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MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on Movies: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Please Give and Harry Brown…

A Nightmare on Elm Street (One and a Half Stars) U.S.; Samuel Bayer, 2010 Twenty-six years ago, I walked into the only theater that ever stood on the very same block where I lived — the Vogue in Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard between La Brea and Cherokee — and got the living, screaming

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Wilmington on Movies: The Back-Up Plan, The Losers and Oceans …

The Back-up Plan (One and a Half Stars) U.S.; Alan Poul, 2010 If you don’t have a back-up plan when you wander into The Back-up Plan, the new Jennifer Lopez picture, you may

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Wilmington on Movies: Date Night, When You’re Strange, The Greatest and more …

Date Night (Three Stars) U.S.; Shawn Levy, 2010 Steve Carell and Tina Fey make a potentially great movie comedy couple in Date Night — even though

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Wilmington on Movies: Clash of the Titans, The Last Song and Mid-August Lunch

Clash of the Titans (Three Stars) U.S.; Louis Leterrier, 2010 The Kraken, the Medusa, the Pegasus and the lobster monsters are smashing successes in director Louis Leterrier’s lavish remake of Clash of the Titans — the 1981 Ray Harryhausen mythological epic.

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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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