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Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen Paperback – February 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1 edition (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061732346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061732348
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Maltin, whose Movie Guide is a regularly updated best-seller, and who holds the Guinness record for the world’s shortest movie review (of the 1948 musical Isn’t It Romantic?—“No”), proffers a roster of movies he hopes fans will consider “unfamiliar” because they’ve failed to find the mass audience. While noting the occasional major studio release, he sticks primarily to independent, foreign, and documentary films released during the last 20 years or so, in time for high-speed Internet, streaming video, and all-region DVD players to make them readily available to prospective viewers for the first time. Among his most interesting recommendations are Errol Morris’ unusual documentary Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, a study of four people and the jobs they love; Idiocracy, Beavis and Butthead creator Mike Judge’s little-seen (and, by its parent studio, even less-loved) futuristic comedy; and Guillermo Del Toro’s supernatural suspenser set during the Spanish civil war, The Devil’s Backbone. Maltin’s still king of the succinct review, making this a handy reference for cineasts who think they’ve seen it all. --Carlos Orellana

Review

“Maltin’s still king of the succinct review, making [Leonard Matlin’s 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen] a handy reference for cineasts who think they’ve seen it all.” (Booklist)

More About the Author

Leonard Maltin is a respected film critic and historian, perhaps best known for his annual paperback reference Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, which was first published in 1969. He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles and teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Customer Reviews

Lately, the film writers I learn the most from are Maltin and David Thomson.
Found Highways
Perhaps a minor point, but this book is also poorly designed -- unattractive and wasteful of space (and trees) and the cheapest possible paper.
N. Johnson
I love reading books and watching movies, so when I find a good book about movies I'm like a pig in...well, you know.
Erik Olson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Found Highways VINE VOICE on February 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
I sat down expecting to quickly skim this book and I read every word.

It shouldn't by now, but it always surprises me when I realize how good a film critic and historian (as opposed to a thumbs-up thumbs down reviewer) Leonard Maltin is. Lately, the film writers I learn the most from are Maltin and David Thomson.

I've seen a few of the off-the-wall movies in this book (Tristram Shandy, Peter's Friends, Millions, Innocent Blood, Bubba Ho-tep, Brick, and the documentaries [...] and Word Wars) and I agree that they're intriguing. (I'm glad Maltin includes documentaries--I find myself watching a lot more of them than I used to.)

A stunning movie was Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which mixes Cold War politics, music, and gender reassignment. Director Christopher Nolan's first film--Following--is better than any of his comic-book movies and at least as good as Memento. (Nolan is a perfect example of the kind of filmmaker that Jason Horsley writes about in his book Dogville vs. Hollywood: The Independents and the Hollywood Machine--someone who starts making personal stories about real people, then goes on to do remakes of foreign films and blockbuster trash.)

So this book has made me rethink seeing movies I already rejected for some reason or another (like American Dreamz or Hidalgo).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By BlogOnBooks on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
With Oscar season upon us, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the movies you won't be hearing about on the telecast. Between all the Avatars and Clooneys of the world, there are a host of smaller movies (or box-office duds) that are well deserving of your time and attention.

Or so says film critic Leonard Maltin, who would probably be a good judge, as he probably sees about a dozen movies a week in his job as a journalist and TV personality. Maltin's latest book singles out films from the last 20 years that, unless you are an extreme movie aficionado, chances are that most of these selections never hit your radar.

FIlms like "The Door in the Floor" (Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, Mimi Rogers, Bijou Phillips) or "The Great Buck Howard" (Tom Hanks, John Malkovich, Griffin Dunne, etc.) may not have made a big splash at your local cinema, but they are among Maltin's picks as key flicks to go back and find. (Nearly every major actor is represented from Robert DeNiro to Meryl Streep to Leo DiCaprio and all the rest.)

The films are divided into roughly three categories; mainstream studio fare, foreign and independent films that often struggle for attention here and a few choice gems from the first half of cinematic history. Maltin rightly focuses most of his light on movies from the last 20 years. (As there are already many books that highlight pictures from the golden age of cinema.)

Of course, it's hard to tell just how great the book is without sampling a host of the films that Maltin singles out for a revisit, but next time you are at Blockbuster or on Netflix, keep this book handy and see if one of Maltin's picks might sound worthwhile even while it would pass your normal purview. Just be ready to fire up that old VHS machine in the garage, as many of these gems have never made the leap to DVD.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Erik Olson VINE VOICE on July 17, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love reading books and watching movies, so when I find a good book about movies I'm like a pig in...well, you know. Lately I've gone through a number of Roger Ebert's cinematic tomes, in part to discover new flicks. So when I came across "Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen," I immediately bought it on my Kindle. I'm glad I did, because Mr. Maltin validated some of my favorite films and satisfied my need for fresh ones.

Even the worst movie has its champions. Heck, I liked the original "Punisher," and sometimes my brother shakes his head in wonder at my viewing choices. It's cool to see that a major critic shares my madness, and I enjoyed reading about Mr. Maltin's guilty cinematic pleasures - especially when he validates some of mine (like "Bubba Ho-Tep" and "The Tao of Steve") or turns me on to new possibilities (such as "The Devil's Backbone" and "Two Lovers").

Although I enjoyed "151 Best Movies...", I kind of wish that Mr. Maltin had delved a little deeper into these gems (like Roger Ebert does in his books). Each flick rates a couple pages of spoiler-free description, which may bother some readers looking for more in-depth analysis. But his brevity is for our benefit, as Mr. Maltin wants to tantalize us with possibility and ensure that our sense of joyful discovery matches his own. Recommended for all cinephiles desperately searching for their latest fix.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jon Groubert on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
If it had that title, I might give it 4 stars. As it is, I gave it one. I was expecting a book that covered the last century of movies. I read the title and expected to hear about great movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s that don't get airtime for whatever reason. And there are about 5 of these. Instead, about 90% of the movies in this book are from the last 15 years. Well, guess what, if I didn't want to see a movie in the last 15 years, there was probably a pretty good reason for it.

Even the movies that are the "best" aren't even that great; I've seen a few of them and can comment. The Tao of Steve - a good movie, a cute movie, but not great. In the Shadow of the Moon - I am a diehard space fanatic, and even I found this movie snoozeworthy. Yeah, there was plenty of footage I'd never seen, and interviews I'd never heard, but after seeing it, there was a good reason. Yawn. Connie and Carla - good for a lazy afternoon when nothing else is on, but not something you should reach out for.

Even Maltin admits these movies aren't the "best." His review of Idiocracy exemplifies this: "The film wanders, repeats itself, and loses momentum." And this is the best? Please. Maltin, you're a hack who just tried to cash in. Don't waste your time with this book. Thumbs down.
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