Reviews Archive for December, 2011

Wilmington on Movies: The Adventures of Tintin

    The Adventures of Tintin (Three Stars) U.S.: Steven Spielberg, 2011 The Adventures of Tintin — Steven Spielberg‘s second new film in release this season (the other was War Horse, and both of them came out last week) — shows us again to what extent he‘s still a kid at heart and maybe always will…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Co-Pick of the Week: Classic. Tokyo Drifter

   Tokyo Drifter (Three and a Half Stars) Japan: Seijun Suzuki, 1966 (Criterion Collection) Off the wall and over the edge from its first scene to its last, Tokyo Drifter is one of the outrageous crime melodramas and outlandish neo-noirs made in the ‘60s for Nikkatsu Studio by super-cult Japanese director Seijun Suzuki. It’s a classic…

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Wilmington on DVDs. The Rest: Final Destination 5; A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy

Final Destination 5 (Also Blu-ray/DVD/ 3D/ UV Combo) (Two Stars) U.S.: Steven Quale, 2011 (Warner Bros.) In Final Destination 5, as in the other Final Destinations, blood is the money shot. The actors, or their characters, are expendable (again), and a guy named Bludworth, or his boss Destiny, is breaking up that old gang of mine…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Co-Pick of the Week: New. Love Crime

  Love Crime (Three Stars) France: Alain Corneau, 2010 (MPI Home Video)   Movie murder mysteries can sometimes get too tricky and convoluted for their own good, and that’s pretty much what happens in Love Crime — a cool, nifty, well-constructed and very well-acted French film that would have been even better if it didn’t so hard to…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Co-Pick of the Week: New. Brighton Rock (Joffe); Brighton Rock (Boulting)

Brighton Rock 2010 (Three Stars) U.K.: Rowan Joffe, 2010 (IFC) Brighton Rock 1947 (Three and a Half Stars) U.K.: John Boulting, 1947 (Amazon Instant Video)     Some books and some cities were born to be filmed.  Some men were born to kill. Graham Greene’s novel Brighton Rock is an example of the former: one of the greatest…

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Wilmington on Movies: War Horse

   War Horse (Four Stars) U.S.: Steven Spielberg, 2011   Steven Spielberg’s War Horse is the kind of open-hearted, expensively made, somewhat predictable movie that critic-cynics like to make fun of :  “a noble steed!“ sneered one of my wittier colleagues as we rode an elevator down after the screening. But I’ve got to confess…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: Classics. A Christmas Carol

        A Christmas Carol (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Two Discs) (Four Stars) U.K.: Brian Desmond Hurst, 1951 (VCI Entertainment)   Almost everyone’s favorite nominee for best of all the many film adaptations of Charles Dickens‘ Yuletide evergreen A Christmas Carol, is this 1951 cinematic gem, sometimes called Scrooge, sometimes called A Christmas Carol, directed by the  underrated…

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Wilmington on Movies: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Fincher)

A handful of critics and commentators have complained that Fincher and his screenwriter Zaillian, haven’t changed the story enough, this time around. But it should be obvious by now that most of the vast world audiences for these stories don‘t want them changed, and that number definitely includes most of the people who’ve already read the books or seen the Swedish movies. Hewing to the original as much as possible: That was super-producer David O. Selznick’s rule on adapting beloved bestsellers and classics to the screen — from “David Copperfield” to “Gone with the Wind” to “Rebecca.” And Selznick was usually proven right.

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: Box Set. Stieg Larsson’s Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (Millennium Trilogy)

Steig Larsson’s Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (A.K.A. “The Millennium Trilogy”) (Four Discs) (Three and a Half Stars) Also: Blu-ray, Extended Edition  Sweden: Niels Arden Oplev & Daniel Alfredson, 2009-2010 (Music Box) Noomi For all of you who want to catch up for the release this week of David Fincher’s American remake of Stieg Larsson’s  The Girl With the…

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Wilmington on DVDs. The Rest: Dolphin Tale, Warrior, Straw Dogs (Lurie), Colombiana

  Dolphin Tale (Blu-ray/DVD Combo with Digital Combo; also movie only) (Three Discs) (Three Stars) U.S.: Charles Martin Smith, 2011 (Warner Bros.) Winter, the dolphin star of Dolphin Tale — an inspirational if sometimes far-fetched animal movie surprisingly based on fact — is a truly inspirational figure in a sometimes inspirational and often entertaining movie. Caught and crippled in a…

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The DVD Wrapup: Margin Call, Dolphin Tale, Midnight in Paris, Glee, Warrior, Burke & Hare, Milestones, Old Fashioned Orgy, Bobby Fischer, Colin Quinn, Hunters, Todd-Margaret, Apollo 18 …

Margin Call Add “Margin Call” to the list of dramatizations and documentaries — “Too Big to Fail” and “Inside Job,” among them – that have attempted to make sense of the 2008 financial crisis and identify those executives who ignored the red flags waved in advance of the collapse. J.C. Chandor’s freshman project is distinguished…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Midnight in Paris (Four Stars)

