When you've written a couple of hundred reviews of different movies, you often try to look at different ways to approaching each one. You try to keep it fresh, so every review isn't exactly the same. I often feel I fall into the rut of: here's my initial thoughts, here's the synopsis, here's a couple reasons why I felt the way I did, here's my conclusion. So any time I can, I look for a different pattern.
I was so enthused by the new 007 "Quantum of Solace" that I knew I wanted my review to be special. Because I felt so strongly about it, I just had to know why a critic I admire so much as Roger Ebert didn't. Once I read his review of the film, I had my unique approach to my review. I would write him a letter to him detailing exactly why I felt he was off the mark.
The funny thing is, it never occurred to me until after I had written the review that it was actually a letter to Roger Ebert, and therefore should be sent to him. So I did. The only place I could find to send it was his Answer Man reader mail feature on his website. I did not really intend for him to publish it on his site, nor has he. I just wanted him to read what I had written to him.
Sunday evening I received my first e-mail from Roger Ebert. Perhaps I am making an overblown deal out of this, but this was a communique with a man whom I hold a great deal of respect for. He didn't say much. Understandable, since he must deal with hundreds of e-mails from complete strangers like myself every week. But he took the time to read what I had written and gave me a grand compliment in his response. Although, he sent it to me personally, it was a response to something I wrote to him on this website and I wanted my readers to be able to share it. Yeah, I suppose I'm bragging a bit, but mostly I am honored.
Here's what he wrote:
"Re: Quantifying 'Quantum'
Well, you make good points. Although I've seen every Bond movie, I admit I am not a scholar of them. Anyway, congratulations on your blog, and on your writing. You have a clear and persuasive voice.
I don't think I'll be deleting that e-mail anytime soon.