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"DVD Journal deserves its reputation as the 'New Yorker' of DVD review sites." — Film columnist D.K. Holm, The Aisle View

"A movie is not about what it is about. It is about how it is about it."

"A bad film is an object out there. A good film is a presence in here."

— Roger Ebert

"Afraid? Me? A man who's licked his weight in wild caterpillars?"
— Groucho Marx, Monkey Business

Nora: "I read you were shot five times in the tabloids."

Nick: "It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids."

— Myrna Loy and William Powell, The Thin Man

"The cuckoo clock. So long, Holly."
— Orson Welles, The Third Man


"Jack Cole's 'Plastic Man' belongs high on any adult's How to Avoid Prozac list, up there with the best of S.J. Perelman, Laurel and Hardy, Damon Runyon, Tex Avery and the Marx Brothers." — Art Spiegelman,
The New Yorker, April 19, '99


"I always dress appropriately and impeccably for all occasions. I would show you a snapshot of myself in a G-string, taken at Simm-La, with a flying wombat, dingo dog and a wily platypus."
— Professor Posthlewhistle (W.C. Fields)


Movies (and other shiny objects)

I like, and like to write about, movies. So these pieces, aimed at their venues' various formats and target audiences, run the gamut from review and commentary to simply yours truly chatting (in, one hopes, an entertaining fashion) about releases that I think are worth spending time with. Or, in at least one case, about movies that just make me pig-biting mad.

Alongside my occasional fiction bylines, these are the items that generate the most "fan mail" that I receive. And that's steak and champagne to a guy like me. Keep it coming, and thankya much.

Fwiw, I'm apparently one of RottenTomatoes' "Top Critics," so many of the links below exist there as well, where you can sort them under Fresh, Rotten, and so on.

Update: In occasional posts at my "mostly movies" blog, Open the Pod Bay Doors, HAL, I elaborate on some of these pieces, updating and blogifying those that I'd like to revisit. Plus other stuff too, of course. Some popular feature posts there include:

DVD Journal

When the editor of DVD Journal — "the most readable and enjoyable DVD site on the Web," as one reader put it, or "wonderful" according to Entertainment Weekly, or #34 on "Men's Journal 100 Best Websites For Guys" (mmm, okay) — invited me to join his crackshot team of columnists, naturally I said Oh hell yeah.

For six years and some half-million words, it was a pleasure to be in their company. Plus, of course, I couldn't complain about getting free DVDs straight from the studios before they hit the streets.

Although DVD Journal is no longer updated as a destination site, its nearly 4,000 reviews remain up online, archiving a decade's worth of enjoyable critique and commentary. I still get email from its readers and am frequently pullquoted on other sites that use the J as a resource. (The New York Film Forum quoting me alongside Roger Ebert was a real "thumbs up" example.) One of the first and finest, it is missed.

Criterion editions

By request, here are the titles that represent stellar releases from the Criterion Collection.

TV on DVD logoFor a while I was a producer and writer for, which takes a pop-oriented, Entertainment Weekly approach to "movie reviews, TV shows, television listings, DVD releases, independent movies, and celebrity news and gossip." It was a fun gig, mostly on the home video beat.

Since I left, the site has undergone a full-body makeover and redesign, including behind-the-scenes code changes that altered formatting, broke some links, and made an unknown number of my pieces there vanish into pixel limbo. So while I can't promise that all the links below still work, here's a representative sampling that (so far) have survived the upgrades in some form and fashion:

  • Striving Under the Influence: A Good Chat with Elvis Mitchell
  • The Source of 'Outsourced' is Experience, Says Director
  • David X. Cohen On Futurama: Bender's Big Score
  • Hail Freedonia! Marx Bros. Classic 'Duck Soup' Gets a 75th Anniversary Celebration
  • George Carlin: Rebel Without a Pause
  • The Good News About The Golden Compass
  • Amy Poehler in ASSSSCAT!, John Lennon with Tom Snyder
  • Disc Pick of the Week: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  • Blimey, The Best of British Comedy DVDs
  • TV on DVD: A New Doctor Who Fan's Guide to Old Doctor Who
  • War, Revolution, and Guillotines - Danton, Il Generale Della Rovere (The Criterion Collection)
  • Trafic (The Criterion Collection)
  • Mr. Thank You and Other Travels With Hiroshi Shimizu (Criterion Eclipse Series)
  • Dodes'ka-den (The Criterion Collection)
  • The Lady Vanishes, Sawdust and Tinsel (The Criterion Collection)
  • The Meridian Collection Launches with The Red Violin and Diva
  • Chaplin - 15th Anniversary Edition
  • Psycho, Vertigo, Rear Window - The Master Remastered
  • Under the Radar: Kabluey, Snow Angels, Rest Stop 2
  • Shoot 'Em Up, Resident Evil, The Tudors, War
  • Good Luck Chuck, The Ten, Family Guy: Blue Harvest, Saving Sarah Cain
  • The Last Legion: This Tale of Excalibur Doesn't Cut It
  • Stardust: On a Claire Danes You Can See Forever
  • 'Once' Worth Seeing Twice, Three Times, or Four
  • Married With Movies: Sex and the City
  • The Odd Couple - Paramount Centennial Collection
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's, Funny Face - Paramount Centennial Collection
  • Video Views and News: Hulk is Green, Bond is Blu, U.N.C.L.E. is Sweet, and Criterion Too
  • Something New, Something Blu at The Criterion Collection
  • Pinocchio - Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition
  • Kill Bill: If Hattori Hanzo Made Little Shiny Discs
  • Synecdoche, New York
  • Amadeus
  • Capote, In Cold Blood, and Gandhi
  • Being There
  • Frozen River
  • The Dark Knight
  • Casablanca: Ultimate Collector's Edition - Here's Looking at Blu, Kid