MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

WILMINGTON ON MOVIES: On the Bowery

“It is no exaggeration to say that Ray and Gorman, two amateurs with no film experience at all, give two of the most extraordinary and moving performances in the history of the American cinema.”

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WILMINGTON ON MOVIES: Hall Pass, I Am Number Four, Certifiably Jonathan, Poetry

“Anyway, when I say forgettable, I mean forgettable. I’ve actually forgotten the whole movie, and I had to struggle to write this synopsis.”

“Aren’t they a little ashamed of filming scripts like this, where the very best line of dialogue — by a crush — is ‘I am Number Six!'”

“Critics have not been too kind to it. Well, that’s their opinion.”

“The sorrows, pains and occasional beauties of old age have rarely been more movingly portrayed than they are here.”

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WILMINGTON ON DVD: Fish Tank, Sweet Smell of Success, Megamind, The Steig Larsson Trilogy, Due Date

Mike goes from the UK to New York to Sweden to Jeffrey Katzenberg & Will Ferrell’s brains to give you the 4-1-1 on this week’s DVD releases…

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Wilmington on Movies: Unknown, Just Go With It, The Woodmans

UNKNOWN (Two and a Half Stars)

“This is all part of a nightmare movie thriller — Hitchcockian, Polanskian — that starts well and later collapses into utter balderdash, a movie vaguely reminiscent of Polanski’s 1988 Harrison Ford-in-Paris suspense picture, Frantic (in which Ford lost his wife), of the classic, fact-based 1950 British period thriller So Long at the Fair (in which Jean Simmons lost her brother), and of the great Alfred Hitchcock suspense comedy The Lady Vanishes (in which Margaret Lockwood lost Dame May Whitty‘s Miss Froy). The movie’s Dr. Harris, or whomever, has stumbled into an alternate movie life, full of skeptical witness, hired assassin thugs, bemused scientists, arrogant putzes like the false Dr. Harris, and people who just don’t know who the hell you are (or say they don’t).”

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WILMINGTON ON DVD

This Week: Unstoppable, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Thelma and Louise, TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Errol Flynn

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Wilmington on Movies: The Eagle, Gnomeo and Juliet

“That’s what the best of The Eagle gives us. As a twelve year old, I know I would have liked it, maybe loved it. And that twelve-year-old is still somewhere inside me as I watch it now, applauding and yearning for a swift horse, the wild frontier and the beautiful, stormy territory ahead.”

Gnomeo & Juliet – “I never thought I’d say it, but Michael Caine and Maggie Smith make pretty good lawn ornaments.”

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Wilmington on DVD: From Tillman to Amarcord

This week, Mike’s New Picks are The Tillman Story and Kore-eda’s Still Walking, the Classic Pick is Amarcord, the Blu-Ray pick is Broadcast News, the Box Set is Alien Anthology, and his Knock Of The Week is Paranormal Activity 2. Plus reviews of The Princess & The Frog, Life As We Know It, and You Again.

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Wilmington

Quote Unquotesee all »

“On behalf of all nominees, we would like to express our unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.

“The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on – not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly ‘foreign’ and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better. These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different.

“So we’ve asked ourselves: What can cinema do? Although we don`t want to overestimate the power of movies, we do believe that no other medium can offer such deep insight into other people’s circumstances and transform feelings of unfamiliarity into curiosity, empathy and compassion – even for those we have been told are our enemies.

“Regardless of who wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, we refuse to think in terms of borders. We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stand as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts.

“Human rights are not something you have to apply for. They simply exist – for everybody. For this reason, we dedicate this award to all the people, artists, journalists and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity – values whose protection is now more important than ever. By dedicating the Oscar to them, we wish to express to them our deep respect and solidarity.”

Martin Zandvliet – Land of Mine (Denmark)
Hannes Holm – A Man Called Ove (Sweden )
Asghar Farhadi – The Salesman (Iran)
Maren Ade – Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Martin Butler, Bentley Dean – Tanna (Australia)

“I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures. I like to subscribe to Susan Sontag’s thought of no highs and lows. I think dismissing popular culture and popular films can be really dangerous because they may seem innocuous, but some are works of art and even when they’re not they can say so much about the culture that they’re reflecting. This also gets into the idea of canon. What is good and isn’t good? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that. Specifically, who writes these canons? Mainly, straight white guys — which basically rigs the system. So, if you have a knowledge of female filmmakers, queer filmmakers, African or Asian filmmakers, some people won’t give them the same culture capital. They’ll say, “Oh, that’s nice niche knowledge.” No, it’s not. You’re just seeing it through the prism of something white and male. Like Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Scandal.’ I love that show, but is it a guilty pleasure because it’s a soap on TV? No. I think it has incredible writing, incredible thought and characters, so we should take it seriously. That’s a long-winded answer to say, “Yes, I love Titanic.” I was 10 years old when it came out and my mom took me to see it three times. I was so obsessed with it. A big thanks to my mom who’ll never get those nine hours of her life back.”
~ Toronto Int’l Programmer and Critic Kiva Reardon