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Marshall Fine Commentary

Saying 'No' to Horror Movies

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.27.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

For starters, I have no interest in the supernatural and paranormal -- mostly because I don't believe in it. (Of course, that's the perfect set-up for a horror story.) I've never had a paranormal experience, though I'm sure there are people who believe they have.

Why Selfies Have Taken Over the World

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.29.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I understand the selfie urge. That "look at me" cry for attention is something that is stifled in us from childhood. It's considered unseemly, untoward, to be so desperate for attention. There is an institution for people who can't keep it under control: It's called "show business."

The Cream Rises

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.15.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I will take a day and a stack of screeners (or links) and apply my 20-minute rule: I'll watch for 20 minutes and then decide if it's worth continuing. Many don't even take that long. Because a movie worth watching announces itself almost from its first frame.

Thoughts on a Weekend in Venice

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.17.2014 | Travel
Marshall Fine

Venice outstripped any expectations I might have brought to the experience. It was far more cinematic than any movie could do justice to.

One-screen Guy in a Two-screen World

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.04.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I came to a realization on Monday morning, after the Oscars: I don't think I have what it takes to be part of the two-screen world. Which, increasingly, is what we seem to be living in.

Why No One Cares About This Year's Oscars

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.29.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

If anything, the disconnect between the studios and quality films is more pronounced now than it's ever been. Hollywood's solution? Open up more slots in the best-picture category, in hopes of tricking Oscar voters into nominating some box-office hits as well as the arthouse fare that seems to dominate the awards.

The Worst Generation(s)

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.26.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Even as Boomers wallowed in the glories that were the films of the 1970s, we took all the wrong lessons from them.

Can a Little Movie Get Some Love?

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.15.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Here's everything you need to know about what's wrong with the movie industry today: This week, three remakes of movies that didn't need remakes -- or weren't very good in the first place -- will open on thousands of screens: Robocop, Endless Love and About Last Night.

Re-heat The Beatles

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.13.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Unfortunately, we -- and by we, I speak now of my cohort, the Baby Boom generation -- seem to be the ones who have turned nostalgia into an industry. Which takes most of the fun out of it.

Bob Dylan, Corporate Shill

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.09.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I don't want to make too big a deal about Bob Dylan appearing in a Chrysler commercial during the Super Bowl and yet, I'm afraid, it is a big deal.

Philip Seymour Hoffman: An Appreciation

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.05.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I first noticed Philip Seymour Hoffman's work in a serious way at Sundance in 1998, when he showed up in significant roles in two different films: Next Stop Wonderland and Montana.

Wrapping Up Sundance 2014

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.26.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I'll admit that seeing that many movies in that little time is like being in a semi-dream state for several days in a row. You are submerged in that world of movies -- and waiting for movies and writing about movies. It's exhausting and exhilarating, particularly when the movies are good.

Live From the Sundance Film Festival: Wednesday, Jan. 22

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.25.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

My last day at the Sundance Film Festival ended with a big bang: The Raid 2, Gareth Evans' sequel to his eye-popping 2011 action film The Raid. And it was a good day prior to that, with a pair of mysterious films -- one a sci-fi thriller, one a marital comedy -- and most of an eye-opening documentary.

Live From the Sundance Film Festival: Tuesday, Jan. 21

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.24.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I had my mind blown by a movie Tuesday, in the middle of another five-movie day at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. And it was blown in 3D.

Live From the Sundance Film Festival: Monday, Jan. 20

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.23.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite between Life Itself, Steve James' documentary about the late film critic Roger Ebert, and To Be Takei, by Jennifer Kroot, about the amazingly resilient career of actor George Takei.

Wake Me After Awards Season

Marshall Fine | Posted 03.12.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Awards season is a phrase that makes it sound as though everyone is armed with shotguns, combing an empty cornfield in hopes of flushing statuettes ...

An Apology From a Member of the New York Film Critics Circle

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.07.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Whether he was doing it to amuse or to garner publicity, the unfortunate remarks, delivered while one of the award winners was accepting an honor the group itself had chosen, was unconscionably rude behavior.

My Favorite Films of 2013

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.23.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

It's the time of year when critics release their lists of the year's best films. It feels like a competitive sport -- or a provocation, which all of these lists are, by nature. As in: "This is my list of the best films. If you don't agree, you're wrong."

Wrapping Up: 10th Dubai International Film Festival

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.15.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I came away from DIFF a believer in this as a film festival with a vision of the future of film, from the standpoint of aesthetics, technology and business.

Live From the Dubai International Film Festival: Friday, Dec. 13

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.12.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

When you stay at a film festival for more than three or four days, the law of diminishing returns usually catches up with you. Yet here I was on my seventh day of movie-going at the Dubai International Film Festival -- my last day here.

Live from the Dubai International Film Festival: Thursday, Dec. 12

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.11.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A film festival is one of the few places where you can take a trip around the world in the course of a day, without ever leaving a mall multiplex. ...

Live from the Dubai International Film Festival: Tuesday, Dec. 10

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.09.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Having worked with the Dubai International Film Festival since its inception in 2004 - and as its managing director since 2006 - Shivani Pandya has ...

Live From the Dubai International Film Festival: Monday, Dec. 9

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.08.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

How bad can a film-festival day be when you see four movies - and only one of them is terrible? And the best one is the last one of the day? That ...

Live From the Dubai International Film Festival: Sunday, Dec. 8

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.07.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

As a critic who regularly attends a couple of film festivals a year I average seeing four films a day and have been known to see as many as six in one day. So I have to admit I appreciate the more casual approach to scheduling at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Live From the Dubai International Film Festival: Saturday, Dec. 7

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.06.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The fact that this festival tends to focus on and celebrate films from the Arab world also makes it unique. I've already put together a lineup of films to see, some of which I've missed at other festivals, most of which I'm just finding out about.