you clicked here, so you must want to know more.
The Mac The movieguy story.
There was never a time when film and television were not a huge part of John’s life. Growing up, even before the memories he has now, his mother used to keep all the movie tickets from all the children’s films he saw in theatres in amongst the photo albums. His earliest memories in theatres involve seeing a packed house opening night screening of The Flintstones, falling asleep in Tim Burton’s Batman, dragging a friend to see an animated Tom and Jerry movie that he was very not interested in, and making his dad sit through the third Ninja Turtle movie. He would put his Aladdin tape to good use in the VCR, and spent Saturday morning watching some of the greatest cartoons ever made, not to mention the cartoons timed perfectly for kids when they got home from school. He loved to watch Snick, and their rotating programs. He always wanted to be on Double Dare, but the closest he ever got was touring the Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Orlando.
As he grew up, his taste in movies and television shows grew too. That friend who sat through Tom and Jerry, was also responsible for slipping john his first R-rated movie, Terminator 2 judgement Day. He would continue to always love the shows and movies from his childhood, but as he grew older, that library card came in handy, and john started exploring VHS tapes of classics like The Bridge On The River Kwai and Psycho, a far cry from the Disney toons he was used to. It was during this period that John first dabbled in being a film critic. While still in middle school, John filled a void at his small town newspaper by freelancing as the movie critic. This eventually would lead him to doing things like writing his own movie/entertainment centric newsletter for family and friends he assumed were interested, and then to the internet where anyone can become a critic.
He joined a few screenwriting communities, and this was where Mac The movieguy was born. That friend, who reluctantly saw Tom and jerry, and later introduced him to Terminator 2, had set him up with his first email address. MacDaddyNLS. That NLS, for those not in the know, means No Limit Soldier. not wanting to be forever tied to a rather silly moniker, John adapted it for the screenwriting community, and Mac The movieguy was born.
So, not even out of high school yet, and john had already managed to publish as a print film critic, and was learning the ropes of screenwriting. He would continue to watch as many movies as possible, having not just the library card, but two different video rental store memberships. Later, right when he became old enough to drive, and work, his small town gained a six screen movie theatre, and john was hired on as part of the opening team. When they needed someone to learn how to be a projectionist, he was the first to volunteer, and the first to be trained. This led to many nights spent building prints or tearing down films leaving, as well as screening the films to make sure there were no problems before they were shown to the public.
After graduating high school, john took a second job with a brand new Movie Gallery, meaning he got free movies in theatres and on video. Eventually, John moved from his small town of Neosho, MO to Orlando, FL, where his experience in theatres and video rental stores got him two jobs while he started college. So, he started working for his second movie theatre chain, and his second store with Movie Gallery. He also, in addition to keeping up with screenwriting, also started writing online reviews for websites that no longer exist on those free servers from back in that time period.
John continued to watch, read, write, and ingest film and TV. his DVD collection eventually surpassed his VHS collection. He would go on to work for three more movie theatres and two more theatre chains, as well as being moved to his own Movie Gallery and managing his own store.
All of this led to a BA in Cinema Studies from the University Of Central Florida, as well as freelance work for several websites including House Of Geekery, StarPulse, and MjsBigBlog.
in 2013, John officially launched MacTheMovieguy.com, as a place to finally host all of his reviews that kept disappearing with dying websites. Things were going great, as John balanced running his site along with working at a college, and also for a few years for the Orlando international Fringe Festival. In 2017, john started having problems with his eyesight, and was diagnosed with Closed Angular Glaucoma, and found out just how quick he was losing his sight at age 34. By the end of 2017, despite the efforts of his doctors, John had lost the ability to drive as well as even navigate his own computer screen. And so, MactheMovieguy.com went on hiatus.
So, instead of driving to the theatres weekly, his time became bouncing around various doctors to try and stop the rather swift progressive vision loss. After multiple surgeries, and a still daily regimen of multiple medications, john now finally has his pressures under control, but for all intents and purposes is considered legally blind, with no current corrective procedures available to reverse the vision loss.
As someone whose entire life revolved around seeing things, John admittedly took a while to adapt to using screen readers, programs like JAWS that would assist in his use of computers again, and needing to walk with a cane whenever outside his own home. Not to mention the lack of being able to just hop in the car and head to the theatres, as well as losing all of his favorite video games, and eventually losing contact with all his gamer centric friends.
But, in this journey, John kept trying to watch movies and TV, not giving up. He discovered the awesomeness of audio description, as well as the sad understanding of just how many titles lack audio description for the blind.
At the beginning of 2022, John returned to writing film reviews, with the hopes of being able to provide a source from a very specific underserved population, blind film lovers. Now, instead of talking about how amazing the cinematography was in a film, or how realistic the visual effects are, John and his site are now focused on the Blind Perspective.
While John will always be able to remember the scenes he enjoyed from his favorite films, like watching the T-Rex chasing the jeep in Jurassic Park, to the lifting of Simba into the air during Circle Of Life in The lion King, John now has a whole new list of titles he’s enjoyed without being able to see a single frame. And a lot of that has to do with audio description and accessibility features.
john does hope that one day, he will finally earn his place among those coveted spots on the Tomatometer, and become a member of one of the critics guilds, but for now, he just wants his blind community to know what has audio description, is it good, and should you watch it.
If you wish to contact John, you may reach him at macthemovieguy AT aol.com (wrote that out to avoid the robots).
And you can subscribe to his reviews on the official Mac The movieguy channel on YouTube, at YouTube.com/macthemovieguy.
He can also be followed on twitter @macthemovieguy.
Some of my favorite films will always light up my life. I will forever be a fan of Pixar, Marvel, Disney, Laika, Studio Ghibli, Dreamworks animation, Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino. Alfred Hitchcock will always be the GOAT, The Wizard of Oz will remain a comfort film, and Walter Matthau will stay at the top of John’s list of favorite actors.
But I must forge ahead. I hope you join me on my new journey.