MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on Movies: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button plus reviews of Valkyrie, Bedtime Stories, and The Spirit

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U. S.; David Fincher What a refreshingly “uncommercial” big-budget project! And what a surprisingly enjoyable movie.

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The Wrestler plus reviews of Seven Pounds, Yes Man, Frost/Nixon, Amarcord and Moscow, Belgium

The Wrestler (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U.S.; Darren Aronofsky So the French were crazy for liking Mickey Rourke, huh?

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Wilmington on Movies: Gran Torino plus reviews of Doubt, Nothing Like the Holidays, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Dark Streets

Gran Torino (Four Stars) U.S.; Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood plays a Dirty Harry grown old in his latest movie Gran Torino. And he makes us feel lucky … to be watching him simmer and explode on screen again.

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Wilmington on Movies: Cadillac Records plus reviews of Nobel Son and Punisher: War Zone

Cadillac Records (Three Stars) U.S.; Darnell Martin The renaissance of the movie musical — at least since 2001 and Moulin Rouge! — has been one real cause for joy in the last several cinematic years, and Darnell Martin‘s Cadillac Records is another shining example. A rockin’ dandy one too.

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Wilmington

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MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé

A Haunted House 2 is not a movie. It is a nervous breakdown. Directed by Michael Tiddes but largely the handiwork of star, producer, and co-writer Marlon Wayans, the film is being billed as yet another Wayans-ized spoof of the horror movie genre, à la the first Haunted House movie and the wildly successful Scary Movie series. (Keenen Ivory Wayans and his brothers were responsible for the first two Scary Movie films; they have since left that franchise, which may explain why a new one was needed.) And there are some familiar digs at recent horror flicks: This time, the creepy doll and the closet from The Conjuring, the family-murdering demon from Sinister, and the dybbuk box from The Possession all make appearances. But this new film is mostly an excuse for star Marlon Wayans to have extended freak-outs in response to the horrors visited upon him—shrieking, screaming, crying, cowering, and occasionally hate-fucking for minutes on end. Yes, you read that last bit right. A Haunted House 2 puts the satyriasis back in satire.”
Ebiri On A Haunted House 2