MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

The DVD Wrap: Due Date, Birdemic, Memento, Fish Tank, Senso, Still Walking, Kites, Megamind …

Due Date: Blu-ray I wonder if, at some point during the pitch meeting for Due Date, any of the assembled suits uttered the words, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” or if memories of that movie lurked in a corner of the room like the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. It would have been disingenuous not to have mentioned…

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The DVD Wrap: Unstoppable, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, All the President’s Men, Network, William S. Burroughs: A Man Within …

Unstoppable: Blu-ray Few directors and producers are as adept at making high-octane thrillers as Tony Scott. Like Goose and Maverick in Scott’s first blockbuster, Top Gun, the 66-year-old Brit has a chronic need for speed, and Unstoppable nicely fills the bill, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Deja Vu, Days of Thunder and Enemy…

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The DVD Wrap: Enter the Void, Life as We Know It, You Again, The Girl, Hideaway, Thelma and Louise …

Enter the Void Even after reading what critics had to say about Gasper Noe’s latest provocation, “Enter the Void,” it was difficult for me to foresee just how exhilarating an experience it might be. Reviewers compared the film’s audacious visual conceit to the mind-boggling head trip conjured by Stanley Kubrick for the “Stargate” and “Star…

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The DVD Wrap: Welcome to the Rileys, Conviction, No Tomorrow, A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, Let Me In and more …

Welcome to the Rileys: Blu-ray As yet another Sundance festival sails slowly into the sunset, swag bags stowed safely below deck, it’s worth recalling the large number of films that seemed destined for greatness in the rarified air of Park City, but lost traction at sea level. Can’t count that high, you say? For indie…

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Dretzka

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“I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures. I like to subscribe to Susan Sontag’s thought of no highs and lows. I think dismissing popular culture and popular films can be really dangerous because they may seem innocuous, but some are works of art and even when they’re not they can say so much about the culture that they’re reflecting. This also gets into the idea of canon. What is good and isn’t good? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that. Specifically, who writes these canons? Mainly, straight white guys — which basically rigs the system. So, if you have a knowledge of female filmmakers, queer filmmakers, African or Asian filmmakers, some people won’t give them the same culture capital. They’ll say, “Oh, that’s nice niche knowledge.” No, it’s not. You’re just seeing it through the prism of something white and male. Like Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Scandal.’ I love that show, but is it a guilty pleasure because it’s a soap on TV? No. I think it has incredible writing, incredible thought and characters, so we should take it seriously. That’s a long-winded answer to say, “Yes, I love Titanic.” I was 10 years old when it came out and my mom took me to see it three times. I was so obsessed with it. A big thanks to my mom who’ll never get those nine hours of her life back.”
~ Toronto Int’l Programmer and Critic Kiva Reardon

“A lot of us felt blindsided,” Van Vliet told me. In the seventies, Van Vliet was drafted out of film school by Industrial Light & Magic, where he worked on The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now 62 and semi-retired, he said, “Once you get into your fifties, you’re pretty disposable.” Van Vliet was in the middle of reviewing DVD screeners before casting his Oscar votes, a process he estimated would take a hundred and twenty hours. “The Academy is essentially asking us to give them three weeks of labor, and then they’re going to take our results, put them into a ceremony, and sell it,” he said, referring to the seventy-five million dollars that the organization earns from the television broadcast. “Then they’re turning around and kicking us in the teeth.”
~ “Shakeup At The Oscars”