Originally featured in the Fall '15 issue of Reflections.
By Doug Goodnough
Nate Adams ’17 has been a movie buff since childhood. Now, the Siena Heights University junior theater major is The Movie Buff.
He currently has a budding career as an Internet movie reviewer. After starting a movie review blog in high school, his web site host noticed that traffic to his site was “abnormal.”
“I was averaging 75 visitors a day,” said Adams of his web site, which is hosted by Weebly. “(Weebly) took notice of that. And I wasn’t going out of my way to tell people, either.”
Adams is now paid by Weebly to review movies of all kinds, which gives him special viewing privileges.
“I get to see movies early all the time,” said Adams of the pre-screenings he attends sometimes weeks before films hit the theaters. “That would be enough for me. It’s kind of cool to see a movie weeks early before the general public can see it. Then, I can tell people about it.”
He said his reviews have improved since his Clinton High School days.
“The first thing I like to do in all of my reviews is I like to give at least a brief summary of the film,” Adams said of his review process. “That way, no matter what I say, they can decide for themselves if it’s something they want to go see. It’s just my opinion. I’m not stopping anybody from going to see a movie that they want to go see.”
And Adams definitely has an opinion.
“The only thing about this job, is even though I get see the good movies, the award films, I also have to see movies like ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,’ ” he said. “An ideal movie is one that makes us contemplate, but a movie that also can make us appreciate what is being done in front of us. … It’s a movie you want to tell your friends about or a movie you want to go see again.”
He said he often has people who disagree with his reviews. Take the movie “Southpaw,” released last summer.
“Everybody that I knew loved it. I didn’t,” Adams said. “And I had to face all the backlash from it. I’m not writing for everybody. If I like a movie, I like it. And if I don’t, I don’t.”
Being a college theater student and an acting hopeful also gives him a different perspective from other reviewers.
“One thing I don’t like to criticize is the acting,” Adams said. “I never like to single out anybody’s performance. It’s not fair. I know how I would feel if someone said, ‘Nate Adams gave a terrible performance.’ In my reviews, you will never see me down on somebody unless I know they are better than what they are doing.”
So what is his favorite movie?
“Forrest Gump,” said Adams, who patterns his style after famous reviewer Richard Roeper. “Just because there’s so much there in symbolism and imagery that you could talk about for hours.”
In case movie reviewing and acting careers don’t pan out, Adams is also a budding stand-up comedian. He uses his quick wit and background growing up on a dairy farm in rural Lenawee County as fodder for his material.
“I wear normal clothes. I don’t wear jeans or overalls, the typical stereotype that farmers face every day,” Adams said. “I use it as a punchline of a joke, because nobody expects it. … In my jokes I make it a point to make fun of myself at some point. It’s OK for the audience to laugh then, because they know that it’s you doing it.”
He often uses the “poor college student” shtick in his comedy, as well as material from his other part-time job, which, not surprisingly, is working at a movie theater.
“I’m just going to see what happens,” Adams said of his career options. “Anything in the entertainment industry I would be happy doing. I’ve done drama, I’ve done comedy. I would really like to be in a horror film and get mutilated or die. I’m weird like that.”