MCN Originals Archive for May, 2013

Wilmington on Movies: Now You See Me

This new cinematic magic show—in which four professional magicians join for a Las Vegas-style super-act that may also be a super-crime—is a movie so self-consciously clever, so intent on surprising the hell out of us, and so utterly, shamelessly, mind-numbingly preposterous that you may walk out of it feeling that your mental pockets have been picked.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Free Radicals, Side Effects

I’m not very find of abstract painting (which obviously helped inspire experimental filmmaking), so I can’t really explain my fondness for the movie avant-grade, ranging from the non-abstract surrealists Bunuel and Dali to largely non-narrative people like Hollis Frampton. to a splatter guy like Norman McLaren. Maybe I think, probably a superficial notion, that it’s too easy to fake an abstract painting, but to make an abstract film, even a bad one, you have to have at least some technical skill. Actually, you can fake a film too, or a film review. Maybe I‘m just still mad that my mother Edna, who was a brilliant realist artist, was treated like crap by the pretentious abstract artist/educators of her college and day.

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The DVD Wrapup

Beetlejuice, Lore, Shoot First, Dark Skies, Dorfman in Love, As Goes Janesville, Robert Mitchum Is Dead, Totoro, Longmire … and so much more.

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Routing Cannes 66: A Wrap

In an unprecedented move, the Steven Spielberg-led jury awarded the Palme d’Or to one film and three individuals: Blue is the Warmest Color, by director Abdellatif Kechiche with actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux.

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Wilmington on Movies: The Hangover Part III

Movies, like people, can sometimes display disastrous judgment. But hey, it’s a movie. Who gives a shit?

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The Weekend Report: Memorial Day Wknd 3-Days

Fast & Furious 6 left the competition choking in the dust as it charged to an estimated $98.4 million for the three-day portion of the Memorial holiday frame. That proved to be bad news for the launch of The Hangover Part III that slotted second with $42.1 million during the record-breaking session. The third new wide release was the futuristic animated Epic that performed to expectations with a $33.8 million telling.

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Palme d’Or Winner Review: La Vie d’Adèle (Blue is the Warmest Color)

Blue is the Warmest Color is a staggering motion picture, so big and so important and so full of life. It represents a milestone in on-screen sexuality, putting another nail in the coffin of old-world ignorance and prudishness, but it’s also a cinematic achievement in acting. In short, it’s a true opus.

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Wilmington on Movies: Fast and Furious 6

If you’re looking for a slam-bang movie full of spectacular car chases and mindbending action, Fast & Furious 6—the latest installment in the tire-burning, dumbfounding Fast & Furious series—is obviously your pedal-to-the-metal hot ticket. It‘s the kind of movie where the only logical (or illogical) response from longtime fans may be ‘”Wowie,“ “yowie“ or “zowie.” But if you’re looking for a movie that makes a lick of sense, or has a line of dialogue worth repeating, or a character or situation that isn’t either a howling cliché or a howling absurdity—take your pick—you’ve come to the wrong pit stop.

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Cannes Out-Of-Competition Review: All Is Lost

All is Lost is less concerned with what this story is “about” and more with how it all goes down (to be sure, the picture could be summarized in a single sentence). Rather, the actions and subsequent emotions are the narrative here; the expressions on Redford’s face speaking volumes despite the film’s outright lack of dialogue.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Jubal, 3:10 to Yuma, Safe Haven, Parker

    Jubal (Also Blu-ray) (Three Stars) U.S.: Delmer Daves, 1956 (Criterion Collection) My grandma Marie Tulane, who was born in Sweden and died in Wisconsin, often said she liked Westerns because the scenery was so beautiful. I think she would have liked Delmer Daves’ 1956 Jubal, starring Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine and Rod Steiger…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Mrs. Miniver

Mrs. Miniver will probably never again look as good, or as inspiring, as it did in 1942, when it helped solidify the Anglo-American wartime bond. It’s a typically polished Wyler production, with pristine-looking black-and white cinematography by ace Joseph Ruttenberg.

