Hi friends! I’m also on Substack now.

16 08 2021

I can’t believe I overlooked informing the OG readers of Marshall and the Movies that, well, most of my self-published writing is now occurring elsewhere!

After a year of writing a daily streaming recommendations newsletter, The Distancer, during the pandemic, I discovered I quite liked the newsletter format. So I’ve decided to re-launch Marshall and the Movies over on Substack with a twice-weekly cadence.

I’m going to pilfer a little bit from my own announcement post and give you a rundown of what you can expect if you sign up:

Everyone will get an email every Monday. This newsletter will be much more utility-focused with an emphasis on streaming lists. This is the “news you can use” piece of Marshall and the Movies.

The first Monday of every month will be the best movies added to popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus. The last Monday of every month will be the movies you have to catch before they depart streaming sites. This will not change!

You’ll also get a window into what I’m watching and writing. For anyone who’s asked how they can keep up with my freelance pieces across the web – and doesn’t want to be on Twitter – the newsletter will help fill that distribution void in your life.

Paid subscribers will get an additional email every Thursday – as one of many perks. These will be the dealer’s choice, so to speak. You might get a deep dive into a favorite movie, an emerging trend, or an obscure sidebar on streaming. Maybe it will be a piece based on a pitch that I couldn’t get picked up for another outlet. Consider it a mystery box that will land in your inbox at the end of each week and provide enlightenment as well as a bit of surprise.

For fans of The Distancer, this paid component of Marshall and the Movies on Substack will be a new feature. This work involves a significant amount of my time and labor, and I humbly ask that if you derive a benefit from this product/service, you treat it as worthy of compensation.

Subscriptions will be $5/month or $50/year (a 17% discount for people who commit early!). Consider that, for roughly the cost of renting a movie online right now, you are investing in getting more value from the services for which you already pay – and often let go underutilized. Subscriptions will allow me to continue devoting the time and doing the work I love to do of connecting this virtual community to new ideas, content, and resources. 

For the first month, all posts will be free so you can get a sense of whether or not you’ll find the Thursday posts worthwhile. Starting in September, the Thursday newsletters will go to subscribers only.

So come join the fun over on Substack – you can sign up for free emails or become a paying subscriber today! New logo, new platform, same goal of celebrating cinema through the written word. I haven’t abandoned this original WordPress site entirely; I do hope to pen reviews like the good old days simply to get the reps in. But, for the time being, most my efforts will be in growing the Substack.


28 07 2020

Hello again! As is becoming tradition on July 28 over the past few years, I blow the dust off this old site and post a little something again. It’s hard to believe Marshall and the Movies started 11 years ago … and only TODAY did I find a typo in an early paragraph in my first post. How did no one tell me? How did I not catch it?

After a few years now, primarily since moving to New York, I’ve moved away from the daily writing model that used to prevail on this site during the heydays of 2009-2011 and, to a lesser extent, 2015-2017. But I’m actually back to doing that again thanks to the pandemic! It’s just not on this site, however. (For now!)

Just because I know there are still quite a few people who get email alerts when I post, I figure I’ll give another shout to my new email newsletter on Substack, The Distancer. Head over there for daily movie recommendations, along with other helpful (and sometimes fun) links, designed to keep you educated and empathetic through the era of social distancing … delivered straight to your inbox! It’s a fun time, and I’d love to have you following the next step of the wild, winding Marshall and the Movies journey.

All my love to everyone who’s been a part of this for over a decade now! Thanks for your readership, your support and more.

Until the next reel,

Everything I Wrote in 2019

30 12 2019

Marshall Shaffer New York Film FestivalHello friends! A number of you might be getting this because you subscribed to email alerts from Marshall and the Movies way back when. Or maybe you’ve arrived from a social media platform. Either way, it’s very reasonable for you to think, “I know Marshall is writing a lot but don’t know where to find it since it’s not on Marshall and the Movies anymore!”

Well, this post is for YOU!

I’ve collected all my writing from this past year – and even included some writing I did about 2019 films from last year out of film festivals, just to give you a more robust reading list. I’m really proud of the work I did and felt myself grow as a writer, interviewer and thinker. I hope, as always, you can derive some kind of benefit from what I’ve written as well. Be it your next movie night or (if I may be so presumptuous) a new lens on a film or cinema at large, I’m always writing with you in mind. These pieces mean little if not shared with other people!

There will be more from me on this site in the coming days – a best of the decade and best of 2019, at the very least. Thanks for sticking with me in this 10th year of writing, and I know that 2020 and the decade to come hold some very exciting things!

“Smells Like ’10s Spirit” Column

“Smells Like ’10s Spirit” takes a look at the decade in movies through the lens of success stories only made possible by unique trends that emerged. This series explores ten films – one from each year of the 2010s – and a single social, economic or cultural factor that can explain why it made an impact or lingers in the collective memory. Each piece examines a single film that tells the larger story of the tectonic forces reshaping the entertainment landscape as we know it.

How That Iconic Trailer Saved ‘The Social Network’ (2010)

Why ‘Bridesmaids’ Owns the GIF Era of Movie Comedy (2011)

How ‘The Avengers’ Assembled the First Successful Cinematic Universe (2012)

How ‘Blackfish’ Epitomizes the Era of Hashtag Activism (2013)

How ‘The LEGO Movie’ Gave Brands a New Way to Talk (2014)

‘Jurassic World’ and the Era of Nonstop Nostalgia (2015)

(Stay tuned for the rest in 2020!)

Reviews of 2019 Releases*

*Some of these were originally published out of festivals in 2018, but since I’m rounding up everything for this year, I figured I might as well throw them in! (Things that I wrote in 2019 about 2020 films will be in the “Festival Coverage” section below.)

“Everybody Knows”

“To Dust”

“Birds of Passage”


“Gloria Bell”

“The Hummingbird Project”

“High Life”



“Her Smell”

“Teen Spirit”

“Hail Satan?”


“‘Charlie Says”

“Wild Rose”

“Los Reyes”


“The Laundromat”

“American Dharma”

“Motherless Brooklyn”

“Queen of Hearts”

“Ford v Ferrari”


“Varda by Agnès”

“Knives Out”

“Feast of the Epiphany”


“Little Joe”

“Knives and Skin”

“6 Underground”

“Invisible Life”


Joanna Kulig, star of “Cold War”

Mike Leigh, writer/director of “Peterloo”

Claire Denis and Robert Pattinson, co-writer/director and star of “High Life”

Marcello Fonte, star of “Dogman” (from TIFF 2018)

Mary Harron, director of “Charlie Says”

Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails, co-writer/director and co-writer/star of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”

Jack Reynor, actor in “Midsommar”

Lynn Shelton, co-writer/director of “Sword of Trust”

Riley Stearns, writer/director of “The Art of Self-Defense”

Julius Onah and Kelvin Harrison Jr., co-writer/director and star of “Luce”

Lauren Greenfield, director of “The Kingmaker”

Trey Edward Shults, co-editor/writer/director of “Waves”

Marielle Heller, director of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Céline Sciamma, writer/director of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

Eddie Redmayne, star of “The Aeronauts”

Jessica Hausner, co-writer/director of “Little Joe”

Jennifer Reeder, writer/director of “Knives and Skin”


Significant ‘Other’: How Chris Kelly’s ‘Other People’ Informs ‘The Other Two’ on Comedy Central

I Must Think of a New Life: On the Deliberate Duration of Judd Apatow’s Funny People

Taking ‘The Goldfinch’ from Page to Screen with Editor Kelley Dixon

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless May: Elaine May’s Discarded Women in A New Leaf and The Waverly Gallery

The 10 Biggest, Craziest and Most Important Cinematic Career Reinventions of the Decade

Festival Coverage

The Streamer’s Guide to Sundance 2019: What Non-Festgoers Can Watch at Home

The Kids Aren’t Alright: A Preview of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2019

Tribeca Report: The Inaugural Critics’ Week

Tribeca Report: Here Comes Generation Z

Tribeca Film Festival Review: Christoph Waltz’s ‘Georgetown’

BAMCinemaFest Review: Tayarisha Poe’s ‘Selah and The Spades’

BAMCinemaFest Review: Diana Peralta’s ‘De Lo Mio’

What To Expect at Fantasia Festival 2019

Fantasia 2019 Report: At the Mercy of the Programmers

Fantasia 2019 Report: Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

‘Mosul’ Director Matthew Michael Carnahan on Filming His Directorial Debut in a Language He Didn’t Speak and in a Foreign Nation [Interview]

The Streamer’s Guide to the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival: What Non-Festgoers Can Watch at Home

TIFF Report: Keeping the Faith

‘Guns Akimbo’ Review: A Gaming Satire That Indulges in What It Critiques [TIFF]

‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘A Hidden Life’ Offer Alternate and Equally Compelling Takes on Fighting Back Against Nazis [TIFF]

“Now Is Our Time”: How Global Female Directors at TIFF 2019 Subverted Everything

The Unsung Gems of TIFF 2019: Three Under-the-Radar Films You Should Know About

The Streamer’s Guide to the 2019 New York Film Festival: What Non-Festgoers Can Watch at Home

‘Liberté’ Review: A Prolonged Graphic Experience That Overstays Its Welcome [NYFF]

‘Young Ahmed’ Review: A Realistic But Uneven Look at the Effects of Extremism [NYFF]

‘The Moneychanger’ Review: A Slight Political Drama with a Few Delights [NYFF]

‘Wasp Network’ Review: Even Recut, It’s Still a Clunker [NYFF]

10 Lessons From Watching the Entire 2019 New York Film Festival Main Slate

‘First Cow’ Review: Kelly Reichardt’s Intriguing Tale of Early American Capitalism [NYFF]


Todd Phillips Denies ‘Joker’ Sequel & Meeting Reports; Responds to Scorsese’s Marvel Comments

A decade of Marshall and the Movies.

28 07 2019

“I have no idea where this inspired idea will take me,” a 16-year-old Marshall wrote on his first day of blogging, “but I know that the first thing that write will somehow come full circle.” This is not the end, to be clear. In fact, hopefully, this is far from the end. But nothing like a big milestone to inspire a lot of introspection, self-congratulation and gratitude, right?

Writing this blog changed my life. Maybe even saved it, if we want to get dramatic. The person who started writing this blog is forever a part of me, but in a ways, the 26-year-old Marshall who’s banging out this post feels like an entirely different person. So, if you’ll excuse the potential pretentiousness, I want to write in a kind of third-person omniscient narrator voice about this person who now seems so foreign to me but is also so dear.

“I have trouble getting things started,” he typed at 11:47:50 P.M. on Monday, July 27, 2009. “I don’t know where or when this will end, but it starts now.” He couldn’t know that he’d log over 1,500 movie reviews and 2,500 posts on the site. He couldn’t know that it would be a crucial selling point (perhaps) in interviews for scholastic and professional opportunities. He couldn’t know that the act of sharing his passion with others rather than keeping it to himself out of shame and fear would radically change how others saw him – and open up new opportunities for authentic, meaningful connection.

He couldn’t know that someday, he’d still be writing about movies, just exceedingly less and less on this site he started. (The “American Hustle” banner art ought to give away the last time the layout was seriously examined.) He couldn’t know that the passion project he worked on after finishing homework, during lunch breaks at work and (every so often) in class would open up an avenue for professionalization and monetization.

He couldn’t know that a childhood hero like Roger Ebert would compliment him. That he’d be interviewing some of the filmmakers behind some of his favorite films. (That he’d even want to talk to the guy who played Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” movies – remember, this was 2009!) That he’d be accredited to attend some of the world’s greatest film festivals. That his word would carry enough weight that a studio would put it in trailer and marketing collateral.

He knew he’d love combining his passions of film and writing, but he couldn’t know just how much that love would ripple out and affect everything else in his life. He just had the idea to start something, a Julie Powell-inspired burst of inspiration that his thoughts mattered and were worth sharing. 26-year-old Marshall thanks 16-year-old Marshall for this every day. It wasn’t always easy, but we made it somewhere neither of us thought was possible.

To everyone who humored me, especially in the early days when this seemed like more of a self-indulgent waste of time than anything else (and who’s to stay it still isn’t, honestly?), I owe you beyond anything you could ever imagine. To feel like my words and ideas had some merit meant so much to that teenager who felt small and alone. This also applies to anyone I’ve ever connected with online through movies as well and maybe hasn’t even met me in real life or has no idea about the person behind the words!

I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know how much longer this will go. That’s not any indication that I’m hesitating, by the way, just an admission that perhaps I’m not quite so different as the 16-year-old who banged out that first post over his MacBook a decade ago. But 26-year-old me has so much more than that – confidence, experience; community, self-reliance; support, trust.

If you’re reading this, you’ve played a part in making that possible. This accomplishment belongs to you, too. I hope you know the impact you have on people, including me, and that you continue to use that impact to make the world around you a brighter place. Be it through supporting others or believing in yourself, your affirmations have power. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing about movies for 10 years, it’s that there is a world of people out there who are full of passion. Many of these people I’ve come to know share this spark for film, but I’ve also come to realize that being your most authentic self can help inspire others to be theirs as well. I promise you that there’s someone out there who shares your very particular brand of zeal for something. Let others know, and you’ll find your people.

That’s all I’ve got for now, as most of you really just come here for me talking about the movies! But on this milestone occasion, I hope you’ll spare me waxing a little sentimental and personal. (And I know this site is getting a little rusty from lack of use. I promise I’ll start making it back here more … some day!)

Here we are. Year 9.

28 07 2018

“I found that life intruding on writing was, in fact, life. And that […] one must not think of life as an intrusion. At the end of the day, writing has very little to do with writing, and much to do with life. And life, by definition, is not an intrusion.”

– Sarah Ruhl, “100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write”

I could go back and count, but just having a number probably won’t make the point as well as my next phrase will: I’ve barely written on Marshall and the Movies in the last year. Less so than any year in the history of the site, which, as of today, is nine years. If writing this blog followed the same rules as the presidency, I’d be term limited by now. (That is NUTS to me.)

The past year has held arguably the most monumental changes in my life, probably ranking up there with … well, starting this site, for one! I’ve now been residing in New York for eight months and have been ramping up both my moviegoing activity and freelance writing as a result. (You can read a lot about that here.) I’ve left Marshall and the Movies, my original baby, on the back-burner as I reconnect with old friends, make new ones and explore all that this city has to offer. To be clear, I have absolutely NO INTENTION of ceasing activity here or shutting the site down. (One year short of a decade, are you kidding me?)

I’m trying to make it a priority to start writing here again, in part because I can toy around in it like a sandbox before attempting similar feats in pieces sent off to professional editors. I love writing this site and often feel like jotting down my thoughts here after seeing a movie is the only way to complete my experience of processing it. While my initial goal of reviewing every movie I’ve seen that’s been released since summer 2009 when I started this blog seems unattainable now (losing a year will do that to you), I do want to regain some ground.

Even though I’m not always updating this site, know that the passion for cinema still burns deep inside me. You can find information and updates from me on the following sites in lieu of posts here, in case you’re really dying to know what I’m watching and thinking:




Portfolio site (literally everything I’m writing elsewhere, always kept up to date)

As always, thank you all for continuing to support, encourage and read. There would be a site without you – just being honest – but it would not be nearly as fun or useful. Your readership makes this something besides a vanity project or a selfish hobby! It probably still is those things, but at least you give me some reassurance that it serves as something more.

Anyways, here’s Greta Gerwig telling me she’s happy I moved to New York, a major peak in my life, because how else was I supposed to end this post?

An Explanation, and a Return to Normalcy (I Hope!)

