MCN Originals Archive for September, 2011

Wilmington on Movies: 50/50

50/50 (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.: Jonathan Levine, 2011   Your best friend looks you in the face and tells you that he’s dying. Wait a minue, it’s not quite like that…He tells you that he has a rare form of spinal cancer and that his chances of survival, according to the doctors, are 50/50….

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DP/30: Melancholia, actors Alexander Skarsgard, Kiefer Sutherland

Lars von Trier’s Melancholia is rolling on to the NY Film Festival in the next week. We chatted with two of the stars, Alexander Skarsgard and Kiefer Sutherland, about working with Lars, pushing the envelope as actors, and the film’s amazing cast.

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: Classic, Blu-ray. Strike

     PICK OF THE WEEK: Classic/Blu-ray Strike (Stachka) (Four Stars) U.S.S.R./Russia: Sergei Eisenstein, 1925 (Kino Classics) 1. Eisenstein  In 1925, Sergei Eisenstein, a rich architect’s son who had become a passionate convert to Communism during the Russian Revolution and afterward a brilliant theatrical director with the Proletkult Theatre of Moscow, directed two silent films…

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DP/30 @ TIFF 2011: Take Shelter, wr/dir Jeff Nichols, actors MIchael Shannon, Jessica Chastain

Jeff Nichols’ second feature, like his first, Shotgun Stories, is thrilling and challenging audiences. By his side again is Michael Shannon, who has risen from obscurity to awards bait actor. And by Mike’s side, Jessica Chastain, who has risen from obscurity to ubiquitous awards bait just this year. Meet the trio.

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The DVD Wrapup: Transformers, Angel of Evil, Dumbo, Viva Riva!, Phantom Carriage, The Stool Pigeon, Hung, Kojak …

Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Blu-ray The third installment in the “Transformers” franchise, “Dark of the Moon,” locates the decisive battle for the preservation of mankind in downtown Chicago. The Windy City residents have experienced seen more than their fair share of disasters since Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over the lantern that triggered the Great…

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DP/30 Short End: The Ides of March, actor Paul Giamatti

Paul Giamatti is the bad guy in George Clooney’s new film, The Ides of Match… or is he? Here’s an easy going chat with one of the great actors/characters of this generation.

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Wilmington on DVDs. The Rest: Transformers Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Also Blu-ray) (Three Stars) U.S.: Michael Bay, 2010 Mindless, soulless, heartless, mechanical, and shamelessly mercenary as it might be, director Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon — the latest in the often obnoxious movie series, starring Shia LaBeouf and a lot of Hasbro toys — is still one of…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: New. Carlos

  Carlos (Three and a Half Stars) France: Olivier Assayas, 2010 (Criterion Collection) In his excellent political thriller/biographical drama Carlos, Olivier Assayas makes an epic of 20th century revolution, an incendiary subject, but a film hot at heart yet cool on the surface, out of the ugly, exciting  story of the terrorist “Carlos,” a would-be political idealist who became a killer…

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Gurus o Gold – Post-TIFF 2011

The Gurus are back again for an early season sneak peak after the Toronto International Film Festival. Moneyball and The Help are the big risers, Ides of March is the dropper.

And in Best Actor, the chart is led by 4 very familiar leading men… and a Frenchman, while in Best Actress, 3 serious make-up performances by previous nominees meets the deep South and the deep South African.

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Wilmington on Movies: Love Crime

  Love Crime (Three Stars) France: Alain Corneau, 2010 Movie murder mysteries can sometimes get too tricky and convoluted for their own good, and that’s pretty much what happens in Love Crime (Crime d’Amour),  a fine, itelligent, neatly made little French film neo-noir that would have been even better if it didn’t try so hard to outsmart us…

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Wilmington on Movies: Moneyball

   (Four Stars) U. S.: Bennett Miller  It’s not whether you win or lose. It’s how you read the spreadsheet.     For many Americans, baseball is a great American game, and a great American sports myth as well — and it’s also, at times, a business, a gamble, a crud-boatload of media hype, and, last…

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The Weekend Report: September 25, 2011

The Lion King continued to roar with an estimated $22.1 million gross that placed it at the top of weekend viewing charts. Four debuting films ranked right behind. The critically acclaimed baseball opus Moneyball bowed to $20.4 million and the family targeted Dolphin Tale opened with $19.9 million. Movie goers were less enthusiastic for premiering action fare with Abduction garnering $11 million and Killer Elite trailing on a $9.4 million box office.

