MCN Originals

The Gurus O’ Gold Weigh The Acting Categories And Best Picture

Hello, Glenn Close!

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Not A Witch, Jonathan, The Captain, Speed Kills, Room 304, Hippocrates, The Dark, Crimson Peak, Tea With Dames, Forbidden Photos, Addiction … More

I was reminded of Nǃxau while watching I Am Not a Witch, an offbeat dramedy by Rungano Nyoni. It depicts the ways women convicted of being witches in rural Zambia cope with ignorance, prejudice and forced labor.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Gurus o’ Gold Highlight Best Picture, Best Foreign Language, Best Documentary

Checking in a week before Oscar nomination voting ends: predictions for documentary feature, foreign language film, and of course, best picture, with a good range of wiggling in the rankings after major guilds have announced their nominees.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Mid90s, Oath, Obamaland, Bad Reputation, Hell Fest, Time Freak, Kusama, Oddsockeaters, Bent, Harry/Sally, Nemesis, Frontline, Cats … More

Jonah Hill’s endearing dramedy is only the latest entry in a long list of movies in which skateboarding plays a key role in the social development of borderline characters looking for a reason to wake up in the morning.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Gurus Predict Globes Picks And Best Picture

The Gurus weigh in on Best Picture after the PGA nominations and Hollywood Foreign Press best pics before Sunday night gets its Globe on.

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

The DVD Wrapup: 2018’s Most Memorable Titles, Hobbyhorses, Martyr, CMA Live, Tailspin Tommy, Gilda, Miracle Worker … More

In Martyr, Hassane (Hamza Mekdad) is one of countless young Lebanese men for whom a college degree is no more useful than a medal earned in a long-ago war.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Gurus o’ Gold On Key Categories

The Gurus let go of multiple outliers and one-vote-wonders for best picture this go-round.

While relatively small fields, there’s movement in the acting categories, including sentiment for Bohemian Rhapsody that elevates Rami Malek. Actresses off the Guru radar include Felicity Jones, Natalie Portman and Saoirse Ronan.

As with the Academy, the Guru screenplay predictions hold surprises, including BlacKkKlansman leading adapted predictions and Roma sandwiched by leader The Favourite and a maybe not-so-surprising showing for First Reformed, for yet-to-be-nominated writer-director Paul Schrader. The Gurus also shine light on recently-prized Ethan Hawke.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

The DVD Wrapup & Gift Guide III: Venom 4K, The Super, Snowflake, Marie Curie, Gamechangers, Who We Are Now, 40 Guns, De Palma-De Niro,, Starman and more

For anyone over, say, 15, to fully appreciate Ruben Fleischer’s Venom, it’s necessary to possess a working knowledge of Eddie Brock/Venom’s origin story and those of several other key characters. If not, it’s just another vehicle to show off cool CGI effects,

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Peppermint, Wild Boys, Un Traductor, Await Instructions, Lizzie, Coby, Afghan Love Story, Elizabeth Harvest, Brutal, Holiday Horror, Sound & Fury … More

After laying low for several years, preparing to exact her own justice on the people who killed her family, Riley returns to town a trained killer and martial-arts expert. At 5-foot-8, Garner is no less credible a vigilante than Liam Neeson, at 6-4.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

The Gurus Predict Globes for Drama, Musical or Comedy, and Director

The Gurus predict the sentiment of the happy-go-lucky members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association this week, considering what tickled their fantasy this season: lots of love predicted for A Star Is Born, as well as possible chances for Green Book.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Support the Girls, M:I Fallout, Gosford Park, Serpent’s Egg. True Stories, School Daze, Candyman, Hanging Rock, Yellowstone … More

In her late 40s, Lisa knows that her first obligation is to the owner’s bank account, but her heart is divided between her wait staff and loyal customers. As balancing acts go, it’s a doozy.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold Speak Best Picture, Foreign Language, Doc Feature

A Star is Born, Roma, Green Book and The Favourite and Black Panther sentiment shifts slightly, from Guru to Guru. Extra love for Mary Poppins Returns as screenings accelerate, and First Reformed after nods from the New York Film Critics Circle.

Read the full article » 5 Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Gauguin, Blindspotting, Skate Kitchen, Wobble Palace, Third Murder, Outrage Coda, Nelly, Luciferina, MDMA, Heavy Trip, Agony, Family I Had … More

The movie sidesteps Gauguin’s assertion in his memoir that Tehura was 13 years old, not 17, when she was offered to him in marriage. In her first appearance in a movie, Adams isn’t asked to do much more than look exotic, pose well and provide companionship, all of which she does very well.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold Go Best Picture, Director, Cinematographer

Post-Thanksgiving, the Gurus shake up the Best Picture field on a couple of pictures that have just opened, reflecting critical and financial reception, as well as bright-and-sunny early previews for Mary Poppins Returns.

