Today marks the 63rd birthday of one of America's great film critics, Leonard Maltin. Leonard is no stranger to the Milwaukee Public Library shelves, given the prolific nature of the man's work. His most famous work, his annual Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide contains concise reviews of thousands of movies. So concise, that he's even the Guinness World Record holder for shortest movie review. His review of 1948's Isn't It Romantic? is just one word: No.
For extra fun, why not try playing the Leonard Maltin Game at your holiday gathering. This game, made famous by the podcast Doug Loves Movies run by comedian Doug Benson, plays a lot like Name That Tune but with movies instead of songs. The rules are pretty simple. You'll need a moderator or host, and they'll either have a smartphone with the Leonard Maltin Guide app on it, or have checked out one of the library's many available copies of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide.
Now on Doug's podcast he prepares categories for players to pick from, with witty names like 'Ferris Bueller's Off Day' (movies starring Matthew Broderick that Leonard gave 2 stars or less). It's also just as fun to flip to a random entry in the book and start giving the clues.
First, the star rating Leonard gave the movie (Leonard ranks movies Bomb to 4 stars). Second, the year it came out. Then, the moderator chooses a few bits from the review that don't completely give away what movie it is. Finally, give the number of names that Leonard lists as starring in the movie.
The first player then bids how many names (from the bottom of the billing, going up) it would take them to guess the movie. The next player then bids fewer names, or challenges the previous person to name the movie with the number of names they bid. The moderator says the number of names of the last bid (from the bottom, remember), and the player then tries to guess the title of the movie. A correct guess gets the player a point, an incorrect guess gets the player who challenged the bid a point. Play to two or three points, or until the fun wears thin. And don't forget to check out the book from your local MPL branch location!