Dear Lobby readers,
In five years, I’ve never once started a post with a proper salutation. But today, on the fifth anniversary of the launch of Meet In the Lobby, I’d like to think of this as a ‘thank you’ note. We’re still here thanks to you, our faithful, modestly sized audience.
I generally hate when writers and sites spend time talking about themselves, in our increasingly self-absorbed and self-congratulatory world. So, at the risk of despising myself, I’d like to pull the curtain back a bit for those of you who enjoy our site.
Let’s start with some fun. Over our five years, here are some of our most popular posts:
:: “Spoiler for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening: Do You Care“
After a leak emerged from the set of The Happening, we posed the obvious question: Do you still care enough about M. Night Shyamalan as a filmmaker to even be tempted. Based on the response we got, I suppose the answer was a clear ‘yes’. (By the way, we provided a link to the spoiler, but did not post it. You make your choices, I guess.)
:: “Debate: No Country for Old Men“
This was the post that put Meet In the Lobby on the map. Following a Fall 2007 screening of the Coen Brothers’ masterpiece, we mentioned the crowd’s vocal displeasure with the film’s ending (though I absolutely love it). The debate that followed on Meet In the Lobby far exceeded what I had witnessed in the theater. David Carr linked to us in his New York Times blog, and Miramax included us as part of their Oscar campaign for the film. A stunning start for us, to say the least!
:: “The Need for Fake Entourage Movie Posters“
As movie poster and lobby photo aficionados, and fans of the TV junk food series Entourage, we kept a close eye on the fictional movie posters that popped up in the series as part of fictional movie star Vincent Chase’s little world. We would have loved to see them printed professionally and made available, and we certainly weren’t alone. In fact, a few of our readers created their own, to share (um, and sell) to the audience. We wonder if Doug Ellin and the folks at HBO were watching.
:: “Movie Poster Monday: Scorcher VI, The Fatties 2, Satan’s Alley“
Never heard of those movies? Sure you have. They’re the fake features used in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder. You saw the trailers as part of the film, so we hunted down the movie posters. They’re out there… We didn’t get any comments on this one, but we had a lot of readers and feedback.
:: “Why We’re Featuring the Hunger Games Movie Posters“
Against expectation, I was a big fan of the first two Hunger Games books, and enjoyed sharing the solo character movie photos that Lionsgate released in anticipation of one of 2012’s biggest movies. If you’re wondering, I’m saving Mockingjay so I have some suspense to look forward to. (And I found the screen adaptation of The Hunger Games generally fine, but disappointing.)
And here are our most-read film reviews:
:: Toy Story 3
:: (500) Days of Summer
(For the record, there’s some real teamwork on that list. I have written only one of those five; Scott and Allison have contributed the rest.)
Speaking of teamwork, here’s our dirty secret after five years: Meet In the Lobby is pretty much a one-person show. My wife and I thought we should give the movie blog world a shot (I had been a film reviewer eight years at that time). We reserved the URL from a hotel lobby desktop while awaiting my little cousin’s bar mitzvah. He’s heading off to college in the fall…
We do have invaluable contributions from Scott David with his ingenious Quirky Queue reviews, Allison and her tenacious film festival coverage, and Matt Clough providing a POV from across the pond. I am terribly grateful for their movie love, writing skills and volunteering spirit, but they’re it folks. No daily staff and, sometimes, no daily blog posts.
As such, our readership is dwarfed by some incredibly prolific movie sites that work quickly and often, and with great quality. My personal favorites are Pajiba, Film School Rejects and Scene Stealers. You’d do well to frequent all three.
And you can save your time avoiding self-proclaimed film reviewers that simply aren’t. Somewhere out there, the difference between voicing an opinion and creating a competent, informative, entertaining review has been lost. Too much online writing has devolved into the Church of the Hyperbole, where “amazing”, “breathtaking” and “jaw-dropping” are uttered repeatedly from the pulpit. A little moderation folks, please. Unless, of course, your goal is to be re-published in studio marketing material. In that case, you’re being unfair and dishonest with your readers to satisfy your ego.
Whew. If you’ve come this far, I thank you. If you’re coming with us for future years of MITL, I thank you again. Don’t be a stranger.