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Throwback Thursday
Slarek introduces our new retro review slot Throwback Thursday, a semi-regular slot in which we will focus on older releases and polish off reviews that were never quite completed | 6 March 2014

It’s a fact of reviewing that you tend to focus on the latest releases, and there are a couple of very solid reasons for this. The first is obvious. If a film is about to be released on DVD or Blu-ray, you’ll probably want to know if the disc is up to scratch. And if you only know of the film by its title, there’s a likelihood you’ll be checking reviews to see if it sounds like something you’d want to see. The second reason relates directly to this. Distributors tend to want to shift a healthy number of copies of any disc release, and the peak time for sales for most discs is probably the week or so following their release. It's in the lead-up to this that the ads will be placed and when buyer enthusiasm will be at its keenest. If a title is covered by multiple publications then it’s also the time when the disc in question will be getting the most exposure, when even the more obscure titles are in the public eye. It’s thus in expectation that sites like ours will deliver a review in the lead-up to the release – and thus be part of this general marketing push – that review discs are sent to us in the first place.

This process has, as I may have mentioned before, changed quite a bit in the ten years that this site has been in existence (yep, it’s been that long). Once upon I time I would open my front door and fall arse over tit over a doormat plastered with jiffy bags, each of which contained at least one review disc. Distributors and PR companies would send discs to anyone in the hope that they would find time to review them. As a small operation run by people with full-time media jobs, we had to be selective about which discs we covered, particularly given the length our reviews tend to run for. As a result, of lot of the discs we received were not reviewed. And we tried to cover more, we really did, but real life too often got in the way, whether it was family or health issues or the unpredictable nature of our respective day jobs.

Particularly galling for me are the reviews that I started but never completed, a small bundle of which I recently came across whilst attempting to tidy up a chaotically organised backup drive, each the victim of outside influences or competing reviews. Some are only in the introductory stage, but a select few are something like 70% complete, causing me wonder just what it was that prompted me to abandon them at so late a stage. More than once I’ve considered going back to these reviews, finishing them off and posting them. The discs, after all, are for the most part still out there, and many of the titles are worth seeking out if you haven’t already.

It was encouragement from our former assistant editor that gave me the push I probably needed when he, after I’d mentioned these unfinished reviews, suggested we have an irregular slot for posting them and call it ‘Throwback Thursday’, pulling that label out of his hat like an ad man on steroids. Having a name for the slot made the idea seem more real and oddly logical, as it would also allow us to cover any past release that we missed and the time and still believed was worth a shout, whether we were sent a review disc or not.

An indecision about which title to cover first, combined with the usual workload issues and my battle with a housing development outside my back door (which is frankly worth a blog post of its own) delayed its inception. It was then that Camus – bless him – wrote to me wondering if I fancied posting a review of a disc that’s been out for a couple of years. Well it just so happens...

I’d love to say that we’ll be publishing a retro review every Thursday, which would keep you all guessing about what we’d cover next, but know full well that to make such promises is asking for trouble, particularly given the scattershot nature of our respective working weeks. But I will make an effort to revisit a few of those lost reviews, and we may even cover a few films or discs that have been out for some time just for the hell of writing about them. In the mean time check out Camus’s review of the 2011 DVD release of Season One of This Is Jinsy, and keep your eye out for Throwback Thursday.