Cinekong Rules


January 22, 2023

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In preparing to relaunch, I spent a lot of time looking through the competition, trying to get a feel for what movie critics, fans, and cinephiles are writing about these days.

I wasn’t that impressed. There is a lot of stuff out there, but so much of it is unoriginal, uninspired, and uninteresting, designed more to get clicks than inspire conversation. Sure, there are exceptions, most of them from the same writers and websites I’ve followed for years, but they’ve always been the exception. That’s why I follow them. 

Wading through the rest of the tidal wave of insipidness inspired me to make a list of rules that will follow as I move forward. 

#1 NO LISTS. Since it’s award season, it’s unavoidable that there will be plenty of Top 10 Movie lists flooding the internet these days. As a Boston Online Film Critics Association member, I participated in the organization’s year-end vote. (I even agree with some of my fellow members, though I’ll never understand the group’s, or seemingly the world’s, fascination with The Banshees of Inisherin.) But far too many journalists, bloggers, and other writers are publishing and posting lists far beyond Best or Worst. Top 10 Colin Farrell Movies. Top 10 Irish Movies. Top 10 Irish Movies Starring Colin Farrell. Top 10 Irish Movies Not Starring Colin Farrell. Top 10 Irish Movies Colin Farrell Might Have Seen and Liked (Because He’s Irish). Ad nauseam. It’s not only silly, but it’s lazy writing.

Cinekong will never post lists.

#2 NO FAKE INTERVIEWS. This has always been one of my pet peeves. You see a story with a headline like, Famous Actress Admits She Hates Her Early Movies. What follows is a lot of posturing by the author about how bad these early movies are (their opinion, not the actress’). Somewhere in the fourth or fifth paragraph is a quote from the actress from an interview somebody else did (usually from years ago) that supports the headline but nothing the author has written because they never interviewed the actress. All they’ve done is used (stolen?) somebody else’s work to give their story the credit it hasn’t earned and doesn’t deserve. 

Cinekong will only post interviews done by Cinekong.

#3 NO SHILLING FOR STREAMING SERVICES. Imagine that Netflix issues a press release that some obscure movie from years ago that they’ve started streaming is getting views on their service. A movie writer takes the release and rewrites it to make it sound like important news or some big exclusive he’s uncovered after weeks of painstaking investigation. The hope, especially by Netflix, is that reading such fake news will drive more people to their site to watch the movie, no matter how old or crappy it may be. It’s parasitic reporting at its most blatant.

Cinekong won’t be part of this.

#4 NO PROJECTING BEYOND WHAT’S BEING PROJECTED. I will try not to force modern ideas, morals, or misinformation on the movie I’m writing about. Sure, it’s weird to watch Burt Lancaster play a Native American in Apache. Still, I’m not going to protest that the film, made almost 70 years ago, be pulled from circulation or thrown on some pyre of political correctness. Anyone offended can simply not watch it.

Those are the four Cinekong Rules, things I will not do on this site. To stay up to date on what I will do, subscribe to


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