When you are researching something, at least three more ideas of what to look for next will often pop into your head.
This can send you looking for fascinating information and trivia for hours and hours. Before the advent of the Internet I would pore over tons of books and magazines, and since the ‘Net, the playing field’s obviously gotten so much wider for looking up details, credits and trivia on all your favorite flicks.
The big book for me when I was a kid was Leonard Maltin’s TV Movies, the title of which was created back before VCR and cable when you had to wait for your favorite films on television, and I also loved the B movie bibles The Psychotronic Encyclopedia and The Golden Turkey Awards.
The fun for me with Maltin was looking to see what he thought of certain films, four stars was the top rating, BOMB was the lowest. (And being a big fan of bad movies, I checked out a lot of movies that got the BOMB rating. Many of them became guilty pleasures, and many of them absolutely lived up to their rating and then some).
Not to mention, it’s always great to randomly go to any page and stumble upon a movie you’ve never heard of, then search it out. There was a point I was afraid I’d see every movie I’d ever wanted to see, and like Alexander the Great, be heartbroken because there’s nothing left to conquer, but thankfully there will always be tons of movies in every genre to discover, even if we live to be 300.
According to a profile in Boxoffice Magazine, Leonard Maltin launched the first edition of TV Movies when he was 19, and it’s sold over eight million copies. Maltin said, “Watching movies used to be a passive act because you were at the mercy of the local theater, the local TV station, the local revival theater. Now, everybody has the option of making active choices. That’s a huge, huge shift.”
Although a lot has changed since the first Maltin book in 1969, especially with how we watch movies, people do still listen to critic’s advice when they want to make a choice. ”I’ve been very lucky that with the permutations of movie-watching, the basic function of the book hasn’t altered,” Maltin concludes.