A Long Goodbye to My Four Years as a Ram Film Critic


Long time Ram film critic, Matt Dillon, FCRH ’20 says farewell. (Courtesy of Matt Dillon/ The Fordham Ram)

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what I’m going to miss most from my time at Fordham University. It’s a good way to keep my mind off of the COVID-19 situation. Or it might be an extension of those worries. Whatever the case, I quickly realized that of all the things I did at Fordham, there’s nothing I’m going to miss more than writing for the Ram. 

I’ve been writing film reviews since high school, both for my own blog and Fordham Prep’s school newspaper (I’m soon to be what they call a “Double Ram.”) But with the help of the Ram’s talented, engaged editors I brought my writing skills where I needed them to be.

But as proud as I am of my work over the years, I have more to show from my time with the Ram than just words on a page. Hunting down films to review became an adventure in and of itself. The varied list of movies that showed up on each week’s budget sheet sent me far and wide across the city.

When it wasn’t limited-run releases bringing me to parts unknown, it was just my own poor scheduling. Rushing to find a showtime that I could squeeze in between my academic responsibilities and the four and a half hour roleplaying game session I had written out the night before brought me to some interesting places. I also discovered my favorite theater, the Village East Cinema in Greenwich Village.

In that way, writing for the Ram helped me fulfill Fordham’s refrain of “New York is my Campus.” It brought me to some new theaters, but I discovered a whole lot more than that. Soon writing a review for the Ram would be the highlight of my week, as it gave me an opportunity to go on an adventure. That aspect offset even the worst films I reviewed (and yes, that’s including “Venom.”)

All in all, writing for the Ram was an entirely new experience, one I don’t think I’ll ever have again. Thankfully, it helped me produce some work I am truly proud of and a skillset I’m already putting to good use. There were plenty of points over the last few years where I doubted my future as a writer, but the Ram helped set me in the right direction and put those fears to rest.

Most importantly, writing these reviews also brought me into a great community of like-minded individuals through weekly copy editing meetings. Each week brought something new, as in between editing articles we always made time to share playlists, discuss TV shows and spark up some truly unforgettable debates.

I appreciate everyone who took the time to read my reviews, as well as all the good friends that helped them reach print. I’ll be writing for the rest of my life, even if it won’t be for the Ram anymore. My family still has stacks of issues scattered around the house, copies left over from the ones mailed to grateful relatives, so I have plenty of physical reminders of when I was a film critic for the Ram.

I’m sad that it’s come to an end, but I’m glad that I was lucky enough to have these experiences at all. I intend to hold on to those skills, memories and friends for the rest of my life. Nothing lasts forever, but I can safely say I made the most of my time with the Ram.