From Library Journal
Spokane-based critic and teacher Glatzer targets uninitiated but curious moviegoers who want to assess films intelligently and place them in context. He discusses film acting and camera placement; the jobs of cinematographer, editor, art director, composer, casting director, grip, and assistant director; foreign films; and truly great directors (a debatable selection, naturally). In addition, there are thumbnail sketches of 143 must-see movies, and the ubiquitous director "Alan Smithee" is defined. Glatzer is best when analyzing Buster Keaton's comedy and identifying stories unworthy of their supposed significance. And his "Ten Minute Movie Maven" epilog could stand on its own as a magazine article. On the negative side, seasoned moviegoers will take issue with Glatzer's views that the only leading ladies who aren't "drop-dead gorgeous" are Renee Zellweger and Minnie Driver, that Arnold Schwarzenegger never played a heroic role until Terminator 2 (ignoring Conan, Predator, Total Recall, and Kindergarten Cop), and that director Robert Wise (The Set-Up, The Day the Earth Stood Still, I Want To Live!, West Side Story) is a "hack." All the same, his opinionated book is recommended for public libraries. Kim Holston, American Inst. for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, Malvern, PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
In his engaging book Beyond Popcorn: A Critic's Guide to Looking at Films, Robert Glatzer offers a detailed and insightful look behind the scenes of filmmaking. Written for any movie lover, in a witty and knowledgeable style, this is a basic guide to understanding film. Glatzer deals with movies as an art form, not just as entertainment, and gives the reader valuable insights into just what makes one film better than another.
The book has chapters on how a director directs, on styles of comedy, on musicals, and even what all the credits mean. Glatzer analyzes a number of important films, helping readers understand the key elements of writing, directing and acting. This book will make readers into better critics of the films they see. There's even a list and description of what he calls "all the films you have to see before you die".
A partial list of chapters:
-- How a critic's brain works.
-- The difference between acting and acting in films.
-- Deciding where the camera goes.
-- What we learn from Buster Keaton.
-- Why we cry at the movies.
-- What all the other Oscars are about.
-- The greatest films of all time.