I’m Joe Valdez. I’m a 38-year-old novelist and screenwriter living in the Los Angeles area. In October of 2005, I got it into my mind to start writing about the movies I was watching. These are DVDs being delivered to my home through the magic of Netflix or Greencine. Some of the titles are new releases, but most are classics or overlooked films from decades past. I call this newsletter, website, rag, or whatever have you This Distracted Globe.
Expressing yourself can be fun. So can reminding people how much you know. It’s hard for me to say which of those two activities I enjoy most. I must not be alone though, because there are a lot of movie sites on the web. Browsing my links will take you to the best. This doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one more, especially one that programs its content differently than the rest.
To give you an idea of the movies you’ll find here, imagine mountain climbing. If “high grade” would be considered Italian horror movies or films directed by Mike Leigh, and “low grade” might be anything involving Keenan Ivory Wayans, then This Distracted Globe represents the “middle grade” a half day climb with greater chance of injury, but falls that are rarely fatal.
My reviews are hardly the articles of confederation, but their style does not vary much. First, I’ll summarize the movie’s plot. It’s tempting to want to write something clever right away. I think you’ve got to build toward that. I try to keep from spoiling endings or plot twists, but I won’t issue spoiler alerts either. If you’re worried about spoilers, glance at the title of the movie, stop reading immediately and go rent it. You can trust me.
The next thing you’ll notice in these reviews is research. I find it helpful to know what I’m talking about, or at the very least, offer that illusion to you the reader. This goes beyond trusting how the WGA arbitrated credits on a movie. I dig and try to find as much as I can about the development, production and reception of a movie, to provide some type of context for my thoughts, and again, prove how much I know.
The last thing you’ll find in my reviews is the area I have the most difficulty with: my opinion. No, really. My opinion sometimes changes according to day of the week, the weather forecast, whether or not the Lakers lost, and how much sleep I got the night before. So if you don’t like what I have to say, please let me know. I might change my mind and give you a mind control credit.
Comments and surveys are for you the reader to let me know how you feel about each movie. I also enjoy sharing blurbs from other web based writers and critics. There are a number of fantastic Internet movie guides that I reference repeatedly. I cannot recommend them enough if you’re looking for another opinion. They’re free, and being web based, they get to use cuss words and questionable grammar.
I’d like This Distracted Globe to operate like a repertory house for the web. I try to schedule movies the same way I would if I was running a movie theater in San Francisco in the 1970s, without the sideburns. Repertory houses used to program double features, mixing movies on a similar theme. You’ll find a lot of that on this site. If you have ideas for a series you’d like to see me to program, let me know.
I can be contacted at journeymanjones [at] gmail [dot] com, or by simply clicking on my byline, which will dispatch all of you stalkers to my Facebook page.
Thanks to Aaron Valdez for site design and the latest in Nicolas Cage news.