I’m working on compiling reviews for the above movies, so as good a time as any to break out this post. If you have seen one or more of the movies pictured above and reviewed them on your blog, then I’m out searching for review pull quotes as of this posting.
This post is on the longer side and if you’re not a movie review blogger, it probably isn’t worth reading. But, bonus, there is a little history lesson on me as a blogger, maybe that might interest some. Readers are never wrong about what they like, so your call.
A little history on blogging for the record, and please forgive the meta nature of this post — I actually dislike writing meta posts on a blog that isn’t meant to have those type posts (some blogs sole purpose are blogging about blogging, so relevant there), even though I know they’re often very popular to read. This blog is fairly new (started August 12, 2019), but I’m not a brand new blogger.
I used to run a very busy, active tech blog. It was popular and became one of CNET Top 100 blogs. That was 2003-2009. I walked away from it for one simple reason: got tired of writing about tech.
Seriously, I’d written many thousands of posts and over a million words on new and old technology. Burnt out is probably a better description. The website had become a profitable business long before I quit, but the business, the money, the accolades were never primary reasons for blogging.
If my heart was no longer excited about the material, I felt continuing was no longer warranted.
So, I let it go.
A blogger who cares about the content and his readers, is it possible? Yes, it is. I was one, at least. Didn’t feel that I should just create posts because it was profitable doing so. That wasn’t why I started the blog or why it kept going. It was a personal site that grew into a business site, which was OK until I no longer had the passion for creating the source material. While this might seem implausible, it seemed fraudulent for me to continue under those circumstances.
So, I bailed.
Honestly, thought I’d never blog again. It would be something saved in the internet archive, a footnote in a six plus year adventure that faded away over time. Was OK with that, too.
Now, here we are 10+ years later and I’m blogging again. The fire, if you will, has returned.
The circumstances are similar, but very different. I want new readers here to know blogging history isn’t likely to repeat itself.
For one, I have always watched movies. I mean, since a very young age. Have always enjoyed watching movies and have never done any sort of significant movie reviewing until this past year. Yes, I did write and share a few movie reviews on my old tech blog and it might be interesting someday here to resurrect those posts and compare to rewatches 10-20+ years later. Compare the texts side by side and laugh if I contradict myself (I probably have!).
Being older now and having some detailed record of what movies I’ve enjoyed to pass down to other family, friends and others might be fun and useful from a historical perspective. Not that I am some great movie scholar or anything — I’m admittedly a new pupil to the craft of film critique and reviewing — but do believe experience means something. 45+ years of movie watching experience absolutely must make me at least an expert of my own tastes.
Also, becoming a film critic is something I’m curious to learn more about. Am not sure if I’ll ever become a professional critic, but am interested in researching and exploring the craft and profession. I don’t believe education and research should be bound by any age group.
So, why this blog?
Have told this part of the story a couple other times, so forgive me regular readers if this looks familiar.
I wanted to keep track of all the movies I’m watching. Quickly, I realized the site that I was using didn’t allow for any sort of blogging. It was just about the movies themselves, but no other anecdotal information or news surrounding the movie was available. The site I’m talking about is Letterboxd. It is awesome for just logging what you watch and optionally leaving a rating and/or review (totally optional).
But what if you want to talk more about multiple movies coming in the future (you can make a list and add commentary there), maybe record thoughts or collect news articles on movies and movie-related topics? Keep track of TV shows you’ve watched? What do you do then?
Start your own blog.
That’s how I got back into blogging after leaving it behind. I didn’t come here to start a movie reviewing business site, I came here out of necessity to record and share this adventure known as the world of movie reviews. There are some TV series reviews here too, as there are too many crossovers from TV to movie that to exclude TV seems like a disservice. The primary focus here is sharing and talking about movies, however.
Whenever anybody asks me why I started this blog, I’m going to link them here. Can cross that off the list. Whew.
Blogs without readers are likes boats without any propulsion
Face it, if you have a blog, you need readers or what’s the point? You can post reviews all day long, but why not just make it a private blog and only invite your family and friends? Why even make your blog accessible to the public if you don’t want to have readers.
I want to have readers for this blog. Lots and lots of readers! The more, very much the merrier.
Now that I’m here, sharing these reviews, I thought to myself: wow, there are so many good — some freaking outstanding — movie bloggers sharing reviews out there, and too many have fewer readers than they deserve.
That’s a shame. A moviegoer sees a movie and then writes this great review and then … what? Just leaves it buried in the constipated bowels of the internet?
I want to help.
My thinking: let’s do something a little different than others are doing. Let me pull together and highlight quotes from other movie reviews. I pull quote from those blogs reviewing movies. I have collected so far 1,500+ movie review sites as of this writing and keep adding new sites.
No, I have not sought permission to pull quotes from any of these 1,500+ movie review sites. That would be far too time-consuming a practice for something I don’t do as a business and the reading and gathering of these quotes isn’t done by any machine, it’s done by one human being — me.
It can take over an hour or more to manually select and link these quotes for a single movie review post. These are hand selected quotes that I’m hoping will encourage readers here to click through and go to the movie site and continue reading.
BTW, I’m also a programmer and could write a script to scrape quotes from these sites in a fraction of time that it takes to manually pull them. If it’s automated it’s not human-curated, which misses the point and value.
Scaling any sort of manual system like this is problematic, however. So, eventually, I’ll need to either hire or acquire volunteers to help assemble these or automate at least some of the process. Only so many hours in the day, you know?
As for which movies make it to this process? Usually only new releases, since those are the ones that most everybody tries to get out in a timely manner so that movie fans can decide by reading them if it’s something s/he wants to see.
Also, my goal is that if the pull quote is interesting enough readers will travel to these other great movie review blogs and read more of their (your) reviews. Bingo! I’ve added a helpful service.
It sounds great in theory, but in practice there will always be one in the crowd who cries foul. Some very tiny movie blog (less than 20 followers) complained that he didn’t want me using any quotes and questioned my practice of using pull quotes from review sites without permission.
It only took like five months for some movie review blogger to complain about not wanting to be pull quoted or linked. I removed his link, blocked his site and will never, ever, per his request, quote or link to him again. It’s a bummer too, because I enjoy reading his reviews and would like to share with others, but will respect the request. I don’t mean this as a slight, but if you don’t want readers at your blog, then private publish the site. Put it all behind a paywall or something and by default you’ll severely limit your audience. Don’t leave it out there for anybody to sign up to, read and — gasp — help promote.
It’s that simple. If you don’t want your movie review ever quoted and linked here: just say so. Done.
I’d rather do this and then if someone complains, remove them from the list so it doesn’t ever happen again.
Is this a blogger-friendly practice? Good question. I think any related traffic one can receive is usually a positive thing. More readers for your blog is helpful. If one were to take me to court and cry copyright infringement over a small related pull quote, I’m not sure it would be successful, based on the benefit it provides and Fair Use, but am claiming no legal standing on the practice.
What am I gaining from pulling your quote and linking to it? I’m aggregating movie review quotes as part of my original commentary to support and help other moviegoers decide whether or not they should want to see a movie based on multiple, often differing opinion, reviews. This means people can come here to read these compiled and human-curated selection of reviews.
Nobody else on the internet will ever have this same curated list unless they copy ours. I realize Rotten Tomatoes does this with their professional review sources, but again, not every movie blogger can be on that list. You have to be accepted as an approved critic and that requires meeting multiple criteria (see this post for details on how to become an approved critic: 8 Days to Terminator: Dark Fate – Rotten Tomatoes 61% Fresh Initially, Critics Opinions are Mixed)
Some reviews agree with me, some disagree. I think it’s a worthwhile service for potential moviegoers.
This leads to my newest idea which does seek to have permission for this process: a Preferred Pull Quote List.
