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Leonard Maltin

dvd reviews: DISNEY DOCS FINALLY ON DVD

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 29, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Two significant Disney-related documentaries, Walt & El Grupo, the story of Walt Disney’s sojourn to South America in 1941, and The Boys, the life story of the songwriting Sherman Brothers, are being released on DVD tomorrow, along with the story of the animation department’s fall and rise and fall, Waking Sleeping Beauty. Even if you were lucky enough to see these films in their extremely limited theatrical release, the DVDs have bonus material that makes them a must for any Disney buff.

BRIGHTENING THE PICTURE

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 26, 2010 5:32 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Even though we’re in our fifth season on the air, and beamed into more than 50 million homes, ReelzChannel is still building its audience. Not long ago the powers-that-be decided to commission new sets, not only to make them more attractive,

film review: King's Speech

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 25, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 8 Comments
I sometimes recoil when people start spreading Oscar buzz about a movie I haven’t seen—or even had a chance to see—yet, but I’m willing to forgive this year’s campaign for The King’s Speech because it’s such a terrific movie. There are times when I look around me and get the feeling that civilization, as I know it, is coming to an end. Then a film like this arrives on the scene and restores my faith, not only in movies but in humankind itself.

film review: TANGLED

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 24, 2010 5:36 AM
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  • 5 Comments
I approach each new Disney film with a combination of eagerness and apprehension: will it be as good as I want it to be? Can “the new guys” carry the torch lit by Walt and his colleagues so many years ago? Where Tangled is concerned, I knew within minutes that the answer was yes. I could tell from the look and sound of the film that it had the qualities people have always sought in a Disney animated fairy tale. I felt like I was home. Yet Tangled is a completely contemporary film that puts its own spin on the source material, with clever staging, hip humor and spectacular action scenes.

film review: Love And Other Drugs

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 24, 2010 5:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

film review: Burlesque

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 24, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The people behind Burlesque did at least a few things right. First, Cher has an amazing screen presence, and a way with dialogue that seems absolutely effortless. (I’ll admit, it takes some adjustment to accept her now-frozen face, but one either accepts Cher as it or not at all.) Then they hired Stanley Tucci to play her gay best friend and right-hand man, essentially reprising the role he essayed so well in The Devil Wears Prada. No matter—he brightens every scene he’s in, and delivers his lines with the panache of a true master. But these old pros have to swim up-tide against a screenplay that’s so hokey and weather-beaten you have to wonder how it got approved by a major studio.

A Community Comes Together

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 22, 2010 3:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It’s easy to find cynical views of Hollywood in the press, and even in fictional films and TV shows. The venal industry depicted in Entourage seems all too credible to insiders and civilians alike. Turner Classic Movies’ Moguls and Movie Stars series reminds us that scandal has been a part of Hollywood since the silent era. But it’s rare for anyone to write or talk about the human side of this company town. I saw that aspect of Hollywood this past week in the wake of a terrible tragedy when longtime publicist Ronni Chasen was murdered Monday night.
More: Journal

film review: Made In Dagenham

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 19, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
When a film is based on a fascinating true story, and marshals grade-A talent on both sides of the camera, it automatically gets my attention. Made in Dagenham is inspired by a real-life labor struggle—apparently little remembered, even in England—that is both timely and relevant today. There is no reason on earth the results shouldn’t have been stronger. The raw material has all the makings of great drama: in 1968, female workers at the vast Ford Motor Co. factory in a suburb of London went on strike after being reclassified as unskilled laborers, with a commensurate reduction in salary. Women weren’t taken seriously in the workforce, and their actions have wide, and unexpected, reverberations. Sally Hawkins (who won worldwide recognition for her starring role in Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky) does a great job as a—

film review: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART ONE

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 18, 2010 5:42 AM
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  • 5 Comments
In the old days of Saturday matinee serials, audiences faced with cliffhanger endings took comfort in knowing that the story would be resumed one week later. The same can’t be said for the latest Harry Potter picture, which offers much incident but no resolution: for that, we all have to wait until next year. If you’re a dedicated Potter fan, you’ll have to take what you can from this one—mainly, the pleasure of spending time with its leading characters and the young actors who play them. Following J.K. Rowling’s narrative, there are no scenes at Hogwarts’ Academy. This denies us the opportunity to revel in seeing the finest British actors alive in the vast Potter ensemble; we get only token appearances from Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane and a handful of others, while Maggie Smith, as Professor McGonagall, is absent altogether.

dvd review: John Ford: Hiding In Plain Sight

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 18, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Many people believed that John Ford was the finest American director of the 20th Century. In a perfect world, all of his films would be readily available for viewing but that is simply not the case.

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