Reviews Archive for September, 2009

Wilmington on DVDs: The Wizard of Oz, Monsters vs. Aliens and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: CLASSIC The Wizard of Oz (Four Stars) U. S.; Victor Fleming, King Vidor (Unc.), 1939 (Warner) Some movies appeal to just about everybody — like the heart-stoppingly entertaining and wonderful 1939 musical that MGM made out of L. Frank Baum’s American fairy tale, The Wizard of Oz (now released in a…

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Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Observe and Report

2009 turned out to be the year of the ‘shopping mall security person’ comedy, and it shows you how fast trends turn over these days that there were only three months between the theatrical release dates separating the point where the genre was established, with Paul Blart: Mall Cop, a Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release,…

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Wilmington on DVDs: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, That Hamilton Woman, O’Horten and more…

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Two-and-a-Half Stars) U. S.; Gavin Hood (2009) The question of the day, in a world beset with war, pandemics, economic collapse, crazed cable news-slingers and

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine

A superficial but watchable comic book action film, X-Men Origins Wolverine, a summer of 2009 blockbuster hopeful that came up a hair or two short because of that superficiality, has been released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Since such films go down easier on home video, it probably won’t seem so bad and it really…

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Hotel Atlantico Directed by Suzana Amaral

At a fest like TIFF there are both small gems to uncover, and lumps of coal in the festival stocking to ponder, as in: why is this film even in this festival, and, more importantly, what better film did I miss while I was wasting two hours of my life waiting in vain for this…

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Dogtooth Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

Dogtooth, the searing tale of suburban satire, familial horror, and political subversion that won the Un Certain Regard category at this years Cannes Film Festival, puts an extraordinary spin on the idea of twisted families. Iit’s brilliant in equal parts because the director, Yorgos Lanthimos, immerses us so completely in the crazy world he’s created and in part…

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Applause Directed by Martin Pieter Zandvliet

Danish powerhouse actress Paprika Steen (who had a directorial entry, the excellent With Your Permission, in the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007) turns in another excellent performance in Applause, the directorial debut of Martin Pieter Zandvliet. The film revolves around Thea, an alcoholic actress who, some time before the film starts, divorced her nice-guy husband Christian (Michael Falks)…

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An Education Directed by Lone Scherfig

An Education, Lone Scherfig’s much-anticipated film about Jenny (Carey Mulligan), a British schoolgirl in the 1960s who gets swept off her feet by an older man (Peter Saarsgard) is beautifully directed, smart and engaging — and one of the best films at Sundance thus far. Nick Hornby (author of the novels About a Boy andHigh Fidelity)…

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Creation Directed by Jon Amiel

Creation seems to be rather misunderstood already. It’s not really a Charles Darwin biopic or a period piece by its nature (though it is, in fact, period). It is, very surprisingly like the still-controversial Antichrist, a movie about the loss of a child and how the parents deal with it. In this case, however, it just…

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Fish Tank Directed by Andrea Arnold

Finally, Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, which is in the tradition of Ken Loach and Kieslowski… raw and real. (Interestingly, Samantha Morton’s first feature, The Unloved, here at the fest, walks down a similar road.) Here it is the story of Mia, a 15-year-old with a lot of anger, but some earnest dreams and a will of iron. She’s played…

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Nymph Directed by Pen-ek Ratanaruang

Screening in the “Visions” section of TIFF, Nymph, by Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (something of a name among the arthouse crowd) is a languid, meticulously paced tale of love, infidelity and betrayal that’s kept from being truly compelling by a dramatic structure that’s top-heavy with many moments of nothing leading up to a faster-paced final 30 minutes…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Easy Virtue, The Country Teacher, Wagon Master and more…

Easy Virtue (Three Stars) U. K.; Stephan Elliott, 2009 (Sony) Noel Coward’s blithe, spirited, sexy ’20s play, Easy Virtue, is not new to

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Review: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

MCN Review: It is not the very best Gilliam ever, but it does play like a kind of greatest hits combined with more innovation from a master filmmaker. The big thing here is CG matching Gilliam’s sizable imagination more powerfully than ever. Of course, his love of theatrical ideas – literally, from the theater –…

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Wilmington on DVDs: State of Play, Earth, Sin Nombre, Skin Game, M*A*S*H* and more…

State of Play (Three Stars) U. S.; Kevin Macdonald, 2009 (Universal) There’s stuff wrong with State of Play, director Kevin Macdonald’s would-be brainy newspaper thriller

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Reviews

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

Antoine Ratliff on: The DVD Wrapup: Letter From An Unknown Woman, Despicable Me 3, Crucifixion, Maurizio Cattelan, A New Leaf, Silent Night and more

Fernando on: The DVD Wrapup: King George, Cars 3, Overdrive, Afterimage, Glass Castle, Whisky Galore, The Journey, Into the Night, Sissi, Stay Hungry and more

Woody on: The DVD Wrapup: ET, Vietnam, Big Sick, Glory, Certain Women, The Hero, Hana-Bi, By the Time It Gets Dark, The Prison, The Flesh, Moderns … More

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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

Quote Unquotesee all »

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
To have to die.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Nothing.

What is your favourite smell?
Fracas perfume by Robert Piguet.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
The lost plays by Aeschylus and Sophocles.
~ Isabelle Huppert at 65

“I come from a generation where men were men. There’s nothing soft or touchy-feely about any of us, where we were from in Wales. There’s a negative side to that, because we’re not very good at receiving love or giving it. We don’t understand it. After Richard Burton died, his brother Graham invited me to the Dorchester where they were all having a get-together, the wives and the men, all the sisters and brothers. All pissed. And I noticed the women were sipping their ports and brandy, but all the men were, ‘Come on, drink! Drink!’ I thought, ‘There’s something very Greek about this.’ Men together. You know, like the bouzouki dancers. It’s not homosexuality, but it is a sexuality, a kind of bonding. That’s what I was thinking of.”
~ Anthony Hopkins