MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

Digital Nation: Barry Munday

As red herrings go, it’s tough to beat castration. The title character of Chris D’Arienzo’s truly offbeat comedy, Barry Munday, undergoes just such an operation. It’s required after the father of a promiscuous teenager slams a trumpet into crotch of the two-bit, happy-hour lothario in a movie theater. Poor Barry didn’t even have time to…

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The DVD Wrap: Get Him to the Greek, Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky, The Thin Red Line, The Law, Ellery Queen … and more

Get Him to the Greek: Blu-ray In Richard Benjamin’s delightful 1982 comedy, My Favorite Year, all junior writer Benjy Stone was required to do was get the famously debauched British actor, Alan Swann, from his New York hotel to a nearby studio, where a popular comedy-variety show (think, “Your Show of Shows”) is being broadcast…

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Digital Nation: The Other City

Contrary to much circumstantial evidence, AIDS isn’t gone … it isn’t even hiding. That’s the primary message of Susan Koch’s documentary The Other City, which takes a look at what may be, to some, the surprising fact that HIV/AIDS has not gone away. In fact, in our nation’s capital, practically within shouting distance of the…

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DVD Wrap: Robin Hood, (Untitled), Good, Experiment, Stripped Naked … and more

Just Wright Queen Latifah wants us to think of Just Wright as a modern version of Cinderella, this time staged against a backdrop of the National Basketball Association. It’s not a bad comparison, really, even if director Sanaa Hamri and writer Michael Elliot don’t seem particularly interested in repeating any of that classic fairytale’s basic…

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DVD Wrap: Prince of Persia, Letters to Juliet, Killers, The Black Cauldron, Cemetery Junction, and more…

In Hollywood’s Cathedral of Concepts, the Reverend Jerry Bruckheimer presided over the marriage of a beloved amusement-park attraction to the classic swashbuckler. Nine months later, the fruit of their union arrived in the form of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Other children would follow. At the same church, seven years later, Reverend Bruckheimer would unite a popular action-packed video game with a direct descendant of Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad, with the result being Prince of Persia: The Sand of Time.

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Digital Nation: Bran Nue Dae

It’s taken nearly 20 years for Bran Nue Dae to make the leap from the stage to the movies. The semi-autobiographical musical was written by Broome native Jimmy Chi and his band Kuckles, based on their own experiences. Chi’s broad Aboriginal/Asian ancestry reflects the ethnic diversity of the pearling and tourism town, which is on the far northwestern corner of Australia.

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DVD Wrap: The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, That Evening Sun, Why Did I Get Married, Too?, The Exploding Girl, Solitary Man … and more

The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond: Blu-ray That Evening Sun Movies put into limited release in the dead zone between December 26 and New Year’s Eve share certain traits. They tend to feature stars whose work has previously been recognized by the folks at AMPAS, but whose commercial prospects don’t warrant an expensive marketing campaign….

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Dretzka

Quote Unquotesee all »

What’s up with your people mover shot, where it seems like people are kind of floating along?
Oh, my signature shot? That’s just a new way for people to move! It’s really become my Alfred Hitchcock cameo. I did not invent that shot, but Ernest and I did it on the set of Mo Better Blues, when Shorty had to walk [through the park], and I thought, “Let’s try it.” But after that, we tried to have a reason for it. For example, that wonderful sequence in Malcolm X where you hear the great song, “A Change Is Gonna Come.” The final scene is like that, Malcolm floating along to his destiny. In 25th Hour, after Philip Seymour Hoffman has kissed Anna Paquin, we did a shot like that, and it shows his state of mind. In Inside Man, after Denzel thinks he’s witnessed the murder of a hostage, we did the floating shot there.

So you just like the way it looks?
Yeah!
~ Spike Lee To Matt Zoller Seitz

“I never accepted the term contrarian. I think that’s offensive, frankly. And my response to that is: if I’m a contrarian, what are other reviewers? What I strive to do is be a good critic, not somebody who simply accepts the product put in front of me. I guess it scares people to think that they don’t have any originality; that they don’t have the capacity to think for themselves.

“There’s a line a lot of reviewers use that I don’t like at all. They say ‘accept the film on its own terms.’ What that really means is, ‘accept the film as it is advertised.’ That’s got nothing to do with criticism. Nothing to do with having a response as a film watcher. A thinking person has to analyze what’s on screen, not simply rubber-stamp it or kowtow to marketing.”m

“To me, everything does have a political component and I think it’s an interesting way to look at art. It’s one way that makes film reviewing, I think, a politically relevant form of journalism. We do live in a political world, and we bring our political sense to the movies with us – unless you’re the kind of person who goes to the movies and shuts off the outside world. I’m not that kind of person.”
~ Armond White to Luke Buckmaster