What a great pocket guide! What big pockets one needs! As always,
Leonard Maltin's movie guide is nice to have next to the armchair.
My first copy was from the early '90,s and it is quite dog-eared. This was before Cinemania (Microsoft's cool, if limited multimedia
program) or the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). I could look up every movie Rutger Hauer was ever in, or all the major stars in Oliver Stone's JFK. Obviously a handy tool in refereeing a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
Unfortunately, the restrictions of this printed tome, wise though it may be, make it somewhat frustrating to use in the age of the Internet Movie Database. The editors have to make tough decisions on what films are included, which actors and directors are listed, and how much of the cast to list in the movie descriptions. A daunting
task I do not envy. I understand that to make this book marketable
to the masses, it must not be as big as a toaster oven and require a magnifying glass, but sometimes running into dead ends in the book
make me want to put it down and give up on it. That's a shame.
There's some good stuff here, and it still holds value for those who don't have a quick Internet connection, or a computer.
Maybe it's time Maltin moved his book to the Internet - tough competition when IMDB has such a foothold. Still a great guide, but expect some dead ends. While the current guide does not have a reference to Kevin Bacon, it does have a wonderful widescreen glossary listing aspect ratios and the names used for them. I can still recommend it, but not with both thumbs.
What? Oh, that's Ebert. Sorry.