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Leonard Maltin

Oscar Looks Beyond Hollywood

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 25, 2011 6:49 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Considering that the membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is comprised of people who work in the mainstream movie industry, it’s encouraging to see that they refuse to follow the company line and repeatedly honor good work from the independent film world and foreign countries. Some major players lobbied hard, and spent untold thousands of dollars, to attract Academy interest this year, but the voting members opted for actors like Javier Bardem, Jennifer Lawrence, and Michelle Williams and films like Winter’s Bone, Blue Valentine, and Rabbit Hole instead.

German Film History Uncovered

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 24, 2011 5:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment
A beautiful poster for Das alte Gesetz (The Old Law), from 1923, a seeming precursor to The Jazz Singer about a rabbi’s son who becomes a successful stage actor.
More: Journal

film review: No Strings Attached

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 21, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

My Award Show Diary

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 18, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Bill Murray waxes eloquent about Sofia Coppola at the National Board of Review awards.
More: Journal

film review: The Green Hornet

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 17, 2011 2:25 AM
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  • 7 Comments
It’s difficult to describe The Green Hornet because even it doesn’t know what it wants to be. The result is a noisy, overlong attention-deficit jumble of semi-serious story threads undermined by an anarchic sense of humor, with the most pointless (and ineffectual) use of 3-D in recent memory.

film review: Barney's Version

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 14, 2011 12:26 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Paul Giamatti is one of those actors whose presence in a movie generally validates it, and Barney’s Version is no exception. He manages to make a central character with few—if any—admirable traits not only bearable but downright compelling. And if this Barney strays from the way Mordecai Richler painted him in his first-person novel, he still justifies his existence in this entertaining film.

dvd review: STILL RAGING

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 12, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 6 Comments
The other night, my wife and I sat down to watch the new 30th Anniversary Blu-ray edition of Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. I could scarcely believe it’s been three decades since we first saw it, start to finish, and I felt some trepidation, as I always do when revisiting a great movie of the past: will it hold up or disappoint after all this time?

Animation Marvels—In Print And On DVD

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 10, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
A spectacular new book about Ray Harryhausen is cause for celebration—but more about that later. The estimable Mr. H was inspired to pursue his art, and craft, by the films he saw as a boy, especially The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933). But the man who created the stunning animation in those films, Willis O’Brien, wasn’t the only person experimenting with the wonders of stop-motion. Steve Stanchfield, Stewart McKissick and Ken Priebe at Thunderbean Animation have compiled a dizzying DVD collection of rare short subjects appropriately titled Stop-Motion Marvels! and it’s a must for anyone interested in this field.

film review: Blue Valentine

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 7, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Two daring performances make Blue Valentine a standout, even if the film’s reach somewhat exceeds its grasp. Director and co-writer Derek Cianfrance attempts to explore the beginning and end of an intimate relationship, hopscotching back and forth in time from the couple’s first meeting and subsequent wooing through the utter disintegration of their marriage.

CRUISING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 5, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
It may not sound like work, because I’m lucky enough to combine business and pleasure, but I lecture on Princess Cruises. For a year-end trip through the Panama Canal I was asked to introduce four of my favorite unsung films of 2010, and I was happy to do so. City Island was by far the audience favorite—people thanked me for days after the screening—but Mother and Child was also well received, along with Flipped and The Winning Season. Seasoned film-buff passengers also fared quite well with my session of movie trivia, scoring 17 out of a possible 20.
More: Journal

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