MCN Originals Archive for December, 2011

DP/30 in 2011: More Than 100 Hours Of Conversation About Movies With The People Who Make Them

1. When We Leave, director Feo Aladag 2. Essential Killing, director Jerzy Skolimowski 3. The Human Resources Manager, director Eran Riklis 4. Precious Life, director Shlomi Eldar 5. Piper Perabo, Covert Affairs (Jan 2011) 6. Animal Kingdom, actor Jacki Weaver 7-11. The List: Paul Mazursky, Parts 1 -5 12. Every Day, wr/dir Richard Levine, actors…

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Wilmington on Movies: The Adventures of Tintin

    The Adventures of Tintin (Three Stars) U.S.: Steven Spielberg, 2011 The Adventures of Tintin — Steven Spielberg‘s second new film in release this season (the other was War Horse, and both of them came out last week) — shows us again to what extent he‘s still a kid at heart and maybe always will…

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Friday Estimates: Dec 30, 2011

Cruise’s newest mission continues to lead the pack, probably passing the earlier-released Sherlock Holmes: Let’s Not Call It “2” today or tomorrow. Steven Spielberg’s two films are running side by side on the chart, as are the Zoo and the Tattoo.

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The Top Tens: Updated December 30

164 lists, 220 films, and The Tree of Life continues to sit on the top of the
scoreboard. As new lists come in, The Artist is closing in on the The Descendants and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is making a play for the top ten .. stay tuned.

See the individual Top Ten lists here.

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Wilmington on DVDs. Co-Pick of the Week: Classic. Tokyo Drifter

   Tokyo Drifter (Three and a Half Stars) Japan: Seijun Suzuki, 1966 (Criterion Collection) Off the wall and over the edge from its first scene to its last, Tokyo Drifter is one of the outrageous crime melodramas and outlandish neo-noirs made in the ‘60s for Nikkatsu Studio by super-cult Japanese director Seijun Suzuki. It’s a classic…

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Wilmington on DVDs. The Rest: Final Destination 5; A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy

Final Destination 5 (Also Blu-ray/DVD/ 3D/ UV Combo) (Two Stars) U.S.: Steven Quale, 2011 (Warner Bros.) In Final Destination 5, as in the other Final Destinations, blood is the money shot. The actors, or their characters, are expendable (again), and a guy named Bludworth, or his boss Destiny, is breaking up that old gang of mine…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Co-Pick of the Week: New. Love Crime

  Love Crime (Three Stars) France: Alain Corneau, 2010 (MPI Home Video)   Movie murder mysteries can sometimes get too tricky and convoluted for their own good, and that’s pretty much what happens in Love Crime — a cool, nifty, well-constructed and very well-acted French film that would have been even better if it didn’t so hard to…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Co-Pick of the Week: New. Brighton Rock (Joffe); Brighton Rock (Boulting)

Brighton Rock 2010 (Three Stars) U.K.: Rowan Joffe, 2010 (IFC) Brighton Rock 1947 (Three and a Half Stars) U.K.: John Boulting, 1947 (Amazon Instant Video)     Some books and some cities were born to be filmed.  Some men were born to kill. Graham Greene’s novel Brighton Rock is an example of the former: one of the greatest…

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The Top Tens of 2011: December 27

With over 100 top ten lists in, Tree of Life and The Descendants are firmly at the top of the scoreboard, while Drive makes a play for the number three spot.

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Wilmington on Movies: War Horse

   War Horse (Four Stars) U.S.: Steven Spielberg, 2011   Steven Spielberg’s War Horse is the kind of open-hearted, expensively made, somewhat predictable movie that critic-cynics like to make fun of :  “a noble steed!“ sneered one of my wittier colleagues as we rode an elevator down after the screening. But I’ve got to confess…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: Classics. A Christmas Carol

        A Christmas Carol (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Two Discs) (Four Stars) U.K.: Brian Desmond Hurst, 1951 (VCI Entertainment)   Almost everyone’s favorite nominee for best of all the many film adaptations of Charles Dickens‘ Yuletide evergreen A Christmas Carol, is this 1951 cinematic gem, sometimes called Scrooge, sometimes called A Christmas Carol, directed by the  underrated…

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The Weekend Report (3 Day), Christmas Day

The industry was dreading this holiday season with Christmas and New Years – traditionally poor movie going days – falling on Sundays. The current weekend should see a big boost on Monday with both War Horse and the sci-fi thriller The Darkest Hour opening wide along with the exclusive bow of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

The sobering drop in both box office and admissions in 2011 has all sectors of the industry talking about the future of movie going. A few cheerleaders are insisting the past 12 months are an anomaly and strong 2012 titles will bring a reversal of fortunes.

