MCN Originals Archive for December, 2011

Dispatches: Marrakech International Film Festival: I

From Chicago, it’s two planes, then you’re in Casablanca, and then one more plane, and then? You’re in Marrakech. Travel to the 11th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival went smoothly, from hometown dusk to stark Casablanca sun to sudden nightfall in Marrakech, and with Morocco in the same time zone as Paris, jetlag…

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Wilmington on Movies. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

      Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol U.S.: Brad Bird, 2011   If you have even a little fear of heights — and I have a lot myself — there’s a scene in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, that should leave you, maybe literally, breathless. It’s the scene, already famous, where producer-star Tom Cruise, playing the Mission…

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Wilmington on Movies. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Two and a Half Stars)

                Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (Two and a Half Stars) U.K.-U.S.: Guy Ritchie, 2011 There’s a level of sheer frantic busy-ness and glibly manufactured chaos in director Guy Ritchie’s and star Robert Downey, Jr. second Sherlock Holmes movie — Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows –that makes…

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The Weekend Report, December 18, 2011

The industry adhered to Bert Lance’s admonishment that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” with a trio of sequels on the cusp of holiday movie going. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows led with an estimated $39.3 million followed by Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked grossing $23.3 million and Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol in caboose position at $13.1 million.

Additionally a couple of awards contenders opened in exclusives including Oscar doc short listed dance profile Pina that tripped a light fantastic $16,200 at two venues. The screen adaptation of (Gods of) Carnage bowed at five sites with an OK $85,200.

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Friday Estimates: December 16, 2011

Sherlock & The Chipmunks lead the way, though neither is quite living up to its previous outing so far. And the all-IMAX Mission: Impossible is doing very strong numbers on 425 IMAX screens.

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Wilmington on Movies: Carnage (Three and a Half Stars)

    Carnage (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.-France: Roman Polanski, 2011 1. Last Exit to Brooklyn In Carnage, which was adopted by the French writer Yasmina Reza from her hit play “God of Carnage“ , director Roman Polanski once again demonstrates his mastery of the claustrophobia of anxiety (and vice versa) — even though…

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Gurus o’ Gold: Golden Globes Nominations

There’s been surprisingly little movement in the Oscar Top 10 chart this week. Hugo rises, War Horse and Extremely Loud fall a bit. But nothing dramatic.

The Gurus were busy ranking contenders in all the Golden Globes categories. And in their eyes, it looks like a very good night for…

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DP/30: Drive, actor Albert Brooks

We are thrilled to be able to bring you a half hour chat with the legendary Albert Brooks. We shot this just yesterday, post-SAG, pre-Globes. The chat may be less often funny than you’d expect, but the man of ideas has always been there behind the laughs, which is why we all remember so much of what he’s written and said over these last 40 years.

Other recent interviews include the director of Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn, a pair of animated directors (Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rio), almost a full hour with the director and the writer of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, plus The Brothers Dardennes, whose The Kid With The Bike is grabbing awards and nominations all over the country.

But start with the Albert… you’ll be glad you did.

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The DVD Wrapup: Fright Night, Kung Fu Panda 2, Rise of Planet of the Apes, Daddy Longlegs, Meet Me in St. Louis, Branded to Kill, Circumstance …

Fright Night: Blu-ray I must not have been paying attention when the first “Fright Night” was released, way back in 1985, causing a stir among horror buffs looking for something a bit different than the usual teenagers-in-jeopardy stuff. Starring Roddy McDowell, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale and Amanda Bearse, Tom Holland’s thriller may have been produced…

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Rest. Kung Fu Panda 2; The Expendables; Buck

    Kung Fu Panda 2 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Two or Three Discs) (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, 2011 (DreamWorks Animated)  Kung Fu Panda 2 is a cute, likable movie, done with a lot of skill and A-level talent, and with all the visual virtuosity we expect by now from big-budget cartoon…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: Classic, Blu-ray. West Side Story (Four Stars)

        PICK OF THE WEEK     West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Three Discs) (Four Stars) U.S.: Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins, 1961 (20th Century Fox/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)   “The Jets are in gear./Our cylinders are clickin‘./ The sharks’ll steer clear./‘Cause every Puerto Rican‘s/ A lousy chicken!” Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim…

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Dang SAG It!

This season is a puzzle that will not be solved until The Academy membership votes and makes their 5 and or 6 – 10 choices in each category. Didn’t get BFCA… you can get SAG. Got SAG… might not get Globes. Got Globes and SAG… still unsure about Oscar.

