MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on Movies: Pitch Perfect

  PITCH PERFECT (Three Stars) U.S.: Jason Moore, 2012 In the mood for ateen-oriented movie musical comedy about college boys and girls’ A cappella groups? Want to watch (and hear) a bunch of enthusiastic unaccompanied singers slugging it out in something called the ICCA (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella), with unaccompanied (sort of)  renditions of…

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Wilmington on Movies: Looper

To tell the truth, Looper has a plot almost as tricky and paradoxical enjoyable as “All You Zombies” — or as Heinlein’s earlier classic “By His Bootstraps,” or as Alfred Bester’s amazing “5,271,009,” or as Philip Dick’s (alternate universe) “Eye in the Sky,“ or as Fredric Brown’s well-named “Paradox Lost,“ or as Chris Marker’s melancholy French film-poem La jetée, and the nightmarishly weird American movie it inspired, Terry Gilliam‘s Twelve Monkeys (which also starred Bruce Willis).

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Wilmington on DVDs: Lonesome, The Last Performance, Broadway

Ah wait, you say. You’ve seen and heard it, or something like it, before. Indeed. Your grandparents probably saw and heard it before, and maybe theirs as well. In fact, as in countless other Hollywood movies, this is a classic example of the famous movie romance formula “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy…”

Stop. You know the rest. Or do you?

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Avengers

DVD PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW THE AVENGERS (Four Stars) U. S.: Joss Whedon, 2012 (Walt Disney Video)    (  “We need a plan of attack.” — Steve Rogers/Captain America “I have a plan: Attack!” — Tony Stark/Iron Man 1. Of Hulks and Iron Men and Smashes As you watch the mega-hit movie The Avengers…

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Wilmington on Movies: End of Watch

End of Watch is a pretty damned exciting Los Angeles buddy-cop movie, made with lots of energy and style. But it has one pretty big flaw: Those damned cameras.

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Wilmington on Movies: Dredd 3D

Hmmmm. I don’t know if any of you have had deranged fantasies of running around a 200-story vertical slum in a stiff black mask, dodging gun battles and massacres and periodically going into slow-motion attacks, or being hurled out of windows or whatever and dropping slowly to the street. But, if you have, this movie will almost certainly satisfy them all, perhaps forever.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Children of Paradise

  PICK OF THE WEEK: CLASSIC  CHILDREN OF PARADISE (“Les Enfants du Paradis“) (Four Stars) France: Marcel Carne, 1945 (Criterion Collection) OVERTURE There has never been a movie valentine to the art of the stage quite as intoxicating and as wonderful as the French film masterpiece Children of Paradise — director Marcel Carne and screenwriter Jacques Prevert’s…

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Babymakers; Bound; The Window

THE BABYMAKERS (Also Blu-ray) (One Star)  U.S.: Jay Chandrasekhar, 2012 (Millennium Entertainment) Devotees of jokes about masturbation, sterility, sperm bank burglaries and getting repeatedly kicked in the groin, will have struck the mother lode with the new comedy The Babymakers — a movie so coarse, crude and defiantly raunchy that it makes the Farrelly Brothers…

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; The Cabin in the Woods

    CO-PICKS OF THE WEEK: NEW THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Three Stars) U.K.: John Madden, 2012 (20th Century Fox) Some countries have massive oil deposits; some have huge veins of silver or gold. England is blessed with a large, constantly replenished reservoir of prime acting talent: probably more great (and good) stage and movie actors than…

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Wilmington on Movies: Searching for Sugar Man

I will say that I loved the movie, that it deserves all the praise it has received, and that, if you care about rock ‘n’ roll, and art, and politics, and the plight of poor people in our rich country, and if you’re curious about the mysteries of commerce and hype (or non-hype) in the United States if America (and the rest of the world), you must see this movie. I watched it again the other night and fell in love with it all over again. What’s more amazing: I just talked to a friend who also loves the movie, and he told me he was sitting in Starbucks last morning when suddenly he heard….Well, I won’t tell you.

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Wilmington on Movies: Finding Nemo 3D

    FINDING NEMO (Five Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition, with Blu-ray/DVD/3D) (Four Stars) U.S.: Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich, 2003-12 (Walt Disney/Pixar) Finding Nemo, the first one, was that epic 2003 Pixar computer-animated cartoon adventure about a boy clownfish named Nemo (Alexander Gould) and his nervous father Marlin, how they were separated on Australia‘s Great Barrier Reef,…

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Wilmington on Movies: Arbitrage

Arbitrage is a movie about big money and big crime in America, so naturally it’s set on Wall Street, a district and subculture awash in both. It’s also a picture that demonstrates how we tend to accept people who do bad things s long as they look good. The case in point here is the movie’s main character, financier-in-hot-water Robert Miller—as played by the very good-looking Richard Gere.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Footnote

  PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW FOOTNOTE (Also Blu-ray) (Four Stars) Israel: Joseph Cedar, 2011 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)   One thing I know I will never do is read the Talmud (IA) cover to cover — even in an English translation, much less, God knows, in the original Hebrew. Yet such is the brilliance…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Snow White and the Huntsman; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; The Last of England; More

    SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.: Rupert Sanders, 2012 (Universal) Snow White and the Huntsman  has one of the clunkiest movie titles around, and a lot of the movie is worthy of it. A wildly expensive and lushly produced new look at the Grimm Brothers fairy tale “Snow-White and…

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Wilmington on Movies: Cosmopolis

Cronenberg’s movie suggests that if we were in the uppermost echelon, it might be a nightmare, and a deserved one. If we were young billionaire asset managers like Eric Packer, played by Pattinson, we could set out one morning, in a white stretch limousine with our driver, lounge lazily in a luxurious back seat area (all black and blue and silver-chrome trim), relaxing in a limo seat that resembles a small room, and set out, in the middle of a vast midtown Manhattan traffic jam (worsened by the presence of a presidential motorcade, the funeral of a beloved rap star and Occupy-style riots in the street), to get a haircut from our father’s favorite barber.

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Wilmington on Movies: The Words

I have a confession to make. I didn’t write this review.I tried, God knows, but after several hours of pecking away at the keyboard of my Toshiba Satellite computer, and then reading back only dull, empty words on a white screen, I realized that I would never be the writer I once dreamed of becoming.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Pirates! Band of Misfits

  PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS (Also in three-disc DVD/Blu-ray 3D Combo) (Three and a Half Stars) U. K.: Peter Lord, 2012 (Sony Pictures) Pirates! In real-life, most of them were probably scurvy gangs of sea-going psychopaths, but in the irresistible world of Aardman Animations, they’re cute and funny and…

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Five Year Engagement; High School; Child’s Play (1972)

THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT (Also Blu-ray) (Three Stars) U.S.: Nicholas Stoller, 2012 (Universal) The Five-Year Engagement, latest from the Judd Apatow bunch, is a romantic comedy that would probably be annoyed if you called it a rom-com. Directed and co-written by Nicholas Stoller (who made the very entertaining buddy road comedy Get Him to the Greek), it’s…

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Wilmington on Movies: The Possession; (The Dybbuk)

Starting in The Possession’s very first scene, bad things happen. Minor characters get killed, major characters get threatened, houses are vandalized, moths crawl out of everywhere, and little girls named Emily go crazy and attack their classmates, stab their daddy with a fork, and start talking like Mercedes McCambridge.

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Wilmington on Movies: For a Good Time, Call…

Lauren and Katie start off as reunited old enemies who fell out early in early college years over a bad Farrellyesque joke involving a urine sample, and who are bought together now by their mutual friend Jesse the gay comic.

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Wilmington

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas