DVD Talk Spotlight: An Interview With Jeffrey Robinson
Have you ever wondered about the reviewers behind the scenes of DVD Talk? "DVD Talk Spotlight: An Interview With..." is a new feature brought to you by the staff and will provide insight to a different reviewer with each installment. This first installment highlights reviewer Jeffrey Robinson, who has been with DVD Talk for five years. He has over five hundred reviews, which are primarily TV on DVD sets. He also reviews ad-hocly for Video Game Talk. You can find a listing of his past and upcoming reviews on his reviewer profile page.
Tell Us About Yourself
What is your background/day job?
I am technical consultant. My day-to-day work is fairly benign and consists of helping bridge the gap between technical and non-technical personnel. I work with project managers to define customer requirements and ensure the engineers understand what needs to be implemented to meet the customer's requirement. Essentially, I am a better looking version of Office Space's Tom Symkowski. Haha. Seriously, it is what I do.
What are your DVD interests?
I am an avid TV on DVD watcher. I watch way too many different shows from all genres. I like sci-fi, sitcoms, drama, crime, mystery, etc. I rarely watch feature films. Oddly enough, before reviewing at DVD Talk, my collection was mainly feature films. My collection size is over 1000. I do not know the exact number. I stopped counting a couple years back. I estimate that I own over 500 TV on DVD sets. Plus, there are the iTunes downloads...
Some favorite shows include The Wire, Band of Brothers, Homicide: Life on the Street, Stargate SG-1, Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, How I Met Your Mother, Monk and The West Wing. I will stop there.
What is your home theater like?
My home theater is pretty sparse. I have the misfortune of moving 1-3 times per year. As such, most of my stuff gets boxed and put into storage. My home theater currently consists of a no name brand 26" LCD TV, PS3, Xbox 360, and a 5.1 surround sound home theater in a box. I do most of my reviewing with this setup. However, when it calls for it, I have friends with much nicer setups that I use to gauge technical aspects.
Tell us something random, like your deepest, darkest secret or benign like your favorite color.
Hahaha. Interesting question. I think I'll pass on the secret thingy. Here's a story instead. In the late 90s, I bought my first DVD-ROM for my computer. The playback was choppy and awful. I bought Starship Troopers (or was it Kingpin?) as my first video. Soon after, I started buying more, deal hunted like crazy, and found DVD Talk along the way.
DVD Talk Reviewing
How did you become a DVD Talk reviewer?
Over five years ago I submitted the former editor G. Kleinman an application. After a couple months, I got an email that I'd be given a trial run. I don't know if my trial period is over yet, but I'm still on staff. ;)
Do you review for any other sites?
No, I only review DVDs for DVD Talk. However, I review a video game every now and again for Video Game Talk, which is also owned by IB.
Do you have a specialty (of sorts) when it comes to reviewing?
I am not sure how it happened, but I pretty much only review TV on DVD sets for DVD Talk. Occasionally, I get a feature film. But it fits my personal interests; so, it works out for the best!
What was your first review?
My first review was Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - The First Year. I don't have much more to say about it, but it was my first stab at a review. I think I did pretty good, all considered.
What is your favorite review(s)?
Oddly enough, nothing just jumps out, but I am proud of my review of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - Four-Disc Extended Edition. This review has a somewhat interesting back story (depending on your interests, of course). When I found out that I was getting to review it, I went out to pick up a copy of the original release. Talk about a pain! I was living in a small town at the time and couldn't find it. It was in December and there was snow all over the place. I went to a Walmart, three video stores, a Safeway, and no luck. I even tried the small local library. The best I could find was a full frame version (ack!). Fortunately, I was able to get a copy from Netflix in time. I was then able to watch both versions side by side to identify the new content. I took a lot of effort, which is partly why I mentioned this review.
What is your least favorite review(s)?
The Legend of Guan Gong. Thinking about it makes me cringe. I don't know what I was thinking when I requested it. Well, that's not exactly true. I had finished reviewing a fantastic four volume series (approximately eight-one hours) entitled Jumong. Jumong is a romanticized production about ancient Korea's fight for independence from Chinese oppression during the Han Dynasty. A historical (yet mythical) figure named Jumong led the revolution. I had a great time with this drama. The Legend of Guan Gong is a similar drama about historical leader Guan Gong. After the fall of the Han Dynasty, Guan Gong and his buddies quested to restore peace and battled corruption within China. While there is a lot of potential, The Legend of Guan Gong's presentation and execution was so lackluster that it was just painful and dull. The Immortal: The Complete Series was also pretty bad.
Do you have a review that you wish more people would read?
Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda: The Slipstream Collection! I don't ever want to spend as much time as I did with this massive DVD set. There was a lot of material to go through with five seasons (one-hundred and twenty episodes), extras (on all fifty DVDs), and writing the review. I literally spent days working on it. I remember I took a few days off so that I could focus on writing up the material and rented the DVDs before receiving the review product to get a head start. Anyways, people have been reading it. There are almost five thousands views in two years -- which is pretty good. And I heard about one person who printed it out to use as reference material. That's nice. In fairness, several people have made positive comments. In general, I hope people appreciate the reviews of multi-season, complete series sets we do at DVD Talk.
What is something new (DVD related) you found while reviewing?
Four years ago, I was one of three DVD Talk reviewers that received a DVD set from YA Entertainment for review. YA Entertainment distributes Korean television dramas (K-dramas) in the United States. I reviewed All About Eve and fell in love with K-dramas. They are pretty much Korean versions of American soap operas, but better. For the most part, I have enjoyed every K-drama that I have reviewed. But recently, I had a dud. I guess they can't all be good. Either way, I am glad I found them. I have even gotten our Senior Editor into them.
Do you have any reflections about your experiences with DVD Talk?
I have enjoyed my time as a reviewer. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that it has already been five years. It seems like just yesterday...
I want to see The Single Guy and Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place on DVD!