For movie nerds of a certain age, there are a handful of titles that inspire instant nostalgia: VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever. Danny Peary’s Guide For The Film Fanatic. Roger Ebert’s Video Companion.The Psychotronic Video Guide (for the adventurous). And of course, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide. Published every year since 1969, Maltin’s books, with their short, to-the-point capsule reviews of prominent films, were essential reading for budding cinephiles who hit the video store with a highlighted, heavily bookmarked copy in hand.
But like it has pretty much everything else, the Internet has changed film criticism forever, and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide is its latest casualty. Variety film critic and film guide contributor Joe Leydon announced last night that the 2015 edition of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide will be its last. (The announcement was made, appropriately enough, on Leydon’s blog.) Leydon quotes Maltin’s foreword to the 2015 edition, which reads something like a eulogy:
“With ready access to information on the Internet, our readership has diminished at an alarming rate.
The book’s loyal followers know that we strive to offer something one can’t easily find online: curated information that is accurate and user-friendly, along with our own reviews and ratings.
But when a growing number of people believe that everything should be free, it’s impossible to support a reference book that requires a staff of contributors and editors.”
In other news, Doug Benson is going to have to come up with a new game to play on Doug Loves Movies. “The IMDb User Reviews Game,” perhaps?