Nov 13 2007

About Me

photo by James Dailing, 2007

Photo credit: James Dailing, 2007

Hello, my name is Sean Axmaker.

I was born in Oregon and have lived almost all of my life in the Pacific Northwest (with a brief sojourn in Hawaii, which is “west” and “Pacific” but certainly not “north”). Armed with a Master’s degree in Telecommunications and Film Studies that I earned from the University of Oregon, I spent the subsequent dozen years after graduation managing video stores (specifically the once mighty but now defunct Flicks and Pics in Eugene, Oregon, and the nationally revered Scarecrow Video in Seattle, Washington) while writing film reviews and articles in my spare time. I’ve been writing full time since 1998.

I’m was the DVD columnist for MSN Entertainment for seven years and was a film critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for nine years (until the print edition shut down in 2009). My home video column is currently on Cinephiled and I’m a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online and the Today Show website and the managing editor of Parallax View. I’ve written for Indiewire, The Seattle Weekly, The Stranger, Senses of Cinema, GreenCine.com, film.com (the original incarnation), Filmmaker, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I was the DVD columnist for the Internet Movie Database from 2001 to 2007.

Chandler, age two (or so)

Hammett, age four (or so)

I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammett and Chandler,  affectionate young boys and best buddies who are not brothers but certainly could be, adopted from an animal shelter in the summer of 2010. They keep me company and on long winter evenings keep me warm as they curl up on my lap while I watch movies on DVD and Blu-ray. So sweet they take such and interest in my work.

Toby and Ruby

Toby and Ruby

My previous cats Toby and Ruby passed away in the spring of 2010, within a week of one another.

All material on the this website copyright © Sean Axmaker, unless otherwise noted.

23 Comments

  • By Cynthia Abbott, November 25, 2007 @ 10:02 pm

    Hi Sean
    Thanks for the link to your website….Wishing you success with it and I will check in to see as new things are added.
    Fdbk: Your site is easy to: move around, find stuff and loads up very easily….
    Hope all is well in your life…
    Bye for now,
    Cynthia

  • By Jesse Henderson, December 6, 2007 @ 1:24 pm

    Sean,
    In the spinning swirl of information–I always appreciate the particular character of your thoughts and honesty–thanks for being an inspiration to all of us who labor to birth our passions and creative endeavors–words and otherwise! Kudos to you and Nick (Henderson Graphics) on the site design–those hours in the basement really did pay off. Cheers.

    Jesse

  • By Nick McLean, December 21, 2007 @ 3:06 am

    Hey Sean,

    Nice to see a Parr Towerian doing well. Read your reviews all the time, agree with you almost always. It’s quite a ways since reading you in the Emerald.

    I’m a camera assistant and the writer’s strike is killing me. I work mostly in TV and its pretty much dried up. Counting on February that this thing ends…

    Anyway, congrats, great website, etc…

    Nick

  • By Stefania, January 3, 2008 @ 7:54 am

    Ciao Sean,
    thank you for your mail about the best of 2007. Your website is very interesting, well made and full of information.
    Naturally I appreciate your interesting to the silent movies and I wait for you in Pordenone next October.
    I wish for a very nice and special person like you a wonderful 2008!!!
    kisses
    Stefania

  • By Thom Chambliss, January 3, 2008 @ 2:07 pm

    Dear Sean,

    THERE you are!! Cool. Very cool. Great photo–you’re aging nicely.

    This just arrived from Charley Boyd: http://glumbert.com/media/womenfilm
    Pretty wonderful what you can do now at home with morphing technology.

    I’m hoping to talk to you soon and find out more about what’s going.

    Thom

  • By Leonard Hermens, November 26, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

    Eastern Oregon says “HI!”

  • By Gary Cipparone, February 20, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

    Hey Sean,

    Great to finally find your homepage. Another ex-Parrite sending greetings. I noticed Nick McLean found you also. I have been a member on Netflix for a few years and noted your comments occasionally. Great to see you’re doing well. I have to tell you, your suggestions many years ago of the best starting list of the films of the world’s greatest film makers and the fun advice on some of the most curious images I’ve enjoyed on celluloid came from your advice at Flicks N Pics and discussions on our own time. I still rent and enjoy film but on a whole different level thanks, in part, to you. Congratulations, Sean. You’ve worked hard and succeeded at something you’ve always loved.

    Regards,

    Gary Cipparone

  • By Andrew, March 6, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

    Hello. I really enjoy your reviews. Just read one about “The Vikings”. You mentioned that it spawned several other Viking movies. Other than “The Long Boats”, what would those be? Thanks, Andrew

  • By seanax, March 7, 2009 @ 10:41 am

    The Italians jumped on the Viking bandwagon. Cameron Mitchell alone stars in “Erik the Viking” (not the Terry Jones movie with Tim Robbins), “The Last Viking,” “Attack of the Normans” and “Knives of the Avenger,” just a few of the Italian Viking films of the sixties.

  • By Momcat, April 2, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

    Just linked to your site from DallasEats. Have ‘Billy Liar’ on the DVR and watched ‘Look Back in Anger’ recently. Can you recommend other films from this period?

    I’ll be back!

  • By seanax, April 2, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

    Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and This Sporting Life are both excellent films from the early British New Wave of social realism. On the lighter side (because those are both heavy films) is The Knack (and How to Get It) and A Hard Day’s Night, both by American-in-Britain Richard Lester but highlighted by a very British sense of humor and whimsy. And the perfect cap to your Britain-in-the-sixties series is If… by Lindsay Anderson.

