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Leonard Maltin's 2013 Movie Guide: The Modern Era Paperback – Aug 29 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1664 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1 Original edition (Aug. 29 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452298547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452298545
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 5.8 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #449,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Maltin's movie guide is still * * * *." - USA Today

"The go-to choice for both film geeks and casual couch potatoes."  - The New York Times Book Review

"I recommend Leonard Maltin's guide, which has become standard." - Roger Ebert's Video Companion

About the Author

Leonard Maltin is one of the country's most repected film historians and critics. He appears regularly on Entertainment Tonight, hosts Secret's Out on Reelz Channel, and introduces movies on DirecTV. He also teaches at USC School of Cinematic Arts. He and his wife Alice are the proud parents of Jessie, who helps her father interpret matters of pop culture.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the bigger paperback for this year. Because i heard that people were complaining to the smaller size book this year. Also i had a tough time finding time one in stores. I decided to order it instead and i was glad, i did. There is some great reviews of the more recent movies, i enjoyed last year. Including some movies, i thought they were great. Which he didn't thinking of much like "Drive" is one example (I thought, it was an excellent art-house character study thriller), "Shame" (I thought, it was a very good and daring movie, especially Michael Fassbender's fearless performance) or the underrated "Young Adult". He actually gived an above average review for "Final Destination 5" (Which it was one of the more entertaining of the series). He also liked "Prometheus", he has interesting review for that one. Some movies, he came close giving three stars like "21 Jump Street", "The Cabin in the Woods", "Hunger Games", "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and more. I thought, he was less critical with movies from summer 2011 to summer 2012. I also felt by reading of these new reviews, even those, he thought, it was average or above average. He wanted to like the movie a little more. The one movie, i was surprised he liked the "Fright Night" remake, i thought that one was really average. It was watchable, thanks to a good cast but i thought, they made many changes to the story what made the original movie, a real winner. '

If you should get this edition, i think, you will enjoy this year's edition. I certainly did so far and i know, there is a couple of reviews what came out for this june to last year's new reviews, i didn`t check out yet. Check out "Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil", he really give an great review for that movie. I argeed with his review on that one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best of the best and we both use it all the time, especially for old movies.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great book but getting very large and print getting very small
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By zt on Nov. 20 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Good value!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 161 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mini-review gold standard Oct. 12 2012
By DocJohn - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have used all of the so-called movie guides - this is the one I keep coming back to, at least every other year or so. It is, with the current edition, the concise, yet somehow deep, source I always give credibility to.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Maltin 2013 Nov. 11 2012
By mom of8 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The reviews are good as usual but the small format is very annoying on the eyes. I usually get the larger edition.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Paper vs digital Sept. 24 2012
By Powell - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely disappointing with the Kindle version.The search function is very slow. To get to a specific movie takes forever. Much faster by a factor of 10 to use the paper version. The same applies to searching for actors. This edition takes no advantage of being digital. Where is the director listing? Why no search by number of stars or by genre. Maybe someone will write an app for this. Otherwise buy paper.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still a valued reference except for . . . Nov. 19 2012
By Craig During - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
For 2013 Leonard Maltin and team once again provides a reference that movie hounds like me can use to discover new treasures or details about beloved films that are not otherwise easily found. Two minor carps though: (1) the format is narrower and with finer print making this year's edition more difficult to read. (2) As I have noticed in prior years a number of older films are now missing so you may wish to hold onto earlier copies rather than toss them out.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of print edition, Kindle edition, and iOS app June 9 2013
By keviny01 - Published on
Format: Paperback
This historic reference book is sadly losing its relevance in today's world of IMDB, Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes, and many other movie sites. When Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide was first published in 1969, its thousands of capsule movie reviews were an indispensable reference source when such a comprehensive collection of movie info was rare. The book had its biggest success during the 80s and 90s, when home video sales exploded and movie fans couldn't get enough of renting and buying movies and learning more about them. Many copycat movie guides were also published, but Maltin's book had always remained the benchmark. When multimedia PCs gained popularity in the 90s, Maltin again capitalized on it by teaming up with Microsoft to create an electronic version of his book, Cinemania CD-ROM, which also included Roger Ebert's movie guide and several other movie books, all with fully-searchable text and cross-reference links. It seemed Maltin's Book was poised to transition successfully to the new electronic age. But sadly, that was not to be. In the early days of IMDB and Wikipedia, if you were to tell me that a site that gets info primarily from volunteer online users would one day be more useful than Maltin's book, I would laugh at you. But that's exactly what has happened. As IMDB and Wikipedia grew bigger and bigger, it became apparent that the team of experts who edit Maltin's book would never be able to contribute as much as the millions and millions of volunteers (from movie professionals to regular viewers) who contributed for IMDB and Wiki. Even though errors can occur on IMDB and Wiki, but if an entry has been edited millions of times, the errors are bound to be corrected eventually.

I guess Maltin's book would still be relevant to those who don't have access to the Internet or computers. But it pains me to point out the shortcomings of the book. While IMDB has millions of titles, Maltin's book only has about 20,000, and has been that way for years due to the lack of space of the print edition. Made-for-TV movies, which were once present in the book, are all gone. You won't find Dustin Hoffman's telefilm version of "Death of a Salesman", the great suspense films by Levinson and Link such as "Rehearsal for Murder" and "Murder by Natural Causes", the classic 1983 nuclear holocaust telefilm "The Day After", or even the many great HBO telefilms such as Emma Thompson's 2001 "Wit". You won't find any short films, since Maltin has never included them. Classic shorts like "The Red Balloon", "Un Chien Andalou", all the classic Disney shorts, and modern masterpieces like 1993 Cannes winner "The Debt", Oscar winners "Tin Toy" (1988), "Harvie Krumpet" (2003), "Visas of Virtue", and on and on, are absent in the book, even though many of them are available for home video and/or online viewing nowadays. Maltin continues to slight indie films. His latest 2013 edition doesn't even have last year's Best Picture Oscar nominee "Beasts of the Southern Wild".

Regarding foreign films, this book has always been hit or miss. As expected, it has the established classics such as those by Kurosawa, Fellini, etc. But a lot of previously-obscure films have been rediscovered by the public in the past few decades and should be given more attention. And this book fails to do that. You won't find the 1921 classic Swedish silent "The Phantom Carriage". You won't find the great French comedy films by Pierre Etaix, whose films have been rediscovered and shown on prime-time on TCM, and were recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. You won't find any of the groundbreaking films by Chantal Akerman, whose films have also been rediscovered and released on home video. You won't find any Hong Kong Shaw Brothers' martial arts films, many of which have become widely known in the west since the 70s and are also available on home video. A lot of films from South Korea have gained international fame the last decade, but you won't find "A Tale of Two Sisters" or "My Sassy Girl" in this book. More and more so as time goes on, this book seems to be stuck in 1969 mode and is unable to reflect the diversity of tastes and demands of 21st century viewers.

Maltin may not necessarily want to exclude all these films. But lack of space of the print edition plus the lack of manpower (compared to the Internet community of IMDB) are just never going to enable him to include as many titles as he wants. Ideally, the coverage of the book should at least keep up with what is available on home video, since most people mainly use the book for rental/purchase suggestions. But as the years go on, as the selections of DVDs and Blu-rays continue to grow, we are sadly aware that this book will probably never catch up to that level of coverage.

Even for the movies that are included, the information provided is fairly lacking. Maltin's pithy, often witty capsule reviews are the heart and soul of the book. But in this day and age of DVD commentaries and bonus material, when viewers can't seem to get enough of movie information, a mere few sentences of summary are just not going to be very satisfying compared to the much more detailed info available on the Internet. A cast list is provided for each review, but only for major roles, and minor roles played by notable actors. The director's name is the only crew listed, and there is no mention of writers, editors, producers, and other crews, unless Maltin mentions them specifically in his review. Silent films are often not indicated as such. While it does show a movie's country or countries of origin, it doesn't mention a movie's language. While reading this book, you get the feeling that due to the lack of space, it is unable to include some of the most basic information.

An electronic medium doesn't have the space limitation that the print edition does, but sadly, the ten-dollar Kindle edition of Maltin's book is an exact duplicate of the print edition. Only the "Modern Era" edition of Maltin's book is available on Kindle currently. The Kindle edition doesn't make it user-friendly to browse or search for movies either. There is no title search. You can only do a full-search on all the text to find a title, which, on my quad-core Windows PC, takes several minutes per search (!). This is not the book's fault really, since the Kindle reader itself doesn't have a good search engine. To browse the book, you can only advance one page at a time, which is not efficient for a 1600-page book. There are no hyperlinks of titles and people within reviews, making quick navigation impossible. The ability to change font size is probably the only positive of the Kindle edition.

Currently, the best electronic version of Maltin's book comes in the form of a two-dollar iOS app for iPhone and iPod Touch. iPad users can use it too, but the app is made for the small screen of iPhone and iPod Touch only. The app actually has more movies than the current print edition. But disappointingly, it still has fewer movies than some of the past print editions. My 1997 print edition has "Rehearsal for Murder" (1982), "Special Bulletin" (1983), Guilty Conscience (1985), Death of a Salesman (1985, Dustin Hoffman), and many others that are not in this app. Hopefully the developer will later add the old ones that are still missing. But again, this isn't IMDB and this app, just like the print edition, surely doesn't have millions of volunteer editors. The app is updated only about once a year. You can read reviews while offline. You can search for titles quickly, which is a needed improvement over the Kindle edition. But you can only search for words that begin a title. E.g. Searching "lambs" would not give you "Silence of the Lambs"; only searching "silence" would. You also cannot search full text of reviews, and can only search title, cast, and director. Searching cast returns a list of movie titles, not cast names. E.g. searching for "John" gives you all movies with an actor who has the word "John" in his or her name, which is not very useful. Other shortcomings of the app include the lack of landscape view, the inability to change font size, and the lack of home video availability info as in the print edition. I would rate the print and Kindle editions 2 stars, and the iOS app 3 stars.