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Cannes ’13: What Is This Thing Called Love?

One of the other great decisions—which I wondered about while watching the film—was that it doesn’t linger on the unaccepting voices in Adèle’s life. Nor are they dismissed. The character, it turns out, doesn’t sweat the small stuff. But when things matter to her, they matter quite deeply… no commitment-phobe she.

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Cannes Competition Review: Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives is essentially the nastiest highlights of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” and Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex” wrapped around a revenge dance tête-à-tête, an equation that could have been more than the gratuitous, hyper-violent indulgence on show.

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Cannes Competition Review: Behind The Candelabra

Resembling the face of Liberace himself, Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra is a dazzling albeit saggy film, made competently and with sincere respect to its topic despite losing steam in its second hour.

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The DVD Wrapup

Beautiful Creatures, Cloud Atlas, Nightfall, Common Man, Love Sick Love, Rolling Thunder, Bad-Ass Girl, Ecstacyand so much more

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The Weekend Report

Star Trek: Into Darkness zapped the competition as it launched an estimated $68.2 million in its maiden theatrical voyage. The Enterprise was the sole new wide national release.

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Wilmington on Movies: The Iceman

I tell you, Michael Shannon looks at you, or he looks at the camera, whatever, and the cold sweat just shoots right through you. I bet it spooks you almost as much as if you saw the real-life Iceman guy, the real Richie, ready to ice somebody

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Cannes Competition Review: Inside Llewyn Davis

The frosted, muted backdrops are captured by cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel (“Amélie,” “Dark Shadows”), who steeps the film in faded bloom. It’s a gorgeous, misty visualization sure to instill nostalgia for those too young to have haunted locales like the Caffe Reggio or the Gaslight Café. As for Oscar Isaac’s performance, it’s hard not to simply babble superlatives.

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Friday Estimates

Star Trek: Into Darkness goes mildly into space; Iron Man Three drops 52%; The Great Gatsby keeps its eye on the green light.

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Wilmington on Movies: Star Trek Into Darkness

In many ways, it’s a relief watching this picture. After a decade of Patrick Stewart and company, and then more than a decade of franchise silence, 2009’s Star Trek ingeniously brought the original seven Enterprise crew members back together—in the process, demonstrating a flair for matching the new younger actors playing the old characters with our memories of the original crew—and, as it turns out here, some others memories as well.

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MCN Originals

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A Spirited Exchange

“In some ways Christopher Nolan has become our Stanley Kubrick,” reads the first sentence of David Bordwell’s latest blog post–none of which I want or intend to read after that desperate opening sentence. If he’d written “my” or “some people’s” instead of “our”, I might have read further. Instead, I can only surmise that in some ways David Bordwell may have become our Lars von Trier.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum On Facebook

“Jonathan has written a despicable thing in comparing me to Trump. He’s free to read or not read what I write, and even to judge arguments without reading them. It’s not what you’d expect from a sensible critic, but it’s what Jonathan has chosen to do, for reasons of a private nature he has confided to me in an email What I request from him is an apology for comparing my ideas to Trump’s.”
~ David Bordwell Replies

“Yes, I do apologize, sincerely, for such a ridiculous and quite unwarranted comparison. The private nature of my grievance with David probably fueled my post, but it didn’t dictate it, even though I’m willing to concede that I overreacted. Part of what spurred me to post something in the first place is actually related to a positive development in David’s work–an improvement in his prose style ever since he wrote (and wrote very well) about such elegant prose stylists as James Agee and Manny Farber. But this also brought a journalistic edge to his prose, including a dramatic flair for journalistic ‘hooks’ and attention-grabbers, that is part of what I was responding to. Although I realize now that David justifies his opening sentence with what follows, and far less egregiously than I implied he might have, I was responding to the drum roll of that opening sentence as a provocation, which it certainly was and is.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum Replies

“In my own mind, I’ve always been a writer and the fact that I act is, well… it’s been very enjoyable and I love doing it. It has been good for me, but in my own mind I’m just a writer with a bizarre activity—acting—that I undertake.”
~ Wallace Shawn