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Read any good books lately?

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Re: Leonard Maltin's CLASSIC MOVIE GUIDE

Postby WisconsinMark » January 22nd, 2010, 5:03 pm

srowley75 wrote:The only book of this sort that I treasure is Danny Peary's OOP Guide for the Film Fanatic, which I always recommend because of Peary's refusal to incorporate any kind of silly star rating system. He simply writes a response to the film in question and lets it be. As a result, this author of books about cult movies has something of a cult following himself. He's an entertaining writer with tremendous insight, and unlike most (Maltin included), he encourages an interest in all kinds of movies, even those by directors like Stephanie Rothman, Ed Wood and Herschell Gordon Lewis.

I agree completely about the Peary volume; it rocks. His three books on "cult movies" are essential, too. It is too bad that he seems to have dropped out of film reviewing.

The number of films that can potentially be seen has gotten so large that really only the IMDB can handle it fully. The Maltin guides are useful for the mainstream quality of the opinions they contain; you can see at a glance what the conventional wisdom is. The annual Time Out guide is excellent, a little edgier, huge in scope, and much better on British and international films than Maltin could hope to be.

The old Leslie Halliwell guides are useless, because Halliwell was such an idiot. Why someone who apparently hated movies so much, and had no understanding of them, nonetheless made assessing them his life's work, is one of the great unanswered mysteries.

By the way, I think this is the funniest review anywhere in Maltin:

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987). Crude live-action kiddie film "inspired" by the popular and controversial bubble-gum cards which feature creatures with names like Greaser Greg and Valerie Vomit. They all live in a garbage pail, where they are destined to be joined by the negative of this movie.

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Re: Leonard Maltin's CLASSIC MOVIE GUIDE

Postby Ollie » January 25th, 2010, 11:46 am

Not intentionally, but I've discovered that I use forums almost exclusively as a source of unknown-film reviews. I have learned enough about each writer's tastes to give myself a better-than-average chance of evaluating an unseen film, and I also find it comforting to know that I can address my viewing to those writers. Unlike books, TV talking heads, etc.

Newspapers have been alarming their audiences that "print is dead" for a good long time, but in film reviews, "print film critics" can save their breath or pull their coffin lids closed. Forums give me everything I want for film reviews.

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Ann Harding
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Re: Leonard Maltin's CLASSIC MOVIE GUIDE

Postby Ann Harding » February 6th, 2010, 5:34 am

Well, I don't have the Maltin guide. But I have a French dictionary called Le Guide des Films edited by Jean Tulard (Ed. Robert Laffont). It's in 3 volumes and contains all the great French, Italian, German, American, Japanese, etc. classics you can think of. This is where I realise I differ quite a bit from English-speaking countries. I need a dictionary that provides also all the great European films. This book is far from perfect especially regarding silents (like nearly all the dictionaries), but it covers a wide range of films.
I also have the Time Out guide. Pretty good, but again quite restricted in its scope. I tend to prefer the reviews from Time Out to those of Radio Times which are quite hit and miss (Borzage's masterpiece Man's Castle is regarded as avery average feature!).

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