My name is Mark Dujsik. I live in Chicago and have been writing about film since 2001, which makes me one of the old-timers in online film criticism.
I've been doing it to one degree or another for about half of my life. I'm a member of the Online Film Critics Society and the Chicago Film Critics Association. I've been going to movies as far back as I can remember. I've read reviews of movies since I was about 12, and I have consistently gone to see at least one movie a week since then also, in addition to countless trips to the video store.
I started earlier in 2001 writing for The Movie Reviewing Teens, and I wrote more reviews than John (the webmaster) could handle. TMRT unfortunately came to an end in the summer of 2003, and it will be missed. My reviews also appeared at The Movie Insider, and I was the co-film critic at UR Chicago magazine. I occasionally contribute to The Sci-Fi Movie Page.
My biggest influence in writing is not a fellow critic but Mr. Michael Raftery, my junior and second semester senior year high school English teacher. He taught me one of the simplest and important things anyone can learn: Think for yourself. I have to thank my mom, who taught me to read and write well before I should have and took me to my first movies. I must also take some space here to thank my movie-going buddies throughout the years: Mark U., Jason Q., Becky S., and my dear, departed dad, whom I miss every day.
Virgo. I've heard they're very analytical, but I don't see that in myself in the slightest.
Doo-sick. Emphasis on the first syllable. They got it wrong at my high school graduation, so after that, I really don't care if people butcher it anymore.
Read the review. But on the other hand, feel free to contact me. I love to talk about movies, and I'll most likely respond to your e-mail as soon as I see it. Of course, I prefer constructive criticism and intelligent discussion as opposed to "Man, you don't have a clue."
The eternal question. Another good question is: Why do you use ratings in the first place? I grew up with star ratings in criticism and specifically the four-star system. As I've started writing my own reviews, I've come to dub it the Irrelevant Rating in Stars (IRIS). The IRIS is not the be-all and end-all of an opinion on any given film, but it serves as a snapshot of my opinion. I hope if you're on a page with one of my reviews, you'll go further than the IRIS, but it's there partially for the fact that not everyone wants to read a full review. As for what each IRIS means for me, here's the breakdown:
4 Stars - Great; highest recommendation
3 ˝ Stars - Very good; highly recommended
3 Stars - Good; recommended
2 ˝ Stars - OK; neither recommended nor not recommended (2 ˝ and below are considered Rotten by my Rotten Tomatoes standards)
2 Stars - Mediocre; ratings of 2 and below are not recommended
1 ˝ Stars - Poor
1 Star - Awful
˝ Star - Terrible; as low as a movie can get without offending
Zero Stars - Atrocious, horrible; something here has probably offended me
Probably, but I couldn't imagine not writing about film.
Yes. I'm always looking for opportunities to expand beyond this website.
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This is one of the most popular misperceptions of film critics out there, and I can admit that I wanted to become a director. When I was 10. Right before I wanted to be an astronaut. I have no interest in making movies; I love them too much.
Of course. Just e-mail me a link, and I'll be more than happy to take a look. Of course, there are probably a lot more people who would be more helpful, but I'll take it as a compliment.
At this time (and for the foreseeable future), my site is reserved exclusively for my reviews, if only for the fact that maintaining even a small staff would be more time consuming than my time allows. I can offer a few suggestions: 1.) Start your own site. Using a free site provider like Tripod (can I have some free stuff now?) is easy. 2.) Search the web for some online film magazines. Most of these are rather exclusive, but there are many out there. 3.) Try Epinions.com. They've got a nice little community there that will offer feedback—very nice if you're just starting out or simply unsure of yourself. My knowledge beyond this is rather limited, but if you have any general questions, feel free to e-mail me.
I like to think that the writing should be the focus. I'll admit it's an extreme case of text-heavy site design, but I am busy with other things than the site (like watching movies and writing).
Well, of course. If you are a fan of the site and do web design work, feel free to contact me.
That would be me. Joel Herron, a friend from my days at UW-Whitewater, took care of the menu and the banners.
Just send me an e-mail, and I'll get back to you as quickly as possible.