Today: Life After The Kansas City Star for Movie Critic Robert W. Butler

Here we go again…

Forget about Thor and Hangover 2, the summer movie season launches tonight with X Men: First Class. And absent for the first time in decades is the watchful eye of venerable Kansas City Star movie critic Robert W. Butler. Butler took a bullet early last month in the latest round of quarterly layoffs and cutbacks at the newspaper.

But wait – he’s baaack!

Like a bad teen terror flick bad guy, Butler has risen from the dead (kinda like me), not once but thrice!

On Facebook, his new blog and a North Carolina-based geezer repository called Senior Correspondent.

In keeping with the Star‘s long-in-the-tooth readership, Butler’s first movie review writing pit stop went down on Senior Correspondent, which claims to offer "a seasoned view of the world."

"Senior Correspondent engages older adults in reporting on their lives," the site says. "This is a first in participatory, citizen journalism: an Internet- and community-based platform where older adults will share their perspectives on the world."

Butler’s latest:  One Reason Why Today’s Movies (Mostly) Suck.

"I’ve found over the last quarter century that most films wear out their welcome long before the closing credits," Butler opines. "They may start strong, but like every horse I’ve ever bet on, they fade in the stretch."

Not exactly a huge suprise.

Butler faded in the stretch while trying to review Transformers 2 the summer before last. After KC Confidential reported seeing him asleep during the battles scenes late in the movie, the Star subbed out his promised review with another McClatchy reviewer until he could rewrite it adding the part about him dozing off during the movie.

"We’re in the era of great movie openings and awful movie endings," Butler concludes.

Butler’s blog – Butler’s Cinema Scene – is up and running with "movie reviews taking the long view" –  whatever that means.

"Robert W. Butler for 41 years reviewed films for the Kansas City Star," the blog’s mission statement states. "In May 2011 he was downsized. He couldn’t take the hint."

Facebook friends of Butler’s (you’ll have to friend him) say he’s been jamming full-blown reviews into his page. Which is a little unusual at first blush, but he’ll probably just link them now that the blog is up.

As for me, I wish him well in his newspaper afterlife. It’s a jungle out here!

This entry was posted in Entertainment and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Today: Life After The Kansas City Star for Movie Critic Robert W. Butler

  1. Gerald Bostock says:

    Way to use the shoe leather
    This would be more informative if you made some effort to interview him.

  2. Hearne Christopher says:

    It’s be more informative if I did a half dozen other things as well. I’ve got a ton of Butler trivia and stories I could add to the mix. Just giving readers a heads up on where he is, where to find him with a little flavoring. I did place a call and leave a message to the Senior Living dude btw.

    You want more?

    OK, how about SR’s bio that touts Butler’s “co-editing” a couple Bill Vaughan books. W/o mentioning that he’s married to Bill Vaughan’s daughter. Full disclosure? Want more?

  3. xxMillerTimexx says:

    Hearne
    Reply From: Hearne Christopher
    03:46:09 PM – Thu. Jun 2. 2011

    It’s be more informative if I did a half dozen other things as well. I’ve got a ton of Butler trivia and stories I could add to the mix. Just giving readers a heads up on where he is, where to find him with a little flavoring. I did place a call and leave a message to the Senior Living dude btw.

    You want more?

    OK, how about SR’s bio that touts Butler’s “co-editing” a couple Bill Vaughan books. W/o mentioning that he’s married to Bill Vaughan’s daughter. Full disclosure? Want more?”
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Stuff like this only makes you look like a slimy, pretentious prick.

  4. Gerald Bostock says:

    ok
    Do you want to be informative, or are you happy settling for snarky?

    Amending my comment to be a little more to the point: This item about Butler reads like you went out of your way NOT to talk to him. It makes the item appear kind of weird and squirrelly. Just sayin’. Is there some reason Butler would decline to be interviewed by HC Jr? Is there bad blood from the FYI days?

  5. chuck says:

    Butler was the best.
    I always read his reviews.

    Good flicks are hard to find these days imo.

  6. Hearne Christopher says:

    Too mucha that MillerTime will make you mean, dude

  7. Hearne Christopher says:

    You must be a hoot to hang with. Trying to read between all those lines, sort thru the imaginary tea leaves. Never had an unkind word or run in with Bob. We had some different hours because of his day and night screenings. And he was kind of quiet, kept a bit to himself.

    Nice try though.
    Long as you’re guessing, how about maybe his wife dumped me and married Bob? Yeah, that’s it!

    I went out of my way for nothing. Other than to gradually learn of his situation and (finally) get around to verifying things and passing it along to readers. In time for the summer movies.

    Look dude, there’s a difference between giving people a heads up with a bit of – dare I say, flavor – and tracking somebody down for an interview.

    Reporting versus interviewing. An interview would have just stretched things out needlessly when the mission was to heads people up on where to find him.

    Now would be agree to an interview and be candid about his departure and other questions that might be asked? My hunch is, he might be hesitant to do so.

    Trust me, I’ve got lots of friends that got banged by the Star – right or wrong – who have some deep seated feelings about it that wouldn’t dare air those feelings publicly.

    Bad form, ya know?

    Me? I’ve pretty much been an open book. No hard feelings but yes, I was disappointed. Lots of people took their layoffs very personally.

    Usually because in part they thought that some of the people who didn’t take a hit were their lesser.

    Next….

  8. Hearne Christopher says:

    Now you know where to find him.

    And I will say this, the Star is very controlling in many ways. My hunch is Bob will feel far more enabled, if you will, to express himself. Of course, he still has to stay a little bit on the good side of the movie folks.

  9. Robertoe says:

    Much improved movie reviews
    I liked Butler’s movie reviews but I like where its evolved much better. I can now go to Rotten Tomatoes and get scores of reviews from critics and commoners with numeric ratings from both. About the only option I had 15 years ago was the KC Star and Robert Butler. That sucked.

    I’m sure not gonna miss him, and the quality of the movies I go to see has improved substantially.

  10. chuck says:

    Robertoe
    Your right, but I am 60, in Butler’s age group, and in the old days, he was golden. With no national reviews extemporaneously available the day the flick came out, he was on the money. My friends and I, always knew if Butler liked it, and it was a genre we liked, we would go see it.

    Rotten Tomatoes is cool, so are B2 Bombers.

    Back in the day, it was me, Butler, and my Navy Colt.

    I want a scooter chair pretty bad. 🙂

  11. Rita says:

    Really?
    I heard from several folks Butler was coming to KCConfidential.

Comments are closed.