David has reported on films and live theatre at radio and TV stations around the country for several years. Originally from England, David moved to the United States in 1982 and has worked for radio and TV stations reporting on films in North Carolina, Indiana, California and Phoenix, Arizona in addition to writing film and theatre articles for local magazines. David is also a member of the national theatre organization, the American Theatre Critics Association. You can read David’s reviews, interviews and articles on the Valley Screen & Stage on-line magazine at davidappleford.com and valleystages.com.
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Passionate about many things, film has been a cornerstone throughout Ben’s life. Writing has always been a natural talent, but it wasn’t something that he tapped fully into until 2015 following an interesting experience with an advanced screening of Woman in Gold. Since then, Ben started writing reviews on his own website, themovierevue.com. His passion led him to the Phoenix Film Society, where the 2015 Phoenix Film Festival Fall Showcase films Time Out of Mind and Spotlight really caught his attention. After becoming a Reel Friend in 2016, the decision was made clear that this hobby was the start of a beautiful second career. It led to being picked up by electricbento.com in June, 2017 and the Phoenix Film Festival. When Ben isn’t working his day job, he can be found in a movie theater. Sometimes, twice a day. Oh, and he loves both Star Trek and Star Wars.
Ryan Bordow was born to a family of wild writers. During the adolescence of a fairly puritanical upbringing, a friend introduced him to the wonderful world of good film, and his genetic disposition towards writing fused with this new escape. The result was two lifelong passions: writing movies, and writing about movies. He is currently pursuing his dream of filmmaking through ASU's film school, and spends the rest of his time analyzing movies on his personal website Sitting In The Cinema and on AZBigMedia.com. His favorite film has been Before Sunset for years.
I learned to read from my grandmother’s Addams Family collections. My plans to become a professional basketball player sadly stalled when I stopped getting any taller after seventh grade. I’ve been a cop reporter, a city and county government reporter, a features columnist, a sports columnist, TV critic, an editor and a writer covering pop culture. Now I’m a movie critic. I think The Simpsons is the greatest TV show ever, Holy War is my favorite Matthew Sweet song and the Washington Redskins are my favorite team in all of sports. Harry Dean Stanton is always great, licorice never is. I’ve read Dracula more than once (“you are wise for one who has not yet lived a single lifetime”), and might again. I was an English major in college and love Faulkner and such, but my favorite book is Instant Replay by Jerry Kramer.
Shari became fascinated by films when at the age of seven she saw a movie being made in front of her house. As a teenager she immersed herself in the culture of film and became a cinephile, working in a video store. Since then she expanded into film criticism writing for txtmovieclub.com for the last seven years and she has written, directed and produced several short films and is currently working on projects with her production company, Good Stew Productions, which she created with a few of her friends. Her favorite movies are “The Big Chill” and “Lonely Boy” and she enjoys watching Woody Allen films above all others.
Brent Hankins has been a film fan for most of his life, having grown up on ’80s classics and spending his formative years working the counter at a small-town video store. After his first trip to Comic-Con in 2011, he launched The Lamplight Review and began reviewing films on a regular basis. In 2013, he also created the Drinks and Discourse podcast, which he continues to host every week.
Jon's love of film began as a four-year-old at a drive-in theater in the late '70s during a screening of a silly little space movie called Star Wars. His love of the medium has ran the gamut from filmmaking, to screenwriting, to acting, and finally to writing about films. His work has been featured in print and web for the last 20 years, and he is currently the chief film critic and video games editor at TheHDRoom. Last fall, he optioned his first screenplay and hopes that one day, his fellow critics will get the chance to write about it. Until then, you will find him waxing nostalgic on comic book movies, action/thrillers, raunchy comedies, and anything else projected onto a 30-to-60 foot screen. You can follow him on Twitter at @wullbinkle.
Kevin first began writing freelance film critiques in 2010. Two years later he was asked to join The Red Carpet Refs, an online entertainment news and review site whose Facebook community is nearing 20,000 fans. His tastes range the full gamut, from art film experiences to low brow humor.
Joel Massie is one-half of The Massie Twins, identical twin film critics who have been professionally reviewing movies full time for over 8 years, appearing on TV, radio, online, and in print. Their work can be seen at www.GoneWithTheTwins.com and their latest book “The Movies That Time Forgot” is available now at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.
Mike Massie is one-half of The Massie Twins, identical twin film critics who have been professionally reviewing movies full time for over 8 years, appearing on TV, radio, online, and in print. Their work can be seen at www.GoneWithTheTwins.com and their latest book “The Movies That Time Forgot” is available now at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.
