State of the Blog – October 2016

Autumn is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it comes sweater weather, pumpkin-spiced everything, and Oscar contenders.  While I was a little harsh on the cinematic offerings of September, I was pleasantly surprised by most of what I saw last month, both at home and in the theater.  I also began a new writing venture, which you should see reflected on this site soon.  And, my readership seems to be increasing with each month, to boot!  To make matters even better, October is stocked with an outstanding array of films, from high-dollar Hollywood fares all the way down to some of the most widely-regarded and weird indies out there.  Let’s get into it.

I was wrong about September. Not only did I get to see some wonderful films, I also wrote some of my best pieces of recent memory.  Chief among them all is Hell or High Water, which is on the short list for my favorite film of the entire year.  This was a flick I knew about tangentially, but I almost didn’t even go to see it in theaters.  Suffice to say, I loved it, and my review spent a reasonable amount of time floating near the top of some search engines, thereby resulting in a good number of views.  I also dove head-first into my local cinema club and got to see some cool indie docs like Weiner and De Palma, the former being vastly superior.  To top it all off, the “true story” movies that I pooh-poohed a bit at the beginning of the month (Sully and Snowden) weren’t just serviceable, but quite powerful and intriguing.  I guess these Clint Eastwood and Oliver Stone guys can make a movie.

You may not have seen these two reviews, because they were not published on Plot and Theme.  Instead, they can be found at MonologueBlogger.com, where I will be posting reviews twice a week. (I could say biweekly, but that means the same thing as semi-weekly, each of which means both twice a week and every other week; these words are therefore useless).  The site is more focused on digital material and actor-focused monologues, so I want to use Monologue Blogger as an avenue for reviewing VOD things and even thing besides film.  Some first-run reviews will go there, like the aforementioned biopics, but I also want to do stand-up specials, VOD-only films, and maybe even some long-form stuff like Bojack Horseman or F is for Family.  To make my Monologue Blogger pieces easily available, I have created a page here on Plot and Theme that will collect all the pieces I have written for other sites (so, the reviews I do for Cinema Axis will be on there – and I’ve got more of those coming).  Use it wisely!

October promises to deliver on the new releases.  The very first week (October 7th) offers The Girl on the Train, The Birth of a Nation, and The Greasy Strangler.  These are very different films, and the smart money is on The Girl on the Train to impress a la Gone Girl of a couple years back.  Obviously, Nate Parker’s film is charged with controversy, both on screen and in the press, but I imagine that the challenging subject matter is going to scare people away.  I will be seeing the flick, and I know it was the darling of Sundance this year so I am optimistic.  If The Greasy Strangler actually plays in my vicinity, I’ll probably go see it just because it looks weird as fuck.

I’m not the target audience for Max Steel, but The Accountant and Desierto are much closer to my taste.  October is looking really good for high-concept thrillers, and this second week looks like it will deliver.  Then, on the 21st, we get the Jack Reacher sequel, Rob Zombie’s 31, and Keeping Up with the Joneses.  I don’t know if any of these flicks will actually be good, and I’d probably wager my life on Joneses being quite terrible.  Fortunately, Moonlight is a limited release this week (for all you big city dwellers).  Critics have written odes to this film already, and I can’t wait for my chance to see it.  The final week kind of stumbles to the finish line with the third Dan Brown adaptation Inferno, which appears to be completely ridiculous (for good or bad), but Ewan MacGregor’s directorial debut American Pastoral could surprise some people.

October looks to be a good month.  I am going to be writing more, increasing my twitter activity, and seeing plenty of movies.  If you are not yet following the blog’s twitter account at @PlotAndTheme, I encourage you to do so.  Not only will you get every blog post in your feed, but I often retweet the most interesting stories I read from others in the industry, so it is a great way to stay up-to-date.  Also, I have decided to entertain requests for film reviews at certain milestones.  As I just reached 100 followers, I will be reviewing Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.  When I get to 250 followers, I’ll hold another request / poll – so look forward to that!

Again, thank for your continued readership!  If my metrics continue along, I’ll likely reach 100,000 unique page views by the end of the year, which makes my human mind quite happy!

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