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Leonard Maltins 2010 Movie Guide [Mass Market Paperback]

Leonard Maltin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 4 2009 Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide (Mass Market)
The most authoritative book of its kind, now with more entries than ever before, updated and revised for 2010. There's just no competition for a book that has "essentially cornered the market." (New York Times Book Review)

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About the Author

Recognized as one of America's leading film historians and critics, Leonard Maltin has become a household name and media personality due to his regular appearances on the highly successful syndicated TV program Entertainment Tonight and the Encore cable-TV service, his syndicated radio program, Leonard Maltin's Video View, his monthly reviews in Playboy magazine, and the featuring of Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide on the World Wide Web, via the popular Amazon.com website. He lives in Toluca Lake, California.

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5.0 out of 5 stars There is a larger version available. Oct. 20 2010
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Yes I almost bought this more than useful book. Then sitting next to it is the same book word for word that has twice the surface for twice the price. Of course if you are economically conservative and have good eyesight the smaller book works well.

It is always fun to see how close one comes to Leonard's conclusion which is not always the same as yours. Yet if you have not seen the film you need some sort of guide. And to get a feel for how he thinks when making his judgments there is an introduction covering how he rated some of the most popular films.

Be sure to read the section "Key to This Book" as it tells the different media or lack of for each film. Some films are includes because of their popularity even if there is no recorded media such as "John Goldfarb Please Come Home"

Once again many of my favorites have been left out such as "Out There" (1995) ASIN: 6303965954 and "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" (1989) ASIN: 6305078599, based on "Heart of Darkness."

However with 19,000 entries you will be kept busy trying to find out what else is missing.
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Maltin's 2010 Movie Guide Nov. 18 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Je m'atendais à recevoir le format aux dimensions 20,4 x 13,2 x 6,8 cm et ce n'est pas ce que j'ai reçu et ça me décoit. J'ai vérifier l'annonce du produit et vous m'avez bien envoyer le format tel qu,annoncé 17,8 x 10,4 x 5,6
Ce n'est pas votre erreur c'est la mienne mais je suis déçu quand même.
Gaston Poitras
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  64 reviews
105 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once influential and trendsetting, now out of touch... but still worthwhile Aug. 11 2009
By Hugo D. Hackenbush - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As anyone familiar with Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide series can tell you, Leonard Maltin's preference for traditionalism in film has always meant that "golden age" films (films produced circa silent era-1965) tend to be somewhat overpraised; the same can be said of his reviews for standard Hollywood "Oscar-bait" dramas, self-consciously quirky "indies" and certain types of foreign films. As a result, it is not unexpected that well-made but problematic films such as "The Reader", "Out of Africa", "Troy" and "The Kite Runner" receive an overly-enthusiastic response by Mr. Maltin.

In spite of this, Mr. Maltin's Movie guide has always been a perennial must-own for me, as it is a true standard bearer for film reference guides in terms of both its construction and execution: film reviews are smartly written, unpretentious and thoughtful, the layout of the book is intuitive and his passion for (and knowledge of) film comes through loud and clear. However, Mr. Maltin's classicist stodginess is becoming more and more pronounced in his film reviews, and for the first time in twenty years of reading his guides, his biases are starting to grate on me.

For instance, Mr. Maltin feels uncomfortable (and often clearly states so in his reviews) when certain themes (and particular degrees) of realism, "vulgarisms" or darkness are incorporated into types of "Hollywood escapist fare" (as he puts it) and penalizes such films accordingly, regardless of technical, artistic or historical merit.

Some examples: edgy modern cinema gems such as "The Dark Knight", "Blue Velvet", "Fight Club", "Donnie Darko", "The Prestige" and "Taxi Driver" all receive only two stars out of four; "The Matrix", "WALL-E", "The Bourne Supremacy", "The Fly" (1986), "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", "Amadeus", "Narc", "Boys Don't Cry", "Oldboy", "12 Monkeys", "Ghost World" and "Iron Man" are all half-heartedly acknowledged with two-and-a-half star reviews; highly influential modern classics such as John Carpenter's "The Thing" (1982), "Scarface" (1983) and "Blade Runner" are each summarily dismissed with one-and-a-half star critiques; Ridley Scott's groundbreaking "Alien" was stuck with a mediocre two-and-a-half star review for years, until Mr. Maltin (surprisingly) re-rated it recently as a (now-glowing) three-and-a-half star film; the same goes for Clint Eastwood's grim masterpiece "Unforgiven", also initially stuck with a tepid two-and-a-half stars until it was (no doubt begrudgingly) changed to three (stars).

