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Tom and Jerry were originally called Jasper and Jinx, but only in their first cartoon, the Oscar-nominated "Puss Gets the Boot," in 1940. After the name change, their Hannah-Barbera shorts would be nominated an additional dozen times, winning seven statues for their funny, fast-paced, violen…

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Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, the Oscar-nominated writers of the 2011 hit comedy "Bridesmaids," finally reunite to stir up more funny business in "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar." The duo, BFFs in real life, wrote the script and co-star as a pair of fluffy-haired best friends who leave t…

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For the fourth filmed version of Noel Coward's hit stage play "Blithe Spirit," director Edward Hall and his battery of script writers have managed to keep much of the ditzy original flavor of the Coward piece - it's still set in 1930s England - but also make it accessible to and funny for mo…

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I can't recall the last film that has been so praised, so nominated by so many film and critics groups as "Nomadland." Categories include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and others. It's also been collecting heaps of …

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I started watching this movie - reluctantly, because someone told me it was about people caught in a time loop, a genre that has worn out its welcome for me. And right there, in the first few minutes, it was as if I was caught in my own time loop, of seeing exactly this sort of film again an…

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Forget the ludicrous mini-series "Tiger King," which premiered right around the same time as the pandemic hit America. Forget Tony the Tiger, whose voice and visage have sold millions of boxes of Frosted Flakes. Forget, if you're an old hippie, Tiger Balm, the cooling, menthol-infused cream …

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There's a special sort of small British film that doesn't have a precise label, but often has adjectives such as feelgood or laidback attached to it. Top of my head: "Waking Ned Devine," "Calendar Girls," "The Full Monty," "Happy-Go-Lucky." Frequently they're much more about characters and w…

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Gal Gadot did not burst, sight unseen, onto the American movie landscape as the golden tiara-wearing, glowing lariat-twirling, eternally truth-telling Wonder Woman. She had already been a recurring character - the weapon-savvy Gisele - in the "Fast & Furious" franchise, and had minor rol…

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When am I going to learn not to judge a book by its cover, or a movie by its title, or by what I think is its premise? I almost passed on watching "The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee." The title is too long and formal. And I was led to believe that it was a comedy about the Australian actor Paul …

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It's December. It's officially pre-awards season, when all the film critics and voters begin thinking about Top-10 lists and nominees. Here's a hot tip for those folks - and for normal moviegoers: Be sure to see "Mank." It's the equivalent of one-stop shopping if you're looking for candidate…

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Somewhere buried deep within the hackneyed genre thriller "Let Him Go" resides a pretty nifty story about the give and take between a long-married Montana couple confronting age, grief and an elusive connection with their widowed daughter-in-law. Because said couple is played by Kevin Costne…

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One responsibility of a film critic is to let prospective viewers know that even if a movie is being strongly recommended, it's imperative to point out that some of its contents could be upsetting. In the case of "Let Him Go," an adaptation of the 2013 novel by Larry Watson, my warning is th…

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Today's topic is hypertrichosis, a condition that causes excessive hair growth all over the body. The common term for it is werewolf syndrome. Paul (Jaeden Martell), who is about to turn 13, was born with hypertrichosis. Living with his dad in a run-down apartment in upstate New York, Paul i…

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When Disney announced that it would be releasing "Mulan" on Disney+, one number stuck out: $30. That's how much Disney is charging viewers to watch the blockbuster when it debuts next week on its new streaming service.

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