Who is Michael Young?
I’m a retired former software developer who now has a lot of time on my hands. I live up in the mountains of northern New Mexico in a small town almost at the Colorado border. One of things I’ve always liked to do is watch movies. Movies, for me, are a wonderful way to tell stories using a combination of visual and auditory cues, in a two-hour package that is just the right amount of time. The challenge of a movie is to present a story in as convincing a manner as possible, but with enough complexity to keep your interest. Movies should always be measured against that standard.
Why Oscar Movies?
As remote as we are, we don’t have a lot of theaters nearby so we have to rent or stream our movies, which means they aren’t usually on their first run. (In fact, we’re so remote we have internet via satellite which poses some additional challenges for streaming). But the world produces something like 8000 movies every year and no-one can watch them all. So we all must have some kind of filtering mechanism. I’ve chosen the movies nominated for Oscars every year. There’s about forty of them, so that is a doable number at a rate of about one a week. And while there is no guarantee the Academy will nominate only the better movies of the year, most of them are pretty good. You could certainly get a worse list of movies and getting a better one is pretty hard.
So Why Write Reviews?
Well, in addition to watching movies, I also like to write. And I found that, after our movie group (a couple of neighbors, my wife, Joan, and myself) would watch a movie we would usually have some spirited conversation about what we liked and didn’t. I decided to write up my reactions so they could be more easily shared. I started to email them to friends and, occasionally, I got some positive reaction, so I added more names. Almost by luck, our nearby town started a newspaper and the editor liked the idea of a movie column. So now I’m a regular contributor to the Questa Del Rio News, and I’m talking with other editors of small newspapers to see if they might be interested in printing some of my reviews in their local papers.
And a Website?
Soon it became difficult to manage the distribution of the reviews. So we decided that an attractive web site might be the best way to provide broader access. The idea was hatched at the end of the 2019 movie year and I contacted Dan Kuehn (Dan Frank Digital Design) a local firm that specializes in websites and other digital products. And this is the final result.