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Friday Estimates: September 23, 2011

Brad Pitt launches on top of the weekend box office with strong reviews for Moneyball, but Klady’s estimates suggest that The Lion King 3D could come from behind for the weekend win. Suffering for the success of the Lion relaunch is WB’s Dolphin Tale, which opened to a respectable estimate of $5.1m. In 4th and 5th, two action movies that are also pulling off the same demographic at their own peril.

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Wilmington on Movies: Killer Elite

  (Two Stars) U.S.: Gary McKendry, 2011 There are lots of reasons to get irritated with Killer Elite — a big-bucks, big-star, mucho-macho, heavy-duty actioner that throws up several hours of murkily photographed violence, preachy dialogue and byzantine plot twists, while wasting three good actors — Jason Statham, Clive Owen and, sadly enough, Robert De…

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Mini-Review: Moneyball

Moneyball is a giant movie star giving what would seem to be a giant movie star performance that isn’t really a giant movie star performance at all in a movie that is really made for the arthouse.

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Wilmington on DVDs. The Rest: Captain America: The First Avenger, Dziga and His Brothers, The Killer is Loose, The Song of Songs,This is the Night

“Captain America: The First Avenger” (Two Stars) U.S.: Joe Johnston, 2011 I don’t mean to be a grouch, but Captain America — stalwart crime and monster-buster of  the  new Marvel epic Captain America: The First Avenger — struck me as one of the duller superheroes I’ve seen recently. That’s despite one of the more amazing special effects…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: Box Set/Blu-ray. Visions of Europe

 (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; Roy A. Hammond (aerial director/executive producer), Sam Toperoff (producer/editor/writer), 2001-9 (Acorn Media) One of the most visually stunning travelogue series ever, the “Visions” sets from WLIW in New York offer spectacular aerial tours of the great sights of Europe, shot in gorgeous high definition cinematography, accompanied by fairly typical…

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DVD Geek: Source Code

There is a romantic component to the story, naturally, and more than one life affirming, love affirming conclusion, leaving a viewer feeling both happy and satisfied, several times, after a stimulating and exciting ride. Jake Gyllenhaal stars, with Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright. In that the film also evokes aspects of Quantum Leap, there is a cleverly chosen cameo appearance by Scott Bakula.

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The DVD Wrapup: HitRECord, The Tempest, Bride Flight, Inspector General, The Caller, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Claude Chabrol, Mike Hammer …

HitRECord Recollection, Volume 1 The entertainment industry has been trying to mine gold from the Internet for almost two decades now, desperately searching for ways to distribute movies, music and other formats safely and economically. Some have succeeded, while most others have simply failed or disappeared without a digital footprint left behind. The wiseguys say…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: Classic/Box Set. The Complete Jean Vigo

  (Two Discs) (Four Stars) France: Jean Vigo, 1930-34 (Criterion Collection)   I. Jean Vigo, The Rebel  He died at 29: Jean Vigo, in many ways, the spirit of youth, of art, of cinematic rebellion, of France between the wars. He was the sacred enfant terrible and the laughing rebel and grand martyr of French…

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I never accepted the term contrarian. I think that’s offensive, frankly. And my response to that is: if I’m a contrarian, what are other reviewers? What I strive to do is be a good critic, not somebody who simply accepts the product put in front of me. I guess it scares people to think that they don’t have any originality; that they don’t have the capacity to think for themselves.

“There’s a line a lot of reviewers use that I don’t like at all. They say ‘accept the film on its own terms.’ What that really means is, ‘accept the film as it is advertised.’ That’s got nothing to do with criticism. Nothing to do with having a response as a film watcher. A thinking person has to analyze what’s on screen, not simply rubber-stamp it or kowtow to marketing.”m

“To me, everything does have a political component and I think it’s an interesting way to look at art. It’s one way that makes film reviewing, I think, a politically relevant form of journalism. We do live in a political world, and we bring our political sense to the movies with us – unless you’re the kind of person who goes to the movies and shuts off the outside world. I’m not that kind of person.”
~ Armond White to Luke Buckmaster

“One of comedy’s defining pathologies, alongside literal pathologies like narcissism and self-loathing, is its swaggering certainty that it is part of the political vanguard, while upholding one of the most rigidly patriarchal hierarchies of any art form.”
~ Lindy West