Reviews Archive for November, 2009

Me and Orson Welles Red Cliff, The Road, and Ninja Assassi

Me and Orson Welles, Red Cliff, The Road, and Ninja Assassin Me and Orson Welles (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; Richard Linklater, 2009 In Me and Orson Welles, Richard Linklater, a director whose films I usually like, takes on a highly ambitious subject that really appeals to me — a portrayal of the astonishing…

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Wilmington on DVDs Three Monkeys , Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Angels & Demons, Funny People, and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Three Monkeys (Three and a Half Stars) Turkey/France/Italy; Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2008 (Zeitgeist Films) Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the brilliant Turkish cineaste (Distant, Climates), whose exquisite visual tableaus, minimalist plots and flair for long dramatic silences, irresistibly recall the heyday of Michelangelo Antonioni, here offers more plot than usual, in the…

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Gone With the Wind

Despite its antebellum subject (it opens with a text scroll that suggests slave ownership was somehow ‘gallant’), Gone with the Wind was the first ‘modern’ film, the first color epic to make extensive use of special effects (albeit matte paintings) and to replicate the sweep and depth of a novel, while instilling it with the excitement…

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Downhill Racer

Four decades and umpteen Warren Miller films later, the skiing sequences in Michael Ritchie’s 1969Downhill Racer are still hold-your-breath-and-don’t-blink thrilling. In fact, the whole movie is thrilling. Deftly staged and then masterfully edited, every sequence in the 101-minute feature is exquisitely succinct and yet abundantly rich in conveying the psychologies and emotions of the characters. Robert Redford stars…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Star Trek, Gone with the Wind, The Exiles, Fight Club, Humpday and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Star Trek (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; J. J. Abrams, 2009 The latest Star Trek movie, called simply Star Trek, is a genuine audience-pleaser, a film that

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Wilmington on DVDs: Up, Wings of Desire, The General, Heat, The Ugly Truth, Mamma Mia!, Monsters, Inc. and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Up (Four Stars) U. S.; Pete Docter, 2009 Up, this year’s new Pixar picture, flies

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Wilmington on DVDs: Food, Inc., North By Northwest, Forrest Gump, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Food, Inc. (Three and a Half Stars) U. S.; Robert Kenner, 2009 (Magnolia) Do you really know everything you should about the food you eat?

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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