A Very Proud Moment in the History of “Marshall and the Movies”

13 08 2009

I have been shamelessly plastering my articles all over the film blogs I love the most, and I have received some warm recognition.  But today marks a very proud achievement for me and the blog.  Possibly the most respected movie critic of all-time, Roger Ebert, has acknowledged “Marshall and the Movies” and lauded its goals, specifically the “Mindless Moviegoing” feature.

Roger Ebert's Comment!

Thanks to anyone who has ever read this blog because if you didn’t, I would just be a neurotic teenager talking to myself.  Go see movies like “The Hurt Locker” and “(500) Days of Summer!”  Go off the beaten path!  Explore the boundaries of cinema!  I can’t think of anymore things to say that end in an exclamation point!

Until the next reel,

Marshall and the Movies – The Future

4 08 2009

Movies are like an expensive form of therapy to me.

– Tim Burton

Hello, readers!

As I write this post, I am riding shotgun on my way to Florida, a ten-hour car ride from my beloved Houston. And for me, car trips mean one thing: an excuse to sit on my butt and watch movie after movie after movie. I regret to inform you that one member of my team did not make it for the trip; my MacBook is in the shop until August 18 where a trained team of professionals will hopefully repair my DVD player which will not eject a disc. Ironic, isn’t it? So, in the meantime, I will be updating my blog through my mom’s terrific Dell laptop, formerly my dad’s work computer, which moves about as painfully slow as the movie “Atonement.” I would use my iPhone to update it through the WordPress app, but the phone has other plans for me because it will not connect to the App Store, thus not allowing me to download the app. Technology is man’s best friend, but it can also be our worst enemy.

The “Marshall and the Movies” blog celebrates its one-week anniversary today. I have written 5 in-depth reviews, 1 mini-review, and 6 “factoids.” I could go on forever writing review after review, but I don’t necessarily want to become “Marshall the Movie Critic for the Average Joe.” I enjoy giving my advice, and I love when people go see “(500) Days of Summer” instead of “The Ugly Truth” (the first person to go see a movie through the blog, according to my knowledge, made this choice). But I have bigger aspirations for the blog, and I want to lay them out in this post.

In my first post, I gave a sort of mission statement, if you will: “I want to inspire a deeper appreciation of film, foster a desire to discuss movies, and connect to people through the glorious medium of film.” My initial concerns starting this project were its lack of focus and the need for a definite assignment like Julie Powell had in “Julie & Julia.” Over the course of this week, I have come up with 4 potential “projects” that I could embark on soon.

  1. The Top 10 Project: The movies that you see at the top of the blog are what I think are my top 10 movies ever in alphabetical order. My idea is to re-watch each of them with someone and really analyze and discuss what makes them so great, but also address its critics.
  2. The Hitchcock Project: I admitted in my first post that I had never seen any of the films of Alfred Hitchcock. My idea is to watch some of his movies and watch some modern suspense/thriller movies and look for his influence. For example, I could watch “Rear Window” and the contemporary “Disturbia.”
  3. The Woody Allen Project: For anyone that has been reading the factoids, you will have undoubtedly discovered that I am more like Woody Allen than I would care to admit. My idea is to work my way through Allen’s giant canon of films. I have seen several already. I watched “Small Time Crooks” when it was on HBO in 2001 because it was PG, and I was always looking for movies that my parents deemed appropriate. I TiVoed “Annie Hall” back in 2007 and I was absolutely blown away. I rented “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” the day before the Oscars this year in an effort to see all the nominated performances (which was in vain because I still hadn’t seen “The Wrestler” or “Revolutionary Road).  I went to an art house theater to see his latest, “Whatever Works,” and I recently watched “Deconstructing Harry” on IFC. This project seems to lack a true purpose, but I fear it could lead to a sort of self-discovery of my neuroses.
  4. The John Hughes Project: Millions of teens still enjoy John Hughes’ classic comedies “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Why? In my mind, he made movies about teens with honesty. And while the times may have changed, the nature of teenagers hasn’t. So who better to watch Hughes’ movies and see why they still hold up than a teen himself?

So, any thoughts? I’ll put a poll down at the bottom of the post to get your thoughts, but, please, COMMENT! I can’t make this blog soar on its own; I need your comments and input to start conversations. I will tell you that I’m leaning on embarking on the Top 10 Project first. But I’d love to hear your thoughts or any other project suggestions you have.

Until the next reel,

Marshall and the Movies – The Beginning

28 07 2009

I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated.

– Francis Ford Coppola

Movies are my life.

I have no idea where this inspired idea will take me, but I know that the first thing that I write will somehow come full circle.  I wish I had something philosophical or deeper to say, but I think that sums it up pretty well.

What do I hope to accomplish with this?

I wish I knew the answer, but right now I just don’t.  I don’t have a detailed goal or a mission statement … yet.  Who knows, maybe in the next days or weeks I will come up with one, but right now I am just drawing a massive blank.

For me, the important thing is that I am starting this.  Many other people have a problem finishing things; I am not a part of that group.  I have trouble getting things started.  A lot of times, I have a great idea, and when I try to start it, it doesn’t quite turn out like I want it to turn out, and I get too lazy to fix it.  But that ends now, at 11:47:50 P.M. on Monday, July 27, 2009, according to the clock on my nifty MacBook.  I don’t know where or when this will end, but it starts now.

So, my initial thoughts on this undertaking:

I love movies, but I don’t want everyone who reads this to become as big of a movie lover as I do.  Then I will have manufactured a society of obsessive movie fanatics, and as fun as it would be to have people that I could really relate to, I don’t know if I would wish my level of infatuation with movies on anyone else.  What I do hope to do is to inspire a deeper appreciation of movies, foster a desire to discuss movies, and connect with people through the glorious medium of film.

I don’t want the site just to become a forum for me to review movies.  Much of the time, it might just tend to turn into that.  I don’t want to become merely “Marshall the Film Critic.”

I need to watch some more classic movies.  I call myself a “cinephile,” but I haven’t seen many of the movies that have defined the art of cinema.  As of this posting, I haven’t seen “Citizen Kane,” “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” or a single movie by Alfred Hitchcock.  I fully expect jeers for that, and I am certain that I will hear people call me out as not being a die-hard movie fan.  In my defense, I have occupied myself with seeing the defining films of the ultra-modern era of film (mainly the new millennium).  Hopefully, as time goes on, I will find the time to watch these classics and put them into perspective.

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?  My guess is that this will become an incredibly self-serving project, giving all the time I spend watching movies some sense of purpose, but if people actually take time out of their day to read my thoughts, I will no doubt feel the need to give them what they desire.  And much of the time, I will want to leave the world of pre-calculus and physics to write about the world of cinema.  But please, dear readers, do not let me!  It falls under the category of “the greater good.”  I will most assuredly want to write, and you most assuredly will want to read, but I desperately want to go to college, and if I do not do my homework, I will not go!

I constantly come up with ideas for movies, and I flesh them out in my head for days.  However, my laziness kicks in and eventually they just end up in my Microsoft Word document called “Ideas as they come.”  Right now, there are 6 movies that have been fleshed out enough to land in the file.  I just can’t seem to work up the stamina to write the screenplays.  A few months ago, I sat down to write a screenplay, and somehow along the way, it turned into a play.  Don’t get me wrong, I love plays, and I am very happy with the way that my story turned out.  But my dream is to have some part of myself reach the silver screen.  I don’t care if I write the screenplay, act in it, direct it, produce it, or even key grip it (I don’t know why, but I love including the key grip in any sort of discussion about the crew of a movie).  I hope that as this blog develops, I can find the strength to bring one of my ideas to fruition.

There is so much else I want to say, but I’m sure it will all come out with time.  I cannot wait to get started sharing my love of movies with the rest of the world.

It is now 12:18:48 A.M. on Tuesday, July 28, 2009, according to the clock on my MacBook, and 12:27 according to my bedside clock.  I need to fix that, and maybe I will.  I have a giddy rush from writing this first post, and I want to put it to good use.

But now, as I try to finish this post, I am trying to come up with some sort of a signature sign-off.   And at 12:23:26 A.M., it hit me!

Until the next reel,


P.S. – If you don’t understand it, that’s why God gave us Google.