Reviews Archive for March, 2013

Wilmington on Movies: The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines. Nice title. Pretty good crime movie. Wish it had been better. Anyway…

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Wilmington on Movies: G. I. Joe: Retaliation

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The DVD Wrapup

Killing Them Softly, Royal Affair, A Man Escaped, Monsieur Verdoux, Parental Guidance, Comedy, Dead In France and more…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Ramrod, Killing Them Softly

Andre de Toth, a second-row master of the Western (Springfield Rifle), the war movie (Play Dirty), and the film noir (Pitfall, Crime Wave), directed this interesting example of the post-Stagecoach 1940s “adult Western.”

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Wilmington on Movies: Emperor

I’m in favor of making films like this one, but I’m not in favor of making them like this—floating along in a sea of romantic clichés, interrupted by pastiches of history.

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Wilmington on Movies: The Croods

It’s a millennium-old clash. Grug lies to cuddle up to a nice warm rock after an evening of watching cave drawings. But Eep believes there’s a great big wonderful non-Neanderthal world out there, and she doesn’t want to spend so much of her life huddling in the cave while the sun sets, and listening to Grug’s cautionary bed-time tales about how you should never not be afraid.

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Wilmington on Movies: Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus Has Fallen is a political thriller—about North Korean terrorists taking over the White House and holding the president hostage—that’s so dopey and wildly implausible and humorlesly absurd it almost leaves you feeling mugged.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Heaven’s Gate

It’s past time to resuscitate the reputation of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate. Remember how they shot it down? It was known after its release (before its release too, actually) as Cimino’s Folly, Cimino’s Trainwreck, the out-of-control, over-expensive epic that all but bankrupted United Artists and made a laughingstock out of its Oscar-winning filmmaker.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

You read the words and they bathe you in smiles, echo in your imagination — as they probably did when J.R.R. Tolkien first conjured up, as a bedtime story, the land of Hobbits and Bag’s End and Middle-earth’s mountains and the dragons and elves and, of course, that precious ring, all in his great fantasy story, “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again”the saga with which he enraptured his home audience as he began to weave it, all those decades ago, back in the 1930s.

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The DVD Wrapup

Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miz, Hobbit, Rust Bone, Other Son, Life Of Pi, The Sessions and more…

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Wilmington on DVDs: Ministry of Fear; It’s In the Bag!;Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness

l   MINISTRY OF FEAR (Three Stars)  U.S.: Fritz Lang, 1944 (Criterion Collection) Graham Greene called them “entertainments.” That was the slightly ironic moniker he gave to those of his novels in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s (usually spy or crime thrillers) that were written with a more populist eye and intended less seriously than the…

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Wilmington on Movies: Spring Breakers

I may have had some problems with Franco‘s Oz. (Millions didn‘t), But his Alien, a guy with metal teeth who calls his bed an art piece and plays piano and AK47s, is so damned good—a triumph of charismatic dopiness and rebel posturing—that it single-handedly hauls the movie up a star or two. But who needs stars? Who needs critics?

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Wilmington on Movies: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

They may call Steve Carell ” The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” the title character in his new movie, but he‘s really part of a team, like Dean Martin or Jerry Lewis. Carell and Steve Buscemi play a pair of fancy pants superstar Las Vegas magicians in this mostly misfiring comedy—roles that should have been slices of cake for both of them, but wind up looking and playing like Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis leftovers.

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Wilmington on DVD: The Blob; Hitchcock; Rise of the Guardians

Back in 1960, about 40 minutes into Alfred Hitchcock’s new movie Psycho, co-star Janet Leigh flushed the toilet, took off her towel and stepped into the shower in Room Number One of the Bates Motel—and the movies changed forever.

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DVD Wrapup

No matter how well-intentioned, it’s tough to love movies in which the ravages of alcoholism are put on full display early on and repeated throughout most of the next 90 minutes.

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Wilmington On Movies: Oz The Great And Powerful

You clutter up the landscape with Munchkins and Winkies and more flying monkeys and colors vaguely reminiscent of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds turned into a video game.

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Police; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2; Red Dawn; The Lincoln Lawyer

    POLICE (Three and a Half Stars) France:  Maurice Pialat, 1985 (Olive) i Louis Magnin is a brash tough French cop, or flic — played by the brash, tough, earthy  and likably thuggish French movie superstar Gerard Depardieu. Simon is a somewhat slimy-looking Tunisian-French drug trafficker, played by Jonathan Leina. For about ten minutes, in just…

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The DVD Wrapup

Twilight, Wreck-It Ralph, Schindler, Intouchables, Samson & Delilah, Satan’s Angel, Repligator, Gypsy Wedding and more.

