MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

The DVD Wrapup: Talk About Kevin, more

Plus Aggression Scale, Maverick, Coriolanus, Harry Belafonte, Ernie Kovacs: The ABC Specials
, New York Stories and Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament.

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Suddenly, the great Swedish cop Wallander is everywhere …

If one were to judge the crime rate in Sweden strictly by the number of mysteries, you’d think it was a haven for sociopaths, drug runners and gangbangers.

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The DVD Wrapup: Newlyweds, Certified Copy, Arrietty, Route 66, Sherlock … More

The careers of few indie filmmakers have begun in as auspicious a fashion as Ed Burns.

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In Victorian England, good vibrations trump ‘Hysteria’ every time

All kidding aside, the prohibition on vibrators in Alabama — and, until recently, other several states – harkens to the 1920s, when a sharp-eyed publisher noticed that the same therapeutic gizmos being advertised in their periodicals were being used in stag films to accomplish paroxysms of a less clinical nature.

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The DVD Wrapup: The Grey, Golf in Kingdom, Norwegian Wood, We Were Here, My Perestroika, 42nd St. Pete’s 8mm Madness … More

Normally, it wouldn’t be unusual for a filmmaker of any ethnic or cultural background to choose a Beatles song for the title of his or her movie. “Norwegian Wood,” however, is a particularly significant track in the band’s repertoire, both for its enigmatic Lennon-McCartney lyrics and George Harrison’s choice of the sitar as a lead instrument. That it was based on an affair between Lennon and a friend’s wife also set it apart from the “yeah, yeah, yeah … I wanna hold your hand” bunch.

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The DVD Wrapup: Underworld, Dark Tide, Kreutzer Sonata, 42nd Street Forever…More

Contrary what’s implied by the cover art, Berry dons a bikini only in the film’s early scenes. Otherwise, her remarkably fine body is fully encased in a wet suit.

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The DVD Wrapup: W.E., Haywire, Theatre Bizarre, Circus Columbia… More

If “Haywire” hadn’t been entrusted to director Steven Soderbergh and writer Lem Dobbs – also responsible for “The Limey” – it might have lacked the class, polish and velocity to prevent it from going straight to DVD.

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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”