The Weinstein Company may be nowhere near the gold standard set by Pixar in the imagination and technical ability of its animation, but it beats all ten of the champion’s justifiably lauded classics in one category. Pixar has yet to […]
Less engrossing than a Clearasil commercial and more synthetic than a Rebecca Black video, “Prom” is Disney’s attempt to launch a new generation of tween idols with a wholesome confection about a high school dance. But the buoyant energy of […]
Carl Christman, writer/director of the documentary Selling God, answered my questions about his film, an exploration of the way that fundamentalists market their religion. How did you come to this project? My films are a form of catharsis. I have […]
Director Mike Disa has a terrific piece in the Huffington Post about his new film, “Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil,” with not one but two heroines who are strong, smart, brave, and compassionate. Look at any recent animated movie. Despite […]
Jessie Rifkin listened to every number one song in the history of the pop charts, from Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” up through this week’s “ET” by Katy Perry and wrote about it for the Washington Post. He notes that […]
I’ve got two great new Shalom Sesame DVDs to give away! Grover Learns Hebrew features “Will and Grace’s” Debra Messing and Countdown Shavout has a guest appearance by…a dancing cow. These are a great treat for Jewish families and anyone […]
Cracked has a funny post about what’s behind seven hotly debated movie mysteries, from what’s in “Pulp Fiction’s” briefcase to what Billy Murray whispered to Scarlett Johansson in “Lost in Translation.” They even take on the last episode of “The […]
The DVD pick of the week is Tikki-Tikki-Tembo and More Stories of Asian Heritage, another from my very favorite series for young children and their families. This one arrives in time for May’s celebration of Asian Heritage Month in May, […]
Roger Ebert has posted a crossword puzzle for movie fans from 2007. Enjoy!
Make a video for one of three new Moby tracks and you could find yourself featured at the New Director’s Showcase in Cannes! Here are the details: This year, as part of The Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase at […]
For more information, friend Prom on Facebook.
Don’t start with me about who wrote Shakespeare. Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare and today is his birthday. Celebrate with some of the many, many movie versions of, about, or inspired by his plays. Here are some of my favorites: 1. The […]
The summer of 2011 looks positively movie-rific, with big blockbusters, the last of the Harry Potter films and the first what could be some great new series — Green Lantern? Cowboys and Aliens? Smurfs? We’ve got sequels, prestige […]
According to the ringmaster of the Benzini Brothers Traveling Circus, “a circus survives on blood, sweat, pain and [excrement].” In “Water for Elephants” we experience all of these, along with romance, danger, laughter and even a little bit of poetry. […]
Once a year, there is a gathering in Kentucky for people who “talk to themselves and play with dolls for a living” — ventriloquists. “Dumbstruck” is a documentary from Lindsay and Mark Goffman that follows five of them for the […]
Reposting for Easter — Have a blessed celebration, everyone! Ben-Hur is the traditional Easter classic, but there are some other films that beautifully illuminate the themes of this holy season. I like The Gospel of John, a very reverent re-telling […]
In addition to previously recommended Earth Day movies, take a look at these gorgeous documentaries about the creatures with whom we share this great planet: 1. March of the Penguins This worldwide sensation takes us to Antarctica, where these elegant […]
Morgan Spurlock took on fast food in “Super Size Me.” He was funny, direct, and at times outraged as he tried to live for a month on McDonald’s “supersize” portions, and I liked his even-handedness in taking on the consumers […]
Once in a generation, the heir to the Throne of England has a royal wedding out of a fairy tale. This week, Americans will get up before dawn to watch Prince William marry Miss Kate Middleton. To get ready for […]
One month from today, Captain Jack Sparrow will return to theaters in “Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides.” Here’s a sneak peek at the first day of location filming.
