MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

MW on DVDs: The Killer Inside Me, The Law (La Loi), Palermo or Wolfsburg, Get Him to the Greek … and more

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW The Killer Inside Me (Three Stars) U.S.; Michael Winterbottom, 2010 All these years, ever since it first appeared as a paperback original novel in 1952, a possible movie of Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me — the first-person deep-noir tale of a smooth-talking small-town Southern deputy sheriff and murdering bastard…

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Wilmington on Movies: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and Our Hitler

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; Oliver Stone, 2010 Oliver Stone’s new movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps returns us to one of Stone’s great subjects of the 1980s: the glamour and corruption of the American financial markets. A sequel to Stone‘s 1987 Wall Street, this show plunges us back…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Robin Hood, Charade, Playing for Time, Forbidden Planet, The Secret Behind Their Eyes … and more

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Robin Hood (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; Ridley Scott, 2010 “To live outside the law, you must be honest,“ Bob Dylan once sang (in “”Absolutely Sweet Marie,“ from “Blonde on Blonde“). And that’s the credo that permeates most of the many, many screen incarnations of Robin Hood of Sherwood…

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Wilmington on Movies: The Town, Easy A, Never Let Me Go, Mademoiselle Chambon, and Catfish

There’s not a role here that could have been played better, not an actor, including the much-dissed Ms. Lively, who could have been cast better (though, for old time’s sake, we might have liked to see Matt Damon as Jem). I think both this movie and the withering Gone, Baby, Gone (from Lehane) prove director Affleck loves his actors and tries to do his best by them. He’s also pretty damned smart about local color and atmosphere.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Casino Jack, My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done?, Breathless, Crumb and more …

Alex Gibney‘s Casino Jack and the United States of Money is the amazing, genuinely scary and totally sobering story of Jack Abramoff, the supreme Republican lobbyist/dealmaker/moneyman, and also the poster child for a decade crazed by greed and contemptuous of rules, regulations and the problems of the common man and woman.

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Wilmington on Movies: I’m Still Here, Soul Kitchen and Bran Nue Dae

Okay. Here’s my opinion. I think they had us on. Obviously. Totally. To me (and to lots of others) this looks like a Borat-style mix of a fake central character (Phoenix travestying himself) and a fake premise with some (maybe quite a few) real reactions from the real world around him. (How many, who can tell?)

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Wilmington on DVDs: Solitary Man, Crumb, THX-1138, Macgruber and Caravaggio

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Solitary Man (Three Stars) U.S.;  Brian Koppleman & David Levien, 2010 The thing that fascinates people about a serial seducer like Ben Kalmen (magnificently played by Michael Douglas in A Solitary Man) is his speed of conquest. What could take the average man, even in our liberated society, several months…

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MW on Movies: The American, Machete, Going the Distance, Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 and Lebanon

The American (Three Stars) U.S.; Anton Corbijn, 2010 I like George Clooney. No off-color psychological speculations, please. What I like about him is the easy-going “good guy” way he plays the Hollywood game. I like his politics, his philanthropy, his unpretentious smarts, his good-natured jock style, his taste in movie scripts, his daring as a…

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Wilmington

Quote Unquotesee all »

“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful. People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that. It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
~ Brett Ratner Has A Sad

“The loss of a local newspaper critic is a real loss. People who know the local audience and know the local cultural scene are very important resources. You can’t just substitute the stuff that comes in from nowhere through syndication or the wire. I think at the same time, some of the newer outlets have really beefed up and improved their coverage and made room for criticism. The real problem is in the more specialized art forms — fine arts, classical music, dance and jazz, say. There is a real slowing of critical voices, partly because those art forms have smaller audiences. Newspapers and magazines can say that doesn’t get enough traffic, so we don’t have room for that. To me, that’s especially worrisome. This is the opposite of what newspapers are supposed to do, which is not to try to figure out what people are already interested in and recite that back to them, but to hopefully guide them to something that they should be interested in, connecting potential audiences with more interesting work.

“Then again, not everyone needs a critic. People have been going to movies for more than 100 years now, and probably the vast majority of those people have not read movie reviews or cared what critics thought. But there has always been an important subset that wants to know more, that wants to think about what they’ve seen and what they’re going to see, and wants someone to think along with. I think critics are important, not just as dispensers of consumer advice — though that’s certainly part of it, too — but as trusted voices and companions for people to argue with in your head when you’re going to movies or afterwards.”
~ A. O. Scott