Monday, July 20, 2009

The Onquirer Years

From 2001 to 2006, I contributed movie reviews to the Customer Care Newsletter, which was merged into the Operations Newsletter, which was later merged into the company-wide Onquirer.

I recently made a pilgrimage into the depths of the LAN and my home computer’s hard drives and found copies of my columns from the Onquirer, et al. I'm publishing them here partly for entertainment value and partly to assist you in making home video selections.

My first review was for "The Glass House," a teen-in-peril thriller. The review was a full paragraph long and was scheduled to be published the second week of September, 2001. For some reason, the content of that issue was rapidly revised and my reviewing debut was delayed for a month. You can see a pared-down review for "The Glass House" below, but essentially my original advice was to wait for it to come out on VHS.

When these reviews were published in the newsletter, we had space considerations to deal with, so most reviews are tiny compared to ones written directly for the blog. These are the full text of the reviews as they appeared in the company publications, edited only for clarity, if needed, and if I commented inside the review, I did it in brackets [like this]. After many reviews, I made a comment from today's perspective.

When I started contributing, the editors wanted me to rate the movies on a scale of 1-3. I didn't care for that so I convinced them to allow me to use a free-form description. They later won out and I used the numerical method, which I've included in the reviews below. I later reverted to a Recommended/Not Recommended scheme. In 2004, I was able to do away with ratings altogether when I was made co-editor of the Onquirer. I never liked rating movies. I figure if you can't spend 30 seconds reading the whole review, then what the heck are you doing using the column to pick movies?

The reviews I'm posting today are only ones for which I found electronic copies. I didn't save e-versions for every edition, but I have most if not all of the various newsletters archived in print form, so some year when I get enough gumption, I'll scan & post any that are missing. Don't count on it being too soon. By the way, has anyone seen my scanner lately?

I've found that today's perspective can be quite different from those back in the day. Even I am surprised at how savagely I ripped a few movies and how nice I was to others that history has since castigated. I hope you enjoy my work and remember this: the reviews and comments are worth exactly what you paid for them.

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