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Today in Movie History: November 2

Oscar bait tends to do a lot of hand-wringing about social causes, but in the case of Roland Joffe’s The Killing Fields, it’s more than just the musings of limousine liberals. It depicts the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge and the horror show that followed, bringing the human cost of nationwide slaughter into sharp relief through the intimate relationships …

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Today in Movie History: June 29

In these charged times, an ethical media is more important than ever. The key word there being “ethical,” which is where the problems arise. Billy Wilder knew the score long before Fox News and supermarket tabloids. Ace in the Hole, the caustic story of just what one newspaper man will do to sell some papers, hit theaters today in 1951, …

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Today in Movie History: June 27

Here’s the weird thing about greatness: sometimes, it sneaks up on you even when you know it’s coming. We all knew that Pixar’s WALL*E was going to be brilliant, but THIS brilliant? Like the-best-thing-Pixar-ever-did brillaint? Pixar. PIXAR. And yeah, this scrappy little guy is willing to put up a fight for the #1 spot on that august list. How good was …

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Today in Movie History: June 18

There aren’t a whole lot of great Part 3s out there — the third movie tends to be the point where the wheels come off the franchise in question — but of those that earn mention, Toy Story 3 has earned a place among them. Pixar’s banner property finds an entirely new dilemma for its cast of sentient playthings, as Andy …

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Today in Movie History: June 12

It’s a big day for movie releases today, but there’s no doubt which one leads the list. Action and adventure have been a part of the movies since the Lumiere brothers sent audiences diving for cover with the approach of a moving train. We’ve seen some amazing entries in the genre over the ensuing 120 years, but none of them …

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Today in Movie History: May 30

For the second day in a row, we have a Pixar masterpiece to celebrate. Finding Nemo is typical of the studio’s best efforts, which is to say it’s funny and moving and visually gorgeous and you can’t quite imagine how the cinematic canon got along without it. Albert Brooks provides the voice of Marlin,  an anxiety-prone clownfish whose son Nemo …

Up

Today in Movie History: May 29

The Pixar canon is as storied as they come, and to rise to the top of it is a rare accomplishment indeed. Fans may debate which one deserves the title of “greatest,” and there are at least half a dozen viable contenders… but Pete Docter’s sublime Up holds a permanent space among them. It tells the tale of a lonely old man (voiced …

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Today in Movie History: November 22

It’s another big day for the movies, starting with a trio of modern classics from the Disney/Pixar brain trust. It’s tough to single out one from that field, but I’m going with Beauty and the Beast: hands-down one of the greatest animated features of all time. It opened today in 1991. Four years later, the boys at Pixar quietly started a revolution …