MCN Originals Archive for April, 2013

The Weekend Report

Audiences were feeling the pain without any sense of gain as Pain & Gain managed to take the top spot in weekend charts with an estimated $19.7 million. The frame’s other new national release, The Big Wedding, underperformed as well with fourth place ranking of $7.5 million.

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Countdown To Cannes: Paolo Sorrentino

The seventh snapshot of one of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Countdown to Cannes: Nicolas Winding Refn

The sixth snapshot of one of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Countdown to Cannes: Takashi Miike

The fifth in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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The DVD Wrapup

Gangster Squad, Django, Pawn, In the Blood, Central Park 5, G-Dog, Mr. Selfridge, Cold Prey, Electric Button and even more.

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Countdown To Cannes: Alex Van Warmerdam

The fourth in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Countdown To Cannes: Arnaud Desplechin

The third in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Red Menace; Jack Reacher; Gangster Squad

Is The Red Menace really “The Reefer Madness of anti-Communist movies? Or is that flattering it? Too earnest to be funny, too serious to be camp, too boring to be effective propaganda, this Herbert Yates-produced doozy from Republic (for which it stands) is probably one of the worst of the post-war anti-Commie thrillers, entertainment-wise. It isn’t even dumb enough be dumb fun, since writers Albert Demond and Gerald Geraghty know something about their subject. They have dialogue about Hegel, and a Red temptress has a bookcase full of tomes by Marx and Engels.

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Countdown To Cannes: François Ozon

The second in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Countdown to Cannes: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

The first in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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The Weekend Report

Sci-fi adventure Oblivion took a clear path and glided to the top of weekend box office with an estimated $38.1 million debut. While there were no other national debuts, several entries swung for the niches.

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Wilmington on Movies: To the Wonder

A strange, poetic, puzzling. stunningly visualized, and defiantly personal piece of spiritual autobiography on celluloid, an ambitious, pictorially stunning creation by an artist who makes movies as it the art form had just been invented, and he was free to do anything, try anything, but also by a man who’s hip to cinema technology and aware of other arts and literature as well—and finally, by a man who sees the world (in his films) with something like the newly opened eyes of a child (as a gorgeous, enrapturing place) and comprehends it with a child’s relatively fresh, unspoiled heart and soul. All of these seemingly contradictory artists are Malick, who, like Walt Whitman (another naïve and sophisticated earthy giant of a poet) is large and contains multitudes and loves the way the sun pours down on leaves of grass.

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Wilmington on Movies: Oblivion

There aren‘t many movies around as beautiful to look at as the first part of Oblivion, and since pieces of that beauty survive into the more conventional slam-bang second part, it‘s worth a look — though I would definitely suggest that you see Oblivion not on a normal screen, but in IMAX. Kosinski displayed a strong visual imagination in the critically-bashed Tron LegacyBut this is his show — adapted from a story and graphic novel he wrote, to try to sell (successfully) this movie, and it’s clear he has more emotion invested in it.

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Cannes 2013: A Slate Analysis

This summer:

19 films.

19 men.

One Bruni-Tedeschi.

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Wilmington on DVDs: My Son John; The Woman on Pier 13 (I Married a Communist); Promised Land.

My Son John; The Woman on Pier 13; Promised Land

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In “Oconomowoc,” living in the shadow of the ‘Wizard’ isn’t such a bad place to be

Seventy-four years ago, come this August 12, MGM executives beat a path to the Strand Theater in the tranquil lakeside town of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, to stage the first publicized showing of the final, edited version of The Wizard of Oz. Although no one is quite sure why it was chosen for the honor – perhaps, because composer Herbert Stothart and Munchkin coroner Meinhardt Raabe were local lads — it’s still recognized as one of the most exciting events in Oconomowoc history.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Kid with a Bike

The setting is, once again the industrial, largely working class city of Seraing in Belgium: the Dardenne Brothers’ home city and the location for most of their films since La Promesse.

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The DVD Wrapup

Future Weather, Save the Date, Kobayashi, Gate of the Ghost, Ringo, Dragon, One Day on Earth… And more.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Django Unchained

Waltz is a good guy this time, Django’s mentor, but there’s some high-grade screen villainy by Leonardo Di Caprio and Samuel L. Jackson, both of whom would have stolen the movie if Waltz didn’t already have it stuffed in his back pocket.

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Divining Cannes 2013: The Aggregating

Despite the Cannes Film Festival being only a very short month away (and the festival’s Competition slate to be announced in less than a week), I’m filled with impatience to know the Official Selection. Over the past month or so, there have been articles across the web predicting and wishing—and yes, simply guessing—at which directors Thierry Frémaux will send a golden ticket to. I took a leaf out of Nate Silver’s book (without any of the genius, mind you), and thought to aggregate ten of the most prominent Cannes predictions, tallying them afterwards.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“With any character, the way I think about it is, you have the role on the page, you have the vision of the director and you have your life experience… I thought it was one of the foundations of the role for John Wick. I love his grief. For the character and in life, it’s about the love of the person you’re grieving for, and any time you can keep company with that fire, it is warm. I absolutely relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss, those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you.”
~ Keanu Reeves

“I was checking through stuff the other day for technical reasons. I came across The Duellists on Netflix and I was absolutely stunned to see that it was exquisitely graded. So, while I rarely look up my old stuff, I stopped to give it ten minutes. Bugger me, I was there for two hours. I was really fucking pleased with what it was and how the engine still worked within the equation and that engine was the insanity and stupidity of war. War between two men, in that case, who fight on thought they both eventually can’t remember the reason why. It was great, yeah. The great thing about these platforms now is that, one way or another, they’ll seek out and then put out the best possible form and the long form. Frequently, films get cut down because of that curse in which the studio felt or feels that they have to preview. And there’s nothing worse than a preview to diminish the original intent.Oh, yeah, how about every fucking time? And I’ve stewed about films later even more because when you tell the same joke 20 times the joke’s no longer funny. When you tell a bad joke once or twice? It’s fine. But come on, now. Here’s the key on the way I feel when I approach the movie: I try to keep myself as withdrawn from the project as possible once I’ve filmed it. And – this is all key on this – then getting a really excellent editor so I never have to sit in on editing. What happens if you sit in is you become stale and every passage or joke, metaphorically speaking, gets more and more tired. You start cutting it all back because of fatigue. So what you have to do is keep your distance and therefore, in a funny kind of way, you, as the director, should be the preview and that’s it.”
~ Sir Ridley Scott