Reviews Archive for March, 2010

Wilmington on Movies: How to Train Your Dragon, Hot Tub Time Machine, Chloe, and The Eclipse

How to Train Your Dragon (Three Stars) U.S.; Dean De Blois/Chris Sanders, 2010 The visual flash and dash that the new Dreamworks animated saga How to Train Your Dragon pours into its panoramic 3D scenes of ferocious Medieval battle and Viking sea quests — and especially this movie’s Avatar-like flying sequences, with

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The Informant!

An appealing bait-and-switch tale, pretty much based upon true events, Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant!, has been released by Warner Home Video. Channeling William H. Macy, Matt Damonstars as an executive in a large food conglomerate who confesses to the FBI that he has been involved in a worldwide price fixing scam when he is called in on the…

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Paris, Texas

Wim Wenders relaxed and off-center 1984 road movie, Paris, Texas, has been released in a two-platter set by the Criterion Collection. The transfer is outstanding. The picture is presented in letterboxed format only, with an aspect ratio of about 1.78:1 and an accommodation for enhanced 16:9 playback. The image is vividly crisp and colors are precise…

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Wilmington on Movies: Green Zone, Remember Me, She’s Out of My League, and Our Family Wedding

Green Zone (Three Stars) U.S.; Paul Greengrass, 2010 Green Zone is a sometimes hellishly exciting political war thriller about the

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Wilmington on Movies: Alice in Wonderland, Brooklyn’s Finest and Terribly Happy

Alice in Wonderland (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; Tim Burton, 2010 Curiouser and curiouser. Tim Burton has made another of his goofy-giddy visual marvels out of Lewis Carroll‘s oft-filmed classic Alice in Wonderland. And while

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Wilmington on DVDs: Ponyo, Where the Wild Things are, Beaches of Agnes, King Lear and more…

Ponyo (Also Blu-Ray) (Three and a Half Stars) Japan-U.S.; Hayao Miyazaki, 2009 (Disney) Hayao Miyazaki‘s devotion to old-fashioned animation, in an age of computerized cartoon virtuosity of all sorts, gives his movies a charmingly personal, beguilingly hand-crafted feel

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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 »

“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook