And it came from the blog: reviews
Continuing my retrospective over the first four years of writing on this site, this week we’re taking a look at reviews. Like personal posts (which I spoke about last time), reviews were not something I had originally intended on featuring. I think my first review was probably for the movie Frozen. I wrote it spontaneously simply because I enjoyed that film so much. But I enjoyed writing it so much, I soon began writing more. And not just move reviews, but book reviews as well.
A few notes on my reviewing process before I highlight a few. I don’t actually watch a lot of movies, either in the theater or at home, but I generally write a review of the ones I do see. I also never see a movie these days without reading a review first. So I’ve usually got a pretty good idea whether or not I’ll like a movie before I see it. Given that, you probably won’t see many negative reviews on this site (I generally don’t like giving negative reviews anyway).
As for books, I’m currently only able to read about a dozen or so fiction books a year, though I do read a few non-fiction books as well (I just don’t review them). That is a far lower number than I’d like, but family and my schedule just do not allow for copious amounts of reading time. Like with movies, I usually do a fair amount of research before committing to read a book so I don’t write too many negative book reviews either.
And now, on to the reviews!
Signed sealed delivered
This is the only TV show I’ve reviewed. And it’s such a delight. It only had one proper season, but continues on as periodic hour-long movies on the Hallmark channel. This show has everything: wonderful, meaningful stories, endearing characters, and brilliant writing. It centers around a group of four postal “detectives” who deliver letters that, for whatever reason, have somehow gotten lost in the system. And the delivery of these lost missives always provokes some life-changing moment in the life of the recipient and often the sender as well. Wholesome and inspirational, this is the best thing to come to TV in years.
Star Wars the Force Awakens
The original Star Wars movies are some of my favorite movies of all time. But after the meandering, lackluster prequels I had my doubts when they announced a reboot. I went into this film with some trepidation and came out pleasantly surprised. And also not so pleasantly surprised. If you’ve seen the film, you probably know what I mean. Definitely a mixed bag. I wrote two reviews for this one, one with spoilers and one without. But the spoiler review stands out for me because of the personal emotions it evoked. Because I realized in writing it that a little part of my childhood died when I watched that movie.
Big Hero Six
Disney is most well-known for its animated movies, but since acquiring Marvel, they’ve had quite a bit of success with their live action superhero movies. What would happen if they fused those two strengths together? Big Hero Six is the answer. And they nailed it. This was such a fun movie and probably ranks below only Frozen and Tangled on my list of all-time Disney favorites. This is one I would definitely like them to see make sequels for. But for now I’ll just have to settle for the animated series.
As much as I love movies, books are where my heart is (obviously). I’ve done far more book reviews than movie reviews. Of the books I’ve reviewed which I’ve read in recent years, none surpass Little Women in sheer beauty and charm. This is quite simply one of the greatest books in the English language. My only regret is that I did not read it sooner.
But as wonderful as Little Women is, The Hobbit is even better. This is the book that got me into reading. Whimsical, imaginative, and profoundly original, there is not much I can say about The Hobbit that has not already been said. Still, given its place in my literary development and the fact that I am a fantasy writer, such a review seems practically obligatory.
There and back again
And there you have it. A sampling of some of my favorite reviews. I’ll be back with more reviews, posts, and musings soon. Until then, see you between the pages.