MCN Originals Archive for December, 2010

Top 10 Documentaries of 2010

I had kind of a bad year for documentaries, which is too bad because I love docs. Maybe it’s partly because I missed Sundance, or because docs can be hit and miss and I just happened to fall on the wrong side of that equation this year. Whatever the case, I managed somehow to miss…

Read the full article » 9 Comments »

Wilmington: The Ten Best of 2010

So here’s my list of The Ten Best Movies of 2010, plus Honorable Mentions and a separate list of documentaries. I know it’s customary at this time to write about how awful a year it was, and how I had to struggle to find ten movies worthy of recognition, and how Hollywood is so bankrupt…

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

Top Tens: December 31, 2010

There were a couple of technical glitches as the new system settles in – but the lists are starting to add up now. Yes, Social Network stays on top, but Inception and The King’s Speech are moving up the charts.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

9 Weeks To Oscar: Let The Narratives Begin!

Here we are… ballots are out… Phase One will be over in a couple of weeks… and the battle for The Big Win has begun. The primary weapon is in the process of changing from the movies themselves (central to The Great Settling™… c/o Mr Condon) to The Narratives. The Narratives are the big perspective…

Read the full article » 19 Comments »

MW on Movies: Little Fockers, Casino Jack, How Do You Know, and Gulliver’s Travels

This movie is not even vaguely funny. If this movie and its representatives claim they are doing anything funny, they should apologize. And if your friends disagree with me, if they insist that I‘m a pompous snob, and that you yourself will attend the local showings of Little Fockers with lots of real people convulsed with real laughter and slapping real knees, you should get them to sign notarized affidavits explaining where all the jokes are.

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

DVD Geek: The Complete Metropolis

Viewers can finally appreciate the beauty and the fury of Metropolis as it was meant to be experienced and enjoyed. The footage is fairly easy to spot, because the traditional footage is immaculately presented in full screen format, solidified by the lovely BD presentation with smooth, sharp contrasts and barely a scratch, while the restored footage is still quite battered and is slightly windowboxed, though perfectly viewable. It’s not ideal, but it’s worth having, without hesitation.

Read the full article » No Comments »

MW on DVDs: The American, Cronos, I am Love … and more

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW The American (Three Stars) U.S.; Anton Corbijn, 2010 (Universal) I like George Clooney. No off-color psychological speculations, please. What I like about him is the easy-going “good guy” way he plays the Hollywood game. I like his politics, his philanthropy, his unpretentious smarts, his good-natured jock style, his taste in…

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

The DVD Wrap: Elsewhere, And Soon the Darkness, Twelve, The Jesus Guy … and more

Elsewhere Oddly enough, the best line of dialogue I’ve heard in a long time comes in Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s amazing documentary, Elsewhere. After shooting a large seal with a harpoon gun, an Inuit hunter quips, “I hope I didn’t hit the white people.” The “white people” were sitting directly behind the man, chronicling the first hunt…

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Return Of “The Exit Through The Gift Shop” Diaries

All the way back in October, Jaimie D’Cruz gave MCN the exclusive to print his diaries about the evolution of his involvement in the film. Things start in February 2008 and go through the US premiere in April in Los Angeles. There’s been a lot of talk about whether the doc is a hoax. D’Cruz…

Read the full article » No Comments »

Frenzy on the Wall: 2010 Top Ten

2010 has not been a great year for movies. I think the films that are on this list are superior works of cinematic art, but I think that I saw more mediocre and middling fair than ever before. Is it that the actual quality of the films this year wasn’t as good as the past…

Read the full article » 18 Comments »

DP/30: BlackSwanSploitation – Meet Benjamin Millepied

Exciting news today for Natalie Portman and her fiance’ Benjamin Millepied. Congratulations to them. As it turns out, we talked to Benjamin about the film they met on, Black Swan, a while back, when the duo was avoiding conversation about their relationship. In any case, if you are curious about the man behind the baby, a tremendous talent in his own right, here is a look at the chat he shared with screenwriter Mark Heyman.

Read the full article » 4 Comments »

Will 2011 Be A 3D Car Wreck?

Thirty films in 3D are currently on the schedule for 2011. It’s a certainty that at least four of these, all sequels, will each gross over $200 million domestically. But what about the more marginal films? And how will Spielberg & Scorsese match up with The Chipmunks?

Read the full article » 24 Comments »

Weekend Box Office Report — December 26

Overall the Christmas session got clobbered with calendar positioning that landed the eve on Friday (expect something similar with New Years). And while an estimated $155 million weekend provided an 11% boost from the prior weekend it translated into a pounding 45% drop from 2009. As the door quickly closes on the year, box office gross has slipped behind the prior year and admissions are approaching close to double digit erosion.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Estimates — December 25

Little Fockers tops the box office chart three days into the long weekend, proving once again that the more poorly reviewed a movie is, the more people will line up to see it. Meanwhile, True Grit leads the award-contending pack, while The Fighter and Black Swan duke it out for their share of the box office take.

Read the full article » No Comments »

‘Twas the Night Before The End of The Business

“The moon shined so bright, the execs were afraid
their ceo bosses would see the mistakes they had made,
when, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
but a Powerpoint slide show and the eight points they feared.”

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Top Tens: December 24, 2010

The lists keep coming in, but the chart remains (almost) the same. Carlos and The Ghost Writer move up a notch, and the top five stay locked in place. The Social Network stays on top by a wide, wide margin.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

MW on Movies: True Grit

True Grit (Four Stars) U.S.: Ethan and Joel Coen (The Coen Brothers), 2010 Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old heroine of the new Coen Brothers movie, True Grit, — the Coens’ remake of the 1969 classic with John Wayne — is the kind of spunky, indomitable little kid we’d have all liked to have known, or to…

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

Box Office Hell — December 23

Box office pundits predict glad holiday tidings for critically slammed Little Fockers, while the somewhat more popular TRON: Legacy should hold on for second place. Awards contenders True Grit, The Fighter and The King’s Speech battle for their share of the arthouse-savvy crowd.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: Last Licks 2010

With overwhelming domination of the Critics Groups, The Social Network overtakes The King’s Speech for the top spot by 1 point. The other mover is Black Swan, which leaps from #7 to #4.

And The Gurus bid a fond farewell to Sean Smith, off to do serious things with his life. And we ring in the New Year with Anthony Breznican flipping to Entertainment Weekly from USA Today. The more things change…

Read the full article » 8 Comments »

10 Weeks To Oscar: Let The Great Settling Begin!

The field has been narrowed, but there is still no clear front-runner. Things should start to settle in, as they do with Oscar every year, in the DVD players over the next 10 days of holiday hanging out. The Voters can influenced by what they see and what they hear from their kids, grandkids, and friends. Ho ho ho!

Read the full article » 10 Comments »

MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

A Spirited Exchange

“In some ways Christopher Nolan has become our Stanley Kubrick,” reads the first sentence of David Bordwell’s latest blog post–none of which I want or intend to read after that desperate opening sentence. If he’d written “my” or “some people’s” instead of “our”, I might have read further. Instead, I can only surmise that in some ways David Bordwell may have become our Lars von Trier.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum On Facebook

“Jonathan has written a despicable thing in comparing me to Trump. He’s free to read or not read what I write, and even to judge arguments without reading them. It’s not what you’d expect from a sensible critic, but it’s what Jonathan has chosen to do, for reasons of a private nature he has confided to me in an email What I request from him is an apology for comparing my ideas to Trump’s.”
~ David Bordwell Replies

“Yes, I do apologize, sincerely, for such a ridiculous and quite unwarranted comparison. The private nature of my grievance with David probably fueled my post, but it didn’t dictate it, even though I’m willing to concede that I overreacted. Part of what spurred me to post something in the first place is actually related to a positive development in David’s work–an improvement in his prose style ever since he wrote (and wrote very well) about such elegant prose stylists as James Agee and Manny Farber. But this also brought a journalistic edge to his prose, including a dramatic flair for journalistic ‘hooks’ and attention-grabbers, that is part of what I was responding to. Although I realize now that David justifies his opening sentence with what follows, and far less egregiously than I implied he might have, I was responding to the drum roll of that opening sentence as a provocation, which it certainly was and is.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum Replies

“In my own mind, I’ve always been a writer and the fact that I act is, well… it’s been very enjoyable and I love doing it. It has been good for me, but in my own mind I’m just a writer with a bizarre activity—acting—that I undertake.”
~ Wallace Shawn