Reviews Archive for April, 2009

Nickelodeon & The Last Picture Show

Peter Bogdanovich’s paean to the early days of moviemaking, Nickelodeon, has been released as a 2-Disc Double Feature Director’s Choice title by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Nickelodeon / The Last Picture Show. Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show was available previously as a Special Edition. Each film is presented on a separate platter and is in letterboxed format only,…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Nothing But the Truth, Johnny Got His Gun, In the Realm of the Senses and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Nothing But the Truth” (Three Stars) U. S. Rod Lurie, 2008 (Sony) The most effective of writer-director (and ex-movie critic) Rod Lurie’s political melodramas

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Frost/Nixon

Most reminiscent of (and more satisfying than) Good Night and Good Luck, Ron Howard’s 2008 docudrama, Frost/Nixon, from Universal, is about a television news personality who rises to the occasion and achieves a journalistic milestone when tasked with interviewing an emotionally enfortressed politician. Yes, the imitative but psychologically thorough performances by the two stars- Michael Sheen as David Frost…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Frost/Nixon, The Wrestler, In the Realm of the Senses, Assault on Precinct 13 and more …

CO-PICKS OF THE WEEK: NEW Frost/Nixon (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U.S.; Ron Howard Taken from Peter Morgan‘s stage play — which also starred the spot-on Frank Langella as

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Wilmington on DVDs: Doubt, Alexandra, The Last Metro, Fallen Angels, No Country for Old Men and more …

CO-PICKS OF THE WEEK: NEW Doubt (Four Stars) U.S.; John Patrick Shanley, 2008 (Miramax) In Doubt, Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman play a gorgon, dictatorial nun and a chubby-faced, affable progressive priest, battling in a Bronx parochial school in 1964. And they stage a classic actor‘s duel for director-writer John Patrick Shanley’s tense, humane…

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Marley & Me: Bad Dog Edition

Running 115 minutes, the enormously popular 2008 family film, Marley & Me, depicts the full life of a family dog as the family grows up around him. In his younger years, he is especially rambunctious, which contributed to the film’s superb marketing campaign that suggested the movie would be another Beethoven-style slapstick piece. Instead, the…

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Quantum of Solace

There is not a quantum of solace in the latest installment of the James Bond series, Quantum of Solace, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment release. The action scenes move forward relentlessly and the dramatic interims barely interfere with the pace. The film is a true installment as well, with hardly a plot…

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An American in Paris

So you’ve just bought a Blu-ray player and you’ve never seen An American in Paris before? Well, aren’t you in for a treat. Warner Home Video has released the 1951 Oscar winner on Blu-ray, and the colors are so rapturous that even the fabulous DVD, which has essentially the same transfer, is nowhere near as satisfying….

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Ray Pride on: The DVD Wrapup: Founder, Punching Henry, Paris 05:59, Apocalypse Child, Donnie Darko, Woman of the Year, Tampopo, Handmaid’s Tale and more

RAY WEIKEL on: The DVD Wrapup: Founder, Punching Henry, Paris 05:59, Apocalypse Child, Donnie Darko, Woman of the Year, Tampopo, Handmaid’s Tale and more

Carrie Mulligan on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Great Gatsby

estes1963 on: The DVD Wrapup: Drive Angry, Once Upon a Time in the West, Adua & Her Friends, A Clockwork Orange, Undertow, The Joke, Passion Play, Kaboom, Harvest ...

isa50 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Gladiator; Hell's Half Acre; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Rory on: Wilmington on Movies: Snow White and the Huntsman

gurley1986 on: The DVD Wrapup: Blood Simple, Cat People, Shallows, Neon Demon, Sirk X 2, Warcraft, Kamikaze '89 and more

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Dear Irene Cho, I will miss your energy and passion; your optimism and joy; your kindness towards friends, colleagues, strangers, struggling filmmakers, or anyone who randomly crossed your path and needed a hand. My brothers and I have long considered you another sibling in our family. Our holiday photos – both western and eastern – have you among all the cousins, in-laws, and kids… in the snow, sun, opening presents, at large dinner gatherings, playing Monopoly, breaking out pomegranate seeds and teaching us all how to dance Gangnam style. Your friendship and loyalty meant a great deal to me: you were the loudest cheerleader when I experienced victories and you were always ready with sushi when I had disappointments. You had endless crazy ideas which always seemed impossible but you would will them into existence. (Like that time you called me and suggested that we host a brunch for newly elected mayor of LA, Eric Garcetti because “he is going to president one day.” We didn’t have enough time or funding, of course, only your desire to do it. So you did, and I followed.) You created The Daily Buzz from nothing and it survived on your steam in spite of many setbacks because you believed in a platform for emerging filmmakers from all nations. Most of all, you were a wonderful mother to your son, Ethan, a devoted wife to your husband, and a wonderful sibling and daughter to your family. We will all miss how your wonderful smile and energy lit up the room and our lives. Rest in peace, Irene.
~ Rose Kuo Remembers Irene Cho on Facebook

“You know, I was never a critic. I never considered myself as a film critic. I started doing short films, writing screenplays and then for awhile, for a few years I wrote some film theory, including some film criticism because I had to, but I was never… I never had the desire to be a film critic. I never envisioned myself as a film critic, but I did that at a period of my life when I thought I kind of needed to understand things about cinema, understand things about film theory, understand the world map of cinema, and writing about movies gave me that, and also the opportunity to meet filmmakers I admired.

“To me, it was the best possible film school. The way it changed my perspective I suppose is that I believe in this connection between theory and practice. I think that you also make movies with ideas and you need to have ideas about filmmaking to achieve whatever you’re trying to achieve through your movies, but then I started making features in 1986 — a while ago — and I left all that behind.

“For the last three decades I’ve been making movies, I’ve been living, I’ve been observing the world. You become a different person, so basically my perspective on the world in general is very different and I hope that with every movie I make a step forward. I kind of hope I’m a better person, and hopefully a better filmmaker and hopefully try to… It’s very hard for me to go back to a different time when I would have different values in my relationship to filmmaking. I had a stiffer notion of cinema.”
~ Olivier Assayas