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Brooklyn Housing Court bar president has growing following for his film reviews

October 13, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Michael Rosenthal, president of the Kings County Housing Court Bar Association, also reviews movies at Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Many members of the Brooklyn legal community know Michael Rosenthal as the president of the Kings County Housing Court Bar Association, but a growing number of his friends and colleagues are also beginning to regard him as a prolific movie reviewer.

Rosenthal has been practicing law for more than 30 years and has served as president of the Kings County Housing Court Bar Association for the past 12, but about seven years ago, he started pursuing an entirely different interest; he began writing movie reviews on Facebook, re-immersing himself in a hobby that dated back to his days at Brooklyn College. By 2012, Rosenthal had started to build somewhat of a following, so he got his nephew to help him build

“I always hated reviews that gave away too much of the plot, which way too many of them do,” Rosenthal said. “I don’t want to read a review that goes on for a whole page like you see in The New York Times sometimes. Should I go see it? And why should I go see it? Should I stay away, and why? That’s what I want out of a review, and that’s what I try to do myself.”

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Rosenthal currently has more than 700 movie reviews, 86 album reviews, 27 television show reviews, 20 theater reviews and four concert reviews on his website. His commentary generates a lot of discussion on Facebook, and he explained that many people tell him that they don’t go see a movie without consulting his review first.

“I think you truly missed your calling,” one commenter wrote on Facebook in response to a review. “Not only are you an excellent writer, but you succinctly capture what’s good and bad about a film. This gives people like me the option to throw away their money or not. Thanks.”

As Rosenthal is passionate about movies, he does all of this in his free time. He insists on seeing the movies in the theater and says that he has five regular theaters that he goes to depending on the film. His favorite is Atrium Stadium Cinemas in Staten Island.

“They all know me by now,” Rosenthal said of the employees at the Atrium. “I stand and talk to the owners every time that I’m there. A few weeks ago, I showed up without my wallet, and they weren’t concerned, and just said, ‘you’ll get us next time.’”

Recently, Rosenthal’s wife, Melissa Rosenthal, rented out a theater in the Atrium and threw him a surprise birthday party. He called it one of the best birthdays he has ever had, despite the fact that it was what he called a “terrible” movie playing that night — “Independence Day: Resurgence.”

So what are the top three movies of 2016 so far, according to Rosenthal? “Captain Fantastic,” starring Viggo Mortensen; “Hell or High Water,” starring Chris Pine and Ben Foster; and “Sully,” starring Tom Hanks.

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