After Walt Disney died, the studio he founded faltered, especially Disney animation. Following the powerhouse classics like “Peter Pan,” “Dumbo,” and “The Jungle Book” (the last animated film Walt Disney supervised personally), the animation division became mired in struggles that […]
I am very excited about “Jerusalem,” a spectacular new 3D Imax film about the city called “the gateway to God.” Exquisitely beautiful cinematography and immersive 3D effects bring the audience inside the city, from its thousands-year history to its religious […]
Who would have guessed that the brightest and funniest and most heartwarming animated film of the year would not be from Pixar or Disney but Sony? And that to boot it would be a sequel, or, perhaps given the subject […]
It is always a delight to speak with the sweet-voiced Jodi Benson, who plays Ariel in this week’s DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week, The Little Mermaid. She has also provided the voice for characters including Barbie in the “Toy Story” […]
SoulPancake has performed a heartwarming experiment that proves a surprising path to happiness. Watch it; I promise you’ll be grateful.
Many thanks to my friend Brandon Fibbs for sharing these magnificent movie treasure maps by illustrator Andrew DeGraff. See how many you can identify.
“Rush,” directed by Ron Howard and written by Peter Morgan, is the story of the rivalry between 1970’s Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Much of it is true, including many of the statements made by the characters […]
In honor of this week’s release of “Rush,” based on the real rivalry of Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, take a look at these movies about racing, some featuring actors who raced cars off screen as well. […]
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has made a remarkably assured debut as writer/director, putting him in the front ranks of today’s filmmakers. Gordon-Levitt also plays the lead role, Jon, a New Jersey guy with a high and tight haircut and a spare […]
The immensely gifted screenwriter Peter Morgan reunites with his “Frost/Nixon” director Ron Howard and returns to his favorite theme, a real-life drama about the clash between two brilliantly talented but flawed figures. This time it is the bitter rivalry between […]
This is it. The greatest family movie of all time. “The Wizard of Oz” now has a gorgeous new 3D/Blu-Ray/Digital release and I have a copy to give away. “Over the Rainbow.” “If I Only Had a Heart.” “We’re Off […]
Joseph Gordon-Levitt met with a small group of journalists to talk about the film he wrote, directed, and stars in, “Don Jon.” Gordon-Levitt, who has appeared in edgy independent films (“The Mysterious Skin,” “Brick”), teen romances (“10 Things I Hate […]
We’re used to measuring movie success by box office. But it’s intriguing to look at the data on social media. Before you click — which movie of 2013 so far do you think has had the most viral impact?
Walt Disney Studios, which made the classic animated version of “Cinderella” in 1950, is now filming a sumptuous new live-action Cinderella film, directed by Kenneth Branagh, with Lily James (“Downton Abbey,” “Wrath of the Titans”) in the title role, Richard […]
I think people complain about award shows because they are not very entertaining. That is because the actual presentation and acceptance of awards is pretty dull for everyone except for the awardee’s friends and family, unless some catastrophe occurs. Traditionally, […]
I really enjoyed talking to Will Bakke of Riot Studios about his new film, “Believe Me.” I’ll post information about the movie’s release when it is available. Tell me a little bit about this project. I’d love to. Well, “Believe […]
I am delighted that Rotten Tomatoes, the pioneering aggregator of movie reviews, is taking on television with its new TV Zone. Check out the reviews of scripted (non-reality) shows. So far, the widely-reviled “Dads” show gets a big rotten tomato […]
Harrison Ford welcomes his young students to battle school.
In movie world, ideas seem to percolate in different places at the same time. A while back, the number nine showed up in four titles at once. And right now, the always-popular word “paradise” seems to be having a particular moment. […]
This one is a smile-through-tears of the week. Just lovely.
For more information: Institute on Gender in Media
The subject matter of the movie “Prisoners”– parents desperately searching for their kidnapped little girls– is so potent that it requires a strong, sure director to maintain control. Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (“Incendies”), in his first Hollywood feature film, is […]
Imagine that the one thing you cannot trust yourself to be near is around you all the time, wherever you go. As difficult as it is to recover from addiction to drugs or gambling or alcohol, at least those in […]
Sister Rose Pacatte and Peter Malone have completed work on a new volume in the Lights, Camera, Faith series of books about the spiritual and moral lessons we can draw from movies. Sister Rose says: The goal of the Lights, Camera, Faith is to bring major […]
The 3D release of “The Wizard of Oz” inspired Susan Wloszczyna to write about some surprising facts, updates, and behind the scenes information about the film. Does that “Wherefore art thou, Romeo?” voice in “If I Only Had a Heart” […]
Stuart Blumberg wrote or co-wrote some of my favorite films, including “Keeping the Faith” and “The Kids are All Right.” His new film is “Thanks for Sharing,” with Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad, and Pink (billed as Alecia Moore) […]
The wildly — and hilariously — dysfunctional Harpers of “Mama’s Family” are now available on DVD and I have copies to give away! Vicki Lawrence and Ken Berry star in this “Carol Burnett Show” spin-off. I have copies of the […]
The US Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1797.
There are going to be a lot of superheroes on screen this summer, but none of them are as super as Gerry Lane a former investigator for the UN called back into action to fight the zombie apocalypse. No superhero […]
For more information: Institute on Gender and Media
This beautiful animated film promoting Chipotle’s new game features Fiona Apple singing a haunting version of the “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” song, “Pure Imagination.” So, a song that once paid tribute to a candy factory is now being used […]
Lizzie Skurnick is the author of the marvelous book Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading, the story of the YA books of the 1960’s to 80’s. She has now been offered her dream assignment — to bring […]
A blessed Yom Kippur to all who observe it. May you and all you love be inscribed in the Book of Life.
