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My name is Jason Harney and I began writing about movies officially in January, 2010 when I made the committment to blog about and review every major release each weekend.  The original site, “Jason Harney’s Movie Blog” was the home to over 500 film reviews, ten best lists, and special articles written over the next seven years.  “Lightning Film Review” is the culmination of that work and is now my new home for film review.  

     When I look back to what inspired me to write about movies, I’m immediately transported to my childhood in the late seventies and early eighties when I was greatly influenced by such classics as “Star Wars”, “Alien”, “Blade Runner”, and “Halloween”.  Those films, plus many more, shaped how I would look at and compare films for years, but as one gets older, you can’t help but broaden your horizons and appreciate films encompassing all subjects and genres.  I also have fond memories of watching “Sneak Previews” on PBS, the show that would make Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel famous as the first mainstream film critics.  Looking back on their careers and the important contributions each made to film criticism, I feel it is crucial to continue with the traditions and examples they set by not only writing about films objectively, but also remaining a student of film history and lore.  It is critical we always realize the classics of yesterday are just as important as this year’s blockbuster or Academy Award winning film.

     I employ a simple grading system for each film in which a letter grade is given rating the film on its overall quality and standing both against the films of that particular year, as well as film history.  An “A” grade means the film is exceptional and of the highest quality, particularly in screenwriting and dialogue, acting, production design, direction, and, perhaps most importantly, originality.  In many cases, I find myself weighing the film’s overall importance to our culture and the message it seeks to send to an audience.  I’ve always been thoroughly impressed when a film succeeds in recreating important and meaningful events in our history, while being daring enough to show a connection to the society we live in today.  Regardless of genre, these are the types of films I normally hold in the highest regard.

     The remainder of the grading system is self explanatory.  A “B” grade is above average. A “C” grade is average”.  A “D” grade is below average.  And an “F” grade indicates the film failed to show any notable qualities when considering the criteria above.  In reality, the grades I, and others who write about movies, give are not what the focus is intended to be.  Because movies inspire all of us, they continue to be the subject of sometimes intense debate and meaningful conversation.  And that’s why I love writing about them, since my thoughts on paper translate directly to the next conversation I have with someone about the latest film or even a half century old classic.  Everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion, and that’s what makes these discussions so satisfying, as people’s endless views and perceptions about any given film are really what keeps the film industry thriving in this social media age.

     In closing, I’d like to say welcome and thank you for reading “Lightning Film Review”.  I look forward to discussing the latest movies with all of you in the future.

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 Jason Harney

 Editor, Chief of Film Review

 Lightning Film Review