1. Anonymous CommentingI no longer allow anonymous commenting, meaning at the very least you have to use the open ID function to contribute. I have found in the past that more often than not, Anons tend to be more negative, mean-spirited, and more likely to troll and pick fights (see more on trolling below). If I'm wrong, it's my loss, but I feel justified in saying, if what you have to say is of such a high quality, why would you need to be anonymous?.
2. Types of CommentsYou can really comment about anything (unless it exceeds some of the standards I'll mention below). Obviously, commenting about the movie is great, but you can also use the comment box to alert me to another film the readers and I might enjoy, or just to say you dig or don't dig the blog in general.
That being said, you may have noticed that I tend to be a little persnickety when writing my reviews, especially when I dispatch various problems I see in the film. Be warned that if you try to espouse a bold opinion that I may disagree with, you're probably in for that same ire. I don't mean you any disrespect, it's just how we are here. If you're worried about me or another commenter jumping down your throat, you can always play it safe and just say "good review", "bad review" etc.
3. Things to Stay Away FromIt's easy to just say "only talk about movies here", when we all know movies cover all manner of life, and as such, they often touch on hot button topics that can lead us into heated discussions on race, politics, religion, etc. My goal is to keep these heated discussions limited to movies only, and leave the other stuff to FOX News and MSNBC.
PoliticsPolitics often comes up in DTV films, because people with political agendas have more trouble getting their projects greenlighted by the major studios. This is especially true about Conservatives that face road blocks in predominantly Liberal Hollywood. The key here is, if you're actively shilling for a candidate, political party, or political movement, we'll have a problem. I'm adamant about this, to the point that I've limited Chuck Norris' exposure on here because of his Birther stance. By all means, talk about the politics within a movie, and whether you think it was blatant, or even if you think I'm totally wrong in seeing politics in it-- just save the rest for your O'Reilly Factor chat rooms.
Race, Gender, and SexualityIt goes without saying that anything directly derogatory about any group of people based on their race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality, won't be tolerated, and so far we haven't had any problems. I can say, coming from the standpoint of a straight white male, I only know what people tell me as far as what offends them and what doesn't, because, try as I might, I can never fully understand what it means to be a minority in our society. That being said, here's a few pitfalls that don't seem so bad but actually are and you want to avoid:
1.There are myriad ways to say "stupid" in the English language, but Gay isn't one of them. I actually know some gay people that are very smart. If you're strapped for a word, try: dumb, ignorant, braindead, asinine-- but not retarded.
2. "Reverse Racism". There's nothing African Americans, Native Americans, etc.want to hear about more than how much the White Man is being held down by them. If you're considering saying "Reverse Racism", don't.
3. "They do their people a disservice". It may not be meant as a bad thing, but nothing sounds more like patronizing than suggesting how a group of people should act to make them more white, and though that comment might not have that intended meaning, that's the meaning it has. Just don't say it, and you'll be fine. Let "their people" determine who is or isn't doing them a disservice.
As always, just use common sense. With my anthropology degree, I've studied these issues more than most, and the one thing I can spot are warning signs that someone might say something really offensive, and it's often the people who really don't mean any ill will that are most susceptible, so if I'm cutting you off or telling you to drop a subject, it's more for your own good than it is because I'm mad at you.
ReligionNot to bring up my anth degree again, but one thing people often assume is that someone like me who has studied people sees religion as a farce or a scam. Nothing could be further from the truth. That being said, I do try to avoid DTV films that are overtly religious, unless they have a big name in them, because this isn't a religious blog either. The number one thing is everyone's beliefs should be respected, especially those who don't believe, because they don't have an organized apparatus like a church to defend them. I think it's good to bring up religious parallels in a film, and discuss them frankly-- for instance saying apocalypse ideas can be dangerous-- as long as no one is being openly mocked for his or her beliefs, I think we'll be fine.
I have no problem with people disagreeing with my take on any film, but if I feel like your sole aim is to pick a fight, I will probably not allow your comment through the moderation to maintain order. Signs of potential trolling include but are not limited to: mocking, insulting, personal attacks; mean-spirited sarcasm; or just an overall vibe from your comment that you're trying to diminish or put down myself or another commenter.
As I said above, 99 percent of commenters don't even need to look at this, so I'm probably preaching to the choir here. Let's have fun and discuss some bad and not so bad movies. Thank you for your support and taking the time to comment and add to the discussion. If you feel a comment has been unfairly blocked or deleted, responding in the same comment box will only get those comments blocked too. Try sending an e-mail if you really need an explanation. You can find a link to it on the left sidebar.