In honor of this week’s release of “The Family,” check out some of these movies about characters in the witness protection program. And no, I am not going to suggest the movies starring Tyler Perry, Larry the Cable Guy, or […]
Watch 13-year-old Rion Paige knock the socks off the X Factor judges. The Florida girl has joint problems in her hands and partial blindness in one eye from arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. She also has a powerful voice and a powerful spirit […]
Coming in January on HBO, starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey and looking fiercely cool:
Katherine LaNasa stars in “Jayne Mansfield’s Car,” a new 1960’s Southern family drama co-written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton. LaNasa, Thornton, Kevin Bacon, and Robert Patrick play the children of a World War I veteran named Jim Caldwell (Robert […]
“Anybody who doesn’t contradict me can expect nothing but good things,” “Fred Blake” (Robert De Niro) explains in item 10 of his David Letterman-style countdown of what he considers his best qualities. Fred is his current nom de witness protection. […]
See if you can guess the Rotten Tomato rankings for these romantic comedies (plus “The Notebook”).
Karen Valby has an excellent essay in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly about stripping scenes in recent movies, like Jennifer Aniston in “We’re the Millers” and Gwyneth Paltrow seducing her new boyfriend in “Thank You for Sharing.” Both, of […]
Twenty former White House Chiefs of Staff tell their stories in this two-part documentary narrated by Kevin Bacon.
This is the story, from 6 am to midnight, of September 11, 2001. At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, you start small: A briefcase, a Blackberry, a victim’s sweatshirt, and a hero’s name tag. These are simple objects […]
Vertical Entertainment will be releasing the sweet fantasy “Journey to the Christmas Star” on DVD on November 5, 2013. A plucky heroine with a kind heart seeks the Christmas Star to break the curse on the kingdom. She gets some […]
The most successful movie producer of all time is Roger Corman because every single one of his movies made money. Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses: Roger Corman, King of the B Movie, released today, is the story […]
Most beer commercials are about male bonding by watching sports or ogling pretty girls. But this Guinness ad is about real men and real friendships.
Tonight the heartwarming series “Last Tango in Halifax” premieres on PBS, with Derek Jacobi and Ann Reid. In the first episode, the childhood sweethearts re-connect on Facebook after 60 years.
This is one of my favorite of the excellent Geena Davis series to help parents manage the media onslaught. Parents should model the kind of active engagement with what they see that kids need to learn to develop.
The Forgiveness Project has assembled some touching and inspiring films about the issues we face around forgiveness, asking for it and giving it. In this film, people find ways to forgive the unforgivable. “No matter which side of the conflict […]
Issa Rae is the subversively funny mind who created the web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. She’s now working on writing an HBO series she will also star in. But she is still creating content for the web, […]
It’s probably the most beloved family film of all time, and now it is bigger and deeper than ever. “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, is coming to 3D Imax screens for the first time. See the Munchkins, the […]
Coming Oct 29 on DVD: “Coming Home for Christmas,” with George Canyon (Christmas Miracle, Dawn Rider, Man of Steel), Aaron Pritchett, Britt McKillip (Dead Like Me), and Carly McKillip (Hot Rod) Sisters Kate and Melanie have not spoken to each […]
The New York Times is in the business of reporting the facts. And sometimes those facts result in “based on” or “inspired by” movies that have only a homeopathic relationship to what really happened yet are marketed as though they […]
The Washington Post has a wonderful profile of my dear friend Judith Viorst, whose Lulu and the Brontosaurus is being turned into a musical and whose Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is being made into a movie […]
Fall doesn’t start officially for another few weeks, but the fall movie season won’t wait that long. Traditionally, fall is when we start seeing some movies for grown-ups after all of the chases and explosions of the summer. Let’s take […]
It seems like every month has a batch of new television series, but fall is still when we get the biggest bunch of premieres and returns. Here’s what I’m looking forward to: New: “Masters of Sex” — Michael Sheen and […]
E.L. James’ erotic best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey is soon to be a movie, starring Dakota Johnson as literature student Anastasia Steele and Charlie Hunnam as billionaire Christian Grey. The book began as “Twilight” fan fiction and with its two sequels has […]
Anyone who loves film should watch the 15-episode documentary about the history of film now showing on TCM. In “The Story of Film: An Odyssey,” documentarian and film historian Mark Cousins takes us from the very first flickering images a […]
I have a Magic Schoolbus DVD to give away! This one is called “In a Pickle,” and it includes the title episode about microbes, “Meets Molly Cule” about molecules, and “Makes a Stink” about smell — with a special bonus […]
In honor of the people who brought us the 40 hour work week, weekends off, and major advances in workplace safety and all those who work to contribute to society and care for their families: Harlan County, U.S.A. This classic […]
Happy September! Here are three of my favorite songs paying tribute to this month. Many people have sung the haunting Kurt Weill “September Song,” originally introduced by Walter Huston (father of director John Huston and grandfather to Anjelica and Danny […]
It’s September. That means school and work and colder weather. We need to laugh. And tonight NBC is here to provide us with some of television’s funniest moments, assembled by The Paley Center for Media.