All About Movie Guy 24/7 aka George “What the Hell Am I Doing in Scranton?” Rother.
One of the questions that I’m most frequently asked concerns my love of film, people want to know what’s so special about movies and how did I get so interested in them. I’m going to explain my fascination with movies, something that’s been a HUGE part of my life for over 30 years. In fact, it would be fair to say that I’ve had a relationship with movies since before I can remember. I was told that my first movie (at a theater) was The Valachi Papers, the 1972 crime drama starring Charles Bronson. Apparently, my father took me to see it one afternoon, probably to give my mother a couple hours of peace and quiet. Over the years, I did see several kids’ movies (Freaky Friday, The Bad News Bears, Candleshoe) in addition to popular hits like Star Wars, Grease and the 1976 King Kong. One of the first movies that I remember wanting to see in the worst way is Saturday Night Fever. While all the kids in my fourth grade class were going crazy for Star Wars, I tried everything in my power to convince my parents to take me to see it, but to no avail. I saw the PG rated version a couple of years later, but it didn’t really do anything for me, even at 11 years old, I hated watching censored versions of movies even if I didn’t have the words to explain it. I also remember wanting to see Kramer vs. Kramer, All That Jazz and Apocalypse Now around the end of ’79 while my sixth grade classmates were talking about The Black Hole and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I started keeping track of the movies that I saw in a theater at the beginning of ’81 when my father took me and my younger brother to see Stir Crazy on New Year’s Day. Finally, an R-rated comedy! I tried to convince him into taking me to see Raging Bull and First Family around that time, again to no avail. But I started going to the movies every weekend and thus began my special love affair with movies.
I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up, so I had a lot of time on my hands when school wasn’t in session. Consequently, I spent many weekend afternoons sitting in a dark theater watching movies and feeling completely at ease in that environment. It was the only place that I ever felt comfortable, I could sit in the dark and not feel obligated to engage in any social interaction. I absolutely hated school, I loathed sports and don’t even get me started on Sunday school and church. Over the years, when I was finally able to see all the movies that I wanted to see (the R-rated flicks!), I spent both Saturday and Sunday afternoons at local theaters. Now, throw in cable TV (March ’83) and a VCR (December ’84) and that took care of all my spare time. I was (and still am) very fond of cheesy B-movies and exploitation flicks from low budget studios like New World Pictures and Cannon Films. In fact, I like all kinds of movies. I can easily sit and watch a double feature consisting of Amadeus and The One-Armed Executioner. I’m not into hardcore porno flicks, except for some of the classics (Deep Throat, Debbie Does Dallas), these movies tend to be really boring and repetitive. I’m also picky about documentaries, the subject has to be something that I personally find interesting. I’m also not interested in most of the direct-to- home video/DVD titles. Having said that, I can safely say that if a title has played at a movie theater, chances are that I’ve seen it.
My tastes have changed over the years, I didn’t like The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Chariots of Fire when I was 14, but now I think these films are magnificent. Needless to say, I’m clearly not the average filmgoer. While I’m looking to be entertained, I’m also looking at other aspects of any given movie…..performances, cinematography, screen writing and directing. People have been telling me for years that I should be a movie critic, but I was reluctant to give it a real try. I did write film reviews for my college newspaper at West Chester University (April ’92-May ’95), but that was just an extracurricular activity. Without going into detail, my life changed in October ’10 and I found myself with a lot of spare time. My awesome, beautiful and supportive wife Dana and our good friend Mihai Burlacu set up a web page for me and I named it Movie Guy 24/7. I chose the tagline “Movies on the mind all the time.” because it reflects my state of mind. Yes, I’m always thinking about movies and I’m perfectly content. So why not try and make a career out of something that I love? It makes perfect sense. I hope that everybody enjoys the Movie Guy 24/7 website, I promise to try and provide accurate reviews of the films. I’ll try to incorporate a bit of myself in various reviews. For me, it’s not just the movie that defines the experience of seeing it in a theater. There’s also the audience and sometimes they’re more entertaining than the movie. Let me tell you a story about my parents going to see Dr. Zhivago, they were still dating at that point and the theater was pretty full. If you’ve seen this movie, then you know that it begins on a fairly somber and quiet note, the characters are attending a graveside funeral. The man sitting behind my parents was eating a huge bag of candy, the kind where each and every piece is wrapped in noisy cellophane paper. My father asked the guy to knock it off, but he kept right on making noise. My father turned around, grabbed the bag of candy, ran to the rear of the theater (with the offender in close pursuit) and threw it in the garbage. I don’t know what was said but both men returned to their seats and watched the movie. My mother didn’t find out what happened until they left the theater and in her words she was “absolutely mortified”. It’s stuff like this that makes seeing a movie a fun experience.
In addition to reviewing movies, I hope to also educate people on various aspects of film, I try to include both trivia facts and details about ideas associated with movies. I find these things very interesting and I hope to make them interesting for the reader as well. I should also mention that I’m a voting member of the Golden Raspberries Awards Association (Aka the Razzies), these are the anti-Oscars and they acknowledge the very worst movies of the year. In other words, I get an additional opportunity to tell various filmmakers that their movies suck! Anyway, that’s my story. I hope this gives you an idea of who I am and where I’m coming from. If you’d like to know anything else, there’s nothing wrong with asking me. Thank you for your interest, peace!
Mihai Burlacu hails from Romania and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA. Right now, he’s studying engineering at Drexel University. He’s skilled at many things like electronics, construction, appliance repair and computers. He set up Movie Guy 24/7 (a website devoted to film reviews by George Rother) in December 2010 and continues to maintain it.