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Reviews Archive for May, 2010

Wilmington on Movies: Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Sex and the City 2 and MacGruber…

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (Three Stars) U.S.; Mike Newell, 2010 Prince of Persia, which is probably one of the best-looking Arabian fantasy movies ever, is also unfortunately

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Wilmington on Movies: Shrek Forever After, Looking for Eric and Father of My Children …

Shrek Forever After (Three Stars) U.S.; Mike Mitchell, 2010 Shrek Forever After is supposedly “The Final Chapter.” But that title may be making false promises.

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Ride with the Devil

Generationally, the Civil War is still close to us, but what is most surprising about the Criterion Collection release of Ang Lee’s 1999 Civil War adventure, Ride with the Devil, is how topical it feels. It’s scary, how topical it feels. The heroes of the film are Confederate sympathizers living in Missouri (the film, quite beautifully, was…

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Wilmington on Movies: Robin Hood and Just Wright…

Robin Hood (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.; Ridley Scott, 2010 “To live outside the law, you must be honest,“ Bob Dylan once sang

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Wilmington on Movies: Iron Man 2, Babies and Mother and Child…

Iron Man 2 (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.; Jon Favreau What would we have thought back in the 1960s, if someone had told us that

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Avatar

..MCN Weekend ..The DVD Geek Vault The first but certainly not the last time James Cameron’s monster blockbuster spectacle of 2009, Avatar, will be released on home video, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has issued the film on DVD and Blu-ray. The BD comes with both a BD platter and the DVD platter. There are no…

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“To be a critic is to be a workaholic. Workaholism is socially conditioned: viewed favourably by exploiters, it’s generally ruinous to a worker’s mental health. When T.S. Eliot said criticism was as inevitable as breathing, he failed to mention that, respiratory problems notwithstanding, breathing is easy. Criticism is reflexive before reflective: to formalise/industrialise an involuntary instinct requires time, effort and discipline. The reason we seek remuneration, as opposed to the self-hatred of being a scab, is because all labour should be waged…

“Criticism, so the cliché by now goes, is dying. None of the panel discussions on its death agony, however—including those in which I’ve formally participated—come at it from the wider perspective that the problem surely needs. They defend the ways in which criticism functions in relation to the industry and to the public, but they fail to contextualise these relationships as defined by ultimately rotten and self-harming imperatives.

“Criticism was a noble profession so long as only a few could practice it for money; when the field expands, as it has with a so-called ‘democratisation’ of our practice, those few lose their political power. Competition grows and markets are undercut: publications are naturally going to start paying less. Precarity is both cause and effect of a surplus workforce: the reason you’re only as good as your last article is because there are plenty of other folks who can write the next one in your place. The daily grind is: pitch, or perish.

B”ut criticism, so a counter-cliché goes, is not dying. An irony: this is an elite sport that is no longer elite in terms of who is able to practice it, but in economic terms it’s clutching to a perverse and outmoded hierarchical structure. It’s more meritocratic than ever, now: which is to say it isn’t meritocratic at all. That’s a paradox in bad need of a resolution…”

~ Michael Pattison Manifestoes Film Criticism

“It’s easy to forget when you’re reading a critic every single week or multiple times a week, that most of us who do this job, and have been doing it for a long time, understand that this is basically a parasitic profession. I don’t mean in the sense that we’re evil bloodsucking creatures, but we couldn’t exist if we didn’t have something to analyze. And I’m always conscious of that. So whether I like or don’t like a particular thing you do, my point of view is always that of an appreciator. I just like to be in the world that you create.”
~ Matt Zoller Seitz To Sam Esmail

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