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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I haven't found a better movie critic.
I don't always agree with Berardinelli's assessments, but his reviews always tell me why he rated a movie a particular way and give me the information I need to make my own decision. The reviews are well written, concise, and show both an appreciation of movie art and an understanding of movie entertainment.
I've read reviews from just about every critic available in...
Published on April 10, 2004 by T. Ross

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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to its potential
I'm a frequent reader of Berardinelli's website and eagerly awaited this book. However, after reading it, I've lost some of my enthusiasm for the book. It's a print version of the website, with one thousand reviews of his favorite films included here. That's the first problem--there's nothing more here than what's already offered free of charge online. Second, the format...
Published on August 24, 2003 by nicktuba


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I haven't found a better movie critic., April 10, 2004
By 
T. Ross (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reel Views: The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 Modern Movies on DVD and Video (Paperback)
I don't always agree with Berardinelli's assessments, but his reviews always tell me why he rated a movie a particular way and give me the information I need to make my own decision. The reviews are well written, concise, and show both an appreciation of movie art and an understanding of movie entertainment.
I've read reviews from just about every critic available in print or on the Web. James Berardinelli's reviews are the only reviews I read every week.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to its potential, August 24, 2003
By 
"nicktuba" (East Haven, CT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reel Views: The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 Modern Movies on DVD and Video (Paperback)
I'm a frequent reader of Berardinelli's website and eagerly awaited this book. However, after reading it, I've lost some of my enthusiasm for the book. It's a print version of the website, with one thousand reviews of his favorite films included here. That's the first problem--there's nothing more here than what's already offered free of charge online. Second, the format would be more user-friendly if the reviews were ranked alphabetically, and not just by category.
Next, Berardinelli uses "star" ratings on his website, but neglects to include these in the book. Instead, the book has cryptic text descriptions at the end of each review, such as "recommended," "highly recommended," and "must-see." If you're just browsing through the book, you might see "recommended" and think this is Berardinelli's highest recommendation without knowing better. Since he doesn't use a numerical rating system, the "star" system we're all used to is gone and what's left doesn't make sense.
The book would be relevant to more readers if there were a greater variety to the choices here (as there is on his website). The reviews included in this book are only for Berardinelli's favorite movies (if there's a movie he doesn't like, it's not in the book). The movie choices should be more diverse, not just the thousand films Berardinelli likes the most (I can think of several good films that are absent from the book, because they get low ratings on his website). By including only the reviews for films he likes, the book omits movies that might be interesting to people other than him. In other words, if you don't want to read about the author's favorite movies, don't buy this book.
Another problem is that the reviews are printed here word-for-word as they appear on the website, without any updates, and some of the same typos appear. In addition, the forward by Roger Ebert isn't anything the veteran film critic hasn't spoken or written about already, especially in the essays linked from Berardinelli's site. One would think that his name appears only to help sell copies. Why would somebody want to buy this book when the identical reviews can be found on his website free of charge?
In the end, I expected more from this book than what was delivered. Reviews could have been updated and (in some cases) expanded, instead of giving us a carbon copy of Berardinelli's website. Berardinelli, an electrical engineer by trade, has been praised for the sheer quantity and diversity of films he reviews, as well as the speed in which he posts reviews of new releases. This book seems to swim against the tide of each of these claims to fame. Bottom line: save your money and surf the website for free.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's about time, January 11, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Reel Views: The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 Modern Movies on DVD and Video (Paperback)
I don't always agree with his likes and dislikes in movies but I admire his writing and arguments/critique. His writing style is simple yet witty and caustic.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect companion to the video store, September 10, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Reel Views: The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 Modern Movies on DVD and Video (Paperback)
Granted that the reviews published in this book are available online, I am still quite pleased to own a copy of the book. You can't access the web when you go to a video store while it's easy to carry Berardinelli's book. It saves me time browsing through movie titles that I may be interested to watch.
The title index is very helpful since he grouped the movies by genre. James Berardinelli is one of the best, if not the best, online film critic out there and it's about time he gets his work published. His reviews are very insightful and well-written. Although I wished he included some bad movies, those tend to be the humorous reviews.
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7 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Eeep, December 26, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Reel Views: The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 Modern Movies on DVD and Video (Paperback)
One of the most successful on-line critics, James Berardinelli is also one of the worst. This tome is every bit as accessible as his anti-art, grammatically incongruous and theoretically un-provocative reviews. Not to completely dog the guy. I'm sure he edits most of his own reviews for his website. Here he seems to have found an editor or two. Compare any one review in the book to the review as it appears on his site. They're still not very special, but at least they make more sense. Strictly for fans.
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