Paul Tatara was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 17, 1963. Tatara and
his family moved to Arab, Alabama (pop. 6,800) when he was 4 years old.
During his formative years, he focused almost solely on playing baseball,
basketball, and football. Though he's still a Cleveland sports fanatic --
the return of the Browns in 1999 made him cry -- movies have been Tatara's
guiding passion since the age of 14. He graduated from Auburn University in
After graduation, he lived in Gainesville, Florida for 5 years, where he
managed a record store. Music is another driving force in his life,
with Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, and Bob Dylan serving as his Holy
Trinity. (Thelonious Monk, Randy Newman, and Frank Sinatra would also
squeeze in there, given more than three slots). The highlight of his Florida
retail career came when rock icon Bo Diddley (a regular customer) plugged up
in front of the store, hit a groove, and proceeded to jam on the same
whump-a-thump riff for about 5 hours. Eventually, Tatara had to tell him to
If only movies worked this way.
Tatara moved to New York City in 1990 to pursue a career in writing. He has
written several spec screenplays, as well as an unproduced script for 20th
Century Fox. He also adapted "The Thrill of the Grass," a short story by
W.P. Kinsella, for an episode of a future TV series to be produced by
Kennedy/Marshall Productions. His original screenplay, "The Almost Perfect
Game" (based on the career of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee), is
currently in development at Paramount Pictures, with Woody Harrelson set to
star and produce. Since January 1997, he's been trying to entertain
and inform people by daring to write what he actually thinks about movies
for CNN Interactive. He has also been covering movies and pop culture for goodauthority.org since late 1999. He is endlessly amazed at how often this honesty irks
Tatara is a traditionalist, preferring steak and potatoes to elaborately
seasoned seaweed, and stories about recognizable human emotions to shots of
screaming extras outrunning the umpteenth fireball.
He says he'll apologize for the things he writes in his movie reviews as
soon as the studios make amends for completely selling out what could still
be a thriving art form. He suggests something on the order of the blanket settlement by the tobacco industry. Considering how many lousy films
he's watched over the years, this would leave him sitting pretty.