FAQ

BehindTheCurtain.com is my personal hobby site. It gives me a chance to write a bit about my obsession, watching movies, and to keep an inventory of what I’ve seen. And I get to nerd around with content management systems and website coding, which I find more mentally rewarding than online games.

I became a movie addict at a young age, as detailed in The Moment I Fell in Love with Movies. Growing up, you could see first-run and classic movies for free on TV. So I was exposed to fare like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World to The Apartment to Run Silent, Run Deep. Sometime in high school I stopped watching TV, and so from then through college I mostly lost track. Star Wars might have been my only theater experience throughout.

After college, I dipped my toe back in, getting comfortable as a solo viewer in the theater with Alien. And then my addiction began to flare, with memorable experiences watching the likes of Blade Runner, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the subsequent Star Wars II and III, and an oft-overlooked gem, Time Bandits. Circa 1993 I was contracting and thus had flexible time, seeing 100-plus movies one year (the bulk being classics at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, California, where $6 would get you a double feature of goodies like Sunset Boulevard and Casablanca.

I even took a few film history classes, read a few biographies and academic tomes. VHS tapes and DVDs from Blockbuster, and Redbox, began to take up my viewing time when family came along, and now streaming services are our constant companions. But I claim no credentials as a reviewer. I simply know what I like, and enjoy writing about it. I have no illusions that this site will be seen by more than a few random visitors who were looking for something else.

Well spotted. This hobby site isn’t a real blog. If I added commenting, I’d feel obligated to read your comments. And then to answer. And to fight a never-ending battle against form spam. I’d rather spend my time writing, not commenting. And I’ve gotten to a period in life where I’m not particularly bothered when I’m contradicted (or agreed with, for that matter).

As the site’s tagline states, my intended audience is people who don’t have time to waste. Even in my 20s I knew I’d never get to see all the movies out there. Decades hence, I know I’ll never even see all the ones I want to.

If you read a few reviews here and agree with my recommendations, great. You can use them in future as guidance if you wish, to avoid wasting your time on movies that won’t pay you back in terms of either entertainment or worthwhile intellectual exercise. I like the discipline of coming to a definitive choice. Every reviewer who adheres to the same discipline must do some form of the thumbs-up/thumbs-down. I make mine explicit. See It. Skip It. Period.

The star ratings aren’t meant to bracket neatly with the recommendations. With those, I do my modest best to pronounce a “quality score.” I might give a See It to a two-star movie as a guilty pleasure. I might pronounce Skip It for a five-star work that may be extraordinarily well executed but not entertaining. (Citizen Kane would be an example, should I ever get around to writing about it.)

(BTW, thanks for knowing about S&E.)

It’s my hobby, and I do it all myself. For more info about the mechanics, see the Colophon.

I very, very occasionally check email here: feedback at behindthecurtain dot com. Replies are not guaranteed, but sincere and constructive conversations are welcome.