So, this is it. The end of an era. FORTY-FIVE years running! Well readers, you won’t have Leonard Maltin to kick around anymore. It was announced in August, that the 2015 edition of Mr. Maltin’s annual Movie Guide…would be the final one. And the news definitely found me pining for a simpler time. The internet has officially ended the book’s necessity for most, with sites like Metacritic and rottentomatoes, making the quaint little film guide obsolete. Hell…book stores barely exist any longer, never mind physical print books continuing to prosper. Hey, it’s not exactly Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” happening here, but it would be myopic not to notice digital revolutionizing the industry. I read often, but I barely frequent a retail book chain myself any longer. And I’m a Johnny-come-lately who just joined Facebook a couple of weeks ago! But all good things come to a close eventually. And whether you like his capsule reviews, or not, the Leonard Maltin Movie Guide was a very good thing. I purchased one, like that pictured above, right after Labor Day last month. It’s difficult to fathom, that I’ll never do it again. Hey, maybe the internet will someday seem antiquated too.
It seems an anachronism now, but at one time—not all that long ago—this book was absolutely essential. But with virtually everyone over the age of 10, having the world wide web at their fingertips for reference, its popularity has been waning for a number of years. I believe I bought my first copy at some point in the 1980’s, years after seeing a 70’s copy in my father’s apartment when I was a child. The Maltin guide and “Kon-Tiki” were the only books I ever saw in his home. The reference book quickly became a completely obsessive habit for me. I’d practically haunt the book store waiting for the new one to arrive each late summer. On more than one occasion, a clerk was just taking them out of the box when I showed up. And for decades now, I’ve used it for my job, in my writing, and just for simple, casual edification. Hey, Maltin(and his band of contributors)isn’t even a top flight critic! But I’ll miss his handy, reference tool a great deal. Even if it did give 1980’s “Popeye” a “BOMB” rating(adjust up), and 2008’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” 4 stars(adjust down). Time marches on, but Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide has come to the end of the road. Thanks, and farewell.