinking it would be Leigh’s time and half thinking it wouldn’t be.  Four months later, it seems almost certain that it will NOT be Leigh’s time.

I enjoy looking back and seeing what the race could have been.