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

Gary Dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup: Eighth Grade, No. 1 Fan, Jeannette, Moe Berg, 12th Man, La Familia, Molly, Sarno, Making a Killing, All Styles … More

David Pearce on: The DVD Wrapup: Eighth Grade, No. 1 Fan, Jeannette, Moe Berg, 12th Man, La Familia, Molly, Sarno, Making a Killing, All Styles … More

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

The DVD Wrapup: Owl’s Legacy, Good Manners, Childrens Act, Juliet Naked, Unnamable, Little Italy, Gas Food Lodging, SWF, Detective Dee, Windtalkers … More

The DVD Wrapup: Incredibles 2, Superman, Midaq Alley, La Boyita, 7th Day, Longing, Breaking Brooklyn, Mara, Capra Goes to War, Sleepwalkers, The Circus, Native America … More

The DVD Wrapup: Spy Who Dumped Me, Elena Ferrante, Sun at Midnight, Elephant’s Journey, Retro Afrika, Never Goin’ Back, Believer, Dragnet, Valley Girl, Black Sails … More

The DVD Gift Guide I: Uni Monsters, Body Snatchers, Twilight 4K, Evil Dead, Trauma, Creepshow, Haunted Hill, Dude 4K, Saved by Bell, 3 Stooges … More

The DVD Wrap: Ant-Man/Wasp, Whitney, Boundaries, BuyBust, Down a Dark Hall, Reprisal, Gen Wealth, 8 Hours Don’t Make a Day … More

The DVD Wrapup: Prayer Before Dawn, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far, Angels Wear White, Rodin, Schiele, Witch Files, 3rd Night, Official Story, Iron Mask … More

The DVD Wrapup: Eighth Grade, No. 1 Fan, Jeannette, Moe Berg, 12th Man, La Familia, Molly, Sarno, Making a Killing, All Styles … More

The DVD Wrapup: Solo, Izzy, Mountain, Uncle Drew, Gotti, The Row, Sumer Nights, Seagull, Mountain, American Psycho, Day of Jackal, The Baby, Freaky Friday, Human Body … 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

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I wanted that feeling that you could live in a city your entire life and never meet anyone who wasn’t like you.”
Gillian Flynn

“We’re all going to die so it makes it very easy. I haven’t always thought that way but I’ve realized it’s the truth. I think age gets you there, questioning your mortality… When you realize that, it’s so liberating, it’s so free, you can fly! There’s no need to hold on to anything. Like, think of the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you; it’s probably happened to 500 million people as well. Who gives a shit!”
~ Steve McQueen