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Wilmington on Movies: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Fincher)

A handful of critics and commentators have complained that Fincher and his screenwriter Zaillian, haven’t changed the story enough, this time around. But it should be obvious by now that most of the vast world audiences for these stories don‘t want them changed, and that number definitely includes most of the people who’ve already read the books or seen the Swedish movies. Hewing to the original as much as possible: That was super-producer David O. Selznick’s rule on adapting beloved bestsellers and classics to the screen — from “David Copperfield” to “Gone with the Wind” to “Rebecca.” And Selznick was usually proven right.

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Friday Estimates: December 23, 2011

The last time there was a Christmas on a Sunday was 2005 and yesterday’s numbers are an improvement on the Friday numbers from that year. However, there is a lot of high-profile new product in the market this weekend than there was that year. Comparisons to last year’s Friday before Christmas – Christmas Eve – are futile as well.

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The Top Tens of 2011: December 23

Still a lot of lists to go, but it’s still Clooney and Pitt at the top of the chart, with The Tree of Life edging out The Descendants. The girls aren’t far behind, though – Bridesmaids and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are quickly catching up.

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: Box Set. Stieg Larsson’s Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (Millennium Trilogy)

Steig Larsson’s Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (A.K.A. “The Millennium Trilogy”) (Four Discs) (Three and a Half Stars) Also: Blu-ray, Extended Edition  Sweden: Niels Arden Oplev & Daniel Alfredson, 2009-2010 (Music Box) Noomi For all of you who want to catch up for the release this week of David Fincher’s American remake of Stieg Larsson’s  The Girl With the…

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Wilmington on DVDs. The Rest: Dolphin Tale, Warrior, Straw Dogs (Lurie), Colombiana

  Dolphin Tale (Blu-ray/DVD Combo with Digital Combo; also movie only) (Three Discs) (Three Stars) U.S.: Charles Martin Smith, 2011 (Warner Bros.) Winter, the dolphin star of Dolphin Tale — an inspirational if sometimes far-fetched animal movie surprisingly based on fact — is a truly inspirational figure in a sometimes inspirational and often entertaining movie. Caught and crippled in a…

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The DVD Wrapup: Margin Call, Dolphin Tale, Midnight in Paris, Glee, Warrior, Burke & Hare, Milestones, Old Fashioned Orgy, Bobby Fischer, Colin Quinn, Hunters, Todd-Margaret, Apollo 18 …

Margin Call Add “Margin Call” to the list of dramatizations and documentaries — “Too Big to Fail” and “Inside Job,” among them – that have attempted to make sense of the 2008 financial crisis and identify those executives who ignored the red flags waved in advance of the collapse. J.C. Chandor’s freshman project is distinguished…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Midnight in Paris (Four Stars)

Midnight in Paris (Also Blu-ray) (Four Stars) U.S.-France; Woody Allen, 2011 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) Midnight in Paris (Four Stars) U. S./France: Woody Allen, 2011   Midnight in Paris is a funny valentine to the City of Light, a sweet, jazzy fairy tale about the wonders of Parisian art and artist cliques in the ‘20s…

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Gurus o’ Gold: Happy Holidays

The Gurus, like the rest of Hollywood, are ready for a break. The only changes in Top 10 rank are in the bottom slots as we move on to 10 choices instead of 10. However, The Artist is now the #1 choice on all Gurus projections but one.

And there is a chart of movies that voters should be checking out over the holidays before handing in Oscar ballots. The top vote getter is Mike Shannon’s performance in Take Shelter. See it. And check out the rest of the suggestions. Ho Ho Ho!!!

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MCN Originals

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“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh

“It’s not going to be huge. He and I had been corresponding for a while. When I finally met him, he said, ‘We should collaborate.’ When John Ashbery says that to you, you don’t say when, you just say yes. It has not been easy to conjure this out of nothing. Sean Price Williams and I spent time with him, and it will appear on FilmStruck before the year is out…. I have figured out how to streamline things. I still have dreams of making movies with bigger budgets, and they might be considered to have more of a voice in pop culture. I don’t want to let go of that. I also realize that you grow up a lot of your life with wishful thinking and waiting. I have figured out ways to avoid doing that. I am working on a bigger movie about Nikola Tesla, set in the past, so it is not an easy film to make. I am also working on an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise.’ That seems more likely to catch fire.”
Michael Almereyda Steps It Up