This has been a fantastic year in many ways. I’m optimistic about the future, and I have quite a few ideas for movie-related articles that I can’t wait to share with my wonderful readers. In the past few weeks I have had a huge influx of new subscribers, and I don’t know exactly what to attribute that to. All I can say is welcome!
Welcome, everyone, to the Deja Reviewer website! Today is Christmas, and I wish all of you a happy one.
I am the Deja Reviewer and I come up with all of the crazy, unconventional ways of looking at films that you’ll find on this website. I’ve published more than 300 articles since 2011. Obviously, very few of you have known about me or my work that whole time, so this Christmas I want to share some of my favorite articles with you to enjoy. Here are two or three articles from each year that I’ve been writing as the Deja Reviewer, along with some of my thoughts on how they came about.
5 Great Movies That Were Saved By Budget Cuts – This was such a pleasure to write, and, in my opinion, it’s one of the most enjoyable articles of mine to read.
Battle of the Message Movies: How to Train Your Dragon vs. Avatar – This article was a big reason why I became the Deja Reviewer. I really wanted to talk about the incredibly annoying problems I had with Avatar, but it wasn’t until I saw How to Train Your Dragon that I realized what was really wrong with Avatar and how simple it would have been to fix so many of its flaws.
Why I’m Glad to Be a Dad – This one came right from my heart. It’s fun to take a step back sometimes and evaluate our lives. My wife had recently given birth to our third child in just under four years of marriage when I wrote this article. It’s not easy being a father, but I highly recommend it.
The Film That Inspired Me to Graduate from College – Rudy is the ultimate inspirational sports movie to me. I could completely put myself into the main character’s shoes, and I lived a lot of what he experienced in my struggle to go to, and graduate from, a religious university. I’m the only one out of the nine kids in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree, and I did it because I never took my eyes off my ultimate goal of doing something great with my life.
10 Cool Details You May Have Missed in How to Train Your Dragon – These are just so cool. Once you read this article you’ll find even more to love about How to Train Your Dragon – a movie that is impossible not to love already!
Movie Matchups: The Shining (1980) vs. Manos: The Hands of Fate – This is what I was building up to with my Movie Matchups. I was trying to show that it’s possible to use virtually the same setup and plot structure to come to completely different results. Two of the best and worst horror movies are pretty closely related, and I find that absolutely hilarious.
10 Films (Besides Raiders of the Lost Ark) Whose Heroes Have No Effect on the Outcome of the Story – One of my coworkers is a Big Bang Theory Fan, and he told me he would be interested in hearing my take on this kind of article. And I didn’t disappoint him.
RoboCop (1987) Is an Almost Perfectly Symmetrical Film – This is the big one. This article got more than 300,000 views on its first day alone, and it continues to get a lot of attention even now. The idea of Cinematic Chiasmus was born with this article, and it’s spawned quite a few others. It changed the focus of the Deja Reviewer website from Movie Matchups to this more challenging approach to film analysis.
Great Scott! The Entire Back to the Future Trilogy Is One Big Chiasmus – You think showing the symmetry of a single film is challenging? Try doing it to an iconic trilogy of films. This was an audacious attempt, and I was delighted by how amazingly well it worked. This article got turned into a Netflix-produced video, and I am thrilled that it adds a whole new layer of awesomeness to a beloved series.
Top 10 Best Speeches in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy – This article didn’t get much attention on its release, but it has consistently been among my top 5 articles week after week. I think it’s pretty interesting, especially my choice for No. 1.
Everything in Planet of the Apes (1968) Came from These 6 Twilight Zone Episodes – I enjoy discovering cool things like this. Planet of the Apes is a great film, and it’s made even more interesting by the fact that it’s connected to other Rod Serling creations.
The Beautiful Story Structure of How to Train Your Dragon – Is it clear by now that I love How to Train Your Dragon? Well, I discovered that that film is another example of Cinematic Chiasmus in the way its story is told, and I could not be happier to revisit this amazing film once again.
The Death of a Family Member – My brother-in-law died suddenly of breast cancer in October of this year, and I was stunned into silence. I wrote this tribute to him as a way to talk through my feelings and remember him for the good man he was. It’s heartbreaking to lose a family member and feel so helpless to offer any comfort or fight back against the injustice of it all. But my words did touch my sister’s heart, and I’m glad I could at least do that much.
Return of the Jedi Demonstrates How Loving Your Enemies Wins Over Hating Them – I grew up on the Star Wars films, and I enjoy giving people a new way to look at them since they are such timeless treasures. This article accomplishes that while also giving everyone a key to lasting joy and peace in this crazy life.
Whenever I look for a word to describe my readers, all I can think of is wonderful. So Merry Christmas, my wonderful readers! Thank you for all of your kind comments and suggestions. I fight against my shy tendencies to respond to your comments whenever I can. I’m sorry I don’t do it every time. You’re all so kind and awesome. Enjoy the best holiday of the year. And I trust that 2017 will be a great year, too!
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.