The Gurus also look upon best director and best cinematographer for the first time in 2018, with much love for one big black-and-white picture: Alfonso Cuarón’s cinematography on Roma makes a rare Gurus sweep.

Read the full article » No Comments »

DVD Gift Guide II: Bergman@100, 2001 4K, Rambo 4K, Dances With Wolves, Robin Williams, Ernie Kovacs, Detectorists, Frosty, Elf … More

“In honor of Ingmar Bergman’s 100th birthday, the Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive collection of his films ever released on home video. … Arranged as a curated film festival, with ‘opening’ and ‘closing’ nights bookending double features and ‘centerpiece’ programs …”

Read the full article » No Comments »

Gurus O’ Gold On Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor

For mid-November, the Gurus update their predictions for Best Picture, and take a first look at best supporting actor and best actor.

Read the full article » 8 Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Owl’s Legacy, Good Manners, Childrens Act, Juliet Naked, Unnamable, Little Italy, Gas Food Lodging, SWF, Detective Dee, Windtalkers … More

“The Owl’s Legacy” was supported by the Onassis Foundation and aired on French public television. When it failed to deliver the expected conclusions about the ancient Athenians’ influence on modern Greece, it was shelved for nearly 30 years.

Read the full article »

The DVD Wrapup: Incredibles 2, Superman, Midaq Alley, La Boyita, 7th Day, Longing, Breaking Brooklyn, Mara, Capra Goes to War, Sleepwalkers, The Circus, Native America … More

If Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s creation hadn’t leapt from the pages of Action Comics #1 and captured the fancy of Americans of all ages, it isn’t likely that “Superman: The Movie” would have been released, 40 years later, and the superheroes in The Incredibles might look more like Batman than Kal-L, from Krypton.

Read the full article »

The DVD Wrapup: Spy Who Dumped Me, Elena Ferrante, Sun at Midnight, Elephant’s Journey, Retro Afrika, Never Goin’ Back, Believer, Dragnet, Valley Girl, Black Sails … More

Credit for keeping viewers from sweating the improbable details largely belongs to McKinnon’s inspired riffing and improvisation, along with Fogel and co-writer David Iserson’s clever plotting and location-hopping.

Read the full article »

The DVD Gift Guide I: Uni Monsters, Body Snatchers, Twilight 4K, Evil Dead, Trauma, Creepshow, Haunted Hill, Dude 4K, Saved by Bell, 3 Stooges … More

Stores began stocking up for Halloween sales as soon as Labor Day barbeques ended.

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“When books become a thing, they can no longer be fine.

“Literary people get mad at Knausgård the same way they get mad at Jonathan Franzen, a writer who, if I’m being honest, might be fine. I’m rarely honest about Jonathan Franzen. He’s an extremely annoying manI have only read bits and pieces of his novels, and while I’ve stopped reading many novels even though they were pretty good or great, I have always stopped reading Jonathan Franzen’s novels because I thought they were aggressively boring and dumb and smug. But why do I think this? I didn’t read him when he was a new interesting writer who wrote a couple of weird books and then hit it big with ‘The Corrections,’ a moment in which I might have picked him up with curiosity and read with an open mind; I only noticed him once, after David Foster Wallace had died, he became the heir apparent for the Great American Novelist position, once he had had that thing with Oprah and started giving interviews in which he said all manner of dumb shit; I only noticed him well after I had been told he was An Important Writer.

“So I can’t and shouldn’t pretend that I am unmoved by the lazily-satisfied gentle arrogance he projects or when he is given license to project it by the has-the-whole-world-gone-crazy development of him being constantly crowned and re-crowned as Is He The Great American Writer. What I really object to is this, and if there’s anything to his writing beyond it, I can’t see it and can’t be bothered. Others read him and tell me he’s actually a good writer—people whose critical instincts I have learned to respect—so I feel sure that he’s probably a perfectly fine, that his books are fine, and that probably even his stupid goddamned bird essays are probably also fine.

“But it’s too late. He has become a thing; he can’t be fine.”
~ Aaron Bady

“You know how in postproduction you are supposed to color-correct the picture so everything is smooth and even? Jean-Luc wants the opposite. He wants the rupture. Color and then black and white, or different intensities of color. Or how in this film, sometimes you see the ratio of the frame change after the image begins. That happens when he records from his TV onto his old DVCAM analog machine, which is so old we can’t even find parts when it needs to be repaired. The TV takes time to recognize and adjust to the format on the DVD or the Blu-ray. Whether it’s 1:33 or 1:85. And one of the TVs he uses is slower than the other. He wants to keep all that. I could correct it, but he doesn’t want me to. See, here’s an image from War and Peace. He did the overlays of color—red, white, and blue—using an old analog video effects machine. That’s why you have the blur. When I tried to redo it in digital, I couldn’t. The edges were too sharp. And why the image jitters—I don’t know how he did that. Playing with the cable maybe. Handmade. He wants to see that. It’s a gift from his old machine.”
~ Fabrice Aragno