Concert films don’t get a whole lot of critical respect, though there are a few notable exceptions. One of them is Woodstock, Michael Wadleigh’s sprawling account of the ubiquitous music festival in 1969. Seven editors were employed to distill three days of peace and music into a single three-hour motion picture, including Martin Scorsese and Scorsese’s own long-time editor Thelma Schoonmacher. The film won a well-deserved Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and opened today in 1970.
Dreamworks Animation established itself as a great alternative to the Disney/Pixar style of filmmaking with a series of strong, irreverent and surprisingly subversive features. Few stand taller than How to Train Your Dragon, about a misunderstood Viking boy (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who befriends a wounded dragon (ostensibly among his tribes greatest enemies). Funny, charming and surprisingly sweet, it produced a pretty good sequel and a surprisingly strong TV show as well… though neither quite matches the strength of the original. It opened today in 2010.