On the other hand, Mr. Maltin is generous to a fault when reviewing conventional (i.e. non-threatening) Hollywood mainstream fare that is steeped in so-called traditional Hollywood truisms (e.g., 1930's "matinee" style action-adventure flicks, romantic/screwball comedies, "Hitchcockian"-style suspense, historical drama/epics and old-school style Hollywood musicals and fantasies), and in his reviews will frequently cite such classicist attributes as a prime reason for giving great reviews of pretty-good pictures and overly favorable reviews for quite a few merely-passable films.

Some examples: forgettable film mediocrities such as "Superman Returns", "Ghostbusters 2", "Scoop", "Star Wars - Episode One: The Phantom Menace", "Twilight" (2008), "Daredevil", "Batman Forever", "Honey, I Blew Up The Kid", "National Treasure" and "Terminator: Salvation" all earn substantial three out of four star reviews; "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull" was originally bestowed a ludicrous three-and-a-half star review until it was downgraded to a still-generous three stars; lukewarm films such as "The Reader", "Charlie Wilson's War", "Hidalgo", "The Good Shepherd", "Troy", "The Family Man" and "Out of Africa" all receive glowing three-and-a-half star reviews; unsurprisingly, a classicist Hollywood fantasy like "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is anointed with a coveted four star review, one of only a handful of recent films to receive one.

Even the (usually interesting) left-field recommendations from Mr. Maltin feel dismally off the mark of late: "While She Was Out" (two-and-a-half stars) is praised as a "nicely done noir thriller... (that) maintains tension from start to finish", while "Repo! The Genetic Opera" (three stars) is hailed as an "imaginative, wild ride"; wrong on both counts, as "While She Was Out" is a flatly directed cliche-fest devoid of any thrills, while "Repo! The Genetic Opera" is a dreadful fourth-rate "midnight movie" wannabe, aimed squarely at people who still find "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" to be cutting edge... both qualify as two of the worst films I have seen in recent memory. Sadly, even Mr. Maltin's sleeper/cult film recommendations feel musty and out of touch.

For me, a modern perspective is an important factor to take into consideration when choosing a film review guide, particularly if you (like most people) are only going to purchase one. Unfortunately, a sense of outdatedness permeates throughout "Leonard Maltin's 2010 Movie Guide". Mr. Maltin is clearly squeamish with the darker and edgier themes that have become increasingly prevalent in modern mainstream filmmaking; this fact, coupled with the knowledge of his love affair with bygone film eras, means that those under the age of 40 should take his reviews with a grain of salt, as his filmgoing sensibilities lean more towards older mainstream filmgoers and "golden age" film buffs (in fact, for those two specific groups, I would bump up my rating of this guide from that of three stars to four).

In the end, despite all of my caveats, I would still recommend "Leonard Maltin's 2010 Movie Guide" to those in need. The combination of its reasonable price, abundance of informative and articulate reviews (well over 17,000 of them), smart layout and convenient portability (a rare attribute in film guides nowadays) still make this book a solid choice for a film reference guide.

* IMPORTANT NOTE I: If you do decide to pick up this guide, be sure to seek out the (slightly) physically larger, (slightly) more expensive edition of this book, as both are available right here on Amazon.com; although the content is the same, the larger edition of this guide contains a far more readable font size than the cheaper edition, while its physical binding holds together much more successfully than its smaller, poorly-constructed counterpart. *

** IMPORTANT NOTE II: For old school film buffs and completists, be sure to pick up "Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide", as it contains thousands of reviews for "golden age" films (silent era-1965) both popular and obscure, which were excised from the annual guide due to space limitations; unlike the annual guide, it does not need to be replaced perennially. **

>>>> OTHER FILM REFERENCE GUIDE RECOMMENDATIONS: For those who don't mind its formidable physical size and lack of a grading system (e.g., no "star" ratings), the "Time Out" film guide series is an exceptional (if occasionally pretentious) perennial film reference guide that feels thoroughly contemporary in its smart critiques and is well worth the time of both casual moviegoers and film buffs alike. <<<<
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not entirely happy with some very subjective reviews Sept. 22 2009
By J. Kerr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is fun if I am wanting to watch a movie on TV. But Maltin and his crew are no Ebert's. And his dissing of such movies as Blade Runner and Dark Knight are problematic for me. It is pretty much the only such expansive reference of its type out there in a consistent way but sometimes I think if it isn't in Maltin's "taste" it won't get a good review. That is elitism.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it used to be. Dec 5 2009
By Victor Hugo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The 2010 edition is the 4th or 5th in the series that I've purchased.
Every couple of years I buy the most recent copy.
The book is a great source of basic information for most movies that you are likely to come across.
For me it lists about 90% of the movies that I try to find, 10% of the time I don't find the movie that I'm looking for isn't listed here. That in itself isn't a complaint, as I accept that no book can ever be totally complete when it tries to cover almost 100 years of film.
The index is a great source of basic information for movie casts, directors, the year that pictures were made and brief general thumbnails of the plots.
My major disagreement is with a number of the movie ratings in the guide. Mr Maltin uses a 4 star rating system which is alright. Personally I prefer a 10 star system such as used by IMDB but I don't consider Maltin's 4 star system to be a problem.
I also don't belive that Mr. Maltin wrote all of the reviews (which isn't necessarily bad)so it's probably not surprising that the ratings are somewhat inconsistant and can differ widely with general public opinion. I base this on reading several of the reviews which use the words "we" and "our" when presenting "their" reviews.
That being said (and excused)some of the ratings just seem odd. As an example for the film "Humanoids From the Deep" for which Maltin gives it 3 stars out of 4, while both Indiana Jones films "Temple of Doom" and "Last Crusade" were given 2 stars. Blood Diamonds 2.5 stars. Are you kidding? Taxi Driver 2.0 stars?
Maltin also seems to show personal prejudice for certain actors, actresses, directors etc. For instance 90% of the movies listed as "French" automatically receive 3 and frequently 4 stars in his review. Essentially it seems that if a movie was made in France it automatically receives a +1 to +1.5 stars in his review. I guess it's a question of personal preferance however if you're presenting reviews for the public, you should be more in touch with general public tastes. I'm sure Jerry Lewis might disagree.
Also certain actors or situations seem to trip his negative buttons. For example 95% of movies that run a second beyond 120 minutes will recieve the comment "Overly Long" or "Tedious".
There are many more such obvious questions on the rankings through out the book. While I surely havn't seen as many movies as Mr. Maltin, I do have a private collection of over 2,000 DVDs and a decent appreciation of movies and movie making. I belive my own ratings of most films would align far closer to those of most viewers than many of those in Mr. Maltin's guide. While everyone is entitled to a personal opinion in art, music and film, it should be presented as such. Otherwise someone reading the review and rankings might never bother to view a film he gives one or two stars that the majority of people would and do enjoy.
In summary I recommend the guide for it's wealth of data information on movie casts, directors and plot summaries but caution readers not to follow Mr. Maltin's Star Rankings too closely as a decision maker for their own viewing as I believe the majority of people will find they disagree with him on many.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best quickie-reference book Oct. 20 2009
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Leonard Maltin has been issuing this yearly movie reference guide for many years. Some years ago, Maltin decided to split up the movies in pre-and after 1960 movies. Because of space limitations, that has now been changed with this edition to 1965. The pre-1965 movies now have their own book ("Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide").

"Leonard Maltin's 2010 Movie Guide" (a whopping 1,662 pages, this book should be sold "by the pound") brings the alphabetical listing of more than 17,000 movies and captures their essence in a single paragraph. The editions change little from year to year, bringing a batch of new movies. It's not exactly clear where the chronological cut-off point is, probably late May or early June: "Angels and Demons", "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", Star Trek", The Soloist" and"Terminator Salvation" are all in here, "Transformers 2", "Drag Me To Hell" and "Moon", just to name a few, are not. But it matters not.

The beauty of this book is that it remains the essential "hard copy" reference tool for us movie lovers. Yes, the minute this book is issued it becomes out-dated (see the "Transformers 2" reference), and I'm sure there are on-line reference sites that are more up to date, but if you, like me, like to have an actual book, this reference guide is for you. At that level, this book remains the best and essential.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is a larger version available. Oct. 31 2009
By bernie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Yes I almost bought this more than useful book. Then sitting next to it is the same book word for word that has twice the surface for twice the price. Of course if you are economically conservative and have good eyesight the smaller book works well.

It is always fun to see how close one comes to Leonard's conclusion which is not always the same as yours. Yet if you have not seen the film you need some sort of guide. And to get a feel for how he thinks when making his judgments there is an introduction covering how he rated some of the most popular films.

Be sure to read the section "Key to This Book" as it tells the different media or lack of for each film. Some films are includes because of their popularity even if there is no recorded media such as "John Goldfarb Please Come Home"

Once again many of my favorites have been left out such as "Out There" (1995) ASIN: 6303965954 and "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" (1989) ASIN: 6305078599, based on "Heart of Darkness."

However with 19,000 entries you will be kept busy trying to find out what else is missing.
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