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leonardmaltin
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Leonard Maltin

Sparkle—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 17, 2012 1:32 AM
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  • 5 Comments
I don’t think anyone going to see 'Sparkle' expects a gritty slice of realism or a life-altering experience. It’s an unabashed soap opera with the curiosity value of singer Jordin Sparks in her big-screen debut and Whitney Houston in her final film appearance. If you know all that going in, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed coming out.

Paranorman—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 17, 2012 1:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments
'ParaNorman' is the first of three horror-movie-inspired animated features this year, to be followed by 'Hotel Transylvania' and 'Frankenweenie'. Laika, the studio that gave us 'Coraline', is responsible for this tale, which assumes that kids will get the “joke” and not be distressed by its macabre content.

Side By Side—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 17, 2012 12:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I never expected Keanu Reeves to be my guide to the history of digital filmmaking, but that’s the role he plays as producer and host of the vital documentary Side by Side, written and directed by Chris Kenneally. It opens theatrically today in Los Angeles, with New York and other cities to follow. It will also be available On Demand next week.

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 15, 2012 9:17 PM
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  • 2 Comments
When I was a kid I was always drawn to stories with fantasy elements, like 'Harvey', 'Here Comes Mr. Jordan', 'On Borrowed Time' and 'Death Takes a Holiday'. Introducing unexplainable or mystical elements into a real-world setting is hard to resist, when it’s done right.

More On Movie Title Songs

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 14, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Not long ago I wrote about “unsung” movie themes, as depicted on sheet music covers. The piece elicited quite a response, including a lovely note from Christa and Samantha Fuller, the widow and daughter of filmmaker Sam Fuller, whose theme to 'China Gate' (sung by the great Nat King Cole) I’d failed to mention.

The Bourne Legacy—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 10, 2012 1:05 AM
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  • 5 Comments
It takes chutzpah to make a film called 'The Bourne Legacy' without Matt Damon or, for that matter, a character named Bourne. That the movie turned out as well as it has is a tribute to co-writer and director Tony Gilroy (who worked on all three previous films in the series) and Jeremy Renner, who is perfectly cast in the lead.

The Campaign—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 10, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
'The Campaign' has a lot of genuine laughs. Too bad it doesn’t have enough to carry it over the finish line, a mere 85 minutes after it begins. The biggest mystery to me is how experienced comedy hands, on both sides of the camera, can allow their movie to end with a punchline joke that doesn’t get a laugh. (At least, it didn’t at the screening I attended…nor did it deserve to.)

Hope Springs—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 8, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
First, the good news: here is a Hollywood movie for adults that deals fairly honestly with a relatable, real-life situation: a marriage that has become so routine there is no evidence of love anymore. Vanessa Taylor’s screenplay gives Meryl Streep the opportunity to build an empathetic and believable character, a woman who is so frustrated that she has reached a breaking point.

“Must” Reading: Frank Langella’s Memoir

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 6, 2012 2:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments
I read a number of show-business books and enjoy quite a few, but every now and then I fall in love with one of them. The last was Tom Mankiewicz’s 'My Life as a Mankiewicz'. The latest is Frank Langella’s 'Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women as I Knew Them' (Harper Collins). I know I’m late to this party—the book was published in late March—but if there was ever a page-turner to brighten your summer, this is it.

Total Recall—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 3, 2012 1:05 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Does the world need a remake of 'Total Recall'? The 1990 original didn’t look or sound like anything we’d seen before, with its mix of intriguing ideas, cutting-edge special effects, and overblown violence, courtesy of the never-subtle director Paul Verhoeven.

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