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Leonard Maltin

KING SIZED LAUGHS FROM TEX AVERY AND BUGS BUNNY

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Tex Avery’s cartoons don’t look or sound like anyone else’s. I haven’t laughed out loud so much since I watched Warner Archive’s first collection of Avery shorts last year. There may not be as many bona fide classics in…

‘COMING 2 AMERICA’ DELIVERS THE LAUGHS

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There’s never a good time for a bad sequel, and goodness knows we’ve seen plenty. But Coming 2 America manages to revive the central characters from Eddie Murphy’s 1988 megahit with surprisingly good results. Murphy remains a comedic force to reckon…

THE REAL BILLIE HOLIDAY

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Billie Holiday lived long enough to make a handful of television appearances in the late 1950s. She was no longer in peak form, but these performances reveal her passion for the music she sang…and the bond she shared with…

THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

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The more you know about legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday the more trouble you’re likely to have digesting Lee Daniels’s punishing new biopic. While it is less fictitious than the glossy 1972 Diana Ross movie Lady Sings the Blues, it remains…

NOMADLAND: WORTH WAITING FOR

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Filmmaker Chloé Zhao opens Nomadland on a tight closeup of Fern’s face—a woman we might chance to meet any day of the week.  Because she is played by Frances McDormand there is no better way to establish a connection between her…

A MEL BLANC DISCOVERY

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Sometimes a gem can be hiding in plain sight—or within hearing distance. A few weeks ago I turned on Turner Classic Movies (my go-to channel) and watched part of Alexander Korda’s 1942 production The Jungle Book, starring Sabu. I hadn’t…

‘MINARI’ IS AN ARTISTIC TRIUMPH

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To have won both the Grand Jury prize and the Audience Award at last year’s Sundance Film Festival indicates, correctly, that Minari is an artistic triumph as well as a crowd-pleaser. Clearly a passion project for writer-director Lee Isaac Chung, inspired…

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