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100 Nights in the Dark: A Collection of Contemporary Film Reviews and Essays [Kindle Edition]

Joe Barlow
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 348 pages
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Book Description

The Timeless and Hilarious Movie Review Guide

First published in 2000, Joe Barlow's 100 Nights in the Dark remains a witty and indispensable collection of film reviews and insightful cinema commentary. Examining the movies released between 1997 and 2000, Barlow highlights the best and worst films of this period, and offers amusing--and occasionally controversial--opinions on them. (He liked The Phantom Menace? He hated Saving Private Ryan?)

But no matter what you might think of his sanity, the fact remains that 100 Nights in the Dark is a funny, and occasionally even insightful, look at film. Includes an introduction by Robert Wederquist, editor of the pioneering website The DVD Journal.

Product Description

About the Author

Joe Barlow's film reviews have appeared in The Arizona Reporter, Nitrate Online, The OFCS Movie Journal, and the French cinema magazine Ashes of Time. He's currently working on his first novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 688 KB
  • Print Length: 348 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Cinemaslave Press (21 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005YNP6ZW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #527,060 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, and different ! 28 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
I'd been seeing some of Joe Barlow's excellent movie reviews on the Internet, and knew of his work on "The Wicked Witch Project" low-budget parody movie long before I found this book. There's something about a reviewer who tells the ugly truth that is very appealing. How else can you account for the popularity of car reviewer Jeremy Clarkson, whose frank views inform his audience, while provoking mirth? I consider Joe to be the Jeremy Clarkson of film reviews. Here is a man who can recognise good and bad plotting, whoever wrote the screenplay; good and bad acting, whatever the actors are being paid; good and bad photography, however many initials the cameraman had after his name; and good and bad direction, regardless of the director's Oscar count. And even when I disagree with his opinions, it illuminates my own critical faculties. Read this book and find out how you're going to enjoy the film before you see it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull Movies, what's the point 6 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I love the cinema and I love movies, I get excited with anticipation at the mere thought of reading a good article or essay on film. There are many great movies out there and there are a lot of great insightful, writing on movies that are not so great. Revelations on why a certain film worked and others didn't, psychoanalytical deconstructions, readings on sociopolitical aspects, and many more. And of course, certain films are just fun to relive through the medium of pen and paper.

This book has none of these. There is no overarching thread to hold the reviews together, no theme used to approach the films other than straightforward reviews. And as reviews they are fine, however there is one element which is glaring and very disappointing - the movies chosen are just so dull!

We start with Rocky and Bullwinkle (which apparently is great American cinema), we move to such classics as 'Analyse This', Babe: Pig in the City, Dead Man on Campus and many more. Oh so many more. The period covered did produce some very interesting films but they don't seem to be included here. It is as if Joe Barlow just goes to the cinema every now and then and writes about them.

If this is the case, kudos for taking the time to write up his thoughts but he needs to develop better taste, as what is revealed here is a distinct lack.

Sorry but to some up I must use one word: Dull.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down-to-earth reviews to rely upon 15 Feb. 2001
By Gm Mrs B. Williamson - Published on
Joe Barlow is more than just another film reviewer with columns in various publications. He is also the director of the cult spoof movie - The Wicked Witch Project, the author of numerous screenplays, and a musician. His reviews are refreshing, immensely readable, and believable. No-one is going to suspect that Joe is in league with the Hollywood Studios; he is impatient with triviality, mawkishness, formulaic movies and poor acting, which means he is out of sympathy with much of Hollywood's output. Equally, he is the first to welcome quality and originality wherever it originates. Frankly, if you're planning to see a movie or rent a video, avoid disappointment, by finding out what Joe thinks of it first.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A passionate and entertaining critic 25 Oct. 2013
By Aussiescribbler - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Some years ago Joe Barlow had a movie review podcast called Cinemaslave of which I was a devoted fan. I didn't always agree with Joe's assessments of movies, but his opinions were always stimulating and his robust sense of humour always made for an entertaining listen. And he was a passionate appreciator of the older classic films as well as a champion of truly innovative independent cinema. But podcasts are a lot of work and sometimes other life commitments have to take priority, and so it is that there hasn't been an episode of Cinemaslave for a number of years now. I still keep my subscription open in I-Tunes, however. I haven't given up hope that it will one day return.

Given this state of Cinemaslave cold turkey I was glad to find that Joe's book of movie reviews which came out originally in 2000 and which I'd never read was available in ebook form.

At first I wondered about the fact that this is basically a collection of reviews of movies released in the years 1997-2000. A pretty limited time frame. There would be no retrospective reviews on the classics, and 2000 is a while ago now so these are no longer contemporary films. But reading it turned out to be an interesting experience. By including 100 reviews from such a limited time frame one becomes aware of just how many films slip under one's radar or from one's memory. This is less likely with one of those 1001 Movies You Must See books. Joe aroused my interest in quite a few movies I wasn't aware of and inspired my interest in others which are very familiar but which I just assumed wouldn't be any good, e.g. "The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle". Of course I'll have to wait until I've actually watched them to know whether I should thank him or blame him.

Of particular interest is Joe's notoriously controversial review of "Saving Private Ryan". Whatever you think of the film, the hoo-hah over Joe's negative opinion of it makes for a very entertaining tale.

The reviews and essays here are informative, impassioned, entertaining and often quite funny. Of course Joe is sometimes shockingly wrong-headed in his critical assessments. I'm not talking about "Saving Private Ryan". I agree with most of what he says about that. But at one point in the book he says that scenes in movies in which characters get hit in the balls are never funny. This is not true. Scenes in movies in which characters get hit in the balls are always funny.

Of course we all have our failings. Some of Joe's others include obsessions with Minnie Driver, "Star Wars" movies and "Mystery Science Theater 3000". On the plus side he doesn't once use the term mise en scene, and, when it comes to film critics, that counts for a lot.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A witty, insightful, and downright fun look at movies 11 April 2012
By Nicholas Strange - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
When reading Joe Barlow's 100 Nights in the Dark, a great collection of turn of the 21st century film reviews, I was transported back to a time period when I got to go see more movies. Each of the 100 reviews in this collection covers a film released in the final three years of the last millennium, and what is great about reading it now is looking back on some films that have really shaped the last decade of movies. It's hard to believe that The Blair Witch Project is over a decade old already, but its effect on current film trends is still rather large (Paranormal Activity and The Last Exorcism, I'm thinking of you). There's a great spread on The Matrix included, too, a film that influenced just about every action movie that came out after it. There's even ample space given to the romantic comedies of this era (including Never Been Kissed, Notting Hill, etc.), which, in retrospect, was a renaissance period for that particular genre.

Pretty much every genre and every level of film that played in this era is covered herein. From popcorn chompers (Armageddon) to Oscar contenders (Life is Beautiful) to raunchy humor (Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo), all are delved into with equal fervor, and no matter what the subject, Barlow gives each film a fair shot to succeed for him, judging each movie on its intended aim and how well it accomplishes it. What's refreshing about these reviews is they are not predictable. Joe doesn't like every movie he is supposed to like (see the review on Saving Private Ryan), and he doesn't trash every film he's supposed to either (read his thoughtful 4-star review for The Phantom Menace). All in all, Joe approaches movies like a seasoned pro with an encyclopedic knowledge of film in general, leaving his readers with a lot to think about on this era of film, and 100 Nights in the Dark is a great purchase to have hanging around your Kindle when you're looking for a suggestion for a film you might have missed in the era or if you want to get an in-depth opinion on films that you have seen already and loved or hated. No matter what level of film fan you are, I can assure you that his reviews will leave you with lots of new ways to see these movies.

For a witty, insightful, and downright fun look at movies, you can't do much better than Joe Barlow's 100 Nights in the Dark.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Follow the advice of a movie guru 30 Jun. 2012
By Richard Chamberlain - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are a million movie review books out there but this one is unique on several fronts. It's written in a fun to read style. It's not so much about the films themselves but the entertaining style in which it is written. Sure, you get the specifics of the films but it's not a technical read at all. It's a literary journal of one man's journey through a series of films, both good and bad. Another key fact, that closely connects to the first, is that Joe loves films. Not just the academy award winning films, not just those of one specific genre, he loves them all. He has no shame in giving a bad movie like "The Avengers" (the 1998 one with Sean Connery) 3 out of 4 stars. He goes against the grain and dislikes "Saving Private Ryan". It is for those very reasons that this book is a fun read. And if you're not careful, you may get a recommendation or two that will change your future theatrical choices. Highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so much a book... 25 Oct. 2011
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Not so much a book, as a bible of 100 films to see or avoid. Barlow's writing is inspired, varying from irreverent and satirical to poignant and pointed. Guaranteed to make you laugh and update your Netflix queue at the same time.
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