Reviews Archive for June, 2009

12 Rounds

Wrestler John Cena jumps off the ropes to take a shot at action hero stardom as a New Orleans cop in12 Rounds, a Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment release directed by the depreciated action maven, Renny Harlin. Aidan Gillen portrays an Irish terrorist who kidnaps the hero’s wife and makes him do all sorts of crazy things…

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Wilmington on DVDs: My Dinner with Andre, Two Lovers, Do the Right Thing and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Two Lovers (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U. S.; James Gray, 2009 Joaquin Phoenix, in various weird ways, has suggested that James Gray‘s Brooklyn romance Two Lovers may be

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Last Year at Marienbad

What excited folks in 1961 about Alain Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad was its overpowering formalism and mastery of style. Each shot seems so meticulously composed, down to the mannerism of every actor on the screen, that it leaves the impression that Resnais had absolute, total control over every pixel on the screen. The lack…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Woodstock, Last Year at Marianbad, Waltz with Bashir and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: CLASSICS Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music — The Director’s Cut (Four Stars) U.S.; Michael Wadleigh, 1970-1994 (Warner) Both a great rock concert movie, and a superb documentary on youth culture in the Vietnam War Years, Michael Wadleigh’s Woodstock

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Seventh Seal, At the Death House Door, Gary Cooper and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: CLASSICS The Seventh Seal (Two discs) (Four Stars) Sweden; Ingmar Bergman, 1957 (Criterion) Antonius Block, a dazzlingly blonde and handsome, idealistic, death-haunted knight

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Wilmington on DVDs: Gran Torino, Revolution Revisited, The Rain People, and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Gran Torino (Four Stars) U.S.; Clint Eastwood, 2008 (Warner) Clint Eastwood plays a Dirty Harry guy grown old in his latest movie Gran Torino.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Revolutionary Road, Tender Mercies, Man Hunt, and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Revolutionary Road (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U. S.; Sam Mendes, 2008 (Paramount) Revolutionary Road is one of these novels I‘ve always meant to crack — like Remembrance of Things Past, or

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Reviews

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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

Quote Unquotesee all »

“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

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