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Paul Clinton

About movie reviewer Paul Clinton

For more than 20 years I have been going to, and studying about, films. I have gained invaluable insight into the world of making movies from talking to hundreds of filmmakers, including Peter Bogdonovich, Robert Evans, Rob Reiner, Steven Spielberg, Blake Edwards, Linda Obst, Gale Ann Hurd, Penny Marshall, Robert Redford, Francis Ford Coppola and Ron Howard. Through my years as a journalist for NBC, CBS and CNN I have been lucky enough to have visited dozens of film sets and talked with many of the top actors and actresses from the past and present.

My interviews with people such as Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Lemmon, Barbra Streisand, Mel Brooks, Jimmy Stewart, Bette Davis, James Caan, Robin Williams, Christian Slater, Lucille Ball, Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone, Julia Roberts, Sir Ian McKellen, Lynn Redgrave, Tom Cruise, Carrie Fisher, Whoopi Goldberg, Lauren Bacall, and Bruce Willis (just to name a few) have enlightened me about the art of acting and the history of Hollywood.

I've written, produced and reported stories about most aspects of filmmaking and along the way have talked to producers, screenwriters, studio executives, casting agents, grips and gaffers, foley artists, best boys, teamsters, directors of photography, sound men and women, and location scouts.

My major at Ohio State University was broadcast journalism, but film has always been a passion. I attended graduate classes at NYU in filmmaking and spent months roaming around Manhattan clutching a 16mm Arriflex camera in my sweaty hands, loading huge lighting kits into, and out of, checker cabs (that dates me) and spending all-nighters hunched over a movieola editing and re-editing, thinking how Martin Scorsese may have sat in the same chair in this same drafty room at NYU.

After moving to Los Angeles, I continued to take extension courses in screenwriting, criticism, and producing at both USC and UCLA.

No one in the history of film has knowingly and with forethought made a bad movie. Everyone involved in a movie is hoping that what they make will be entertaining. Unfortunately bad films, very bad films, are made all the time. There is a big difference between "Meet Joe Black" and "Meet John Doe." My job is to simply separate the wheat from the chaff (as we say back in Ohio), and help you -- the audience -- make informed decisions about where to spend your movie dollar.

I feel that as a film reviewer, I am a barometer. After reading my opinions on CNN Interactive or from seeing Paul's Pix on television, people get an idea of what I like and don't like and then can measure that against their own opinions -- as in "anything he likes I know I'll hate," or "if he liked it then maybe I will too."

Supposedly, the average person in the United States sees six films a year. At $7-8 a ticket, $10 at the concession stand, and another $5 for parking (not to mention a babysitter) going to a movie can be a major expense.

So night after night, I pull out pen and paper and drag myself to movie screenings just so I can warn you and inform you. Yeah, it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

So 'til next time you keep watching'em and I'll keep picking'em. In Hollywood, this is Paul Clinton.


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