MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

The DVD Wrapup: Gnomeo & Juliet, Lemonade Mouth, I Am Number Four, Anton Chekhov’s The Duel, The Big Bang, Burning Palms …

Gnomeo & Juliet: Blu-ray According to one of those computer-generated lists of keywords on the IMDB.com website, nearly 70 television specials and movies – including “Gnomeo & Juliet” — owe their very existence to William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet.” (That it doesn’t include the delightful rom-com, “Letters to Juliet,” or the Soviet-era adaptation, “Romeo i…

Read the full article »

The DVD Wrapup: The Rite, Araya, Freedom Riders, Shoeshine, Pale Flower, Solaris, The Other Woman, The Roommate …

The Rite: Blu-ray For movies about demonic possession to work, it helps that viewers either believe that Satan actually exists or that the filmmaker is able to convince us simply to suspend disbelief for the next two hours, or so. Although Mikael Hafstrom’s supernatural thriller, “The Rite,” doesn’t break much new ground on the subject…

Read the full article »

The DVD Wrapup: Blue Valentine, Something Wild, Sledgehammer, Justin Bieber, Broken Hill …

Blue Valentine: Blu-ray No matter how joyous it is to watch love bloom, on and off screen, it’s that much more painful to watch it wither and die on the vine. It’s even worse, knowing children are trapped inside their parents’ mad world, as well. Long ago, John Cassavetes set the standard by which all…

Read the full article »

The DVD Wrapup: The Green Hornet, Mao’s Last Dancer, A Somewhat Gentle Man, Julian Assange, Brian Eno, Bloodsucking Nazi Zombies …

The Green Hornet: Blu-ray 3D If ever a marriage were made in comic-book heaven, it was the one that joined French fantasist Michael Gondry and the venerable “Green Hornet” franchise. The ceremony originally was arranged for 1997, after Gondry had completed a series of music videos for Bjork, but before he and Charlie Kaufman collaborated…

Read the full article »

Dretzka

Quote Unquotesee all »

“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”