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MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

Me and Orson Welles Red Cliff, The Road, and Ninja Assassi

Me and Orson Welles, Red Cliff, The Road, and Ninja Assassin Me and Orson Welles (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; Richard Linklater, 2009 In Me and Orson Welles, Richard Linklater, a director whose films I usually like, takes on a highly ambitious subject that really appeals to me — a portrayal of the astonishing…

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Wilmington on DVDs Three Monkeys , Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Angels & Demons, Funny People, and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Three Monkeys (Three and a Half Stars) Turkey/France/Italy; Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2008 (Zeitgeist Films) Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the brilliant Turkish cineaste (Distant, Climates), whose exquisite visual tableaus, minimalist plots and flair for long dramatic silences, irresistibly recall the heyday of Michelangelo Antonioni, here offers more plot than usual, in the…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Star Trek, Gone with the Wind, The Exiles, Fight Club, Humpday and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Star Trek (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; J. J. Abrams, 2009 The latest Star Trek movie, called simply Star Trek, is a genuine audience-pleaser, a film that

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Wilmington on DVDs: Up, Wings of Desire, The General, Heat, The Ugly Truth, Mamma Mia!, Monsters, Inc. and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Up (Four Stars) U. S.; Pete Docter, 2009 Up, this year’s new Pixar picture, flies

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Wilmington on DVDs: Food, Inc., North By Northwest, Forrest Gump, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Food, Inc. (Three and a Half Stars) U. S.; Robert Kenner, 2009 (Magnolia) Do you really know everything you should about the food you eat?

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Wilmington

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Aloha is the movie equivalent of a man in a donkey suit with a tree branch growing out of his forehead. I don’t know what the fuck this movie is. It feels like Cameron Crowe tried to make some Pynchonesque contemporary riff on Casablanca, then either or he or the studio chickened out halfway through and tried to turn it back into Jerry Maguire. But don’t confuse Aloha with hackwork. It’s more like a mad scientist had 10 beakers bubbling, and instead of unlocking cold fusion, he blew up his lab and melted an ear. I swear, this movie is like some bastard offspring of Casablanca, Inherent Vice, ‘Goosebumps,’ and ‘Baywatch Hawaii.’ My takeaway? Making movies is hard, yo.”
~ Vince Mancini

“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

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