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Leonard Maltin

film review—TRON LEGACY

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 17, 2010 5:17 AM
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  • 6 Comments
If you’re old enough to remember seeing Tron when it came out in 1982, you may understand why I wasn’t chomping at the bit to see this much-hyped sequel. Tron was revolutionary in its use of computer graphics to place Jeff Bridges into a videogame environment—and that was definitely cool. But even cutting-edge technology needs a story to create a satisfying movie experience, and that’s where Tron fell short. I’m sorry to say the new movie is an example of history repeating itself.

film review—HOW DO YOU KNOW

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 17, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment
If you admire such films as Broadcast News, Terms of Endearment, and As Good as it Gets, as I do, you’ll be rooting for James L. Brooks to score another bull’s-eye with his latest effort. But it’s clear pretty early on that How Do You Know is a muddled misfire: a tiresome, talky romantic comedy about a bright young woman who, at a vulnerable moment in her life, can’t decide between two men—neither of whom seems terribly appealing. That these three characters are played by Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd makes it even more—

More New And Notable Film Books

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 15, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 7 Comments
A few weeks ago I did a survey of recently-published film books. Here is a second installment, drawn mostly from quick skims and first impressions. I don’t pretend these are full-fledged reviews based on reading these volumes in their entirety. They all look interesting and I hope they fulfill that promise. I happen to be of the opinion that there is no better, more personal gift than a good book. There is also no better way to treat yourself, especially if you have any “down time” coming up over the holidays.

Chaplin—First, Last, And Always

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 13, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments
For me, comedy begins with Charlie Chaplin. I know there were screen comedies before he came along, and I appreciate the work of everyone from Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew to Max Linder. But none of them created a persona as unique or indelible as the Little Tramp, and no one could match his worldwide impact.

film review: The Fighter

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 10, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The Fighter doesn’t just take place in Lowell, Massachusetts; it reeks with the atmosphere of this working-class New England town, making vivid use of its look, feel, and sounds. Director David O. Russell clearly immersed himself in the community and worked overtime to capture its flavor, going so far as to cast some local non-actors (notably, police officer and fight trainer Mickey O’Keefe as himself). What makes the movie work as well as it does is that Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and especially Melissa Leo blend seamlessly into this setting alongside the real-life residents.

film review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 10, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
After a great start with the adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and a somewhat less enthralling (and war-laden) follow-up, Prince Caspian, the big-screen version of The Chronicles of Narnia rebounds with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Gift Ideas: From Reel Clocks To John Wayne's Toupee

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 7, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments
As promised, here is a wide-ranging selection of gift ideas for that special film buff in your life. When I started collecting 8mm films as a boy, and then graduated to 16mm, reels and cans were strictly functional items. I never dreamed that I’d see the day when they were pieces of décor or objets d’art. I started thinking along those lines in recent years when I came upon especially attractive or distinctive reels or Kodascope library cans from the 1920s which polish up to a high shine. But now, the oldest name in this field, Goldberg Brothers of Denver, is manufacturing all sorts of neat items based on 16mm and 35mm reels, which has been their specialty for the greater part of the last century. Apparently some theaters are using 35mm reels cleaved in half as door pulls, while movie buffs of all stripes can enjoy wall clocks and end tables fashioned from brand-new metal reels. I happened upon these products in the airline gift catalog called Sky Mall, which you can access HERE or by calling 1-800-759-6255. You can see even more products at the Goldberg Brothers website, but they only sell their products through—
More: Journal

Going Crazy For The Holidays

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 6, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
If you’re unsure what to give that film-buff friend or relative this year for Christmas, or the last night of Chanukah, might I be so bold as to suggest a gift subscription to Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy? We’ll send the lucky recipient our current issue, with my story on the forgotten music of Casablanca and an interview with MGM director George Sidney, along with a personalized gift card. That will be the first of four issues, which are published on an admittedly irregular schedule. If you want to augment the gift you can also purchase back issues which are chockfull of unusual interviews, articles, rare photos and movie memorabilia. For more information click HERE.

film review: I Love You, Phillip Morris

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 3, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Jim Carrey is a talented man but, like other performers whose gifts are wide-ranging and difficult to pigeonhole, he needs good material and a guiding hand. He has found both in I Love You, Phillip Morris. In fact, I think he gives the best performance of his career in this provocative and unusual film from writer-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who are best remembered for writing Bad Santa. This movie isn’t likely to win over too many of Carrey’s mainstream-comedy fans, or fundamentalists who don’t heed the R rating, but I think it’s a first-rate piece of work.

film review: BLACK SWAN

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 3, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 26 Comments
Evaluating any movie is a matter of personal taste. Filmmakers who deal in the extreme naturally provoke extreme reactions. That’s my way of saying that I couldn’t stand Black Swan. In fact, I had a violent response to the film, which I saw in its debut screening at the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day weekend.

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