I love Mark and Lindsay Goffman’s new documentary, “Dumbstruck,” which follows five ventriloquists over the course of a year between the two annual conventions that give them their one chance to be with others who share their passion. It is […]
Reposting — Hag Sameach! Passover is not just about remembering the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is about telling the story. Thousands of years before people talked about “learning styles,” the Seder included many different ways of telling […]
A cringe-inducing catastrophe with all of the appeal of fingernails on blackboard, this movie’s first early warning sign should have been the omission of Jonathan Swift from the opening credits. I thought at first it was an arrogant oversight. Now […]
We’ve already shared an early glimpse of “There Be Dragons,” an epic action-adventure romance set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War, in theaters on May 6. It tells the story of London-based investigative journalist Robert Torres (Dougray Scott), […]
I am thrilled to have three copies of this year’s Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and Best Director Oscar-winner, “The King’s Speech,” to give away. If you’d like to enter, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “King’s Speech” […]
One of the best movies of the year makes a king look like an underdog in the true story of a man who had to literally and metaphorically find his voice, with in a very real sense the fate of […]
The story of the Exodus updated for the era of social media! A blessed Passover to all.
ABC has announced that it is canceling two soap operas, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” These daytime dramas go back decades — “All My Children” premiered in January 0f 1970 and “One Life to Live” in July […]
It used to be called TV-Turnoff Week but that was so 1990’s. Now it’s Screen-Free Week — one week for families to turn off the screens and reconnect with old-fashioned in-person interaction, to look each other in the eyes, spend […]
And be sure to see Robert Downey, Jr.’s brilliant performance in “Chaplin.” I also recommend Stephen Weissman’s superb biography, Chaplin: A Life.
From Marc Erlbaum of Nationlight Productions: Anyone following the world news the past couple months is aware that something huge is brewing. Is it good or bad – that’s not clear quite yet. But what is clear is that the […]
“You can’t hate anybody when you’ve laughed with them,” said headliner Ahmed Ahmed, quoting Rabbi-turned-comic Bob Alper. That’s the idea behind the Funatical comedy tour, in Washington, D.C. this week. The stars of the show had a press conference at […]
A South American setting and striking animation lend freshness to “Rio’s” otherwise much-traveled storyline about a pampered pet who has to learn to survive in the wild. We’ve seen this tale many times — “Madagascar,” “Bolt,” “The Wild,” “Beverly Hills […]
In honor of this week’s release of “Rio,” an animated film set in Brazil, put on some samba music and think about some of these Brazilian-flavored films for your Netflix queue. (No, I am not including the superb film actually […]
Indiewire has a very funny piece about the popularity — the near-ubiquity — of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” in movies and trailers. Before I go any further, let’s listen to it and see if it […]
The fabulous Melinda Doolittle guest stars as Cassie Cassava in the Veggie Tales’ ‘Twas the Night Before Easter!
“Family Movie Night,” sponsored by Proctor & Gamble and Walmart, has produced another fine film for all ages. Candace Cameron Bure (“Full House,” “Make It or Break It”) stars in “Truth Be Told,” the story of a marriage counselor […]
As we observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a defining moment for good and bad in American history, it is a good time to watch some of these great films that show how we continue to try to […]
Fifty years ago today, the USSR’s Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the earth. First Orbit. has released a tribute film with archival audio and new footage showing us what he saw, filmed from the space station.