What I’m planning to do is first go to this list of blogs for pull quotes and links before linking from my growing reading list. I’ll see if these movie review blogs have posted reviews to the movie or TV show I’ve reviewed and include pull quotes from that list as a priority. If the blog has a site search it will make it easier to manually find related reviews, but I’m finding some sites don’t have site searches (TIP: get them and make them prominent!)
Would you like your movie review blog included?
How to get your movie review blog on this Preferred Pull Quote List
It’s easy and FREE. Wow, does anybody ever do anything for FREE on the web any more without some gimmick or catch? Not very often. It’s usually some kind of spam or scam.
Not the case here.
You can see what we’re doing. Look at our domain name: moviereviewsbyUS.com. If you are a movie blogger then you are part of “us” simply because your blog exists.
If you don’t want to be quoted or linked to by this site, that’s cool, you don’t have to be. I’ll happily exclude any blog that doesn’t want to be included, but by default every blog that shares reviews is included with a small few exceptions (IE. we try not to link to sites that list torrent sites for downloading movies illegally).
How is that for being anti-discriminatory?
More to the little bit of fine print. It’s not really every movie review blog, because not every blog is creating original material. I’m not interested in spam blogs or other mostly aggregated blogs. Those are crap quality and ripoffs, not real websites. Those won’t be included in the list either.
Also, your blog cannot be an adult XXX movie review blog. Only blogs that primarily review movies up to NC-17 rating. If you are mostly a porn movie blogger, that’s cool and all, but we don’t plan on reviewing those movies on this site so this wouldn’t be useful to your site, anyway. If you only post a few reviews of a few historically noteworthy porn movies like say Deep Throat and the bulk of your reviews are Rated R and below, sure, you’re welcome and encouraged to be on the list. I’m not saying there aren’t any porn movies that crossover to mainstream, but I think it’s pretty clear that this site is about mainstream movies and TV shows, not porn. It’s not an adult site or intended to be, even if the content here sometimes is adult-oriented.
Again, I’m not trying to exclude, I’m trying to include. But the movie review sites included need to fit the list or it won’t be useful for either of us.
So, to clarify, I’m providing this free service to any legitimate movie blogger that wants to be involved, whether you are brand new (0 followers) or have 10,000+ followers. Note: that if a blog is primarily an x-rated or spam site that only aggregates other blogger’s work and doesn’t provide any original reviews or content, I reserve full right to reject and/or remove from this list at any time without notice.
It’s our compiled list, after all. And I’m the one doing the virtual legwork visiting these sites, reading reviews, selecting the quote and linking back. Sometimes I leave comments and interact with these blogs, as several linked up will attest to, so there is an additional activity benefit on your site to being on this list. More traffic in here, leads to more traffic back out to other sites.
So here’s how to become involved, if you want to, anyway:
Just leave a comment below or mention me on Twitter (@Todd_Russell) or DM me if you want to stay stealth about the interest.
We might proactively contact some blogs to include on this list and ask permission. I won’t contact everybody on my reading list because again that would be way too time consuming, but there are certain movie review bloggers that are very good at what they do and I would like to include them in this list, if s/he/they are interested and willing.
Really only need about 100-200 very active movie review sources for this list, but they need to come from movie review sites that post their reviews in a timely manner in/around the date of release of the movie. If it’s a site that only reviews older movies, I will add to my reading list, but likely will rarely pull any quotes from those. As a general practice I don’t compile reviews involving older movies, only newer ones released in theaters and/or on streaming services, including VOD.
Don’t Want To Be Pull Quoted or Linked? Here’s How To Be Removed
The converse is true: if anybody is reading this does not want me ever to pull quotes from your blog, then you use one of the same methods above: leave a comment here, mention or DM me on Twitter. Easy peasy. You’ll be removed and no future pull quotes will ever be used and linked to your site again.
It’s simple, I’m a good blogger netizen and seek to follow the personal and professional requests of others. I do have to be notified, however, in order to comply. Otherwise I’ll keep pull quoting and linking because good bloggers share. Benefit to your site? You’ll get more readers that like reading movie reviews. Quid pro quo.
I think this is a pretty good deal, what do you think?
Happy movie watching to you!