Tuesday, February 05, 2013

So You Think You Can Review Tournament: Introduction

A couple of years ago, in the usual blog-related effort to drum up traffic and interest, I joined the Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMB). I had the best intentions of participating in the various blogathon types of things they do and I even stuck with it awhile. For reasons both good and bad I drifted away. But last summer a bracket-style tournament was announced and somehow caught my attention. Against my better judgment I decided to give it a try—"better judgment" because I had to question why I was doing it: traffic, more readers, more attention, general egotistical shoring-up, that kind of thing. A lot of the familiar what-is-this-vanity-project-why-am-I-blogging-anyway questions. At the same time, I had a fair amount of natural anxiety about undue competitiveness and losing. But it seemed like an interesting challenge so I decided to go for it.

The original field was 32 reviewers. In the interests of fairness, attempts were made to keep and preserve anonymity. We had to go by pseudonyms (I was "Botch Casually") and the organizer, Nick of Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob, went to pains to ensure the movies we were assigned to review had not been reviewed previously on our blogs. That alone is going above and beyond. But I also thought his movie picks for us were always interesting, difficult, maddening, and fair, designed to throw us equally out of our various comfort zones. Here's an overview of how it was set up.

What I'm going to do here over the next weeks is reproduce my review entries, starting with the first round and taking it as far as I got. I'll also have links to my competitor's review, in the original post with mine, along with comments and the voting results. Judge for yourself who should or should not have won! And of course I will then have to step in with the chin-stroking afterword. It all starts next week! (Also, so you know, I didn't use my usual headers for the tournament submissions but I will be adding them for publication here.)

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