Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Not anymore

Leonard Maltin
Generations of film buffs have loyally read film critic Leonard Maltin's annual Movie Guide. Yesterday America's answer to Bill Collins announced that due to dwindling readership and declining sales, the 2015 edition of this essential reference work will be the last.

Maltin is known to Australian audiences from his appearances on Entertainment Tonight, and also from his three part interview with George Lucas on the 1995 VHS release of the Star Wars trilogy.

Mr Maltin didn't review every movie in the guide himself, but oversaw a team editors and contributors. Part of the fun of reading this guide was the four point rating system, and at times irreverent writing style, which gave films scores from BOMB to four stars. 

The poorly reviewed If Lucy Fell (1996) was slammed as a vanity project for its director, writer, and star Eric Schaeffer, but the guide marked it up because Schaeffer wrote himself a scene in which he got to kiss his co-star, Elle Macpherson. 

While I'm no Luddite, it increasingly seems that the market for printed reference works aimed at a popular readership is disappearing. The print media is going through a transition phase, and this is another casualty.

Of all people, I hope that Christians are still in the habit of consulting reference books, Christian and otherwise.  

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