1 05 2018

Hey everyone,

If you checked this site recently, you’d probably assume I quit writing or something. Quite the opposite! I’ve actually been busier than ever with my freelance writing, which has included covering the Tribeca Film Festival here in New York. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve already soared well past my writing income for 2017 in just the first four months of the year.

If you’re curious to read what I’ve been writing, check out my full portfolio site for clips – or click on the image below!

I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing reviews and other commentary here with some sense of regularity. My new normal has more or less asserted itself, so it’s time to try and fit Marshall and the Movies back into my routine. (Plus, I’m a little embarrassed at how rusty I was writing a straight-up review for Tribeca.) This site is invaluable for me to push my writing in more adventurous or strange directions that an editor might not approve. So you have that to look forward to!

That’s it for tonight … see you again soon!

Where I’ve Been

30 09 2017


It’s been a while, I know.

The last time I posted, August 19, feels like a lifetime ago. That it’s been just over 40 days seems impossible. (Apologies in advance for the ensuing humblebrag.) I took off for a week-long trip to visit a friend in London on August 22, not knowing just how different my hometown of Houston would be when I returned. Toward the end of my trip, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread devastation across Houston and much of southeast Texas – though, luckily, my home and family were spared any flooding damage.

I was not able to return home as planned on August 29, instead taking a detour to stay with family friends in Baltimore until the airports reopened/I was able to get a flight. That wound up taking until September 3.

Then, I packed up and left again on September 7 to attend a friend’s wedding in Los Angeles. From there, I left on September 10 to spend five days soaking up the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which I covered for Slashfilm and Vague Visages. It was an honor to attend and cover for these outlets, but man, was I wiped after 20 movies and everything else that had happened in those whirlwind three weeks.

So, to put it bluntly, I needed time for myself. Things had changed and will continue to change. I needed time to hear my own thoughts. To return to some sense of normality. To fall in love with movies again rather than seeing them as a box to be checked or a review to be filed. I’ve taken longer breaks from Marshall and the Movies in the past, although this one feels much longer.

Starting tomorrow, October 1, the new month will bring about a fresh start – and I’ll do my best to start posting once per day again. I make no promises as so much remains in flux. But it’s something I’m ready to begin reincorporating into my life. And you’re going to get a more thoughtful version of me now than you would have gotten were this just another checklist item on my personal agenda, trust me!

(Anyways, I don’t feel like I had to do this – and if you’ve read this far, I’m impressed and flattered. This was more for me than you, admittedly. It’s mostly a little bit of accountability.)

A third of my life later…

28 07 2017

Well, folks, it’s time for that yearly check-in on the state of Marshall and the Movies. I truly cannot believe it, but this strange journey began 8 years ago today. Over 1,500 reviews later, here I still am.

Most of the growth I’ve been focused on hasn’t occurred on the site, admittedly. When I wrote a year ago, my writing had really only appeared on one other site besides my own. (Technically two if you count my brief stint being syndicated on The Christian Science Monitor, which essentially just mined content from here.) Since then, I’ve contributed to four new sites based on pitching and my own merits – and I’ve started making real money for my words, not just because I can sell some weird ads to sketchy vendors. It’s enabling me to grow in some really fun, exciting ways – albeit ones that might not always be visible here on the site. (Hopefully the writing continues to show maturation, though!)

On that fateful first late night shift of blogging, I wrote, “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.” Putting in 10,000 hours (to borrow a term from Malcolm Gladwell) here has enabled me to do that now on a much bigger scale and platform. My goal is to eventually shape the cultural conversation in whatever small way I can. I’m grateful to others who will lend me the megaphone to do just that.

But, at the same time, I’m grateful to have Marshall and the Movies as a sandbox. Here, with no editor and no one to answer to but myself, I can see what I want and write what I want. I can set my own deadlines and let a piece take as long as it needs to develop. I can push myself to take my writing in more exciting, unconventional directions. I can fail here with fewer consequences.

So what I’m trying to say is thanks for sticking with me here. I’m grateful to have this small little space where I can make sense of the media and culture I’m digesting, especially as the world around me seems to make less sense with each passing day.

