1. 1. Film
Ever since I was young, I have loved everything about film. I’ve been critiquing movies ever since my freshman year of high school. After coming to UNC Charlotte as a pre-nursing student (my mother is a nurse, so there was some influence there), I quickly realized upon beginning work as a film critic for the Niner Times that this was my true calling, as it was the only thing I found actual joy in during my first semester as a pre-nursing student. Film is a powerful tool that can entertain, bring together, or even create social change.
Blog choice: cinemablend.com
While Cinema Blend isn’t a blog in the typical sense of what I consider a blog to be, as it is a reputable news source in the film journalism world, it’s easily my most visited site ever since high school for me. Much of their content is some of the best film journalism you’ll find outside of legacy media or major film conglomerates like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Being independently started, their approach in how to claim views is occasionally very clickbait-y, especially in their often times cringe worthy headlines, but I do understand their reasonings. The strongest elements of the Cinema Blend site comes in their actual reviews of films, which are expertly crafted by their talented writers. What drew me into Cinema Blend in the first place was their “To 3D or Not to 3D” column, which still runs today, but at the height of the 3D craze, they judge a film’s 3D quality on a scale of 35 possible points to justify whether it’s worth the extra price. This was incredibly unique for the time and really solidified my respect for their work.
2. 2. Airliners
It’s a bit of a strange topic, but there was a small break in-between late elementary school and high school where my love for film was replaced by a love of airliners, to which I convinced myself I wanted to be an airline pilot. To this day I tell myself that if I am to fail as a film journalist, I will go back and train to be an airline pilot. I annoy my friends and family at airports by being able to name every single airplane and most direct routes that each airport has (I can even match the plane to the route most of the time). I really turn into a little smart-a** around airliners, but it’s something I still take great interest in.
Blog choice: airliners.net
A community based photo and news blog, Airliners.net is the place where many aviation hounds go for the best photos taken of airplanes today. While the website does focus quite a bit on airliners (as they’re the easiest to spot), the site also features airplanes of all different varieties. With over 2.7 million photos uploaded to their site so far, you can scroll for hours on end looking at tons of different photos of all different aircrafts. While the photos are extensive, in the past year they have changed the search engine for photos, making specific photos hard to find with their now complicated system. It wasn’t broken, so I don’t understand what they were trying to fix.
3. 3. Roller Coasters
If I could sum up my life in three interests, they would be film, airplanes and roller coasters. Ever since getting “Roller Coaster Tycoon” when I was three years old for my PC, it started me down a path that would lead to hundreds, if not thousands of hours of designing carefully constructed theme parks on the computer, to which I still do in the 2016 release, “Planet Coaster.” Life changed for me even further when I finally got over my fear of roller coasters at age 10, to which I now fear borderline fearless with now (though Griffon at Busch Gardens still manages to scare the life out of me, no matter how many times I ride it).
Blog choice: http://www.themeparkreview.com/
This is hands down the most comprehensive roller coaster blog outside of the Roller Coaster Database (RCDb). These bloggers travel the world to ride, film and review roller coasters for their readers. Unlike other roller coaster bloggers, Theme Park Review does not limit themselves to their native U.S., they hit obscure and very unique coasters all over the world like Japan, Taiwan, India, Australia, The Netherlands, etc. The biggest issue with Theme Park Review comes in its POV videos they capture. They are no doubt legitimate, approved videos by the theme parks, but the man who always films these videos never seems to stop talking throughout each ride. Constantly narrating what’s happening on the coaster and making stupid jokes rather than letting the ride play out for itself. It really brings down the impressive nature of the rest of the site.
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