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: New. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Three Stars)

 The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Three Stars) U.S.: Rupert Wyatt, 2011 (20th Century Fox) 1. The Rise  Rise of the Planet of the Apes, latest chapter in an old franchise, shows us a story we too easily forget, or maybe one that we never really knew… …How it all began, how an imprisoned, persecuted and…

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2011 Top Tens: The First of the Lists

As the first of the Top Ten Lists start to roll in, George Clooney and Brad Pitt top the leaderboard with The Decendants and The Tree of Life. With Moneyball in the fifth spot, Pitt has two horses in the race. Only 14 lists so far .. a couple of hundred yet to go.

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Wilmington on Movies: Young Adult (Two and a Half Stars)

       Young Adult (Two and a Half Stars) U. S.: Jason Reitman, 2011 High School haunts us. It’s the great mystery we try futilely to solve afterwards, the great romance that often never happened, the paradise we imagine we lost but might regain, the great redemption that we dupe ourselves into believing can be earned…

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The Weekend Report

New Year’s Eve and The Sitter (which could easily have been a hard-R segment of NYE) are on top, but not very impressively so. Twilight continues to wind down, losing a bit of its massive core audience with darker material and keeping newcomers at a distance. And there are a parade of limited releases out there (Tintin, Young Adult, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, A Dangerous Method) doing nice, but not thrilling, business.

No column today, as Len is with LAFCA for its year-end vote.

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Wilmington on Movies: New Year’s Eve (One and a Half Stars)

  New Year’s Eve (One and a Half Stars) U.S.: Garry Marshall, 2011   New Year’s Eve may be the punishment audiences get for making director Garry Marshall and writer Katherine Fugate’s Valentine‘s Day such a big movie hit last year. That schmaltzy, heart-up-your-sleeve, all-star show, you’ll remember, strung together a lot of clichéd romantic comedy…

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Wilmington on Movies: The Sitter

  The Sitter (One and a Half Stars) U.S.; David Gordon Green, 2011 Well, I’ve had it. After defending David Gordon Green for making Pineapple Express, a controversially violent stoner comedy that I think is well-acted, well-directed and funny, and after sparing some kind words for Green’s and buddy Danny McBride’s medieval four-letter-fest Your Highness,…

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Friday Estimates, December 9, 2011

Twilight 4a has finally been vanquished… by a parade of popular actors who normally can’t open movies. Meanwhile, the weightier incarnation of Jonah Hill makes his move as a box office star.

In limited release, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy comes flying out of the gate fast on 4 screens with Young Adult just a step behind.

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Wilmington on Movies: In Darkness

    In Darkness (Four Stars) Poland: Agnieszka Holland, 2011 Sometimes we let the horrors of the past recede into a comforting mist of melancholy and remembrance and well-meaning cliché. We shouldn’t. History is always with us. Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness, one of the best films of the year, is a drama of the Holocaust,…

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“We don’t have any idea what the universe is. Wise people have always told us that this is proof you shouldn’t think, because thinking leads you nowhere. You just build over this huge construction of misunderstanding, which is culture. The history of culture is the history of the misunderstandings of great thinkers. So we always have to go back to zero and begin differently. And maybe in that way you have a chance not to understand but at least not to have further misunderstandings. Because this is the other side of this question—Am I really so brave to cancel all human culture? To stop admiring the beauty in human production? It’s very difficult to say no.”
~ László Krasznahorkai

“I have a license to carry in New York. Can you believe that? Nobody knows that, [Applause] somebody attacks, somebody attacks me, oh, they’re gonna be shot. Can you imagine? Somebody says, oh, it is Trump, he’s easy pickings what do you say? Right? Oh, boy. What was the famous movie? No. Remember, no remember where he went around and he sort of after his wife was hurt so badly and kill. What?  I — Honestly, Yeah, right, it’s true, but you have many of them. Famous movie. Somebody. You have many of them. Charles Bronson right the late great Charles Bronson name of the movie come on.  , remember that? Ah, we’re gonna cut you up, sir, we’re gonna cut you up, uh-huh.

Bing!

One of the great movies. Charles Bronson, great, Charles Bronson. Great movies. Today you can’t make that movie because it’s not politically correct, right? It’s not politically correct. But could you imagine with Trump? Somebody says, oh, all these big monsters aren’t around he’s easy pickings and then shoot.”
~ Donald Trump