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on 6 August 2002
If I had to use one of those ''catchy'', same-alike Hollywood promoting lines, that would probably be: ''a classic revisited''. For, this 2002 edition of the most well-known film encyclopedia, combines the established classical value of its title (existing for some 20 years now), with all kinds of modern information, such as the availability of the films in every existing form of media.
You wonder how 25.000 -more or less- titles can fit into just 1.000 pages? Well, add the fact that the information provided is more than overwhelming, and you are bound to appreciate this book as a real editorial achievement. In fact, it's all here: complete zenerics, plot summaries, short reviews of the reaction of film critics, the films' impact on the history of cinema, awards, the author's personal opinion, trivia, rating in stars...
Enjoyably easy to use (even though it actually weights nearly as much as a little baby), apart from its great accomplishment of containing an inconceivable number of titles (in comparison to ''rivalry'' books, quite remarkable themselves, such as the TimeOut, the Maltin's or the TLA Guides), ''Halliwell's Film & Video Guide 2002'' has something equally essential (at least to my humble opinion) to be proud about: it reflects style, character and -the most important- point of view. How many ''encyclopedias'' with true temperament do you happen to know?
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on 6 August 2002
If I had to use one of those ''catchy'', same-alike Hollywood promoting lines, that would probably be: ''a classic revisited''. For, this edition of the most well-known film encyclopedia, combines the classical value of its title (existing for some 20 years now), with the newest information, such as the availability of the films in every existing form of media.
You wonder how 25.000 -more or less- titles can fit into just 1.000 pages? Well, add the fact that the information provided is more than overwhelming, and you are bound to appreciate this book as a real editorial achievement. In fact, it's all here: complete zenerics, plot summaries, short reviews of the reaction of critics, the films' impact on the history of cinema, awards, the author's personal opinion, rating in stars...
Enjoyably easy to use (even though it actually weights nearly as much as a little baby),apart from its great accomplishment of containing an inconceivable number of titles (in comparison with ''rivalry'' books, quite remarkable themselves, such as the TimeOut, the Maltin's or the TLA Guide), ''Halliwell's Film & Video Guide 2002'' has something equally essential (at least to my humble opinion) to be proud about: it reflects style, witt and -the most important- point of view. How many ''encyclopedias'' with true temperament do you happen to know?
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on 9 December 2010
I would love to review this book but after 5 weeks and the promise of a replacement having been sent, I still have no book at the time of writing. I have been offered the stupendous deal of getting 10% off my next order. Readers....there will be no order. I'll let you know how things go in the Small Claims Court.
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on 11 March 2002
Halliwell's is widely renowned as the King of Film Guides. The reputation is deserved insofar as it is extremely comprehensive and generally very accurate, with a user-friendly format.
The reviews of individual films can leave something to be desired, however. The rating system of 0-4 stars is an excellent idea, but is, for example, Autobus (Aux Yeux du Monde), a fairly average drama, really worthy of a higher rating than François Truffaut's genre-defining Les Quatre Cents Coups? The appraisal of Bill Forsyth's wonderful Gregory's Girl claims the film to be "handicapped by impenetrable accents", a statement which would be offensive to the people of Scotland if it weren't so patently incorrect. And the quotes selected from other sources to accompany reviews often disagree with the reviews themselves: for instance, Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice is awarded a creditable three stars, but accompanied by the quote from Time Out, "a prime contender for the title of Most Overrated Film of All Time".
In short, the opinions voiced in Halliwell's are often questionable and on occasion self-contradictory, but the guide is nevertheless essential, if only for its thoroughness.
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on 27 September 2002
The reviews here have missed the point. Yes Halliweell is a very fussy and often mistifying guide but it is the opinion of a few as opposed to many. It is one of the few guides to give top rating's to films such as Star Wars, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Fargo and American Beauty to name a few. A good feature of Halliwell's is to offer opinions from other guides or critics below his own reviews. Where he gives a film four out of four there are usually other contradictory reviews below and vice versa where hew does not like a film. This gives one the chance to develop their own opinion and to find out that not every living and dead critic thinks or thought that (for example) Casablanca is the best film of all time. It also rates documentaries and early comedy shorts which are ignored by other guides. Having said this it is best to have another guide as well as Halliwell as no one is ever going to agree on all films. In particular the films that Halliwell gives four stars to from the 1970's are more thoughtful than most and he is not a snob as he rates 1984's This is Spinal Tap (correctly) as a Masterpiece.
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on 14 October 2000
If you are an avid movie watcher, like myself, this guide is invaluable. Since Leslie Halliwell's death, the guide thankfully has not suffered. With more and more channels and the normal TV/cable/digital guides including less and less information about even the basic plots of films, this guide is very helpful in finding something decent, enlightening, amusing, heart rendering, educational or just a film that's a good watch and entertaining. Buy it now!
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on 17 August 1999
This edition comes in a large but easy to handle volume. John walker who took over from Halliwell does an excellent job. There is a noticable discrepency in the rating of films by Halliwell and Walker. Many have been re-thought. In my opinion this reflects modern tastes and updates Halliwells preference for the early days of cinema. A must for the discerning film watcher. A crown deducted for the somewhat hard to navigate film indexing.
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on 4 February 2002
as most movie books go, this one isn't so bad. it is very comprehensive and gives plenty of info on each film it reviews. however, it does seem to be a bit harsh when rating films, so i wouldn't 'not watch' a film based on what was said. if you add an extra star onto the rating the book gives it, you get a better idea of how good the film is. not bad for the price either.
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on 27 April 2002
All the information is there but the reviews are awful. Almost every review displays a I-could-do-better-attitude and shows ignorance of the film making process. Though it justly rates films such as Ran and LA. Confidential highly, it criticises The Great Escape and Star Wars on irrelvant grounds. Even films that get full marks do not escape criticism from the all knowing, all powerful critics.
Good for reference, bad for reviews.
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on 23 August 2011
A must have for any movie fan, with all the essential information you could ever wish to know. With details on all the stars and essential personalities.
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