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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.

film review—THE ILLUSIONIST

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 25, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
I have nothing but admiration for Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, a heartfelt homage to the great filmmaker and comedic artist Jacques Tati, based on one of his unproduced screenplays. But I wanted to love the film wholeheartedly, and I didn’t.

film review: SOMEWHERE

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 22, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
I count Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation as one of my favorite films of the decade, and I have great respect for her other pictures—except for the one at hand. Somewhere, which somehow won the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, strikes me as a non-movie, an utter waste of time.

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.

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.

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: 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.

film review: Tiny Furniture

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 12, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

book reviews: New And Notable Film Books

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 10, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Once again, the continuing parade of film books has outpaced my ability to read and properly review them, so it’s time for a survey of recent titles. These are summaries based on skimming and not meant to be full-fledged critiques. I’m also motivated by helping to promote worthwhile books from smaller publishers that might not be on everyone’s radar, but deserve to be…all the more so as the holidays approach and people are thinking about gift ideas. I have a feeling this will be the first of at least two installments this season.

film review: Due Date

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 5, 2010 4:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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