Sunday, July 27, 2008

2009 Leonard Maltin Guide Is Out!

Every year I greatly anticipate Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide (as usual, out at the bookstores way before its Amazon street date). His capsule reviews and ratings set the standard for how a film will be seen by future generations. The one thing I have noticed of late however, is that the **** rating is practically unattainable for new releases, and the *** 1/2 rating is more like a **** these days [for example, the acclaimed No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood both rated *** 1/2]. When the new guide comes out it's a game of find the one movie that Maltin gave ****. In years past it's been The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), don't think there was one for 2005, and Little Children (2006). This year, both the Iraq War doc No End In Sight and the Apollo space program doc In the Shadow of the Moon received the coveted ****. You could probably search ratings-wise on the online version-- if anyone knows of other **** films in his guide from the last three years, I'd like to know about it.

Here's how my top ten 2007 stacked up against the Maltin Guide's ratings:

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (*** 1/2)
300 (***)
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (*** 1/2)
Away From Her (***)
The Darjeeling Limited (** 1/2)
Into the Wild (*** 1/2)
Juno (*** 1/2)
Paris je t’aime (** 1/2)
Ratatouille (*** 1/2)
Sicko (*** 1/2)

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