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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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‘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.”

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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!

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MCN Originals

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“The purpose of film isn’t to present the kindness of the world.”
~ Isabelle Huppert

The Promised Land steers into the fact that the United States can mean whatever people want it to mean. You may not be able to be Elvis, but you can sure as shit impersonate him for a living. America, like its current President (at least as of this article’s publication), is so dangerous precisely because it’s a blank canvas on which anyone can project their dreams. Whatever it is that you see for yourself, there’s someone you can pay for the pleasure of believing that it’s possible. In his view, the pursuit of happiness is the ultimate con, a delusion that prevents us from seeing our circumstances for what they are.

“Forget the Matrix, it’s the invention of happiness that blinded us to the truth. The rich got richer and the poor help them do it. Jarecki doesn’t argue that the American Dream is dead; he argues that it was never alive in the first place — that we were all lobsters in a pot full of water that was boiling too slowly for any of us to notice. And now it’s time for dinner. Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States. Elvis has left the building.”
~ David Ehrlich