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16 posts tagged Owen Gleiberman

From the start, we were looking for movies that entertained us to the core, but did so with a big vision — that is, movies you could watch over and over again, and probably have, because there’s something about them (an addictive quality of delight, or beauty, or suspense, or laughter, or profundity, or all of the above) that simply never gets old. What was most important to us, though, is that nothing on the list — nothing! not one single film! — would be there because it was “supposed” to be there.

How did we decide which films made our 100 All-Time Greatest list? Let critic Owen Gleiberman explain.

The grand irony of Roger Ebert’s career is that he became an icon of the thumb, of bite-sized opinions presented as a consumer service, yet on the essential matter of voice, you couldn’t find a critic who spoke (or wrote) more urgently, more eloquently, more passionately, or with a more fascinating thrust of personality.

Must-read: Owen Gleiberman on Roger Ebert.

Thus spoke Owen Gleiberman.

There’s every chance that the target audience for The Lucky One will still cry a happy tear at the end. Maybe the movie should come with a credit that reads: ”Just add water.”

The Lucky One gets a C from Owen Gleiberman.

The beasts are photographed as if we were watching Saving Private Kraken. The dialogue is mostly made of wet cardboard.

Gleiberman is on fire this week! Here’s his hilarious review of Wrath of the Titans.

What’s fundamentally broken about the MPAA isn’t the system so much as the thinking behind the judgments. The ratings-board members, swathed in their shadow of anonymity, insist on a nearly Victorian double standard for sex and violence: Anything associated with the former (like the word “f—-“) is treated as taboo, whereas horror and action films that feature over-the-top violence routinely get a PG-13. This outdated distinction may be a reflection of “American values,” but that does not make it right. And the fact that the board tends to go easier on big-budget blockbusters may be the shoddiest double standard of all.

Owen Gleiberman takes on the MPAA in his review of Bully. (The movie gets a B+.)

The forces of good and evil have a few nasty run-ins, but the primary struggle played out in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace is that of George Lucas nervously fighting to give everyone in the galaxy their money’s worth. It’s not just the preponderance of digitally realized (yet still rubbery) creatures, which have the disquieting effect of making everything around them seem cutesy and innocuous. It’s that Lucas now directs like a man with a short-circuited attention span. Some of The Phantom Menace is fun, but it’s also skittery and overstuffed, too intent on keeping the audience wired into a state of sense-crackling excitement. Watching the movie, you feel as if you’re simultaneously playing a maniacally rapid-fire videogame, wandering the aisles of a futuristic toy store, and, almost incidentally, sitting through a science-fiction fable about a couple of Jedi Knights who befriend young Anakin Skywalker, the spunky intuitive whiz kid who will eventually grow up to become Darth Vader.


Read the rest of Owen Gleiberman’s original 1999 review 'Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace'


The Girl With the Drago Tattoo gives off a ripely kinky, menacing glow. It opens with psychedelic music-video credits, scored to Karen O’s caterwauling cover of Led Zeppelin’s ”Immigrant Song,” that set a mood of evil dipped in black rubber. That fanfare lets you know that the movie is going to have a sensuality and danger that the 2009 Swedish screen version, dutifully effective as it was, did not. Directed by the high-grunge master David Fincher (Zodiac, Se7en, The Social Network), the new Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sticks close to the spirit and most of the details of Stieg Larsson’s Swedish serial-killer novel, in which an officially disgraced left-wing journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), is hired to investigate a homicide that has haunted an aristocratic family for 40 years. Larsson’s plot is nothing more (or less) than a clever conventional whodunit festooned with glimmers of depravity. Fincher, however, teases out the full mythological grandeur of the material. He’s not just a great director — he’s an artist with the eyes of a voyeur, and he has made The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo into an electrifying movie by turning the audience into addicts of the forbidden, looking for the sick and twisted things we can’t see.

Read the rest of our Review


Yes, the Oscars can, and should, evolve. But right now, when movies, rather than dominating the culture front and center as they once did, look more and more like just one additional entertainment choice amid a brain-frazzlingly eclectic multi-media cosmos, I think it’s a big mistake for the Academy Awards ceremony to be in a perpetual neurotic state of reinventing itself, giving its Best Picture rules a new perm every other year. It looks arbitrary and vacillating, it reduces the Oscars more and more to being just One More Awards Show (rather than the awards show), and besides, it’s sort of like fussing with Christmas. You can’t really make it better; you can just make it less.

Owen Gleiberman decries the Oscars’ latest attempt to switch things up, arguing that the awards show is thisclose to losing its identity.

Every couple of years, Hollywood remembers that there’s this weirdly esoteric, fringe-group demographic — I believe the term for it is “women” — who actually enjoy seeing their lives portrayed on screen every bit as much as men do.

Owen Gleiberman on the “surprise” success of Bridesmaids—and how it establishes Kristen Wiig as a triple-threat every bit as talented as Tina Fey.

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