MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on DVDs: Ivan’s Childhood

We remember young Ivan’s face as we remember the faces of the two tragic friends in Shoeshine, of the street kids in Rome: Open City, of the little boy in Bicycle Thieves—of all art film children caught in the crucibles of war and social injustice.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Sessions

    THE SESSIONS (Also Blu-ray) (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.: Ben Lewin, 2012 (20th Century Fox) The Sessions is a movie about love and pain, sexuality and disability, poetry and confinement, the world inside and the world outside. Based partly on the article “On Seeing a Sex Surrogate” by Mark O’Brien, as well…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Seven Psychopaths

    PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS  (Also Blu-ray, Ultra Violet/Digital Copy) (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.: Martin McDonagh, 2012 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) 1.  Here’s to Sean O’Casey Psychopaths, and I say this from experience, are people who tend to do what they want, no matter what the cost to others….

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

  PICK OF THE WEEK: CLASSIC  THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (Also Blu-ray) (Four Stars) U. K.: Alfred Hitchcock, 1934 (Criterion) Peter Lorre. He had the face of a chubby little morphine addict (which he was), the lush lips of a child looking for a lollipop, a languorous voice seething with malicious amusement or fright,…

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Wilmington on Movies: Parker

Have you seen the great film neo-noir Point Blank, with Lee Marvin as a vengeful killer named Walker? That’s Parker. Have you seen—and there’s no reason you should—Mel Gibson in Payback, as a bad-mouthed, vengeful hard guy named Porter? That’s Parker too. (Stark, or Westlake, didn’t like his character’s name being over-used.)

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Wilmington on DVDs: For a Good Time, Call….

  FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL… (Two Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy/UV (One and a Half Stars)  U.S.: Jamie Travis, 2012 (Universal) For a Good Time, Call…was no good time for me. It’s a romantic comedy about two Manhattan roommates who collaborate on a phone sex service, and discover the joys of talking dirty for fun…

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Wilmington on DVDs: End of Watch

  END OF WATCH  (Also Two Disc Combo: Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.: David Ayer, 2012 (Universal)                       End of Watch is an exciting Los Angeles buddy-cop movie, made with lots of energy and style. But it has one pretty big flaw:  Those damned cameras. The cameras are the recording devices that keep…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Searching for Sugar Man

    PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN (Four Stars) Sweden: Malik Bendjelloul, 2012 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) One of my favorite movies of the past year is a documentary by a new young Swedish filmmaker about a little-known (at least here) American musician of the ’70s. It‘s called Searching for Sugar…

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Wilmington on Movies: Mama

Mama is something of a throwback, and at times a stunning one. But at its best, this state-of-the-art modern ghost story—another scare saga from the Guillermo Del Toro factory—recalls those earlier, less bloody days of fear and (not necessarily) loathing, when horror films were made for adults, and when they could even strive to be a little subtle, and even literate.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Movies By John Ford

The 2008 nonpareil massive re-issue of John Ford‘s films for Twentieth Century Fox comes in several ways: In the huge 25-film Ford at Fox package, and in several smaller sets. Here is an essential one, if you‘re not getting the big box (and most people, of course, aren’t). It includes four supreme classics, a feature documentary on Ford, and an earlier version, by “Last Pioneer” Allan Dwan, of the saga of Wyatt Earp and the Clantons Ford told in My Darling Clementine.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Possession; The Dybbuk

    THE POSSESSION (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.: Ole Bornedal, 2012 (Lionsgate) We’re watching The Possession, another horror movie with religious overtones — or to put it another way, another knockoff of The Exorcist.   There’s this evil-looking box, see, with strange markings and Jewish symbols and little compartments with funny little keepsakes. And…

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Wilmington on DVDs: To Rome With Love

  PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW TO ROME WITH LOVE (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.: Woody Allen, 2012   Woody Allen puts himself back on the screen in To Rome With Love — playing an old fool  — and I think the part has possibilities. Allen’s character, which he plays to addled perfection,  is…

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Wilmington on Movies: Gangster Squad

