Attenborough: Oscar got it wrong

Posted by · 4:18 pm · September 8th, 2008

As awards geeks, bitching about the Academy’s supposed mistakes is pretty much our favourite sport. The question of who should and shouldn’t have won provides endless material for discussion — frequently on these pages. One of the titles that comes up often in the “shouldn’t have won” category is Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi,” that well-mounted, well-acted […]

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Will Spielberg turn his attentions to ‘Lincoln’ after withdrawing from ‘Chicago 7?’

Posted by · 11:50 am · August 22nd, 2008

Steven Spielberg announced quite some time ago, a year and a half at least, that he planned to make a biography of President Lincoln with Liam Neeson as the 16th American President. Excited about this right away, I sat and waited, and waited, and waited, while he did the latest Indiana Jones film (no argument, […]

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Plugging away: John’s new book

Posted by · 11:10 am · July 30th, 2008

Some of you may know that our own John Foote, in addition to toiling away in the life of a film critic and educating the next generation of Canadian filmmaking talent at the Toronto Film School, is also an author. His most recent release is “Clint Eastwood: Evolution of a Filmmaker,” which is available now […]

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Best of the 90’s

Posted by · 7:43 am · July 4th, 2008

Time is the enemy of all films as it erodes what was once exciting and original. Truly great movies are able to withstand the test of time, but I wonder if enough time has passed to take a look back at the 1990s cinema and make some decisions. There was a major breakthrough in the decade with […]

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‘Crystal Skull’ biggest Indy?

Posted by · 10:51 am · June 9th, 2008

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I believe this weekend “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” passed “Raiders of the Lost Ark” to become the most successful of the Indy films. Granted, counting in inflation, “Raiders” might still be ahead, but probably not for long. One has to wonder how long it […]

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Could two potentially great film scores get the AMPAS shaft this year?

Posted by · 1:34 pm · May 26th, 2008

It’s a debate that never gets old regarding the music branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. When is it going to clean house regarding shady rules that seem to fly in the face of what the organization sets out to do each and every year: honor the best in cinematic achievement? […]

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10 things I hate about ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’

Posted by · 9:47 am · May 24th, 2008

1) Mac McHale In a long line of wonderful secondary characters — Sallah, Marcus Brody, Henry Jones Sr., Short Round — screenwriter David Koepp, and whoever might have made their mark on the screenplay prior, manages to crank out a pointless, unbelievably benign individual who sits in the stomach of the film like a glass […]

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Actors winning Best Director — always deserved?

Posted by · 6:51 am · May 1st, 2008

Of course not. Quite often the Academy gets behind an actor for the simple reason they pulled of the film without screwing too much up. How else can one explain Mel Gibson’s win for “Braveheart” but failure to be nominated for his masterpiece “The Passion of the Christ” and “Apocalypto,” easily two of the finest […]

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Spielberg and blockbusters

Posted by · 7:26 am · April 25th, 2008

Can he do it? After becoming (in his own eyes) a serious filmmaker with “Schindler’s List,” “Amistad,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “A.I.” and “Munich,” is Steven Spielberg able to re-create the magic he almost always brought to his pure entertainment blockbusters? It takes a look at his journey as an artist to even attempt a reasoned […]

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REVIEW: “Flags of Our Fathers” (***)

Posted by · 3:01 pm · October 8th, 2006

Clint Eastwood is largely considered one of the most uneven directors working today.  For every probing piece of thematic greatness (“Unforgiven,” “Mystic River”) there are three or four considerable missteps, from “The Gauntlet” and “Heartbreak Ridge” to “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and “Blood Work.” Such inconsistency is the price a hard-working […]

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REVIEW: “Munich” (**1/2)

Posted by · 10:46 pm · December 6th, 2005

Steven Spielberg’s “Munich,” the big, mysterious player in this year’s Oscar game, has come. And as anyone could have expected, no film could have held up to the expectation. Not only, however, does the film fail to reach the spot reserved for it in everyone’s mind throughout the summer and fall shoot, but it settles […]

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