I started writing movie reviews several years ago on a couple of local New York City BBSs (computer bulletin boards) because the other callers didn't seem inclined to go see the movies I liked just on my say-so. The reviews didn't get the other callers to the theaters either, but they did provoke some interesting discussions.

This is an all-text web page, no pictures and no Java. It should be readable with any browser, but it will look a lot better in a browser which fully supports Cascading Style Sheets. See the note on Browsers below.

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When I started writing movie reviews, I was encouraged by three sysops, Walter Tsin (sysop of AMI BBS), Mark Reichenbach (The Evil Prince, sysop of Suzy's Creamcheeze BBS) and Joe Negron (sysop of Programmer's Mark BBS). The growth of the internet has reduced the local BBS scene to only a tiny reflection of what it once was, but I was fortunate enough to be a part of it when it was really thriving.

When I first met Ben Hoffman, he was the host of the Movie Conference on AMI BBS, and soon he was the world's first accredited on-line movie critic. When he left the local BBS scene for the internet, I attempted to replace him as Movie Conference Host on AMI BBS and the A.Net (which consists of AMI and Double Helix BBS). This was when I started writing movie reviews, and most of the Video Recommendations were originally written when I was attempting to fill Ben's shoes.

I also want to thank Leela, Roxie and the Perfessor, who were kind enough to read the first draft of my novel and offer many useful comments. And in this connection I have to offer special thanks to Joe Negron again, who went over the draft with a fine tooth comb (finding many snags indeed).

Thanks also to Floor van Herreweghe, who, in addition to her musical talents was kind enough to offer quite a bit of helpful advice when I decided to add some CGI programming to this site.

And, most recently, much thanks to Bethany Rusen, who has advised me on the content, structure and appearance of this site, and who has given me invaluable advice about my other writing as well.

And, above all, I have to thank Astoria, my most enthusiastic and encouraging reader.

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Technical Information


This web page is formatted using Level 1 Cascading Style Sheets. Internet Explorer started supporting style sheets with version 3 and Netscape began with version 4, but both "4.0 browsers" were still short of the Level 1 standard recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium. However, with some experimentation and fiddling, I've got things to the point there this site should look just about the same in version 4 or later of either of the major browsers. I test the site regularly in versions 4 and 5 of Internet Explorer, and 4 and 4.7 of Netscape Navigator for Windows, and version 4.7 of Netscape and version 5 of IE for Mac OS, plus version 4.0 of Opera for Windows (

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Parts of this web page are formatted in a font called Verdana. If you don't have the font, you can download it from or

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HyperText Markup Language tools

In the beginning, when I started this website, I used Luckman's WebEdit Pro 3.1 and Allaire's HomeSite 4.0 (, both excellent shareware HTML editors, though most of the text was originally created in QEdit (, the world's greatest text editor.

However, as I became proficient with HTML, I stopped using both HomeSite and WebEdit. I just use a text editor, either QEdit or (if a Windows editor is more efficient) NotesPad, a terrific freeware Notepad replacement from Bremer Corporation, or BBEdit Lite (when I'm using a Mac).

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Reference Books

I have learned from many sources in putting this page together, but these books have been absolutely essential:

  1. HTML Reference
    1. Dave Raggett, Jenny Lam, Ian Alexander, Michael Kmiec, Raggett on HTML 4 (Essex, England: Addison-Wesley, 1998, 2nd ed.)
    2. Håkon Wium Lie, Bert Bos, Cascading Style Sheets - Designing for the Web (Essex, England: Addison Wesley Longman, 1997)
    3. Jennifer Niederst, Web Design in a Nutshell (California, USA: O'Reilly & Associates, 1999)
    4. Elizabeth Castro, Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web (California, USA: Peachpit Press, 1999)

  2. Orson Welles Reference:
    1. Barbara Leaming, Orson Welles: A Biography (New York, USA: Viking Penguin, Inc., 1995)
    2. Orson Welles & Peter Bogdanovich, This is Orson Welles (New York, USA: Da Capo Press, 1998)

  3. General Movie Reference:
    1. Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin's 1999 Movie & Video Guide (New York, USA: Plume/Penguin Putnam, Inc., 1998)

Of the HTML books, the first two are the best places to start learning about HTML 4 and CSS1 style sheets, respectively. In both cases the authors were directly involved with creating the standards described, so you're getting the information from the most definitive source. The third book ("Web Design in a Nutshell") is the best overall reference for the current state of HTML, and I refer to it all the time. Recently, I've started to add some CGI programming to the site, and the Elizabeth Castro book has been essential. I carry it with me everywhere I go, and I recently sent her a fan email, the first I've ever sent to the writer of a computer book (or, actually, any kind of book).

The other books are where I check my information when writing movie reviews, though I often utilize the Internet Movie Database ( as well. If my reviews are factually accurate, they deserve the credit. If there are any mistakes, I'm sure they're mine.

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Please let me know what you think of this site, and how it looks in your particular browser (please let me know the version number of the program you're using). You can e-mail me at

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