Midnight in Paris (Also Blu-ray) (Four Stars) U.S.-France; Woody Allen, 2011 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) Midnight in Paris (Four Stars) U. S./France: Woody Allen, 2011   Midnight in Paris is a funny valentine to the City of Light, a sweet, jazzy fairy tale about the wonders of Parisian art and artist cliques in the ‘20s…

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Wilmington on Movies. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

      Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol U.S.: Brad Bird, 2011   If you have even a little fear of heights — and I have a lot myself — there’s a scene in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, that should leave you, maybe literally, breathless. It’s the scene, already famous, where producer-star Tom Cruise, playing the Mission…

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Wilmington on Movies. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Two and a Half Stars)

                Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (Two and a Half Stars) U.K.-U.S.: Guy Ritchie, 2011 There’s a level of sheer frantic busy-ness and glibly manufactured chaos in director Guy Ritchie’s and star Robert Downey, Jr. second Sherlock Holmes movie — Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows –that makes…

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Wilmington on Movies: Carnage (Three and a Half Stars)

    Carnage (Three and a Half Stars) U.S.-France: Roman Polanski, 2011 1. Last Exit to Brooklyn In Carnage, which was adopted by the French writer Yasmina Reza from her hit play “God of Carnage“ , director Roman Polanski once again demonstrates his mastery of the claustrophobia of anxiety (and vice versa) — even though…

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The DVD Wrapup: Fright Night, Kung Fu Panda 2, Rise of Planet of the Apes, Daddy Longlegs, Meet Me in St. Louis, Branded to Kill, Circumstance …

Fright Night: Blu-ray I must not have been paying attention when the first “Fright Night” was released, way back in 1985, causing a stir among horror buffs looking for something a bit different than the usual teenagers-in-jeopardy stuff. Starring Roddy McDowell, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale and Amanda Bearse, Tom Holland’s thriller may have been produced…

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Rest. Kung Fu Panda 2; The Expendables; Buck

    Kung Fu Panda 2 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Two or Three Discs) (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, 2011 (DreamWorks Animated)  Kung Fu Panda 2 is a cute, likable movie, done with a lot of skill and A-level talent, and with all the visual virtuosity we expect by now from big-budget cartoon…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: Classic, Blu-ray. West Side Story (Four Stars)

        PICK OF THE WEEK     West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Three Discs) (Four Stars) U.S.: Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins, 1961 (20th Century Fox/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)   “The Jets are in gear./Our cylinders are clickin‘./ The sharks’ll steer clear./‘Cause every Puerto Rican‘s/ A lousy chicken!” Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim…

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Wilmington on DVDs. Pick of the Week: New. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Three Stars)

 The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Three Stars) U.S.: Rupert Wyatt, 2011 (20th Century Fox) 1. The Rise  Rise of the Planet of the Apes, latest chapter in an old franchise, shows us a story we too easily forget, or maybe one that we never really knew… …How it all began, how an imprisoned, persecuted and…

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Wilmington on Movies: Young Adult (Two and a Half Stars)

       Young Adult (Two and a Half Stars) U. S.: Jason Reitman, 2011 High School haunts us. It’s the great mystery we try futilely to solve afterwards, the great romance that often never happened, the paradise we imagine we lost but might regain, the great redemption that we dupe ourselves into believing can be earned…

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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 »

“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

A Spirited Exchange

“In some ways Christopher Nolan has become our Stanley Kubrick,” reads the first sentence of David Bordwell’s latest blog post–none of which I want or intend to read after that desperate opening sentence. If he’d written “my” or “some people’s” instead of “our”, I might have read further. Instead, I can only surmise that in some ways David Bordwell may have become our Lars von Trier.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum On Facebook

“Jonathan has written a despicable thing in comparing me to Trump. He’s free to read or not read what I write, and even to judge arguments without reading them. It’s not what you’d expect from a sensible critic, but it’s what Jonathan has chosen to do, for reasons of a private nature he has confided to me in an email What I request from him is an apology for comparing my ideas to Trump’s.”
~ David Bordwell Replies

“Yes, I do apologize, sincerely, for such a ridiculous and quite unwarranted comparison. The private nature of my grievance with David probably fueled my post, but it didn’t dictate it, even though I’m willing to concede that I overreacted. Part of what spurred me to post something in the first place is actually related to a positive development in David’s work–an improvement in his prose style ever since he wrote (and wrote very well) about such elegant prose stylists as James Agee and Manny Farber. But this also brought a journalistic edge to his prose, including a dramatic flair for journalistic ‘hooks’ and attention-grabbers, that is part of what I was responding to. Although I realize now that David justifies his opening sentence with what follows, and far less egregiously than I implied he might have, I was responding to the drum roll of that opening sentence as a provocation, which it certainly was and is.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum Replies