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MCN Columnists
Douglas Pratt

The Ultimate DVD Geek By Douglas PrattPratt@moviecitynews.com

The Top Ten DVDs and BDs of 2008

With the elimination of a competing format, 2008 saw the establishment of the backwards compatible Blu-ray (BD) system as the high-end subset of the DVD format. While it is less flexible and does not offer significant improvements in supplementary features (except enhanced interactivity and an ability to connect with other fans of a title online),…

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Wall-E

The lovely 2008 Pixar feature about a robot who rescues humanity, WALL-E, has been released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. With minimal dialog but plenty of sound effects and music, the 99-minute computer-animated film depicts the robot cleaning up the trash on Earth left after all of the people have long since departed (in Disney…

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The Dark Knight

Every year, hundreds of movies are produced and twenty performers in a few of those movies are justifiably honored with Oscar nominations, but it is far less often that a film performance occurs which is so utterly spellbinding that it transcends the movie it is in to captivate the viewer with the sheer joy of…

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“We don’t defy the laws of physics: There are no flying men or cars in this movie. So it made sense to do it old-school: real vehicles and real human beings in the desert. We shot the movie more or less in continuity, because the cars and the characters get really banged up along the way. The biggest benefit of digital technology for me was that the cameras were smaller and much more agile, so you could put them anywhere. We also spent a huge amount of time on spatial awareness—making sure the viewer could follow the action and understand what was happening. There has to be a strong causal connection from one shot to the next, just the same way that in music, there has to be a connection from one note to the next. Otherwise it’s just noise. Too often, if you just cram a lot of stuff into the frame, you get the illusion of a fast pace. But there’s no coherence. It doesn’t flow. It comes off as headbanging music, and it can be exhausting. We storyboarded the movie before we had a script: We had 3,500 boards, which helps the cast and crew understand how everything is going to fit together. Movies are getting faster and faster. The Road Warrior had 1,200 cuts. This one has 2,700 cuts. You have to treat it like a symphony.”
~ George Miller

“I was having issues with my script for It’s All About Love, so I called Ingmar Bergman and we ended up talking about everything but the script. He said, “Well, Festen is a masterpiece, so what are you going to do now?” At that point, I had not decided if I was going to make It’s All About Love, so I answered, “Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe this, maybe that.” There was just a long pause, and then he said, “You’re fucked.” I said, “Well, how can you know?” “Well, Thomas, you always have to decide your next movie before the movie you’re doing presently opens.” And I said, “Why is that?” “Well, two things can happen. One thing is that you fail, and then you’ll feel scared and humiliated. It’ll get into your head. Second, and even worse, you have success, and then you’ll want more of it, or you’ll want to maintain it. But if you decide on your next film while you’re in the middle of editing, it becomes a very nonchalant choice. And then it’s shorter from the heart to the hand.”
~ Thomas Vinterberg

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