This month is the 25th anniversary of my first column in the Tri-City Herald. To quote the Grateful Dead, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”
Long, strange and fulfilling. On that day what seems like eons ago, I didn’t envision that I’d still be doing it 25 years later.
Along the way I’ve met and interviewed famous — and not so famous — actors, directors, writers and producers. My favorite is Billy Bob Thornton, who told me he does interviews all the time and our 20-minute conversation was one of the most interesting he’d had in a long time.
Compliments like that offset the hate mail. I’m one of the critics that got death threats on Rotten Tomatoes. They shut the comment section off, and the Tri-City Herald quit the comment section on my blog, so other than a face-to-face encounter, I don’t hear much from people anymore.
Ugly about things political I can understand, but death threats over a movie review?
I’ve always enjoyed the interaction with people on movies and discussions about what we like and don’t like. But the anonymity of the worldwide net has — as you all know from other lines of communication — ratcheted up the vehemence.
My first review here in February of 1992 was Freejack. I remember two things. It was bad sci-fi and the cast. You’d think I’d remember more, but I remember very little about most movies.
I’m not exaggerating. The overall number is in the thousands. Some days I see two movies. Most weeks, it’s four or five, and around the holidays or as the summer movie season approaches, it can be six to eight films.
I’m not complaining. It’s been a wonderful career choice. The benefit to you? I see forgettable movies so you don’t have to.