Reviews Archive for April, 2010

Wilmington on Movies: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Please Give and Harry Brown…

A Nightmare on Elm Street (One and a Half Stars) U.S.; Samuel Bayer, 2010 Twenty-six years ago, I walked into the only theater that ever stood on the very same block where I lived — the Vogue in Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard between La Brea and Cherokee — and got the living, screaming

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Picasso Summer

Pablo Picasso came this close to doing the work on the animated sequences in Picasso Summerhimself, and if he had, the film would have become one of the most important cinematic works of the Twentieth Century. But for whatever reason, he chose not to explore and conquer the one remaining artform open to him, and so…

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Wilmington on Movies: The Back-Up Plan, The Losers and Oceans …

The Back-up Plan (One and a Half Stars) U.S.; Alan Poul, 2010 If you don’t have a back-up plan when you wander into The Back-up Plan, the new Jennifer Lopez picture, you may

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Wilmington on Movies: Date Night, When You’re Strange, The Greatest and more …

Date Night (Three Stars) U.S.; Shawn Levy, 2010 Steve Carell and Tina Fey make a potentially great movie comedy couple in Date Night — even though

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Couples Retreat

There are, fortunately, a number of secondary players in Couples Retreat, a Universal release, who are funny in a classic, movie bit part sort of way, including Jean Reno, Peter Serafinowicz, Carlos Ponce, and Temuera Morrison, and between them and the Bora Bora location shooting, the 2009 film is not a complete waste of time, but it nearly…

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Wilmington on Movies: Clash of the Titans, The Last Song and Mid-August Lunch

Clash of the Titans (Three Stars) U.S.; Louis Leterrier, 2010 The Kraken, the Medusa, the Pegasus and the lobster monsters are smashing successes in director Louis Leterrier’s lavish remake of Clash of the Titans — the 1981 Ray Harryhausen mythological epic.

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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