I think I’ve discussed this before, but it bears repeating.
You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been (re)posting a lot of movie reviews lately. A few days ago I decided it was high time I created a master list of my movie reviews. Similar to how I have artists’ pages where you can see all the shows I’ve posted from a particular artist, I thought it would be a good idea to have a page where you can see all the movies I’ve reviewed.
I clicked on the movies category and scrolled down, page after page, until I found my first review. Then I started systematically going through each review and linking to them on my Movie Review Page. As you may recall a great many of my old reviews are still in private mode, which means no one can read them but me.
For those private posts, I’ve been doing some light editing, adding movie posters, and making them public. When I do that many of you receive an email with the post inside as if it were a new post. When in fact, many of these reviews are quite old. Some were written as far back as 2004 – that’s nearly twenty years ago.
I have changed in many ways since then. I’ve matured, my writing has matured, and my understanding of life and art has changed. Truth be told I sometimes cringe at the things I wrote back then. To tell the truth, I often feel like rewriting some of it. But I feel like that would be wrong. I don’t want to rewrite my own history.
I am doing some light editing. I try to fix my spelling and grammar mistakes. Sometimes I’ll rewrite a sentence for clarity – or just delete it altogether if I’m no longer sure exactly what I was trying to say.
But I’m keeping the embarrassing stuff in. Most of it isn’t too bad. It’s like looking at a picture of yourself from two decades ago where you look at that sweater and wonder how you ever thought that it looked good on you. Or you can’t imagine why you ever wore your hair in that style.
But sometimes it is full-on cringe. My early reviews were way too jokey. I often wrote in the way I might talk to my friends about a movie – filled with bad gags and strange asides. As a young man, I seemed to think it was all too funny to admit watching a movie for a little T&A. I’m embarrassed that I wrote about Elizabeth Hurley looking good in a tight silver skirt. But I wrote those words so I’m allowing them to stay.
It isn’t like I wrote racist screeds or went on and on about some attractive actress and got really skeevy about it. But it is embarrassing to read what I did write.
But also there are movies that I watched and reviewed many years ago and have rewatched since and completely changed my mind on. I just read my review of The Harder They Fall which I wrote in 2005. I gave it a somewhat negative review and panned Humphrey Bogart’s performance. I rewatched that movie a few months ago and really liked it. And I found Bogart’s performance to be really good. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote the review.
So, when a review pops up in your inbox and you give it a read, please do check the date it was originally published and recognize it might be the words of a younger, much sillier man. And do forgive any lapses in judgement.