My friend, MaryAnn Johanson is a film critic. Her site Flick Filospher is encyclopaedic, and has reviews of films currently in cinemas, as well as hot new releases and an extensive archive of older material.
My children love her dearly, and whenever she comes to visit they quiz her about all the latest films. They still haven’t quite come to terms with the fact that she did not fall down in adulation of the Smurf movie, but her adoration of all things Doctor Who makes up for a lot, including not loving Smurfs as much as she might.
I love talking to her about film, because she is refreshingly unpretentious and likes a really eclectic bunch of films. It is not all talk of chiaroscuro and Fellini.
It helps that one of her favourite films is The Princess Bride, which is a useful yardstick. Any friend of The Princess Bride is a friend of mine.
MaryAnn launched a new service recently, and asked me if I would like to sign up for it, and test it out.
It’s called, ‘Movie Cheat Sheet’.
It’s basically set up for people like me. People who like films but aren’t fanatical about them. People who don’t go to the cinema to see absolutely everything, and therefore, when they do go, want to try and make sure that they see something worth paying for.
Movie Cheat Sheet is an e-mail newsletter that you can subscribe to, and which pops into your inbox on a regular basis.
It is a simple review list of new film and current films that are in cinemas. The films are listed with a coloured button beside each one. There are three colours: the green button tells you that the film is worth going to see in cinemas, the yellow button tells you to wait for DVD unless you’re very keen on a particular actor/director and the red button advises you to give it a miss completely.
If you are still undecided, MaryAnn provides a brief review of each film next to the title.
It’s a great way of finding out what’s worth going to see without wading through pages of reviews, and it comes directly to you via your inbox.
I have to say that I was a little sceptical when she offered me the chance to try it. I am too impatient to read reviews these days, and I didn’t know if I would find it at all useful.
I waited for a couple of mailings to ping into my inbox before deciding whether I was going to write about the service. I generally only write reviews of things I really like, and I would never write a positive review of something I didn’t like just because I was being kind.
Which puts a person in an awkward position if the person whose product/service they are reviewing happens to be a friend.
Lucky for me, I think it’s great, and I am more than happy to recommend it to you.
Movie Cheat Sheet is a subscription service that works out at $1 a week or 60p in real money.
I did not pay for my subscription, but that is because MaryAnn is nice to me. She did not ask me to write about Movie Cheat Sheet favourably. In fact she asked me to be rigorous and honest. So I am being rigorous and honest.
If you like movies and want to know what to go and see, you should get it.
You can sign up at the website here.