California Literary Review

Best Movies

Guessing the Winners: Oscars 2013

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February 22nd, 2013

Julia Rhodes, Brett Harrison Davinger, and Dan Fields predict the winners of 2013’s Oscars from this year’s lackluster collection of nominations.

Singin’ In The Rain: A 60th Anniversary Celebration

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July 13th, 2012

It is more than just one of the all-time greats, grouped with the likes of Casablanca and The Wizard Of Oz. Singin’ In The Rain is also an off-the-wall lesson in Hollywood history.

Blu-Ray/DVD Review: The Wicker Tree

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April 24th, 2012

The rites themselves have changed in practice if not in spirit, and the movie rekindles enough of its ancestor’s spirit that it’s hard to imagine a better result. What more were all the naysayers expecting?

Blu-Ray Review – Battle Royale: The Complete Collection

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March 26th, 2012

Quentin Tarantino proclaims ”My favorite movie of the last 20 years! I wish I had made this movie.” That is as perfect an endorsement as a film distributor could hope to have, especially when selling a film like Battle Royale to a hungry cult audience.

Yes Academy, We Do Need To Talk About Kevin

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February 9th, 2012

This film will upset you. This film will follow you home and haunt you. This film takes courage to face. You will not forget We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Oscars 2012: Slighted Soundtracks And Fantasy Scores

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January 30th, 2012

Acting, directing, and writing awards are the most popular targets for discussion, but there were more very creative folks left off the roll this year. Two aggressively original outsiders are out in the rain, peeping in at the Best Original Score category without so much as an acknowledgment.

The Best And Worst Movies Of 2011

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January 13th, 2012

A look back at the best and worst movies of 2011 from Brett Davinger and Dan Fields

Think Of The Children! Family Films Rule 2011

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January 3rd, 2012

It is heartening to see so much well-crafted entertainment geared toward whole families in a single year. That increases the likelihood of a new generation that wants to grow up and make great movies. However, it is also a signal to the makers of strictly grown-up films to wake up and get creative again.

Who’s Laughing Now? – Film and TV Comedy in 2011

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December 31st, 2011

And so the clock has run out on 2011. We had some major comedy misfires on the big screen, and relied a lot more than usual on television for laughs. What’s going on here?

The Weekly Listicle: The Stage On Screen

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December 17th, 2011

As the holiday season builds to its peak, we movie watchers face a release pattern that seems a bit less robust than usual. However, there are plenty of perfectly interesting options out there. In addition to the major franchises sequels like Sherlock Holmes and Mission Impossible, there are a few titles running on the outside […]

May Day! May Day! It’s Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Tree

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December 14th, 2011

Early press for The Wicker Tree has not been overwhelmingly good, but one might say it has been encouragingly mixed. The original Wicker Man did not become known as “the Citizen Kane of horror films” overnight, or even during the horror boom of the 1970s. It vanished into relative obscurity for some time before its rediscovery, and look at that baby burn now!

The Weekly Listicle: Celebrating Monstrous Matchups

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November 20th, 2011

“Vampires versus werewolves” is only one of the time-tested feuds that film and television have offered for our amusement. This week, Brett Harrison Davinger and I (Dan Fields) take a look at some other monstrous matchups, scary skirmishes, and curious critter clashes.

The Weekly Listicle: Some Movies Are About Things

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October 14th, 2011

At last, the long-rumored prequel/remake of John Carpenter’s 1982 masterpiece The Thing infects theaters across the country. And I mean that in a good way, because I still hope it will be entertaining, despite persistent pangs of common sense. The trailer, at least, sold it as a pretty faithful re-shooting of the original, though no […]

The Weekly Listicle: Method In Our Movie Madness

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October 7th, 2011

The practice of blessing mass entertainment with the bard’s prose confers a kind of loftiness upon it, or at least that must be the idea. A quick glance indicates that Shakespeare has provided titles for an alarming number of Star Trek episodes, just for starters. This week, lend your ears to Brett Harrison Davinger and me (Dan Fields) as we look at some of our favorite films to borrow a title from the works of Shakespeare.

The Weekly Listicle: There Goes The Neighborhood

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August 19th, 2011

Forget good fences, and forget good neighbors. Characters in movies and television are far more compelling when not acting the least bit neighborly.

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