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Leonard Maltin

On the Shoulders of Giants

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • February 17, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 7 Comments
When a documentary makes you interested in a subject you know nothing about, to the point of generating enthusiasm, I’d call that a successful film. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Deborah Morales have a lot to be proud of with their maiden effort in the documentary field, On the Shoulders of Giants, which is now available exclusively on Video On Demand through Comcast, Cox Cable, and Time Warner through the end of March.

dvd watch: From Vaudeville To Film Noir

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • February 3, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments
I guess you could say my taste is eclectic, as I’m equally excited about a wide variety of DVDs that run the gamut from early-talkie musicals to the stark suggestiveness of Sam Fuller.

5,000 Fingers…And More

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 26, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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.

dvd review: Discovery: The Night of the Hunter - 2002

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 2, 2011 1:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It’s become commonplace to see “making-of” documentaries and promotional videos, even for crummy movies that don’t merit such attention. Unfortunately, behind-the-scenes footage for movies of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s is scarce, and when it exists it’s generally brief.

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.

Destino: Walt’s Dream, Then Roy's

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 2, 2010 2:45 AM
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  • 5 Comments
dvd reviewIt took sixty years for Salvador Dali’s unfinished Walt Disney project, Destino, to reach fruition. In comparison, the seven years it’s taken for a home video release doesn’t seem so bad, but the process has been frustrating. And even now, the opportunity to own the Oscar-nominated film comes with a hitch:

dvd review: Fantasia Revisited—And Revealed

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 2, 2010 2:30 AM
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  • 15 Comments
I have good news and bad news about the new DVD/Blu-Ray release of Walt Disney’s Fantasia. First, the good news. As someone who’s still lingering on the sidelines of the Blu-Ray revolution, I must tell you that the high-definition restoration of Walt Disney’s Fantasia looks breathtaking—even on standard DVD. Using the latest digital technology to scan the original nitrate negatives at 4K resolution has yielded a remarkable result. If you have a gigantic screen, or use a projector, you might detect a difference on Blu-Ray, but the plain ol’ DVD looks pretty great to my eyes.

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.

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