Welcome to the first blog spot of the new year. Having cranked out three reviews in quick succession (which you can read here, here and here), I'm taking a break to publicise the work of other people. This month we're heading over to YouTube and getting ourselves Stuckmannised, courtesy of Chris Stuckmann and his video reviews.
I first came across Chris through a video response he gave to an award ceremony, in which Robert Downey Jr. accepted an award from Mel Gibson and then used his speech to urge Hollywood to forgive his friend. The video in question is no longer on YouTube, but you can watch the original speech here if you're curious. I subsequently checked out his video 'Why I Love Movies', and that sealed me as a fan and admirer of his work. As someone who often struggles to explain my passions for films outside of my actual reviews, Stuckmann's piece came across as both timely and eloquent.
One of the things that has always impressed me about Stuckmann is how well-spoken he is. YouTube critics are often stereotyped as shouty, narcissistic and irrational, while Stuckmann conducts his reviews in a calm, considered and frequently insightful manner. He gets through a ton-load of new releases every year (unlike Muggins here) and manages to balance having a familiar format with always something new to say. He's not above being a little histrionic when a film particularly annoys him, but he's always careful to temper it (no pun intended) with a fitting point, such as his recent review of The Legend of Hercules.
Stuckmann's set-up is pretty standard for internet reviewing: it's a lock-off shot of him in front of his DVD collection, with very simple editing and minimal clips. But that's by no means a criticism: it does allow him to produce frequent work to a reasonably high standard without having to worry about green screen or other effects which could clutter up the presentation. Crucially, it never feels like he is promoting himself in place of the film he is reviewing at the time; the content is always centre stage, and that's the way it should be. For all aspiring video reviewers, he's a pretty good bar to match when you're starting out.
You can watch Chris Stuckmann's reviews on YouTube or via his website ChrisStuckmann.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @chrisstuckmann or like his Facebook page here. If you're looking for a good place to start with his reviews, follow any of the links above or check out his recent thoughts on Spike Jonze's latest film Her. Join me next month for another Blog Spot - and in the meantime, get Stuckmannised!