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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Carrie Mulligan on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Great Gatsby

isa50 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Gladiator; Hell's Half Acre; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Rory on: Wilmington on Movies: Snow White and the Huntsman

Andrew Coyle on: Wilmington On Movies: Paterson

tamzap on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Magnificent Seven, Date Night, Little Women, Chicago and more …

rdecker5 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Ivan's Childhood

Ray Pride on: Wilmington on Movies: The Purge: Election Year

Quote Unquotesee all »

“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch