MCN Originals Archive for January, 2011

Sundance Dispatch: Good News, Bad News

The good news was, I flew Southwest, where Bags Fly Free!(tm) So I was able to bring two bags. Major bonus, because that meant I could bring more boots! And a stash of food cheaper than it would cost me at The Market Formerly Known As Albertsons. The bad news was, my flight was delayed…

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Wilmington on Movies: The Way Back, The Company Men and Blue Valentine

Filled with over-powering landscapes and spectacular desolation, Weir’s movie creates an often riveting vision of escape, of the wilderness and survival, with the seven men — a colorful, diverse group that includes an American, a Stalinist thief/killer, and an artist who keeps drawing pictures — sometimes pitted against each other, or hurled into wolf-infested forests, and vast scorching stretches of the Gobi desert.

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Box Office Hell: January 20, 2011

Our pundits predict Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher will lead the box office this weekend with No Strings Attached. The Green Hornet and Dilemma are both expected to drop around 50% while awards favorites True Grit and King’s Speech stay steady.

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“The Film That Changed My Life”: Richard Kelly On Brazil

Robert K. Elder’s latest book, “The Film that Changed My Life,” came together as he met filmmakers as part of his regular writing assignments, and then got them to expand on one film that changed their lives, and what form that “change” took. Among the thirty equally appealing conversations, Kevin Smith talks Slacker; Danny Boyle,…

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The Gronvall Files: Good Company: A Conversation with The Company Men Director John Wells

As this year’s Sundance Film Festival unfolds, one of the films that made a splash there a year ago, The Company Men, John Wells’s feature directorial debut, is gathering steam in its commercial rollout. The acclaimed writer-producer behind TV hits like ER and The West Wing, as well as Southland (which found a new home…

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The DVD Wrap: Stone, Lebanon, Buried, Piranha 3-D, Death Race 2 … and more

Stone John Curran’s extremely creepy psycho-thriller, Stone, paints a portrait of a Middle America dominated by religious fanatics, talk-radio Cassandras, trailer trash, clandestine meth labs and two-bit criminals. Good people inhabit the same emotionally barren territory, but the potential for violence in their homes is as close as the nearest gun case, liquor cabinet or…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Lebanon, Shock Corridor, Dances with Wolves, Sherlock Jr. and more

We are inside an armored tank with four Israeli soldiers, in Beirut, in the throes of the Lebanon War. The battle is a raging hellfield punctuated with death, only barely comprehensible to the men or to us. Israelis battle Arabs battle Phalangists (Christian Arabs). The streets pop with gunfire. You can’t tell civilians from killers. The tank is hot and stinking and so small, the four can barely move around — tempers flaring, nerves frayed — as they roll though the streets, and peer through a periscope or gun sight seeking traps to avoid, enemies to kill.

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Frenzy on the Wall: Downsized and Dispirited, The Company Men Still Has Feeling

The Company Men is a satisfying film, but not an altogether successful one. However, I’m inclined to give it a pass for a lot of its faults because its cause is such a noble one. The film will serve as a time-capsule for future generations to be able to look back and pinpoint this particular…

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The Weekend Report — January 16

The Green Hornet leads the weekend by a substantial margin, with The Dilemma coming in second for the frame. Among the awards contenders, True Grit, The King’s Speech and Black Swan look to be keeping it a close race at the box office.

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This New Globes Mess

The Golden Globes are a classic Hollywood shame. But both those who give them and those who want to get them are to blame.

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Friday Estimates — January 15

The Green Hornet and The Dilemma battle it out for the top slot in this weekend’s box office, while jostling for position continues among the award’s contenders, with True Grit leading the pack and The King’s Speech having the most significant upswing .

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7 Weeks To Oscar: And So, Phase One Ends…

Ballots are in. Will anything change from now until Oscar night?

Could be. But probably not.

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MW on Movies: The Green Hornet, The Dilemma, Another Year, The Illusionist, and Mon Oncle

The Green Hornet (Two Stars) U. S.: Michel Gondry, 2011 The Green Hornet is a comedy-action extravaganza done in a deliberate pop art/ironic style by director Michel Gondry — a pseudo-Marvel super-movie about a super-hero who’s also a rich little schmuck. It’s also about the schmuck’s super-talented Asian sidekick, their sexy Girl Friday, who has…

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Box Office Hell: January 12

Our pundits expect The Green Hornet to come out buzzing to easily lead the box office pack on the long weekend. Newcomer The Dilemma looks to easily take the place position, while the awards contenders battle it out for their own box office bragging rights.

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Gurus o’ Gold, 1/12/11

The Gurus have as narrow a view of most of the guilds seem to have right now. So like the selections, the page will go unadorned today. Mila Kunis and Jeremy Renner have some heat, as The Gurus look at the Supporting Acting categories, which just last month looked like free-for-alls. And the Directors are down to a list of 6 contenders.

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MW on Movies: Army of Shadows, The Social Network, Hotel Terminus … and more

It doesn’t get your motor racing in the usual way. Army of Shadows transpires in a gray world, bleak, chilling, full of the shadows of the title, where night is often falling, or has already fallen. And it’s done in a manner that suggests men (and a woman) who know they will die, who are dead already, but still stubbornly refuse to submit.

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The DVD Wrap: The Social Network, Army of Shadows, Dances with Wolves, Raging Bull … and more

The Social Network: Blu-ray Depending upon whom one asks, Facebook is 1) 500 million friends and friends of friends who pretend to care desperately about their friends’ pets and bowel movements (or is that Twitter?), 2) a convenient way for parents to spy on their kids while they’re away at college, or 3) a massive…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Somewhere Goes Nowhere

I consider myself a fan of Sofia Coppola. I think her first two films – The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation – are up there with any other filmmaker’s first two movies. These films showed a fascinating insight into the minds of both males and females, young and old; these were movies about lost…

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An Inside Look at the NSFC Awards 2011

The National Society of Film Critics — the most prestigious (dammit) of all the country’s numerous movie critic groups — met for their 45th annual voting meeting last Saturday at Sardi’s in New York City. And it was The Social Network all over again. (I write these awards stories every year in a kind of…

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Top Tens: January 8, 2011

The top ten shuffle a bit and Inception is now in the number two slot. Black Swan moves up, Toy Story 3 and Winter’s Bone slip back.

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MCN Originals

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“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho

“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh