MCN Originals Archive for March, 2010

Wilmington on Movies: How to Train Your Dragon, Hot Tub Time Machine, Chloe, and The Eclipse

How to Train Your Dragon (Three Stars) U.S.; Dean De Blois/Chris Sanders, 2010 The visual flash and dash that the new Dreamworks animated saga How to Train Your Dragon pours into its panoramic 3D scenes of ferocious Medieval battle and Viking sea quests — and especially this movie’s Avatar-like flying sequences, with

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Wilmington on Movies: Green Zone, Remember Me, She’s Out of My League, and Our Family Wedding

Green Zone (Three Stars) U.S.; Paul Greengrass, 2010 Green Zone is a sometimes hellishly exciting political war thriller about the

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Wilmington on Movies: Alice in Wonderland, Brooklyn’s Finest and Terribly Happy

Alice in Wonderland (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; Tim Burton, 2010 Curiouser and curiouser. Tim Burton has made another of his goofy-giddy visual marvels out of Lewis Carroll‘s oft-filmed classic Alice in Wonderland. And while

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Wilmington on DVDs: Ponyo, Where the Wild Things are, Beaches of Agnes, King Lear and more…

Ponyo (Also Blu-Ray) (Three and a Half Stars) Japan-U.S.; Hayao Miyazaki, 2009 (Disney) Hayao Miyazaki‘s devotion to old-fashioned animation, in an age of computerized cartoon virtuosity of all sorts, gives his movies a charmingly personal, beguilingly hand-crafted feel

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MCN Originals

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“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful. People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that. It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
~ Brett Ratner Has A Sad

“The loss of a local newspaper critic is a real loss. People who know the local audience and know the local cultural scene are very important resources. You can’t just substitute the stuff that comes in from nowhere through syndication or the wire. I think at the same time, some of the newer outlets have really beefed up and improved their coverage and made room for criticism. The real problem is in the more specialized art forms — fine arts, classical music, dance and jazz, say. There is a real slowing of critical voices, partly because those art forms have smaller audiences. Newspapers and magazines can say that doesn’t get enough traffic, so we don’t have room for that. To me, that’s especially worrisome. This is the opposite of what newspapers are supposed to do, which is not to try to figure out what people are already interested in and recite that back to them, but to hopefully guide them to something that they should be interested in, connecting potential audiences with more interesting work.

“Then again, not everyone needs a critic. People have been going to movies for more than 100 years now, and probably the vast majority of those people have not read movie reviews or cared what critics thought. But there has always been an important subset that wants to know more, that wants to think about what they’ve seen and what they’re going to see, and wants someone to think along with. I think critics are important, not just as dispensers of consumer advice — though that’s certainly part of it, too — but as trusted voices and companions for people to argue with in your head when you’re going to movies or afterwards.”
~ A. O. Scott