P.S. – If you want to see all I’ve been writing off the site recently, check out my portfolio site.

7 years later, and still at it.

28 07 2016

Holy cow. 7 years ago today, I started Marshall and the Movies. Then, I was 16 years old approaching my junior year in high school with trepidation. Today, I’m 23 and rounding the corner towards my first year in the “real world” … which is scary in its own way.

In many regards, the famous saying from Joan Didion, “I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be,” rings accurate today. I don’t recognize the writer who often laid out reviews in the same blueprint as an academic essay. I don’t recognize the film enthusiast whose passion for the art barely extended past the 1970s. I don’t recognize many of the insecurities and the doubts of that person. (For good measure, I also don’t recognize some of that teenage presumptuousness.)

But after rewatching “Julie & Julia,” the film that launched me on this journey, I was also reminded that some things haven’t changed. As Amy Adams’ Julie Powell declares, “I can write a blog. I have thoughts!” I did (and am) because I had (and have). Sometimes, it really is that simple.

Though admittedly, I have let a lot of things slip – traffic, SEO, social cross-promotion, comments, reading the words of others, etc. – I cannot fully express my gratitude for those who continue to come back and read. Whether you know me personally or just found me floating in cyberspace, THANK YOU! Through your continued readership and encouragement, I can push my form on this blog and prepare to make a big impact in the freelance world.

In just the past year of expanding my writing beyond this site, it has been one heck of a ride. I have interviewed two Oscar-winners, the directors from two of my top 10 films of 2015, and three actors from my favorite movie of 2016 thus far. I have covered three film festivals, including the cream of the crop here in America: Sundance.

So … let’s fight the seven-year itch together! Here’s to bigger, better things here on the site and beyond.

5 Years a Blogger: How did it get so late so soon?

28 07 2014

So late so soonOnce upon a time, I sat in front of a computer screen for 30 minutes and typed out a post entitled “Marshall and the Movies – The Beginning.”  That was five years, 744 reviews, 568 random factoids, and 1,658 posts ago today.  I don’t think anywhere in my wildest dreams I could have ever imagined I would be sitting here, five years later, still cranking out posts on my blog.

When I started “Marshall and the Movies,” I could not attend an R-rated movie without parental supervision.  Now, I can legally buy and consume alcohol.  The writer who began this blog was a naive high schooler, and the one who is writing this post is a (perhaps slightly less naive) rising college senior.  At times, I still feel like the same person who started the site – but realize that I’m really not.

My life now scarcely resembles what it looked like July 28, 2009, but I’ve been grateful to have this site – and the movies – to fall back on through the various sea changes over the past five years.  I haven’t always been entirely consistent, I’ll admit.  I’m so thankful to everyone who kept coming back regardless, though!

Not to beat the “Boyhood” drum again, but Richard Linklater’s film really does have me hypersensitive about the seemingly imperceptible changes in ourselves that accumulate over time.  I look back at the way I reviewed a Woody Allen movie in 2009, and it looks absolutely nothing like the way I review it now in 2014.  But I can’t really even be embarrassed about the way I used to write because the site is such an incredible time capsule for my intellectual growth (not to mention all that’s happened in the world of cinema).

I’ve so enjoyed sharing these past five years of moviegoing with you, from the good to the bad.  The discussions and debates I’ve had over posts I’ve written, whether in the comments or in person, do hearten me so.  Clearly, I’m a firm believer in the importance of film on both a personal and cultural level, and I thank you for working with me towards achieving my “mission statement,” if you will:

“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.”

Marshall and JulieI’m filled with nothing but gratitude for everyone’s support of this endeavor, particularly those who encouraged me from the beginning when the continued existence of “Marshall and the Movies” was nothing certain.  This site has led to so many great things in my life, and I hope it has led to something great in yours as well.  Maybe it was connecting you with a great movie, or maybe it was making you think a little more about a film.  But whatever it was, I’m so humbled and honored that you’ve let me be a part of your life in some small way.

