What is Lucky Boy Reviews and what does it provide?
@luckyboyreviews is a movie review and travel page. I travel the country and visit historic movie theaters as well as iconic film locations and document my trips and provide history of the theaters. I also do currently weekly movie reviews, create watch lists and write think pieces on the film industry.
When was it established?
Lucky Boy Reviews was established in 2017.
Who is involved?
I am the sole operator of Lucky Boy Reviews.
Tell me a little about your background
I have loved movies since I was a little boy and that love has guided my whole life. I went to film school in Las Vegas at UNLV. Out of college I got a job in Hollywood at a boutique production company but was laid off when the economy bottomed out. I then worked random jobs on films and commercials but got tired of working on everyone else’s passion projects and decided to build something I could use as my own creative outlet. That is where Lucky Boy Reviews came from.
When did you discover your passion for film?
I was really young. Maybe 5 years old. My father was a private investigator and would spend hours in his car watching people. Most people are pretty boring and never leave their house. So he would watch movies in his car waiting from them to do something. So we had a library of films at our home and my parents never really restricted what I watched. I watched films like Stand By Me, Die Hard and Blood Sport at a really young age and just became addicted to the movies. I watched everything. My family bonded through movies. I would watch movies like Pretty Woman and Beaches with my mom. Cool Hand Luke with my dad. Jean Claude Van Damme movies with my brother and movies like My Girl and Now and Then with my sisters. I loved all movies. The way others in my family were attracted to certain genres, I was attracted to all of them. It was how I bonded with each of them and I grew an affinity for every type of film. My own personal favorites became horror films. Those were the only films I watched on my own or with friends.
What is your method for writing a new review?
Every single time I go to the movies, I hope I see a great film. I go in with love for the movie and always try to find something great in it. Every film, even the terrible ones have something unique about it. It could be the music, a visual, a character, an idea, a plot twist. For every element of film to come together in a brilliant way is an extremely hard thing to do. We only get maybe 5 or 6 great films a year and maybe 1 that stands the test of time. But I learn something from every film I see and that is what I want to share with my audience. What was the special aspect of the film I just saw. Even the bad ones teach me why the good ones are so good. I always give my honest opinion and just write about what I would want to know. I have tried to read so many critics reviews and just find them so boring. I could hardly read an entire review. So, I wanted my reviews to be more relatable. I want my reviews to be more cinematic. I want them to tell a story. The story of my experience with the movie.
Do you have a schedule? If so, what is it?
I try to do a post on Instagram every day. Sometimes that is hard, but I try. I wake up every morning and read movie news. If there is something interesting, I will post about that. It could be the release of a trailer, a poster, a director signing on to a project… whatever. Every Thursday I make sure to see the new release for the weekend and post about it that night so that whoever is going to the movies that weekend will have an idea if they want to see the movie or not. I watch at least one movie every day and will try and write about that, sometimes I just don’t have anything to original or new to say and just won’t post anything about it. If I do, then I will post. I don’t post just to fill people’s feeds. I try to make every post have a purpose.
Is there a genre you love more than others? Why so?
Honestly, I love every genre of film but I do tend to love scary movies the most and I don’t really know why. I think it’s about atmosphere. I love the haunted house or ghost story genre. The idea of a rainy or foggy night, a large fire in the fireplace in a huge old mansion with stories in its walls, ghosts in its halls. I just love stories and haunted houses are filled with stories where characters have to discover the story of why there are ghosts in the house. It’s always a mystery with mood and atmosphere. You never know what will be uncovered. I tend to love those movies.
Is there a genre you least enjoy? Why so?
My least favorite genre is musical. But there are always exceptions to every rule. There are 5 or 6 musicals I really enjoy but I have also found that the times I have suffered the most at the theater were always in a musical. I walked out of Chicago when I first saw in it in theaters and then it went on to win best picture that year and that is when I realized every movie has an audience and I am not always it.
What is the most difficult part of running LBR?
The most difficult is never being able to shut off my mind. I always feel like I could or should be doing more. It is hard to balance a relationship, friendships, a job that pays my bills, family and the movies. The older I get I realize you have to find balance in life and that is hard to figure out. If one thing is getting all my attention something else in my life is losing it or suffering. It is hard. I want to devote all my time and energy into growing Lucky Boy Reviews but that just isn’t possible, I have other aspects of my life that just need care and by not always giving it 100%, I am always concerned that it will fail so I just do what I can and I just keep going hoping my dream will pay off. I just do my best and hope everything works out.
Do you have any upcoming plans for the brand?
I have a lot going on right now. I have so many projects it’s hard to keep up with them all. I just have so many ideas but I need to remind myself to focus and just take things one step at a time.
Is this a passion project or are you planning on turning it into your main business?
The plan is absolutely to turn this into my main business. My first real goal is to be able to pay my bills doing this and be able to focus more of my energy into running it and then take it even further. It’s all a progression and every step needs its due process.
Are there any particular critics/pages that inspire you the most? Why?
I take inspiration from everywhere. I follow quite a few accounts on Instagram and I just love reading what others write. I like learning their individual styles, seeing where their interests lie. Movie appreciation is all opinion based and I enjoy everyone’s opinions. I never think mine is correct, Its just mine and maybe some people can relate. My opinion is just rooted in my knowledge and background and every reviewer or fan comes from their own background which flavors their taste and I learn from everyone.
What are some of your favourite films?
My top 10 favorite films are Vanilla Sky, Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, The Shawshank Redemption, Meet Joe Black, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Amelie, Home Alone, Stand By Me and Cool Hand Luke. All for personal reasons that I am more than happy to share and have written about on my website Luckyboyreviews.com
Which up-and-coming directors do you see the most potential in?
I pay attention to a lot of them but this year I will now pay really close attention to Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz who directed The Peanute Butter Falcon. Bart Layton who directed the documentaries The Imposter (2012) and American Animals (2018) and Matt Ross who plays Gavin Belson on the HBO show Silicon Valley, directed Captain Fantastic back in 2016 and he is currently working on a new project I am excited to see how it turns out.
Which actors do you consider to be the best of the best?
My favorite actor of all time is Brad Pitt. I love following his career. He is always up to some cool stuff. As far as the best of the best I am sure it’s the same as everyone else: Daniel Day-Lewis, Meryl Streep, Joaquin Phoenix, Christian Bale, DiCaprio. There is a reason these people are so well respected and keep getting nominated for awards. They are just simply the best and their work just goes to show that.
Is there a review you are most proud of?
You know I don’t know. My review for The Shawshank Redemption I really love just because I was able to put down my thoughts on a film I love and I just had so much to say. I really enjoy writing reviews for great movies because the words just flow out of me. That is what great art does. It makes me feel something and then I get to express it through writing. I really loved writing a review for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as well. That movie was just incredible. I have seen it four times in theaters now. The most I have ever seen a film in the theater.
Do you remember your first review? What was it?
Yeah, the first review I ever wrote wasn’t even that long ago, it was for Straight Outta Compton. Someone at a school paper asked me to write about it and I did. It was a while before I wrote another one but now I can stop writing them.
Any advice for aspiring critics?
Find your voice. Write a lot and write from the heart. It doesn’t always have to be from the head. There are plenty of critics writing out there from their heads but the ones writing from their heart I find the most interesting and connect to the most. We need more of those. Ask yourselves the hard questions about the movies you love. Why do you love them? Where does that come from? Writing is therapy and release. Think of it as art. People will connect with that, I know I do and I can’t be the only one. Somewhere in those hard questions, you will find your own voice and once you are honest with that, then you will find a real audience. It just takes time but anything great in life always does