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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 7, 2007
Is any show-biz industry prone to the rip-off more than home-video movie tie-ins -- the grab-bag releases that fly straight to video in order to piggyback on a theatrical film's success? Even in the VHS era, fly-by-night distributors would flood bargain bins with cheap animated retellings of fairy tales, myths and legends whenever Disney released a blockbuster like The Little Mermaid or Pocahontas or re-released a classic like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. These days, the come-on and execution are often classier, the content just as flimsy.
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By From Sun news services | December 17, 2008
Jack Black is joining 'Office' staff for episode on Super Bowl Sunday Jack Black is headed to The Office to guest-star in an episode slated to air in a ratings-rich time slot: immediately after NBC's Super Bowl telecast. The Feb. 1 episode, titled "Stress Relief," will follow the office drones as they try to secretly watch a bootlegged Hollywood movie at work. The network did not say how the Tropic Thunder star will factor into the story line. Hosts with the most Fox TV says Halle Berry and actor-screenwriter Tyler Perry will host the 40th NAACP Image Awards in February.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Reporter | December 12, 2007
Days after its publication, a largely positive review of The Golden Compass that appeared in Catholic newspapers across the country was retracted this week by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops, who could not be reached for comment, offered no explanation for the decision. But Catholic groups, including the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, have urged moviegoers to boycott the film, saying the film and the book on which it is based are anti-Catholic.
FEATURES
January 11, 2008
Capsules by Michael Sragow unless noted. Full reviews are at baltimoresun.com/movies. Atonement -- The crush of an upper-class teen on her housekeeper's son (James McAvoy) catalyzes a devastating accusation that ruins his life and that of the girl's older sister (Keira Knightley). This beautifully acted, remarkably visualized adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel sums up the need for charity and generosity in art and life. R 123 minutes A Charlie Wilson's War -- follows a sybaritic East Texas congressman (Tom Hanks)
FEATURES
By Susan King | December 14, 2007
Sam Elliott has played his share of hardscrabble characters, plenty of them in the Old West. But the 63-year-old actor, famous for his bushy handlebar mustache and mane of silver hair, says that there is an emotional through line connecting his body of work, uniting the cowboys, military men and rebel bikers who have populated his 40-year career. "There are certainly cowboys out there who would be chagrined to be compared to a guy on a Harley-Davidson with long hair," Elliott says, "but they share a common vein - I think it's very simply the code and a sense of freedom and a sense of responsibility to someone."
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | October 24, 2007
The leader of a conservative Catholic watchdog group is imploring people not to see The Golden Compass - a children's fantasy based on the first book of British author Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Pullman's work, says William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, promotes an atheist agenda that is profoundly anti-Church. True, he hasn't seen the movie, which comes out Dec.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | December 7, 2007
The familiar fantasy character of the feisty tomboy heroine gets an upgrade in The Golden Compass. This smart, streamlined adaptation of the first novel in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy unfolds in a world similar to but vastly different from our own in a time that's like a blend of our 19th and 20th centuries. The movie goes by quickly -- maybe too quickly. You want the film to slow down so you can savor the alternate-universe England that writer-director Chris Weitz and production designer Dennis Gassner conjure from a millennium's worth of public monuments, as well as a mix-and-match of Victorian and Edwardian architecture and industry.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | December 2, 2007
It wasn't surprising that after creating fierce, armored versions of the Coca-Cola bears and a golden monkey and an army of witches flying over the Great White North, the first question faced by Chris Weitz, the writer-director of The Golden Compass, would be about "escapism" -- the use of fantasy as mere diversion and retreat from reality. "People want you to say that when the world is in a terrible state of affairs, audiences look for escape," Weitz says, over the phone from London, after facing round-tables of journalists.
NEWS
By From Sun news services | December 17, 2008
Jack Black is joining 'Office' staff for episode on Super Bowl Sunday Jack Black is headed to The Office to guest-star in an episode slated to air in a ratings-rich time slot: immediately after NBC's Super Bowl telecast. The Feb. 1 episode, titled "Stress Relief," will follow the office drones as they try to secretly watch a bootlegged Hollywood movie at work. The network did not say how the Tropic Thunder star will factor into the story line. Hosts with the most Fox TV says Halle Berry and actor-screenwriter Tyler Perry will host the 40th NAACP Image Awards in February.
FEATURES
January 11, 2008
Capsules by Michael Sragow unless noted. Full reviews are at baltimoresun.com/movies. Atonement -- The crush of an upper-class teen on her housekeeper's son (James McAvoy) catalyzes a devastating accusation that ruins his life and that of the girl's older sister (Keira Knightley). This beautifully acted, remarkably visualized adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel sums up the need for charity and generosity in art and life. R 123 minutes A Charlie Wilson's War -- follows a sybaritic East Texas congressman (Tom Hanks)
FEATURES
By Susan King | December 14, 2007
Sam Elliott has played his share of hardscrabble characters, plenty of them in the Old West. But the 63-year-old actor, famous for his bushy handlebar mustache and mane of silver hair, says that there is an emotional through line connecting his body of work, uniting the cowboys, military men and rebel bikers who have populated his 40-year career. "There are certainly cowboys out there who would be chagrined to be compared to a guy on a Harley-Davidson with long hair," Elliott says, "but they share a common vein - I think it's very simply the code and a sense of freedom and a sense of responsibility to someone."
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Reporter | December 12, 2007
Days after its publication, a largely positive review of The Golden Compass that appeared in Catholic newspapers across the country was retracted this week by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops, who could not be reached for comment, offered no explanation for the decision. But Catholic groups, including the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, have urged moviegoers to boycott the film, saying the film and the book on which it is based are anti-Catholic.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 7, 2007
Is any show-biz industry prone to the rip-off more than home-video movie tie-ins -- the grab-bag releases that fly straight to video in order to piggyback on a theatrical film's success? Even in the VHS era, fly-by-night distributors would flood bargain bins with cheap animated retellings of fairy tales, myths and legends whenever Disney released a blockbuster like The Little Mermaid or Pocahontas or re-released a classic like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. These days, the come-on and execution are often classier, the content just as flimsy.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | December 7, 2007
The familiar fantasy character of the feisty tomboy heroine gets an upgrade in The Golden Compass. This smart, streamlined adaptation of the first novel in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy unfolds in a world similar to but vastly different from our own in a time that's like a blend of our 19th and 20th centuries. The movie goes by quickly -- maybe too quickly. You want the film to slow down so you can savor the alternate-universe England that writer-director Chris Weitz and production designer Dennis Gassner conjure from a millennium's worth of public monuments, as well as a mix-and-match of Victorian and Edwardian architecture and industry.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | December 2, 2007
It wasn't surprising that after creating fierce, armored versions of the Coca-Cola bears and a golden monkey and an army of witches flying over the Great White North, the first question faced by Chris Weitz, the writer-director of The Golden Compass, would be about "escapism" -- the use of fantasy as mere diversion and retreat from reality. "People want you to say that when the world is in a terrible state of affairs, audiences look for escape," Weitz says, over the phone from London, after facing round-tables of journalists.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | October 24, 2007
The leader of a conservative Catholic watchdog group is imploring people not to see The Golden Compass - a children's fantasy based on the first book of British author Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Pullman's work, says William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, promotes an atheist agenda that is profoundly anti-Church. True, he hasn't seen the movie, which comes out Dec.
ENTERTAINMENT
By [Nielsen Media Research, Exhibitor Relations Co. and Billboard magazine] | December 13, 2007
TELEVISION 1.CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS 2.Grey's Anatomy, ABC 3.60 Minutes, CBS 4.Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, CBS 5.Survivor: China, CBS FILMS 1.The Golden Compass, New Line 2.Enchanted, Disney 3.This Christmas, Screen Gems 4.Fred Claus, Warner Bros. 5.Beowulf, Paramount SINGLES 1.No One, Alicia Keys 2.Kiss Kiss, Chris Brown featuring T-Pain 3.Apologize, Timbaland featuring OneRepublic 4.Low, Flo Rida featuring T-Pain 5.Bubbly, Colbie Caillat ALBUMS 1.Noel, Josh Groban 2.Long Road Out of Eden, Eagles 3.As I Am, Alicia Keys 4.NOW 26, Various artists 5.The Ultimate Hits, Garth Brooks DVDS (SALES)
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