Category Archives: Administration

Letterboxd!

LetterboxdHello Constant Readers!

In keeping with the shift in philosophy, standard film reviews aren’t going to be around Cox in a Box in the future. But I still like to recommend films to people and some people are still interested in my general thoughts on movies (and I love you for that). So I figured I’d share my Letterboxd account here.

Letterboxd is a super cool site that lets me keep track of what films I’ve seen and rate them, sort them into lists… all sorts of neat things. It’s perfect for the kind of gut-reaction, “did I like this or did I hate this” thoughts that used to go into the film reviews. So if for whatever reason you guys are still interested in what movies I’m into, you can check out my Letterboxd account to see what I’ve been watching.

Over there right now is my list of the 15 best films of 2013 – a list that I’ve been keeping and updating since December – in lieu of the traditional collaboration with Ryan, a post that fell through the cracks of film school’s insane demands on our time (not that I’m complaining; I love it!).

Happy movie watching, you crazy people.

A Shift in Philosophy

There has been a shift in my philosophy on film criticism of late. While everything I said in my longer post about film criticism a few months back remains accurate, I have shied away from the film reviews I used to post here. There haven’t been the standard “Review: [Film]” posts lately, as I’m sure Constant Readers (if they exist) have noticed. That’s not because I haven’t been seeing movies – quite the contrary – but because I began to feel as if those posts were not particularly worthwhile. They were ultimately surface thoughts and first impressions rather than longer, reasoned thoughts and critiques of films. And that’s not the kind of criticism I want to foster. If I want to give first impressions and gut feelings, I’ll post that on Facebook or Twitter. If I think people should go see The Lego Movie (note: you should go see The Lego Movie), then I’ll tell them, quite plainly. No need for 1,000 words talking about why they should go see The Lego Movie when those words ultimately amount to “it’s a whole lot of fun with a lot of heart.”

Instead, you’ll notice that film reviews have been tagged with “Longread” – at least the two most recent ones. The Frozen “review” wasn’t even tagged as a film review, but rather as film theory. And that’s the kind of change I’ve been making: I’m no longer talking about immediate reactions and thoughts about movies, because frankly I think most people are going to already have realized what I would say in those pieces. Instead, I’m allowing movies to sit in my mind for a lot longer, to take root, and fester. To let their ideas percolate down and affect my basic thought processes on a profound level. Then I’ll talk about them. But I won’t talk about “this is why it was good,” but rather “this is what this movie has to say, and this is why that’s awesome.”

I think this approach has been fulfilling. I got a whole lot of positive feedback about my Frozen post, and for that I thank everybody who read it. I had a blast writing it, and your good vibes meant a lot to me. I never got feedback that strong about my simple reviews, and I think this change in philosophy is in large part responsible. A lot of people saw and loved Frozen. My article about it dug into some deeper ideas within Frozen and, in trying to intimate why I loved it, I believe I helped a lot of people come to a deeper understanding of why they themselves loved Frozen. That may be a bit presumptuous, but a lot of you told me something to that effect, and it warms my heart so much to know that I am succeeding (at least in part) at that goal I stated back in the criticism post in July: to help people love movies as much as I do, and understand on a deep and profound level exactly why they love them.

The Wind Rises post got a lot less response, but I think that’s because so very, very few people have seen it. And while it was written very shortly after I saw the film, I do believe that it was as thought out and reasoned as the Frozen article. This isn’t just a trend of posts. Film school has made my time evaporate, and I’ve been devoting what free time I do have to writing other things. I assure you, though, that when a film manages to capture my heart and mind as Frozen and The Wind Rises did, you will hear about it. I want to assure you all that this is the new normal for Cox in a Box. I hope you will continue reading and continue following me on this journey, as I pursue this singular dream of filmmaking and film criticism. Your continued support has meant more to me than you can ever know.

The Future of Cox in a Box

Constant readers, hello and welcome!

I’ve been posting with varied frequency these past few months, and while I have long desired to keep a consistent schedule of posting on a weekly basis and attempting to keep some running features such as a weekly comic review, a weekly Deja Review, and a weekly TV review, a number of things have kept me from this goal, and for that I apologize. It always warms my heart in ways I can’t even describe to hear from one of you that you even so much as skim my posts when they go up (once, I heard from someone I was meeting for the first time that they had read my blog, and I swear my face must have lit up enough to light a city for a week), so it pains me just as much that I can’t – well, don’t – post more frequently.

So, I’d like to take a moment (just sit right there) to talk about the future of this blog. I will continue, as I always have, posting reviews and simple musings about various topics. I hope to post reviews on the scale of my recent BioShock Infinite review far more often – with the notable caveat that such reviews are not always possible simply because I do not often have so much to say – but simply more reviews will satisfy me, and I hope you readers as well. But I would also like to try a few new things.

For starters, I would like to hear from YOU. The comments section on this blog is woefully empty. Please, if you like what I have to say, or have opinions of your own, drop a line in the comments! It doesn’t take but a few seconds and will hopefully encourage some discussion. After all, while I like to talk about what I think, I much prefer it when that talking generates discussion rather than just silent agreement (or disagreement!). Additionally, I’d also like to get some guest posts. I know some of you guys out there have strong opinions: write them up and send them to me! I’ll post them on the blog giving you full byline and everything. Of course, I will always encourage people to make their own blogs and share their opinions more regularly, but I am more than willing and would be thrilled even to accept guest posts.

Secondly, and the thing I’m most excited to get off the ground, is I want to start doing videos. Discussion and analysis videos. I’ve had a significant analysis video in the works for a couple of months now, and while it’s a far cry from being finished, it is very much something I am passionate about and intend to see it through. But I’d also like to have nearly weekly roundtable discussions with myself and a few of you guys: we get together, sit around a table, and talk about a topic. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while, and I hope that some of you can get as excited about this as I am. In a few weeks here on Cox in a Box, I’m going to have a new series of posts going up (I’m writing them all in advance so I have a consistent posting schedule). At that time, I’m going to post a call for collaborators who would be willing to star in these discussions and talk about games, movies, and TV. If you’re interested, look out for that post and make sure to submit your name!

So that’s what’s coming down the pipeline. I hope to make this a more substantial blog in the coming months, and hope that you all will make the trip with me.

Thanks for everything, constant readers.

[Also: Don’t let the post date deter you – this is very much legitimate.]

New Digs

Hello friends and random blog readers from Japan and Germany (yes, seriously, I got traffic from there on the old Blogspot blog)! Welcome to the new digs of Cox in a Box.

I’ve been over at Blogspot for about a year and a half now, posting occasional film reviews and random musings on a bunch of pop culture related topics. That’s been cool, and I’ve gotten a number of views that I’m relatively satisfied with given that the readership is solely Facebook friends and people who somehow find my blog in the depths of Google search result pages (probably beyond page 10). But good god was that site an eyesore. For whatever reasons, images on the sidebar weren’t consistent. The background would sometimes just be the filmstrip header repeated ad infinitum. It wasn’t an appealing design by any stretch.

Blogger, regrettably, didn’t have any appealing designs. Which brings us here, to WordPress.com. Here at WordPress.com I’ve got a bit more storage, a bit more freedom, a better blogging platform, and a much nicer design. What I DON’T have are all the categories for old posts set up. So things may be a bit finnicky for the old Blogger imported posts, but new posts will be great.

Change your bookmarks (because you totally bookmarked me right? right? oh okay), because I’m here to stay.

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