We were in Kalamazoo, Michigan last week and got the chance to catch up with Benjamin aka bjmarlatt0716. We caught up over a couple of Pepsi’s, talking about why The Empire Strikes Back is the best movie in the Star Wars franchise, The legends that are Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel and Richard Roeper, but most bizarrely we found out that Benjamin is actually INSANE! (according to one of his teachers from high school).
Hi Benjamin, it is awesome to get the opportunity to catch up with you, we have really enjoyed reading your reviews, especially your ‘Benjamin’s Stash’ and ‘What the Hell Were They Thinking?!’ review series. But we would like to know, what made you starting writing movie reviews?
Three people – Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel and Richard Roeper. I used to watch At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper religiously while in high school, and that led me to looking up archive videos of Siskel and Ebert (their back and forth when they disagreed was so entertaining). I learned a lot about film from those men. It’s a shame the show’s no longer running (I would’ve loved Siskel’s take on The Dark Knight, Zodiac, No Country for Old Men, etc.), but I still watch Roeper’s reviews each week.
They are definitely three legendary reviewers, and I think a lot of people look to these for inspiration.
When did you start writing movie reviews?
I started back in ’07 on my Myspace blog, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was the first post. I didn’t review as much as I do now back then, just only went to movies I wanted to see and then reviewed them. I did that for about 2 years, and didn’t really get the time to do anymore afterward. Then in 2013 I started a blogger page, which was small at first, but eventually I started posting 2-3 reviews a week. Then came Benjamin’s Stash, What the Hell Were They Thinking?!, the Facebook and Twitter pages, and that’s when I decided to take the next step and put money down for the whole domain and site works, so January 1 of this year was day 1 of silverscreenfanatic.com.
You have a great site set up, and you seem to be doing really well with it.
What is your favourite genre and why?
I don’t really have a favorite genre. I tend to be an all-around film buff. I love everything from The Godfather series, Star Wars saga, The Exorcist, Fargo, Hitchcock to Snow White, Cinderella, The Sound of Music and Pixar.
That’s certainly a wide selection of movies, you seem to have covered all genres.
What was the last movie you saw?
Last movie I saw in theaters was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Last movie I revisited was Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) for Benjamin’s Stash.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was great, I might even go as far as saying on of my favourite movies of the year so far.
What are your top five movies?
Pulp Fiction, The Empire Strikes Back, Jaws, The Wizard of Oz and The Godfather.
Awesome choice. The Empire Strikes Back is a favourite at Movie-Blogger.com, maybe the only thing that everyone will agree on!
What are your worst five movies?
If I had to countdown the best-worst movies that are a must-see, they’d be Manos: The Hands of Fate, Plan 9 from Outer Space (an obvious pick), Troll 2, Birdemic: Shock and Terror and The Room… “Yur turrrrrrring me apahhht, Leeeesa!!”
Good to see Troll 2 in there.
What do you do when your not watching movies?
Aside from work, I’m a musician, I love roller coasters, cheering my FL teams on while they rebuild and filmmaking (I have some shorts made years ago with friends that I’m making sure never see the light of day again). Right now I’m working on a low-budget horror comedy I’m looking at shooting next year.
Wow! You seem like you one very busy dude!
Describe yourself in three words
I’ll let one of my teachers from my senior year of high school answer that – creative, witty and insane.
One thing I will never do is …..
Walk out of a movie. Even if it sucks big time, I’ll suffer through it for the sake of the review.
That is dedication.
If someone had to star in a biography about your life who would it be?
My friends say I look just like Frodo, so I’m thinking the safe choice would be Elijah Wood.
Yes, I could see that happening.
Where can we STALK you? (Facebook, Twitter, blog, any other sites you write for?)
Thanks for catching up with us Benjamin. It has bee great speaking with you. We think you are a true fan of movies, and we also hope you get some help with your insanity!