First off, I think the website is in fact moving to the right direction, but what was wrong with the collegepublisher format (yes the layout could have used some work but it seemed okay).
Second, since I am in fact a ‘film critic’, I have to of course dish some out, but I hope it is constructive. Issues:
1. The menu: Maybe this is just my personal preference, but while red is a hard design color to work with (obviously, never make the transition to the much overused blue), orange/brown gradients are hardly the direction to go in I think.
2. The logo: Mixed feelings, but I would have still opted for something slightly more traditional/simple. While the layering is good with having the sun on top of the blurred background, the text on top of that is lacking any depth (it appaears flat on top of the sun whcih has its drop shadow). Why not opt for a simple text graphic masthead (maybe something with a little flair and more definition/more prominent)?
3. Currently, the headline link blends right into the gradient bar. I hope this isn’t intentional.
4. The 2-column layout is clean, but why have the blocks on the righthand side? It might be best to opt for a 3 column layout with the most important blcoks on the lefthand side (navigation, calendar) and secondary blocks on the right hand side, seeing as English is read right to left.
5. I understand things are still very much a work in progress, but I hope you guys acknowledge the fact that you are using Drupal somewhere on the site, seeing as its only fair to the open source programmers of the language. It looks like it has been tinkered with, and honestly if you need any help feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), as I have some experience working with Drupal and its features, and I would def be willing to help with the website (I’m on Daze, but whatever).
Other than that, keep up the good work.