Note to Readers: All of the comments made herein are strictly the opinions of the writer and do not reflect the actual views of anyone here at MovieWeb. In fact, it is probably best to disregard most or all of what you are about to read immediately before proceeding. We here at MovieWeb have found the following column to be a largely incoherent, cynical and pretentious mess and therefore would like to suggest several ways in which you could better spend your time.

1. Go back to Starbucks and work on your screenplay.

2. Read a pop-culture magazine.

3. Log onto Monster and find a well-paying job.

4. Vote.

5. Amass a large collection of really expensive stuff.

6. Offer an opinion.

7. Rent Gili.

8. Check your voicemail. Again.

9. Find a joke and forward it to EVERYBODY.

10. Breathe.

And now, with the above list in mind, MovieWeb is “proud” to present to you our newest column, Cynamatic. But, please, don’t say we didn’t warn you. We did. It’s here. In writing. And we have lawyers.


There’s a long chain of people to blame for this.

Start with Adam, start with Darwin. Take your pick – ape or apple. Either way is fine with me. One or the other gave us a voice. Then blame the Greeks – or the Phoenicians, to be more specific. They gave us the alphabet in exchange for modern commerce. Then Franklin, then Edison, then Bell. Blame the French, for two guys named Lumiere, who thought that pictures would be infinitely better when moving. Blame Gates for the computer and Gore for the Net.

Blame Hollywood. Blame media. Blame me.

Pass the plate around, people. Everybody owes – even you – and we all pay in years. In wasted time and withered vision. Ticket after ticket. Page after meaningless page. And so they gave me a column – whatever that means – and a space to say my piece, which I guess amounts to – what, exactly? – something? – nothing? – only so many words lined up in a row?

We live in a narrative world, my friends, and for every story, every book, every film and TV re-run, every news bite, magazine and late-night reality soap, we’re asked to participate, to play a part, to buy into the belief that we (yes, we) are stars of a sort. We’re sold a feeling. Forced a philosophy. Told that our lives are bigger than we thought. And all for only ten bucks and two hours down.

“Here’s your script. Read from here.”

Burn it, torch it, tear it up.

We’re the writers now.

So here’s the deal. This is our space. Yours by way of mine. The movie-lover’s space. The film-geek’s space. Where the cynic and the optimist arm-wrestle and dance. The well-polished floorboards for the twenty-something two-step. Channel-surfers, come and catch a soundwave. Critics, come and kill. It’s happy hour at the Culture Club and the only cover is contribution.

Without you, this is all only air. Silence and the sound of one hand clapping.

Now let’s break this down. Let’s dissect. Let’s rage and rant and laugh. The revolution won’t be televised. It’ll be webcast.

Check back here every two weeks for some new tidbit of something. Some observation, some story, some muddled or marvelous narrative. And way down there, where it says to offer your opinion – click that. Write back. Tell me how you feel. We’re not all here to get along. Columns aren’t for that. So if you want advice, ask a friend. I’m just here to start the fire. You’re here to fan it.

Until next time (when this column will hopefully take on some kind of actual shape), enjoy the aftermath of the holiday bomb. Search through the rubble of your local video store for some of the great films you might have missed. Now’s the time for catching up, when the bathwater went out with the Oscar-shaped baby and the theatres all seat an audience of tumbleweeds.

But whatever. More on that next time.

And from one cynic to another, Happy New Year.