Stars & Popcorn: Because Not All Great Movies Are Good

Stars & Popcorn was founded on the simple principle that cinema holds the potential to merge serious art and great entertainment. But not all great movies achieve this balance. Many never set out to. Some movies tug at our heartstrings, some make us ponder the implications of human nature, and some just exist as an excuse to blow up a lot of cars. It’s impossible to compare Citizen Kane and Rocky IV on the same scale, so we at Stars & Popcorn instead follow a two-pillar grading scheme:

Stars represent how good a movie is as a piece of art—how the acting, directing, writing, cinematography, and so on come together to create a satisfying story experience for the viewer.

Popcorn represents how fun a film is to watch—how funny it is, how exciting the special effects are, and how enjoyable the story is on repeated viewings. The perfect popcorn movie would be one that never got stale regardless of how many times you’d seen it.

We believe that rating movies by these two scales gives you a fuller and better understanding of what kind of movie-going experience you can expect whenever and wherever you enjoy your next movie night.

Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook by searching “Stars and Popcorn.”

Stars & Popcorn reviews also appear from time to time in the West Volusia Beacon.


The Crew


Patrick Sessoms

President and Head Writer

Born and raised in the sunshine state, Patrick started watching movies as soon as he could roll himself over to look at the television. Since then he’s spent more time watching movies than he feel comfortable admitting and even earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Florida in Cinema Studies (yeah, he really did go to school for this). At true fanboy at heart, Patrick loves comic books, television, anime and the occasional video game. He serves as the heart and soul of the site living off of a constant stream of caffeine to bring you the reviews and articles you deserve.

Stars Movie: Blade Runner
Popcorn Movie: The Dark Knight
Anime: Darker Than Black
TV Show: Person of Interest

You can e-mail Patrick at: patrick@starsandpopcorn.com
Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickSessoms


Joseph Hunter

Editor-in-Chief and Writer

The legitimate end of the operation, Joseph has a degree in journalism from the University of Florida’s esteemed college of journalism and communications. He serves mainly as the Stars and Popcorn editor, media adviser, PR guy and ombudsman, taking the occasional break to pump out a killer review or three. He is also an aspiring writer and musician, so if you’re a talent agent, take note.

Stars Movie: Good Will Hunting
Popcorn Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Anime: Howl’s Moving Castle
TV Show: House

You can e-mail Joseph at: joseph@starsandpopcorn.com
Follow him on Twitter: @joesoldout


James M. Miller


A writer, editor, sometime actor, poet, and web designer, James sleeps bust to boom. Past projects include sundry publications in tiny arts magazines, a collection of articles in a Literary Guide to Southwest England, and work both on camera and off for about a dozen independent and student films. He holds a masters degree in Performance Studies & Criticism from New York University.

Stars Movie: Seven Samurai
Popcorn Movie: Back to the Future
Anime: GoLion
TV Show: All in the Family

You can e-mail James at: james@starsandpopcorn.com


Contributing Writers


Chris Jalil

Writer & Assitant Editor for comics.starsandpopcorn.com

A Miami native (South Beach for you basketball fans), Chris decided it was time for a change. So he moved up to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida, where he is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English. Between the essays, the essays and the essays, Chris always finds time to read some comics, play some video games, and make his weekly trip to Cinemaland (the real happiest place on Earth, despite what Walt Disney would have you believe). It was through these mediums that he fell in love with the human imagination and its ability to create incredible stories and larger-than-life characters, especially those that wear unitards, capes and cowls!

Stars Movie: Up
Popcorn Movie: Batman Begins
Anime: Pokémon
TV Show: The Big Bang Theory


Past Writers


Theresa Garcia

Theresa is an undergrad at the University of Florida majoring in English with a focus in Film and Media Studies. She watched movies and television aggressively as a child, even though her mother told her the TV would give her radiation poisoning. Still kicking after 18 years of “radiation,” she left her hometown of Miami, Florida to study the artform she cherishes most. When Theresa isn’t out searching for a good movie to watch, she is either writing, studying or knitting.

Stars Movie: Whip It!
Popcorn Movie: Drive
Anime: Speed Racer
TV Show: Dexter


Joey Wright

Contributing Writer

Other than a brief stint in Montana, writer Joey Wright has lived in the Central Florida area his entire life. At the tender age of ten his grandfather took him to a Saturday matinee of Steven Speilberg’s Jurassic Park and the love affair with popcorn movies began. His journey into the world of more serious film, the stars aspect if you will, can be attributed to his high school theater teacher James Brendlinger. When Joey is not stuck in a movie theater (which is not often) you can easily bet that he is watching some type of sporting event with the majority of those viewings going to the Atlanta Braves.

Stars Movie: Almost Famous
Popcorn Movie: Shaun of the Dead
Anime: Grave of the Fireflies
TV Show: The Office (U.K.)

You can e-mail Joey at: joey@starsandpopcorn.com
Follow him on Twitter: @thejoeywright


Zach “Gil” Moore

Staff Writer

Gil is a lot of things: a hardcore gamer, a bass-slapping musician and an enlightened college student. He joined up with Stars & Popcorn to share his love and knowledge of anime, as well as to tackle random horror films. He enjoys movies with strong writing, and he often will post his favorite line at the end of his reviews.

Stars Movie: August Rush
Popcorn Movie: Zombieland
Anime: Trigun
TV Show: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

You can e-mail Gil at: gil@starsandpopcorn.com


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