The story is simple — which is probably exactly what the police-vs.-Mickey Cohen wars were not. But even though everything in the movie is painfully predictable, everything is also painfully unmemorable.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Dredd

    DREDD (Also Blur-Ray) (Two Stars) U.S.: Pete Travis, 2012 (Lionsgate) I. Dredd Again Dredd 3D is a futuristic action/crime saga  about a gravelly-voiced, black-masked crime fighter named Judge Dredd. In a world with precious few rules and lots of crime and slow-motion, he’s the whole bleepin’ show. He’s the judge. He’s the jury. He’s…

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Wilmington on DVDs: People on Sunday

  PICK OF THE WEEK: CLASSIC PEOPLE ON SUNDAY (Menschen am Sonntag) (Four Stars) Germany: Robert Siodmak & Edgar Ulmer, 1930 (Criterion Collection) I. FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER When you’re young and smart and talented, you can also be a little  cocky — brash beyond your years. You’ll make it some day, for sure.  There’s…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Frankenweenie: Samsara

   PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW FRANKENWEENIE  (Also Four Disc Blu-ray/3D/DVD/Digital Copy & Two Disc Blu-ray/DVD) (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.: Tim Burton, 2012 (Buena Vista) Two of the best things Tim Burton ever did were a couple of black and white cartoons he made for Disney back in the early ‘80s, when he was…

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Wilmington on Movies: The National Society of Film Critics Awards for 2012

Michael Haneke’s tragic and haunting French film Amour was named the Best Picture of 2012 by the 60-member National Society of Film Critics at their annual meeting in New York City—and that vote included my picks, on a proxy ballot. Haneke’s film, which also won the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, took two other awards: Best Director for Haneke and Best Actress to Emmanuelle Riva, for her heartbreaking portrayal of a dying musician.

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Wilmington on Movies: Promised Land

Matt Damon, who’s become a kind of classic American leftist movie star—a Hank Fonda of the new millennium—has gotten trashed by some right-wingers (and some moderates and left-wingers as well) for his new film Promised Land. But I think it’s pretty good—a Capraesque tale about a big natural gas corporation trying to get drilling rights to the gas deposits in a Pennsylvania farming town that’s fallen on hard times. Damon, who’s one of our best actors and doesn’t always get the credit he deserves (because, these days, he gets slammed for his politics), plays a smalltown Iowa guy who thinks he understands and relates to these smalltown Heartland people, and has a Messianic sense about his job.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby is shot with claustrophobic intensity and voluptuous eeriness by Polanski and his gifted cinematographer William Fraker (who also photographed Bullitt), is a great-looking, beautifully-acted, very scary show that probably affects you even if you don’t believe in the devil (as I don’t).

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Wilmington on Movies: Jack Reacher

In any case, violence begets box-office, or so Hollywood often seems to believe—and Jack Reacher is an almost ridiculously violent movie, so ridiculous that if writer-director Christopher McQuarrie had dreamed up better jokes, and more of them, he might have had one hell of a comedy.

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Wilmington

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MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé

A Haunted House 2 is not a movie. It is a nervous breakdown. Directed by Michael Tiddes but largely the handiwork of star, producer, and co-writer Marlon Wayans, the film is being billed as yet another Wayans-ized spoof of the horror movie genre, à la the first Haunted House movie and the wildly successful Scary Movie series. (Keenen Ivory Wayans and his brothers were responsible for the first two Scary Movie films; they have since left that franchise, which may explain why a new one was needed.) And there are some familiar digs at recent horror flicks: This time, the creepy doll and the closet from The Conjuring, the family-murdering demon from Sinister, and the dybbuk box from The Possession all make appearances. But this new film is mostly an excuse for star Marlon Wayans to have extended freak-outs in response to the horrors visited upon him—shrieking, screaming, crying, cowering, and occasionally hate-fucking for minutes on end. Yes, you read that last bit right. A Haunted House 2 puts the satyriasis back in satire.”
Ebiri On A Haunted House 2