As an early subscriber to Cinebooks' "Motion Picture Guide," I was amazed to see Charles Champlin's review of this 12-volume film reference work when only four volumes have been printed! That's tantamount to having Ruth Reichl review a meal based on the appetizer or Dan Sullivan write a critique of a three-act play after only one act!
Champlin must have had an ax to grind (does he endorse AFI or Variety?) because he nit-picked and never mentioned the fact that "Casablanca" and "Citizen Kane" got more than 10,000 words or that "Gone With the Wind" had about 17,000 words in the scholarly reviews.
He further refers to it as a "fan" work. As a retired librarian who has seen the AFI volumes of the 1920s and the '60s (which are dull, dryly written and probably won't be done until the next century dawns), I take umbrage over his praising the majestic "Motion Picture Guide" with faint damns.
There has never been anything like it, and it is doubtful if there ever will be.