Reviews Archive for September, 2008

How The West Was Won

When it was made, the story in How the West Was Won concluded at a point that reached the lifetime of some of the 1963 MGM film’s oldest viewers (and background extras), so that its own narrative span, depicting in an episodic fashion, the gradual settlement of western America during the Nineteenth Century, could present a…

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Birds of Prey

Too comic booky for the masses, or even the WB subset thereof, the short-lived Birds of Prey TV series, about female crime fighters in ‘New Gotham City,’ has finally been delivered to the medium where it can be the most appreciated, as Warner Home Video has released Birds of Prey The Complete Series, a four platter set…

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The Secret Life of Bees Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood

Fox Searchlight’s The Secret Lives Of Bees actually plays… and not just for girls. It’s in the spirit of Sounder and the Toomer story in The Great Santini and To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s clearly Dakota Fanning’s coming out party as a young woman, a stark contrast fromHounddog, which smelled of her exploitation by a well-intended by overreaching writer/director….

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Confessions of a Festival Junkie: Dayzzzzzz

Following the flood of weekend movie junkets, it seemed an apt time for some serious business. There had been speculation that Steven Soderbergh’s Cannes premiered Che had finally made a deal for North American distribution rights but all players involved kept their cards very close to their chests. There were other murmurings and speculative questions that…

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Blindness Directed by Fernando Meirelles

There’s something a bit daunting about the fact that two of the most acclaimed films coming into the Toronto International Film Festival are titled Hunger andBlindness. Both premiered at Cannes with Blindnessreceiving the prestigious opening night slot and Hungerwinning the Camera d’or award for best first feature. I prefer Blindness, at least the type one encounters cinematically. Based…

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Lovely, Still

There have been some good films so far, but with the talent involved, good shouldn’t be a surprise. But the first “wow, didn’t see that coming” for me is Nik Fackler’s Lovely, Still… a tiny movie about age and love and family, small in scope, but movie stylized, with two home run performances by Martin Landauand Ellen Burstyn. I…

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Rachel Getting Married Directed by Jonathan Demme

Rachel Getting Married is the best Altman movie in 15 years. Of course, this film is not by Robert Altman, but byJonathan Demme, one of America’s great filmmakers, of a generation that came up behind the Altmans and others of the early 70s, who made his first high profile film, Melvin and Howard, one decade after…

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Tears For Sale Directed by Uros Stovanovic

Mike Leigh’s advice was well taken, as Uros Stovanovic has the kind of visual muscle to make him one of the next hot candidates for a Hollywood slot. The film is, essentially, a fairy tale filled with dark jokes, estrogen, sex, and explosions. Simplifying the story is probably a mistake, but I will offer the broadest…

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Reviews

Trevor T. Trujillo on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

Steven DeGennaro on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

Gary J Dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

Steven DeGennaro on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

Gary Dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

Andre on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

Steven DeGennaro on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

Roy Atkinson on: DVD Wrapup: Commuter, Oscar, A Taxi Driver, Humor Me, Prince, Doris Day, Shakespeare Wallah, Pomegranates and more

gary j dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup: Ballad of Lefty Brown, Wonder, Blades, Seijun Suzuki, Fellini, Hellraiser, Paradise and more

Yvan Prime on: The DVD Wrapup: Ballad of Lefty Brown, Wonder, Blades, Seijun Suzuki, Fellini, Hellraiser, Paradise and more

The DVD Wrapup: Damsel, Hired Hand, Siberia, Toybox, Guardians, Cold Water, Lost Child, Rock HofF, Pyjama Girl, Miniaturist … More

The DVD Wrapup: Goldstone, Westwood, That Summer, Irish Surf, Wyeth, Barbershop, Jess Franco, Mambo Cool, Watcher, Rolling Stone at 50 … More

The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

The DVD Wrapup: American Animals, Book Club, Woman Walks Ahead, Bound, Mind Game, Shadowbuilder, Poetic Trilogy, Boss N-word, Crazy Six, My Life With James Dean … More

The DVD Wrapup: 1st Reformed, Bleeding Steel, Higher Power, Black Water, Porcupine Lake, Tingler, Strait-Jacket, Tideland, Wild at Heart, Jack Ryan, Terror, Hillary, Outback, Blacklist, Walking Dead … More

The DVD Wrapup: Avengers, Ninko, Escape, Aim for the Heart, Yellow Birds, Affairs of State, Gregorio Cortez, 200 Motels, Done to Your Daughters?, S.F. Brownrigg, Muppet Babies, BBC Earth … More

The DVD Wrapup: Bye Bye Germany, John From, Marrowbone, Wildling, Dead Shack, Bitter Money, Big Fish & Begonia, Street Mobster, US Fest, No Offense … More

The DVD Wrapup: Final Portrait, Overboard, Dark Crimes, Iron Brothers, Streets of Vengeance, Piranha II, Star Wars Rebels, Myanmar … More

The DVD Wrapup: Night of Virgin, Lovecraft, Carpenter, Moss, Love After Love, Gravity Falls, Keeping Faith, Spiral … More

The DVD Wrapup: I Feel Pretty, Never Really Here, In Harmony, Leisure Seeker, Scorpion’s Tail, Hong Sangsoo, Doom Asylum, T2, The Tunnel, The Good Place … More

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch