I’m Leaving Goggler… and Movie Criticism

Dept. of Endings...

That’s right, after two years and hundreds of hours of television, movies, and podcasts, my time here at Goggler has come to end.

No, there’s no behind the scenes drama. No screaming matches, epic blowups, or anyone storming off. For reasons outside our control, I’ve been unable to secure a visa to remain in Malaysia with Goggler, so I’ve returned to my other career.

Movie Reviewer No More

This is not just a farewell to Goggler however. It’s a farewell to my “career” (if you can call it that) as a film critic.

While I get to stay in Malaysia with my new job, it precludes attending morning press screenings, binging TV shows before anyone else gets access, or making each other laugh over the Internet (okay, there might be some time available for that… occasionally).

We’ve had our ups and downs at Goggler. Opening a movie commentary website a few months before cinemas closed for almost a full year, might not have been a great idea, in hindsight. We weathered the pandemic (so far… it isn’t over… wear your mask!) with help from our streaming partners and the film distributors during those periods when cinemas were open.

We’ve had our occasional disagreements, but I’ve never stopped having fun talkin’ movies with Uma and Bahir, who, despite our similar tastes in so many areas, never fail to surprise me with the absolute worst, most awful takes imaginable, sometimes.  

Well THAT Was a Thing That Happened

As I step away from Goggler, I’ll be stepping back into IT, an industry I left almost 10 years ago when I thought I’d try giving this movie review business a try.  

It doesn’t feel all that long ago that I emailed Starburst Magazine in the UK, who always appreciated my early reviews from Malaysia, and provided me with the thrill of seeing my words in print in an actual magazine I’d heard of for the first time. The team at Starburst also have my eternal thanks for sending copies of the magazine all the way to Malaysia for far too long, and eventually taking down my positive review of Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four to spare me the embarrassment (copies can be sought out for a small fee).

Despite never meeting any of the team (oh the days before decent internet), I had a lot of fun writing for a new website (at the time), Nerdspan, who are still around all these years later. Nerdspan even have one up on Goggler as they have my only review (so far) of The Ice Pirates, a movie I love far too much. (Ironically? Maybe?)

I had an extremely short career at IGN, where I got to co-host my first recap show (for Game of Thrones season 6! Oh, such misplaced excitement!) dove deep into Assassins Creed and Resident Evil for The Hyped Geek, wrote the occasional gaming piece for the guys at Kakuchopurei, as well as talked movies on the radio, something I don’t think I would ever get to do back home.

Treasured Memories

Movie Reviewer No More

Some memories will stay with me forever. Getting to interview my idol Edgar Wright for the Baby Driver junket. Getting flustered interviewing Charlie Brooker remotely and forgetting what the initials of the radio station I was working at stood for when he asked. Constantly confusing interviewees as the “Malaysian interviews” opened with an Irish accent. Meeting the legendary John Woo face to face. Flying to Mumbai for 24 hours for a junket. Interviewing friends when their movies actually came out in cinemas!

I’ve been happy with pretty much everything we’ve done here at Goggler, but there are a few things I’m quite proud of. Our transition to video for our weekly podcasts, as the pandemic showed no sign of abating, has been fun while also interesting from a technical standpoint. Our flirtation with less recent, more “serious” criticism, with our Christopher Nolan retrospective, surprised even me, as I discovered new connections I’d never noticed before.

Most of all though I’ve loved sharing my cinematic and TV passions with the wider world. Whether my love for Scott Pilgrim vs the World, my lifelong love of Star Wars and what I’d like to see next from a galaxy far, far away, or even just chatting about the ins and outs of Star Trek lore with Bahir as he discovered the franchise through Star Trek: Discovery and our recaps.

We never know how anything we do will be received, so it’s always heartening to see so many people find pieces like how cool we think the ornithiopters of Frank Herbert’s Dune are, or my attempt to explain the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Movie Reviewer No More

I’ll always be thankful to Uma and Bahir for giving me the opportunity to really do this. To watch so much TV, to become de facto foreign film correspondent (theatrical release dept., Bahir had streaming on a lock), and to finally have an excuse to go back and watch (and fall in love with) Hardware, a film that first piqued my interest between the covers of movie magazines back in 1990.

Throughout all this time I’ve had wonderful support from our partners in streaming and film distributors, even if we couldn’t always endorse their wares wholeheartedly. Something it should be noted, that has never been an issue. Well, except that one time.

Thanks to you all (and especially for those super secret, screenings you gave us sometimes).

Somehow, it feels kind of apt that, a year where so many films I loved (Ghostbusters, The Matrix, Spider-Man) had, at the very least, interesting sequels, should be my last reviewing movies full time.

I’m not going to stop loving movies, or loving talking about them. I’ll probably just continue to do it in an even less professional manner than I have been. I’m sure I’ll pop up here and there on the site with an opinion, and on the podcasts, as schedules allow. I have to keep the technical side of things moving anyway.

Movie Reviewer No More

If you want to follow me on my next adventure you can always find me on twitter (@mcnastyprime), and other social media platforms with that same handle. Who knows, maybe I’ll even record the odd McYapandfries podcast again.  

Until then, I’ll see you around.

Irish Film lover lost in Malaysia. Co-host of Malaysia's longest running podcast (movie related or otherwise ) McYapandFries and frequent cryer in movies. Ask me about "The Ice Pirates"

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