It's a great pleasure to announce the publication of DVD SAVANT: A
Review Resource Book, as it shows how far the Savant column has come in roughly six years. I've
written for two separate MGM websites, Steve Tannehill's old DVD Resource Column, the Turner Classic
Movies website, and my present home of four years, Geoffrey Kleinman's DVD Talk.
This collection was initiated by JT Lindroos, Senior Editor of Point Blank and a longtime reader
of the Savant column. He claims the reason for publishing the book was that he wanted one for
himself to browse after turning off the computer.
Movie reviewing styles fall somewhere between consumer advocacy and art criticism. It makes
me nervous when readers tell me that my reviews influence DVD purchases, as my opinion is just an
opinion. It always reminds me of Dirty Harry's resentful remark that "everybody has one."
The buyer obviously still has to beware; I've just been told that the beautiful disc
of Bite The Bullet that I reviewed in its Panavision splendor, may now only be available as a
Pan-Scan disc. And Savant has to be careful when extolling the virtues of marginal movies - the
satirical Japanese movie Giants and Toys knocked Savant for a loop, but it may not be the
perfect choice for a majority of viewers.
So the right thing to do is to just be honest. I do receive mail from readers pleased with
how similar my tastes are to theirs, but if a reviewer starts pretending he likes a particular
movie because he's supposed to, it's all over. Savant started by only reviewing movies he enjoyed
and has carefully
branched out to write about movies he dislikes as well - but always ones that are
fascinating anyway. The best way to use a reviewer as a consumer tool is to get a feel for where
he's coming from. Only then will you know how seriously to take his recommendations pro and con.
Fortunately, the world of movies still amazes me. I've learned enough about the Hollywood product
to say something useful about most anything from gaudy MGM musicals to Ed Wood fleabite epics. Thanks to
DVD we're seeing more foreign product than ever, in many cases better presented than in their
original theatrical runs, if they were lucky to get one. What I've tried to amass here are
review-essays for viewers looking for something special. I've come up with 130 titles that I couldn't
wait to write about, from Children of Paradise to the genre wilds of fare such as
Our Man Flint and Curse of the Demon. The best thing about DVD Savant is knowing that
my enthusiasm has paid off with people discovering romantic marvels such as I Know Where I'm
Going! and unfairly dissed shows like Joe versus the Volcano.
DVD Savant has earned a good name in DVD reviewing and hopes to continue doing so, but there's
no substitute for words on paper. Here's hoping for the best. Thanks! Glenn Erickson
A Review Resource Book
is in print and can be ordered