Welcome to the Film Pie!
Thanks for visiting the site. I'm Matthew Toomey of Brisbane, Australia.
Luckily for me, my very first part-time job was that in a video store (Rainbow Video Kedron) and it was there where my love of movies began. It was great fun serving all the regular customers and talking about what movies were good and what were not so good. I have a lot of fond memories of the play working with Ann, Cliff, Lisa, Colby and Darren Hayes (ex Savage Garden and now a solo singer).
Not long after I started working there, I won a gold movie pass (unlimited movies for 12 months) in a Pick The Oscars competition in Who Weekly. Could it get any better?
Since the 1st of January 1996, I've kept a database of all the movies I've seen and my corresponding grade. I work on a 9 point scale from A+ to C-. If you're looking for a benchmark to help you, I'd consider a B grade to be average. I only hand out about five A+ grades each year and so am very selective in choosing the films worthy of that honour.
For almost every film with a major theatrical release in Brisbane since 1996, there'll be a grade on this site. You won't find reviews for any direct-to-video releases because I find there just isn't enough time to catch up with them all. One-off films I've seen at film festivals are also unlikely to appear here unless they've had a later theatrical release. A downside is that I know there are a small number of films releases in cinemas of Sydney and Melbourne which we don't see up here in Brisbane. They also won't appear on the site and I'm sorry about that.
In 1998, through my association with another video store, I secured a small position at Logan 101.1FM where I speak about the latest cinema and video releases for about 10 minutes every Thursday night at 5:30pm. I've been doing it for over 11 years now and I have never tired of it - I just love movies and helping people find the right stuff to watch. Most of what I read on air comes direct from my reviews which you'll find on this site.
Late in 1998, I began this website. It was a crappy one page thing under the equally crappy name Matt's Movie World. I changed the name a few months later to The Film Pie (it had a ring to it) and have been developing the website ever since.
In 1999, I began my Film Pie email newsletter. I found it was often a pain to keep visiting the website so to generate interest, I published a weekly newsletter (Monday nights) advising people what to see, what was coming soon, and what was dominating the box-office. I also used the newsletter as an opportunity to talk about interesting film news and happenings in the industry. I'm happy to say the newsletter is still going strong and if you're interested in joining the mailing list, details can be found at the top of this page.
From the start of 2000, I started writing full-length reviews for many of the releases. I found a simple grade wasn't always the best guide and for many movies, I had so many items of praise (or not) that I needed to express somehow. All of these reviews can be found on the site with links in the archive section.
In 2005, the friendly people of ABC Radio in Brisbane stumbled across my website and I now do a movie review show for them (which also runs for about 10 minutes). It's exciting because it has a much wider audience than Logan 101.1FM and plus it has given me the chance to go on some mailing lists for critics only screenings. This is a great relief to me because I can see the film and have some time up my sleeve to write a review. I currently do the movie reviews on ABC Radio Brisbane every Thursday morning at 6:40am (with hosts Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan)..
After years of using the same website, I decided to reinvigorate it in June 2009. I added some new features - the most powerful being a search engine which allows you to search all my old reviews, blogs, columns, and awards. I added a brand new, contemporary theme, as well as iPhone and smartphone formatted sites.
Ideally, I hope you find this website useful in that it helps you find something worth seeing. No two opinions are ever the same and I know there will be some who disagree with most of my opinions. Hell, I don't mind. I prefer to argue about movies than to agree. It provides way more conversation. I've you read enough of my reviews, you might pick up on the fact that my favourite films are black comedies and my least favourite are unrealistic action flicks and predictable romantic comedies.
Within the website, I have tried to provide additional information which I myself find very useful. Surf around the site and see what you can find.
As I hinted at above, the website has been a long time in development. Since its early days, I've always wanted it to be more meaningful and will all the changes I've made, it's starting to take shape. I know the graphics and style isn't anything flash but the content is all there. I'm happy to say there are now over 5,000 grades and over 2,000 full length reviews for films of the past 24 years.
I do apologise in advance for my many spelling and grammatical errors. I do have a regular day job and this website and the reviews it contains take up a lot of my spare time. Frankly, I'm too lazy to proofread.
See you at the movies!