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4 articles


Vintage Hollywood Lite: Hail, Caesar!

4 February 2016 3:00 PM, PST

       Joel and Ethan Coen are as unpredictable as they are prolific. We never know what to expect from them—a downbeat drama, a lighthearted period piece, an existential musing—but we know it will be original and offbeat. And we know the supporting cast will be filled with odd and unusual faces, almost reminiscent of Federico Fellini.        Hail, Caesar! is a lark, an extended riff on the peccadilloes and politics of Old Hollywood. Josh Brolin plays a studio executive named Eddie Mannix, who was a real person (portrayed by Bob Hoskins in Hollywoodland), but almost everyone and everything else in the film is a product of the Coens' ...

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- Leonard Maltin

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No Pride, Lots of Zombies

4 February 2016 2:14 PM, PST

       Jane Austen has proved to be one of the most durable authors of modern times, judging by how many adaptations, extrapolations, and rip-offs of her work have been filmed over the past thirty years. Who would dream that a movie called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies would be the dullest one of all?        Even the adaptation of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (based on a mashup novel by the same author, Seth Grahame-Smith) had more going for it than this tiresome film, written and directed by Burr Steers. The premise, laid out in a handsome but tedious title sequence, is that England has been invaded by an army of zombies who threaten to...

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- Leonard Maltin

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Good Writing About Films—and Books

2 February 2016 3:00 PM, PST

             As talented film critics continue to lose jobs right and left, a small ray of sunshine has broken through: a new outlet where good writers are writing essays about notable films based on equally notable books. The estimable Michael Sragow is serving as curator and primary contributor to this site, called The Moviegoer, which is an enterprise of Library of America. Mike's initial essay, about Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans, which you can read Here, sets the bar high. Not only is he intimately acquainted with James Fenimore Cooper's book and Mann's adaptation, but he's aware of the 1936 film and the beautiful 1920 silent...

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- Leonard Maltin

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Bored With 70mm? Try Magnascope!

31 January 2016 6:00 PM, PST

        Now that Quentin Tarantino has revived UltraPanavision 70 and released a major film in 70mm, and the American Cinemathèque has screened a handful of vintage large-format features, the Northwest Chicago Film Society is giving its audience an experience almost no one today has witnessed: Magnascope. As we now know, film pioneers experimented with every technique imaginable in the earliest days of motion pictures, including sound, color, and 3-D. In his revelatory volume Fight Pictures: A History of Boxing and Early Cinema, historian Dan Streible reveals that some of the earliest boxing movie “events” were photographed and projected in 65mm and...

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- Leonard Maltin

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