Garrett first marveled at the escapism and spectacle of movies as a child when he saw an AMC Hornet spin 360 degrees mid-air during the 1974 James Bond film "The Man With the Golden Gun." He began reviewing films in 2018 for The Arizona Republic after working as a cops, court, and crime reporter beginning 2015. His favorite movies include "Network," "Murmur of the Heart," "The Last Days of Disco," and "20th Century Women." When he isn't writing, Garrett can be found making animated GIFs, perfecting cocktail recipes or reading a trashy celebrity memoir.
Jeff’s enthusiasm for movies began during his childhood as a way to "escape" small-town life for a couple hours at a time. Although he does not live in a small town any longer, his love for movies has not wavered. Jeff began writing film reviews in 2008 during his journalism school days and instantly became hooked with the work. He pens weekly reviews for the Phoenix Film Festival and Art House Film Wire, hosts monthly Phoenix Film Society screenings/Q&As and programs features for the Phoenix Film Festival and Peoria Film Fest. When Jeff is not watching (and talking about) movies, he spends time at the gym/yoga studio and volunteers at a no-kill animal shelter. Some of his favorite movies are “Pulp Fiction”, "City of God", "Waking Ned Devine", and "The Secret in Their Eyes".
Kaely Monahan has been reviewing live theater and films since 2013 when she started covering at Everything Theatre in London. When she returned to Phoenix, she started Popcorn Fan Film Reviews--which has been relaunched as Whiskey and Popcorn. She wrote for the East Valley Tribune. She's the 2017-2018 Vice President of the Phoenix Critics Circle. She currently produces KJZZ's The Show. Some of Kaely’s favorite films include “Jurassic Park,” “Bringing Up Baby,” and “Roman Holiday.”
The Hollywood Reporter Slashfilm Josh's work can be found on The A.V. Club, ScreenCrush, Slashfilm, Film School Rejects, and the Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog. He's hosted the Mousterpiece Cinema podcast about the films of the Walt Disney Company since June of 2011. Josh has also written a book of criticism on Pixar, Yesterday is Forever: Nostalgia and Pixar Animation Studios, for The Critical Press.
Bruce St. James hosts a daily talk show from 9a to 12 on KTAR News, seen and heard on 92.3 and KTAR.com. While relatively new to reviewing films, He has nearly 20 years of experience in radio, both on-air and in management. Always on the lookout for unique and interesting films, Bruce thinks the best thing you can say about a movie is “I haven’t seen THAT before!” His reviews can be heard every Friday on KTAR with an accompanying video version on KTAR.com.
Matthew Robinson is a local to the Phoenix area who has been creating and supporting film for several years. He formed the blog/website Dark of the Matinee in 2010 with the intention of writing about horror/sci-fi/genre films. Dark of the Matinee now covers most major studio theatrical releases, indie VOD/DVD releases, the latest cult Blu-ray releases and more. Matthew has also run the Arizona Filmmaker Showcase for over 3 years. The Showcase is a monthly forum held at FilmBar for local AZ filmmakers to bring their films to Phoenix audiences and support their efforts at no cost to the filmmaker. Matthew currently teaches in the Film and Media Studies program at ASU.
Barbara is a lifelong Phoenician and has reported on arts and entertainment for The Arizona Republic since 2006. Even though it's not a hip pick, her favorite filmmaker has been Steven Spielberg since the summer of 1993, when her father took her to see "Jurassic Park." Because she'd been failed by the public school system, she had no idea what the word "Jurassic" meant, and thus no idea she was about to have her mind blown by dinosaurs. That 11-year-old girl would freak out if she knew she'd grow up to get paid to watch movies. Her favorite drunken party trick is reciting "The Little Mermaid" in its entirety from memory. She still harbors dreams of growing up to be a mermaid.
A long time obsessive of all things pop-culture, especially film, Kyle Wilson acted and studied theater at Arizona State University. Now as a founding member of The Lamplight Review, he gets to write about the industry he loves on a daily basis and rant about it as co-host of the weekly podcast Drinks and Discourse.
Monte Yazzie is the film reviewer for the North Phoenix publication “The Foothills Focus” and Festival Manager for the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival. He continues to write consistently for www.dailydead.comand their recently launched magazine “Deadly”, and is a regular contributor to the Phoenix Film Festival and IHSFF website. Monte launched the website www.thecodafilms.com in 2011, you can find all his film reviews and work as an independent filmmaker there.