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5 articles


Calvary

8 hours ago

Brendan Gleeson is one of those actors who makes almost any movie worth watching, and this one is no exception. Filmmaker John Michael McDonagh, who gave him a great role in The Guard has done so again in Calvary, but the tone of this picture couldn’t be more different. In that darkly comic film, Gleeson played a maverick policeman with an agenda all his own. In this one, set in yet another small, tight-knit Irish coastal community, he’s once again a loner: an old-fashioned Catholic priest whose honest faith in God puts him at odds with everyone around him. The various townspeople, rich and poor, have become hardened, cynical, or aloof, and because of that they dislike and ...

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- Leonard Maltin

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Guardians Of The Galaxy

31 July 2014 5:29 PM, PDT

Marvel’s latest mega-movie is big, noisy, and fun to watch. Although the comic-book source isn’t familiar to most moviegoers, the template of this elaborate space adventure certainly is: a band of misfits finds strength by joining forces to battle some ruthless interstellar bad guys. The motley group includes a genetically modified raccoon with a wiseguy attitude (voiced by Bradley Cooper), an anthropomorphic tree named Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), a feisty and athletic woman (Zoë Saldana) who may or may not be loyal to her evil father, a hulk of a man bent on revenge (wrestler Dave Bautista), and a cocky, shoot-from-the-hip Earth orphan who becomes their de facto leader....

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- Leonard Maltin

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Get On Up

31 July 2014 5:27 PM, PDT

Chadwick Boseman gives a thoroughly convincing performance as the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. That’s the main takeaway from this scattershot biopic, which might be subtitled “Snapshots from the life of James Brown.” Some of those snapshots are interesting enough, although they are told in a needlessly nonlinear style…but they don’t provide a three-dimensional portrait of the famously hard-working entertainer. As I left the theater, I couldn’t help asking myself questions the film hadn’t bothered to answer. He was born into poverty in Georgia. His loving mother left when he was a child, and when his violent father was drafted he was parked with the proprietress of the local...

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- Leonard Maltin

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Throwback Thursday: Ginger Rogers, Billy Wilder And Superman

30 July 2014 9:06 PM, PDT

The 1942 comedy The Major and the Minor is notable today as the Hollywood directing debut of Billy Wilder, who wrote the film with his longtime partner Charles Brackett. They would go on to make such classics as The Lost Weekend and Sunset Blvd., but in 1942 Wilder’s name wasn’t a selling point: it was all about Ginger and, to a lesser degree, leading man Ray Milland. In its first-run engagement at the two Paramount Theatres in L.A., the downtown branch added a second feature from B-movie specialists William Pine and William Thomas (known as the Two Dollar Bills), while both venues featured—and advertised—the latest of Paramount’s Superman cartoons, a testament to the appeal of...

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- Leonard Maltin

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Charlie Chaplin At Comic-Con

28 July 2014 9:00 PM, PDT

One expects to see Star Wars figures, Doctor Who, and the characters from Game of Thrones at the San Diego Comic-con…but I didn’t think I’d encounter Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp. Yet there he was, in a new rendering at Diamond International Galleries. It just shows you the vast reach of this pop-culture convention, which began as a gathering of comic-book fans and has grown exponentially in recent years. Nowadays it’s a valued launch pad for movies and TV shows, but I like to spend my time wandering the dealer’s floor checking out collectibles and people-watching. I also participated in four panel discussions this year, two of which I hosted. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment...

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- Leonard Maltin

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