So thanks for 5 interesting years, and here’s to … who knows how many more!  I can’t express my gratitude to you all enough.


Four years later…

28 07 2013

The last two years, my quasi-“State of the Union” speech on my birthday/anniversary has taken a self-loathing tone.  This year, however, things will be a little different.  Perhaps this lovely announcement from WordPress set the tone for the day:

4 years

Curiously enough, I would have forgotten the significance of July 28 had it not been for a calendar reminder on my iPhone yesterday.  Rather than see it as a day of shame signifying how far I’ve fallen from my days of daily posting with a consistent commenting community, I choose to see today as a day of accomplishment and pride.  I can’t say I ever thought I’d see this day.  I was rising junior in high school when I wrote my first post; I’m a rising junior in college as I write this one.

The time has flown by, and I’ve loved every minute that I’ve spent writing this blog.  Every time I pick up after a long hiatus, I’m reminded of how much joy I receive when I sit down and bang out something that could pass for insightful criticism or a valid recommendation.  Now, I seem to be back on a pretty regular schedule, and that will last until … well, until I’m not on a regular schedule.  And I’m OK with that.  Sometimes life has other plans, and I’m glad that there are still some people to read when I choose to start writing again.

But enough with reflection – time to talk about the future.  I figure this would be as good a time as ever to do that.  I’m going to make some goals, many lofty and some perhaps unrealistic, in the hopes that their codification in writing will drive me to accomplish them.

  1. Finish all my reviews from Cannes 2013 by August
  2. Clear my review backlog (which is probably close to a hundred unwritten reviews) by the end of 2013
  3. Finally start the “Auteur Hour,” a column I’ve been planning since summer 2012 to take a look at a director’s entire body of work
  4. Revive the “Classics Corner” column, perhaps to an even greater frequency than once a month
  5. Publish at least one feature/opinion every month – reviews are nice, but I can’t capture ALL my thoughts in them
  6. Provide more extensive Oscars/awards season coverage, perhaps even with a few “Oscar Moment” pieces on individual films vying for the industry’s top prize
  7. Finally finish “The Godfather” trilogy and see “Gone with the Wind”

I think I can achieve these things, but I’ll need some help and support from my readers!  So if you see me slacking or think I’m doing a great job (or a poor one), be vocal and let me know.  You’ve done a great job so far providing a feedback loop, and I’m sure you all will come through again.

So thanks once more for all you’ve done over the past 4 years.  That’s almost 20% of my life, which is a significant chunk.  It’s already become hard to imagine a past where I wasn’t blogging, and you make it even harder to see a future where I’m not blogging.

Until the next reel,

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!

“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.

Officially in Print!

28 11 2010

This post is coming about two months too late thanks to difficulties with my household scanner, but back in September, my reviews were put into print for the first time!  I submitted two of my reviews to the editor of my school newspaper, and sure enough, they ran them!

So here are my reviews of “Easy A” and “The American” on paper!  Perhaps this is only the beginning…

Making it FBO*

21 09 2010

* FBO stands for “Facebook official,” a nice tidbit for those not entirely up-to-date on Internet slang.

I created my Facebook fan page back on my first anniversary about two months ago, but I haven’t really been using it for much.  It’s been a nice gesture to “like” my site on the social network, but I haven’t done much to make it worth the few milliseconds it took of your life to click “like.”

That changes TODAY.  I am introducing my first Facebook-exclusive feature, the Throwback Tuesday (a phrase borrowed from some blogger who should step up and claim credit for it).  On Tuesdays, I will repost my reviews of movies being released on DVD that day, provided that I have in fact seen something being released that day.

I’ll probably introduce more features to be Facebook only, but for now, I’m sticking with this.  So if you aren’t a fan of me on Facebook yet, you should do so now.  I’ll even provide a convenient link in the picture below.

And while I’m still on the topic of social networking, I have added integration to Facebook at the bottom of each post.  So if  you really feel compelled by something you read here, feel free to click the icon and share it with your friends!  Simple enough, right?