2009 Drive-By Movie Retrospective: Or How I Earn $4/Month Blogging (And You Can Too!)

Me: Well, Honeybee, thanks to Netflix you and I have watched a lot of movies from the comfort of our living room.

The Honeybee: I’ve got a question for you, Mr.Financial Genius: Is Netflix paying us for yet another one of your blatant plugs for them?

Me: Um, no.

The Honeybee: So don’t you think you should start being just a bit more, um, careful – you’re giving away free advertising to those guys and they’re the ones laughing all the way to the bank.

Me: This blog has advertising that we get paid for.

The Honeybee: Yeah, I see you’re selling a lot of ads.   How many sponsors have you picked up?

Me: None yet, but…

The Honeybee: Of course not.   What’s that saying, “why buy the cow when you’re gettin’ the milk for free?”   How old is this blog again?

Me: Just over a year old.

The Honeybee: And how much have you pulled in from advertisers?

Me: Would you believe one-hundred bucks?

The Honeybee: Maybe.   When you started this blog, you told me you could make $40,000 per month blogging.

Me: Yeah, well that’s what John Chow said.   Funny guy.

The Honeybee: No he’s not – you’ve told me that so many times I finally broke down and actually read Chow’s blog.   If he’s earning $40,000 per month you should be earning $4 million per month – not $4 per month.

Me: You’re biased.   Besides, this was supposed to be a retrospective on some of the movies we saw this year, but now we’re almost out of time.

The Honeybee: Let’s just hit the highlights then.

Me: We’ll have to make it the highlights of the highlights now.   This season we reviewed 20 movies (and our kids reviewed another one, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) and I think, without a doubt, of the movies we reviewed, the three best were Gran Torino, Taken, and Star Trek.

The Honeybee: Liam Neeson was the bomb in Taken, and Clint Eastwood was just as good in Gran Torino.   Then again, they weren’t all great.   The Good German sucked.

Me: Yeah, that one is on me.   It was a huge disappointment, not to mention one of the worst movies I think I have ever seen in my lifetime.

The Honeybee: Was it even worse than watching Pacino and DeNiro in Righteous Kill, or Ace Ventura Jr: Pet Detective?

Me: Absolutely.   On a brighter note, I thought Woody Allen got his mojo back with Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

The Honeybee: That was a good movie, but you know what I enjoyed the most?   Doing the movie review for that one.

Me: That was fun.   We seemed to have more than a little trouble keeping one of the character’s names correct and it really was sadly comical.

The Honeybee: I think we also learned there is a difference between horror movies and a thriller too, as The Last House on the Left demonstrated.

Me: True, although I rented that flick for Halloween, it really wasn’t scary at all, was it?

The Honeybee: But it was uncomfortably violent.   I don’t think it was what either of us were expecting.

Me: Parts of it were very uncomfortable to watch.   Next time I’ll be more discriminating when looking for a real Halloween movie.   Can I change gears for a moment?

The Honeybee: Hey, it’s your show, Mr. MoviePhone Jr.

Me: I think The Women, which we reviewed earlier this year, has got to be the “Mother of All Chick Flicks.”   Don’t you?

The Honeybee: You’re just saying that because the entire cast was female, aren’t you?

Me: Okay.   Yes, and by “entire” I want our readers to know that you’re talking right down to the bit-players.

The Honeybee: Well, except for one male who makes a 10-second cameo at the end of the movie – but he never says a word.   And by “our readers” I want to make it clear that you are talking about all three of them.

Me: (sigh) Hey, how about my gal, Sandra Bullock, in The Proposal?   I absolutely love that woman.   She is not only gorgeous, but also one heck of an actress to boot.   Doing comedy is never easy, but her turn in that movie really highlighted her acting chops.

The Honeybee: That was a chick flick.

Me: No it wasn’t.   It was a date movie.

The Honeybee: That’s not what you said when you reviewed it.

Me: Moving on, how does Nicolas Cage continue to get acting gigs?   His turn in Knowing was no different from every other movie he’s acted in since shortly after he starred in Valley Girl.   It’s as if he doesn’t play characters, per se.   Rather, he just plays Nicolas Cage, regardless of the character he is supposed to be portraying.

The Honeybee: I’d say the same thing about George Clooney, who starred in The Good German, but at least he has the movie star good looks to use as his excuse.

Me: Oh no, let’s not go there again.     At the bottom of this post is a summary of all the movies we reviewed in 2009, ranked in order of preference.   For a complete review of any of these movies, be sure to click on the Movie Reviews link above the blog header.

The Honeybee: Where did the star ratings come from?   I didn’t get any input on those.

Me: No.   No, you didn’t.   I calculated them based on a four-star scale using a proprietary formula that took into account our overall ratings.   Did I do okay?

The Honeybee: Does it really matter what I think?

Me: No.

The Honeybee: I didn’t think so.   But you will listen to John Chow.   Amazing.

Me: We’re not buddies anymore.



  1. 1


    Good stuff, and yes, blogging is a terrible way to make money. At $100 for the year, that’s about $1 for every time one of your gags has made me smile Len. 😉

    Have a great 2010!

  2. 6

    Brody James says

    i admire John Chow because of his innovative ways to gain traffic both from whitehat and greyhat methods.

    • 9


      I’m actually in the rent camp too, Sam. But the reviews would be too predictable if I always said “rent.” LOL

      One of my favorite scenes from Four Christmases was when they were up on the roof trying to install that satellite dish. When Vince Vaughn fell down and he pulled all of the cable out of the house… Robert Duvall’s reaction was hysterical.

    • 11


      You’re welcome, Me! I only hope you didn’t have to suffer through The Good German like I did. I was actually surprised at how good Star Trek was. I had low expectations at the time…

  3. 12


    Thanks for saving me from “Knowing”, I was about ready to borrow that one from the Library next week (instead I’ll borrow “The Proposal”).

    I did buy “The Family Man” which starred Nicolas Cage, that was pretty good, especially around Christmas.

    “The machinist” was incredible. Not so much from the plot (which is okay), but from what Christian Bale does to his body… gross but incredible. Another movie he was in that nobody else saw was “Equilibrium”…

    Thanks for an entertaining read!

    • 13


      I think you’ll like the Proposal. I do like Nicolas Cage in some movies – I enjoyed him in the National Treasure series, for example. As I noted in my review of The Machinist, Christian Bale looked absolutely horrific. I believe he went on a crash diet and lost almost 70 pounds and it shows. Incredible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *