Mr. Beaks Gotta EatI just now saw this news. I've been following your writing at AICN, then Collider and here at CHUD. Mr. Smith, I'm not saddened so much that you're leaving CHUD but saddened because your writing really seemed to flourish here.. This place seemed to offer you so much more freedom of expression.
The exhaustive knowledge and style were always there but here you were able to share it in inventive new ways; your Canon articles, the For No Good Reason columns, Tag Team movie reviews, You've Got it All Wrong, etc. As excellent as you were when you arrived here, working along side the other main writers allowed me to see you 'raising your game' even higher. This goes for the others as well, as you similarly pushed them to even more greatness and despite the bemoaning of some of the 'cool crowd' here this site flourished in quality during your sojourn.
It's not my place to ask why you couldn't be retained here, but as someone who feels you have the potential to be one of the best writers on the web (and not just films), it is my place to hold out hope for you and your writing in the future. Not just hope that you'll finally be able to pull down the dollars your worth (make sure Knowles pays you in euros this time!) but that you can find the self-actualization as a writer that your content seemed to indicate you had at least a small serving of here. For years some of the talkbackers at AICN always took shots at you for choice of style and how it spoke to an overly developed sense of self-importance. They couldn't have been more off the mark because I think you really haven't yet understood your full potential.
Everyone here has already thanked you for various things and I could echo those as well, but I won't. Instead, I wanted to earnestly thank you for singling out Mr. Fischer for attention in your farewell message. Because he doesn't carry himself with the same sort of flamboyance as you, Mr. Nunziata or Mr. Faraci, he too often seems to get left out of the spotlight of people commenting as to the "Thanks, so and so's writing is why I come to this site!" sort of praise. I think Mr. Fischer's style is a wonderful amalgam of what makes each of the rest of everyone's styles so enjoyable and vibrant.
At any rate, I'll continue to be a fan (not in the 'De Niro' way, don't worry) and I hope to see what you'll have in store for your readership in the future. Godspeed to you Mr. Beaks.