I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already since I started The Film Oracle! What began as a few short, random film reviews has developed into a mixture of more thorough articles as well as the latest trailers, which have given my blog some much-needed animation.
I have to mention two people who got me started in the first place.
My girlfriend Alison, who is currently two months into a six-month stay in Canada, runs See My Travels which charts not only where she has gone so far in North America, but also every holiday we’ve taken over the last few years! There are loads of anecdotes and pictures to enjoy and I’ve watched her blog grow so quickly and become very popular which she deserves after putting a lot of work into it.
Mark Hobin, who I met via Flixster, is the author of Fast Film Reviews – this is a blog I’ve followed for a couple of years now and it gives me a heads-up whenever a film comes out in America that I’d like to see. There have also been quite a few films that he has reviewed that I have thankfully been able to avoid and save money at the same time!
So, how did it all begin? I had a few abortive attempts at starting a blog. I wrote quite a few film and literature reviews for my post-grad journalism degree and found that the only modules I really enjoyed were the ones on feature writing. For my final project, I wrote five articles on technology in sport and while this was obviously a far cry from movies, it encouraged me to start writing again on a regular basis. I always enjoyed English at school – science and maths were never my strong point – so I combined this with film reviewing and launched The Film Oracle.
The main problem with writing a blog of any kind is finding the time to do it justice. When you’re working full-time, it can be difficult to find the motivation to review a film you’ve just watched, especially if it is hardly memorable. The way I get round this, is to only review films that have an interesting premise. They might be ‘chick-flicks’, action movies, art house, horror or comedies – having such a wide range of genres helps to widen both my experience of films and the variety of articles on the blog which will hopefully appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
I have often been asked which are my favourite films. I used to have a rotating ‘top five’, but this has been replaced over the years with a collection of films which I love equally for various reasons. But if I had to pick one, it would be.
It’s a simple story with a terrific cast, has a wonderful score by Thomas Newman and is superbly directed by Frank Darabont. The expectation to pick something that is obscure or popular with leading film critics has never appealed to me. What does, is watching a movie that has a profound effect and that’s what Shawshank represents.
E.T. was one of the first films that really sparked an interest in movies generally and I still rate it as one of the most perfect films ever made.
Being a classic Steven Spielberg film, there’s a great deal of audience manipulation going on, but this is one of the very few times where it just doesn’t matter. I love this film as much now as when I first saw it.
Over the past 12 months, I have seen some terrific films (Warrior, Melancholia) and a few turkeys (Abduction, The Tourist), but I’m looking forward to seeing upcoming releases such as The Dark Knight Rises and The Bourne Legacy, due for release over the next couple of months – hopefully they won’t be as overhyped as Prometheus!
Particular thanks to my fellow bloggers who have regularly contributed to the blog with their ‘likes’ and comments, especially Fernando Rafael, Mark Walker, John Mountain, Ryan McNeely, Steve Aldersley and Andy.
Special thanks to my followers and regular readers – here’s to the next year during which I intend to give The Film Oracle a redesign, so watch this space!