It’s Top 7 list time here at Iridium Eye!
These are enjoyable for me to make more often than not. However, (especially after certain real live events) I feel compelled to write some lists as a form of therapy. Some of you may or may not know this about me, but I struggle with self-esteem issues that stem from being bullied, abused by others (mostly psychological), and being racially attacked at some points in my life. Looking back in hindsight, I remember having some moments where I would say something positive about myself only for people to call me arrogant or try to refute said strength about me in direct or indirect ways. At the same time, you have people who straight up brag about their strengths, achievements, awards or other positive things, but they don’t get that kind of scrutiny which I found to be a double standard even if I didn’t see it right away when I was younger. It’s as if those same people didn’t want me to have any kind of confidence.
If you’re one of those same people I know offline or a blogger who had those thoughts about me, then you can go and kick rocks.
I rarely ever compliment myself out of fear for being seen as egotistical by others which really has to be an aftereffect of dealing with these toxic people. For this list, I get to talk about the strongest aspects about my little film/anime/documentary review blog. While I’m not the most popular blogger in my field or have legions of followers, there are things I know about my blog that stand out. This won’t be a panacea to my self-esteem or mental issues, but there are facets of Iridium Eye that I know are apexes with how I do thing on this side of WordPress. Does this mean I’m better than other bloggers? No, but I still have a freaking right to say positive things about my blog or myself. Maybe some of you have noticed these things or they could be new to you if you haven’t realized them.
Let’s see how this unorthodox form of self-love therapy unfolds as I talk about the best things involving Iridium Eye.
7: The Fun Facts section
I’m not the first or only person to have such a section with my reviews, but those are the most fun parts to write for me even if I hated what I watched. It’s great researching all the different trivia and facts about what I watch whether it involves the personnel in the movie or series, geographical locations, or some metatextual elements which make something more interesting in hindsight. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post before, but I was partially inspired by THEM Anime Reviews with some of the format. Some of their reviews have a brief facts section, but I wanted to expand on it with multiple facts with the things I watch. There are times where I review something so obscure (more on that later on this list) that I have an adventure trying to find any kind of facts like it’s hidden treasure of sorts. I also want to educate my viewers with my reviews with these bite-sized pieces of information written in my own words. Maybe some people could appreciate some of these facts that I research or discover.
6: Atypical discussions on films and series
I do have a format with my writing style for years even though I was still trying to find myself with a lot of my older stuff from 2017. There are times where I talk about some formal things like my own synopses of the plot or subject or some objective facets of the film like the cinematography or acting. However, I want to make these reviews unique and do my best to bring up things others may not think about. Sometimes it can be negative like when I first saw Weathering With You in the midst of COVID times or pointing out the gender double standards with Zamiatou’s treatment of her daughter in Faraw! for example. There are times where I think something is more brilliant whether it’s intentional or not like me pointing out parallels with the Mu’s created community in Toward the Terra with Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma or how Lunch Time Heroes had way better positive representation of Nigeria much less Africa at large than even most critics give credit for with the movie taking place in a middle-class environment that could’ve easily taken place in America with only a few changes. Part of the existence of Iridium Eye doesn’t just involve mostly obscure works, but with having atypical observations with whatever I watch. I don’t want to parrot other reviewers whether I respect them or not since I don’t want to be a copycat even if I agree with the general consensus. Hopefully, people can appreciate my atypical discussions on the subjects no matter how tame or controversial these opinions or facts can be.
5: Vast amount of topics and genres
This is something I certainly pride myself on with things I watch and review. Don’t believe me, then just go to the Alphabetized Review List with the titles I cover much less the subject matter involved with what I’ve watched. How many other reviewers can you think of that have watched arthouse films, historical works, western animation, anime, and documentaries? The fact that I have reviewed documentaries with tough subject matter such as Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death, artsy subjects like Only When I’m Dancing, parasport athletes like Beatrice, or even UK-based pro wrestlers with Eddie Dennis: A 5 Year Old’s Dream for example. When it comes to anime, I have reviewed a parody OVA like Shinesman as well as a dead serious work like Yugo the Negotiator. I don’t want to use the cliche of how my blog has “something for everyone”, but I do so in a way that involves lesser-known works without looking like a people pleaser which is something I used to struggle with. There’s a reason why I namedrop even popular works in my For Fans Of section, so people can make some sound decisions if what I watch might be up their alley or not. Whether it’s avant-garde or lighthearted, I will give something a chance. I swear I’m not a pretentious viewers.
4: Trying to mention important issues when necessary (while trying not to look like an SJW)
People may call me different names or call out some flaws of mine, but apathy isn’t one of my weaknesses. While I don’t do this all the time with my posts, I will not hesitate to point out if something is problematic even when no one else does so. I didn’t see many people calling out how wrong the main character was in The Garden of Words much less mentioning how that anime movie would NEVER be made if the genders were reversed. No one called out the offensive portrayal of the Beta Israel community in The Rabbi’s Cat. I’m shocked no one had an issue with the white savior implications in the docudrama OT: Our Town with how everything was presented despite being a real life story. Don’t even get me started with every review I’ve typed out involving a film plagiarism controversy. I certainly gotten a reputation with that being a recurring topic. Anyway, I do my best to see the whole picture with the ramifications and implications of what I watch as I’ve learned never to take anything at face value. At the same time, I really don’t want to review on a soapbox for everything I watch. It would be tiresome and annoying for the viewers. If something is wrong or has problematic under/overtones, then you best believe I’m going to talk about it. Things can be tough because I’ve been super tempted to shame people for liking certain media as revenge for being shamed in the past, but I had to resist that urge. If something is an issue, I do my best to be informative and in a matter-of-fact way instead of trolling someone.
3: Sincerity is a rarity and I have lots of it here
Iridium Eye is so cathartic where I can really say my honest opinions on things and not be demonized for it. Okay, I’m talking about movies and series, but this still applies. I hated being shamed for what I liked and disliked, but I have my own platform to share that kind of honesty. There are times where I have contrary opinions, but I do my best to make my points clear. There have been times where I do call out unsavory things about fandoms or creators that need to be mentioned. Sometimes I’ve gotten angry writing reviews even if I liked something, but I needed to have that feeling because I felt like I was never “allowed” to be angry by other people. It does spill out from time to time, but I don’t lie about things when I do so. Iridium Eye is a place where I don’t have to hide behind a smile when the rubber meets the road no matter how positive or negative I am with a review.
2: Geographic Representation
I can’t remember the last time I ever bragged about anything (as in actually trying to brag, I should say), but I’m going to use my single bragging rights card for this point. At Iridium Eye, I can say that I’ve reviewed more movies from more countries than most amateur AND professional film critics alike!
I’m a huge geography nerd, so the international film scene was a huge fusion for that interest for me. There was a lingering curiosity to see what another nation’s movies would be like. Over the past 4 years, I was exposed to foreign cinema from places I would’ve never expected to see movies from as a way to expand my cinematic horizons. I wished more film reviewers would be adventurous into seeing movies from multiple countries and not just stick to either the Hollywood crap or even the typical indie stuff. Some examples of countries being featured on here include (context: I’m talking about directors and creators from these nations): Serbia, Austria, Eritrea, Senegal, Uruguay, Armenia, Jordan, Iran, Burkina Faso, Mali, Colombia, Turkey, St. Kitts & Nevis, Barbados, Ecuador, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and even Guadeloupe among several other nations and territories I could name. You all can thank me for growing up watching Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego? (both the game show and cartoon, but especially the former) for having that kind of appreciation for foreign nations.
1: Some movies are ones where I’m one of the few reviewers, only reviewer, or the first reviewer to talk about them
This is a big one that even I was surprised when I would do some random searches. Hey, no one can say they’re vanity searches because I’m not putting the name of my blog there in these little exercises. Hahaha!
In all seriousness, I would type in [name of movie I reviewed before] review and my post about it would be the only one or on the first page while other links are just places that don’t review that subject. There have been times where my posts would literally be the FIRST thing you see in a Google search! Want to know examples of movies I’ve covered where I was one of the few or the only one who reviewed them?
Eddie Dennis: A 5 Year Old’s Dream
Jungle Emperor Leo: Hon-O-Ji
Boma-Tervuren, The Journey
The Black Mozart in Cuba
Adventures of Lola and Chuchu
The Lion’s Share
Yup, that’s one advantage of reviewing obscure works with getting easy search traffic. That wouldn’t happen if I was some average blogger who was only limited to Hollywood junk or just mainstream anime. I hope that these reviews can reach people and watch their next favorite movie or series.
So what are other strengths in Iridium Eye? What are some strengths about your blog? Feel free to leave a comment here. Thank you for reading this.