  • By Momcat, April 3, 2009 @ 7:14 am

    Thanks, Sean,
    I appreciate your rapid and thoughtful response. I will definitely check these out! And I’ll keep checking your site for more interesting films.

  • By Bill S., April 24, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

    It’s great to find your website connection on the P-I Globe. Since the P-I paper paper went out of business I’ve missed you and William Arnold terribly—have depended on you guys to help us find the best films to see on the weekends. I’ll be reading you regularly from now on.
    Thanks for coming back to “Blade Runner.” It has never received the praise it deserved. I watch that and “A Clockwork Orange” at least once a year.
    Do you know what has happened to William Arnold? I’ve been unable to find any reviews by him.

  • By admin, April 24, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

    Thanks for the visit. William Arnold has retired from film reviewing as far as I know. I’ll be reviewing films for the PostGlobe within the next couple of weeks.

  • By johnnyk, May 4, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

    Stumbled upon your comments while checking out one of my favorite films “Murder At the Vanities” (I just bought the terrific ‘Pre-Code Hollywood’ set)…I ran ‘Vanities’ on CBUT – Vancouver back in the 70s (complete!) when scheduling films was my wonderful job…Your comments are bang on and intelligent – and more deservedly generous then Leonards…Keep up the great work ! (The last scene in ‘Vanities’ with Toby and Jack is worth the price of admission!)

  • By Ljiljana, May 13, 2009 @ 10:08 am

    Hello Sean.
    Thanks for articles, they were great.
    Hope to read more soon.

  • By Charlotte, May 15, 2009 @ 1:18 am

    Hi Sean, this is my first time posting a message. Just wanted to pop-in and say I totally enjoyed reading your MSN webpage on Secrets Societies, (a deep interest of mine), plus your seriously funny, I like the way you think and express in words… your sense of humor and down right, huh-huh-right, if-you-say-soo, regarding the untruths and deeply hidden secrets many pass and present members of these groups still swear by. Sending two sweet snuggles to Toby & Ruby. Have a wonder Saturday. Charlotte

  • By Momcat, June 16, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

    Hi, Sean,
    Me, again. Tried to watch the movie ‘Kiss Me, Stupid’ last weekend on TCM. I have NEVER seen such a bad movie – with Dean Martin, Kim Novak and the always entertaining Ray Walston. Do you know the backstory on this fiasco???
    Thanks!

  • By Dalt, May 24, 2010 @ 7:49 am

    Great to finally find your homepage. Another ex-Parrite sending greetings. I noticed Nick McLean found you also. I have been a member on Netflix for a few years and noted your comments occasionally. Great to see you’re doing well. I have to tell you, your suggestions many years ago of the best starting list of the films of the world’s greatest film makers and the fun advice on some of the most curious images I’ve enjoyed on celluloid came from your advice at Flicks N Pics and discussions on our own time. I still rent and enjoy film but on a whole different level thanks, in part, to you. Congratulations, Sean. You’ve worked hard and succeeded at something you’ve always loved.
    +1

  • By Donna Dundon, September 3, 2010 @ 10:51 am

    Sean, Could not agree with you more re Intelligence. Why do the good ones always get cancelled? Just discovered this series and DaVinci’s Inquest. Excellent actors, characters, writing. Kudos to Chris Haddock and Company.

  • By Barry Downes, January 15, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

    Congratulations, Sean, on your excellent review and analysis of the series “Intelligence.” I just bumped into the series on DVD through Netflix. It was about as perfect a series as I have ever seen in its genre. As a former television critic in New York (a long, long time ago), currently a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, East and a rather experienced writer and producer in network specials and live events who includes on his c.v. co-producing and writing a series of Lincoln Center Annual Film Galas including working directly with Alfred Hitchcock to create a definitive full length evening of his work including live on-stage appearances from some of the many stars that appeared in his films (he did say that he believed it was the best presented event he had ever seen of his work)… I think I just rambled a sentence here. Anyway I wasn’t trying to pitch my resume, but only to confirm that I have seen a hell of a lot of television and film material over the years and Chris Haddock did a letter perfect job in developing one of the most brilliant pieces of work I’ve ever seen.

    It’s hard not to admire the twists and turns of the storyline, his handling of the characters, often creating fascinating individuals, but always behaving in a perfectly believable and logical way within the framework of the plot. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen another series with such a fast pace moving from scene to scene, almost dancing across the screen, yet never confusing the audience. It also had a sustained level of tension and excitement that never let up for a moment. Hell, I also did 8 years of teaching of television production and writing for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the New School here in New York and I could do a whole course just devoted to analyzing this one series and all the genius it displayed.

    If you ever get a chance to say hello to Chris Haddock tell him it’s the best surprise gift I’ve been given in many, many years. I don’t know how the promotion of this excellent a series got so badly off track. It certainly deserved to enjoy a life of far more than 25 episodes. I doubt I’ll ever discover another series displaying this much talented again. I’m still shaking my head over how low ratings and a lack of renewal could have happened in the first place.

    All best wishes,
    Barry Downes

  • By Terry Castle, October 7, 2011 @ 11:26 am

    Thank you so much for all your lovely coverage about my father. He would be so pleased to know that his legacy lives on.

    Best,
    Terry Castle

  • By P. Easter, October 11, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    At tcm.com: Your review on movie “My Brother’s Wedding” has incorrect info. Wendell Mundy is played by Monte Easter not Dennis Kemper, (he played Mr. Mundy the father). This information needs to be corrected.

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