on 11 February 2004
I have been buying the Leonard Martin’s Movie and Video Guide for at least 10 years now. I find it an absolutely indispensable reference and the latest version is no exception. I like the style of rating from 4 stars right down to BOMB and more often than not I share the opinions of the reviewers. I admire the no-nonsense layout, constant for every film, and I think a good balance on content over presentation is maintained. I would love that every film ever produced could be included but you would probably be looking at a 3-volume version if that were the case. I long for the day that can be achieved with a DVD-Rom version release and sadly miss the Microsoft Cinemania effort.
Yes I almost bought this more than useful book. Then sitting next to it is the same book word for word that has twice the surface for twice the price. Of course if you are economically conservative and have good eyesight the smaller book works well.
It is always fun to see how close one comes to Leonard's conclusion which is not always the same as yours. Yet if you have not seen the film you need some sort of guide. And to get a feel for how he thinks when making his judgments there is an introduction covering how he rated some of the most popular films.
Be sure to read the section "Key to This Book" as it tells the different media or lack of for each film. Some films are includes because of their popularity even if there is no recorded media such as "John Goldfarb Please Come Home"
Once again many of my favorites have been left out such as "Out There" (1995) ASIN: 6303965954 and "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" (1989) ASIN: 6305078599, based on "Heart of Darkness."
However with 19,000 entries you will be kept busy trying to find out what else is missing.