Judging a Book by its Cover and the Importance of a Name

Running my eyes across book spines on a Barnes & Noble shelf, I see a lot that are so bland they blend into the crowd. I skip over them with as much conscious thought as I would click the close button on a pesky ad that always pops up on a frequented website. The book covers that get me to stop, to look twice, to look three times, and pull it out of its spot in the row of fiction are the ones that are unique, the ones that stir the imagination and make me want to see what the image on the front has to do with the story inside.

We’re constantly told growing up “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” whether it is in the literal sense or the metaphorical, but what is not said often enough is the importance a cover retains. After all, it is the first thing we see and the impression it gives might affect whether we lay down the money for the book or place it back with its friends. Continue reading

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And the Oscar Goes to…: Cavalcade

The video version of this review (which was created in February 2015) can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehbAXFTjJxo

CavalcadeThere is a danger in Hollywood, and in all creative professions really, of making something for the wrong reason; a danger of producing something for the glamor and awards that it might receive. This is almost always, if not always, the death knell for a movie, and while  I can’t be entirely certain it factors into this case, I do feel it had a part to play in the final product of today’s film, Cavalcade (1933).
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And the Oscar Goes to…: Grand Hotel

The video version of this review (which was created in October 2014) can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wQ9UfGSwyI

Note: This review was largely rewritten in October 2014 because I didn’t like the original review very much.

Grand HotelDo you know which movies are the hardest to review? It’s not the really horrible Twilights or the Birdemics. No, those have their pains and difficulties, but they’re fairly easy to write about. The reviews that I and at least some other reviewers that I read struggle through the most are the middle of the road films. I’m not talking about movies with an even number of good things and bad things. I’m referring to the pictures that leave you with nothing, neither good nor bad. The movies that are just sort of there. Despite being a Hollywood classic containing some interesting stories with a cast of Golden Age stars, Grand Hotel (1933) is one of those movies I like to label as meh. There are a few notable aspects but mostly I walked away cold. Continue reading