The husband manager of the beloved country singer just out of rehab says to her, “Do I tell you how to sing, darlin’? Hmm? Have I ever told you how to sing a song?” “That ain’t the point,” she weakly […]
It was so much fun to talk with some of the people behind “Born to Be Wild 3D” following its Washington DC premiere at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. Writer/producer Drew Fellman, cinematographer David Douglas, and Dame Daphne Sheldrick […]
If you are in the Washington DC area, be sure to check out these two screenings at George Mason University’s Johnson Center Cinema. Both are free and open to the public. The screening of Poster Girl (38 mins, 2011 Oscar […]
I was thrilled that my first appearance on Ebert Presents At the Movies was a discussion of corporate villains on screen from 1909 to the present — why they are so popular and how the portrayals have evolved to reflect […]
Harry, Hermione, and Ron have to grow up quite literally in the gripping second-to-last installment of the “Harry Potter” movie series, based on the first half of the seventh and final book. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron […]
David Schwimmer is the director of a new film called “Trust,” the heartbreaking story of a 14-year-old girl who is molested by an internet predator and the devastating effect it has not just on her but on her family. It […]
I loved the old PBS series “Upstairs, Downstairs,” which ran from 1971-75 on the BBC. It was revolutionary because it gave almost-equal time to the stories of the servants (downstairs) and the wealthy Edwardian-era family they worked for (upstairs). Jean […]
I couldn’t help it. When I picked up the phone to hear the voice of distinguished actor John Rhys-Davies, I had to enjoy a moment pretending I was talking to Sallah from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” or Gimli from […]
Can you name the 50 movies in this clever quiz from Veer? There are three picture clues and you have 60 seconds to guess the title. Thanks to my friend Ryan Fujitani of Rotten Tomatoes for sharing!
I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I heard about it from Mark Erlbaum. Can’t wait!
Northwestern University is hosting a three-day conference April 21-23 called Illuminating the Shadows: Film Criticism in Focus, with top critics from around the country discussing the past, present, and future of serious writing about film. All sessions are free and […]
This week’s release of “Soul Surfer” is based on the inspiring true story of surfing competitive champion Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm to a shark attack when she was thirteen years old. In her book, Soul Surfer: A True […]
Director Joe Wright is fascinated with Saoirse Ronan’s blue eyes, entirely understandable. Her cerulean gaze is so pure, so clear, so direct, and at the same time knowing and innocent that it is perfect for the role of Hanna, a […]
One way or another you’ll find yourself saying, “Awwwwww.” The adorable baby animals and the grace and kindness of the people who care for them are guaranteed to warm every heart in the theater. In Borneo, Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas […]
Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) tells us that as a child she spent more time wet than dry. She is the daughter of competitive surfers, home-schooled so that nothing would interfere with her training or her opportunity to go out into […]
Russell Brand takes over the title role in this unnecessary remake of the better-remembered-than-re-watched 1981 film starring Dudley Moore and the Oscar-winning Sir John Gielgud. It’s harder to find a perpetually substance-abusing hedonist funny these days than it was back […]
Happy Poetry Month! The wonderful “pÕÎ-trÉ” blog has a terrific selection of poems about movies. And there have been great movies about poets like “The Barretts of Wimpole Street” (about the courtship of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning), An Angel […]
I’ll be posting an interview with Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) about his new movie on product placement soon. Here’s the talk he gave at TED about making a movie about product placement that was entirely funded by product placement. […]
As Katie Couric leaves her pioneering role as the first women anchor of a nightly network news broadcast, it appears that she arrived just as what was once the flagship of end-of-the-day journalism was shrinking to not much more than […]
Here’s all you need to know about the stars: Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner return as Kevin and Alan and their avatar/doubles, CLU and Tron. They are joined by Garrett Hedlund as Kevin’s son, Sam, and Olivia Wilde as Quorra, […]
A gallant warrior mouse and a dragon with a secret join the two youngest Pevensie children for a voyage and a quest in the third and best so far in the Narnia series. War has come to England and Edmund […]
Now this is a pure movie magic. There has never been an on- and off-screen romance like the nine-movie pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. When writer-director Joseph Mankiewicz introduced them, Hepburn, who was wearing special heels that added […]
The Food and Drug Administration released its proposed rules on disclosure of nutritional and calorie information for the food served in chain restaurants. But intense lobbying by the theater industry has led to a great big loophole — movie snacks […]
The always-brilliant Brendon Connelly of Bleeding Cool has ten fascinating and provocative questions for viewers of Sucker Punch. The movie has been widely derided as incoherent eye candy with only 20 percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. A typical comment […]
MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot is like a fabulous fairy tale, except that it really happened. Steven Bingen, Stephen X. Sylvester, and Michael Troyan have written the history of not just a magical place but a magical moment in time, when […]