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State of the Blog – September 2015

August is in the books over here at Plot and Theme (and everywhere else, I guess, but it’s hard to be excited about that) and the month was a great success. I saw the most unique site views, the most visitors, and posted a health number of times despite refraining from run-of-the-mill news items. Further, the Classic Review Friday series is quickly becoming one of my favorite posts to write, and I am having a great time thinking up films to put in that space. Finally, my Disney series was a huge success, and has inspired me to write more posts of that nature. But we’ll get into that later.

So first, Plot and Theme had nearly 10x more views in August than it did in July, largely due to the strength of the Disney pieces and also my The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Review which reached the from page of /r/movies on reddit for about a day or so and generated a great deal of traffic. It seems my strategy of posting direct links to the blog posts from reddit has resulted in a lot of page views, so I will likely continue with that. I will also be sharing on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter as I have been before, and I encourage any of you who enjoy a post to do the same (I have made it very easy with the share buttons on the bottom of each post). Twenty-one posts were made in August, including seven Disney posts and four Classic Friday Reviews, and some of those were my absolute favorites, so I am definitely going to continue writing those.

August was definitely the month of the spy film for me, as I wrote favorable and strong reviews of both the new Mission: Impossible and the aforementioned The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I also finally wrote my review for Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy, which was a fantastic film. Looking back at the films I thought I would see this month, at least in theatres, and it appears as though I saw only one. It really was the dog days of August, as my excitement waned quickly as overwhelmingly negative reviews poured in for things like Fantastic Four  and Sinister 2 and Hitman Agent 47. Movies that bad and lazy don’t deserve patronage, even if it is just to point and laugh. Perhaps in the future when these films come to VOD services I will give them a viewing, but I am not really looking forward to it.

September will be quite different, I think. My most anticipated release this month is Denis Villenueve’s Sicario on September 18th. I’ve been excited to see this ever since it performed well at the Cannes Film Festival. I have been looking forward to this one to such an extent that I have started watching the director’s older works, including his foreign films. I plan to review all of these films in the week leading up to the release of Sicario, so the week that ends on September 18th will contain five reviews of these films, in order of their release (this gives you a chance to go out and see Maelstrom, Polytechnique, Indcendies, Enemy, and Prisoners if you want to be prepared for the reviews). I am sure I will end up seeing other things this next month, but for now my big focus is on Sicario.

As for other posts, I will continue with the Classic Review Friday series. I am going to default to movies which I enjoy, but if any of my readers express an interest in hearing what I have to think about particularly bad movies, I will think about a few of those, as well. The success of the Disney posts has led me to start drafting similar retrospective posts, and I think the first one will be thematically similar – The Animation of Don Bluth. The other big piece I have in the planning stages involves looking at box office returns of various horror films and trying to understand exactly what is happening with this particular genre at the movie theatres.

Finally, I have been invited to write guest posts for another WordPress movie blog called Cinema Axis. From time to time, some of my posts will be posted over there, and I will likely re-blog them to this space. So, feel free to continue reading them here, but also drop by Cinema Axis and see what they have to offer over there as well. My first post should be a review of the horror film It Follows, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

It will be hard for me to top the month of August in terms of site views and visitors, but I am going to try to do my best to keep producing quality posts and providing reasonable insight into some of my favorite movies, plus the bad ones that I see. I am very excited to finally see Sicario, and I am also looking forward to my Denis Villenueve week! Keep sharing the pieces that you like on social media, pressing that little star-shaped “like” button and jotting down comments in the provided space so that I can continue improving my chops.

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Derek Jacobs

Chicago,IL 60606

A website

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