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Wilmington on Movies: Jack the Giant Slayer

The movie’s budget does give us a hellishly exciting, physically sumptuous movie spectacle. But it doesn’t give us a hero and heroine who are interesting, at least here, for any other reasons than their extraordinary good looks and the fact that they were hired as the leads for a movie that cost $190 million.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Holy Motors; Chasing Mavericks

    HOLY MOTORS (Three and a Half Stars) France: Leos Carax, 2012 (Indomina) Holy Motors is a film of shadows and false faces, of traveling players. of humans and machines, of mirrors  and makeup.  Behind this bizarre picture  — a  quitessentially French, perverse and quite entertaining new film by longtime “bad boy” Leos Carax…

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Reviews

Gary J Dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup: Peppermint, Wild Boys, Un Traductor, Await Instructions, Lizzie, Coby, Afghan Love Story, Elizabeth Harvest, Brutal, Holiday Horror, Sound & Fury … More

Gary J Dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup & Gift Guide III: Venom 4K, The Super, Snowflake, Marie Curie, Gamechangers, Who We Are Now, 40 Guns, De Palma-De Niro,, Starman and more

aniban83 on: The DVD Wrapup & Gift Guide III: Venom 4K, The Super, Snowflake, Marie Curie, Gamechangers, Who We Are Now, 40 Guns, De Palma-De Niro,, Starman and more

porn on: The DVD Gift Guide I: Uni Monsters, Body Snatchers, Twilight 4K, Evil Dead, Trauma, Creepshow, Haunted Hill, Dude 4K, Saved by Bell, 3 Stooges … More

Daniella Isaacs on: The DVD Wrapup: Peppermint, Wild Boys, Un Traductor, Await Instructions, Lizzie, Coby, Afghan Love Story, Elizabeth Harvest, Brutal, Holiday Horror, Sound & Fury … More

Gary Dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup: Eighth Grade, No. 1 Fan, Jeannette, Moe Berg, 12th Man, La Familia, Molly, Sarno, Making a Killing, All Styles … More

David Pearce on: The DVD Wrapup: Eighth Grade, No. 1 Fan, Jeannette, Moe Berg, 12th Man, La Familia, Molly, Sarno, Making a Killing, All Styles … More

Trevor T. Trujillo on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

Steven DeGennaro on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

Gary J Dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup: Hereditary, Ghost Stories, Found Footage 3D, Beast, Venus, This Is Our Land, The Big Take, Brothers, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, Sid Caesar, Good Karma Hospital … More

The DVD Wrapup: Not A Witch, Jonathan, The Captain, Speed Kills, Room 304, Hippocrates, The Dark, Crimson Peak, Tea With Dames, Forbidden Photos, Addiction … More

The DVD Wrapup: Mid90s, Oath, Obamaland, Bad Reputation, Hell Fest, Time Freak, Kusama, Oddsockeaters, Bent, Harry/Sally, Nemesis, Frontline, Cats … More

The DVD Wrapup: 2018’s Most Memorable Titles, Hobbyhorses, Martyr, CMA Live, Tailspin Tommy, Gilda, Miracle Worker … More

The DVD Wrapup & Gift Guide III: Venom 4K, The Super, Snowflake, Marie Curie, Gamechangers, Who We Are Now, 40 Guns, De Palma-De Niro,, Starman and more

The DVD Wrapup: Peppermint, Wild Boys, Un Traductor, Await Instructions, Lizzie, Coby, Afghan Love Story, Elizabeth Harvest, Brutal, Holiday Horror, Sound & Fury … More

The DVD Wrapup: Support the Girls, M:I Fallout, Gosford Park, Serpent’s Egg. True Stories, School Daze, Candyman, Hanging Rock, Yellowstone … More

The DVD Wrapup: Gauguin, Blindspotting, Skate Kitchen, Wobble Palace, Third Murder, Outrage Coda, Nelly, Luciferina, MDMA, Heavy Trip, Agony, Family I Had … More

DVD Gift Guide II: Bergman@100, 2001 4K, Rambo 4K, Dances With Wolves, Robin Williams, Ernie Kovacs, Detectorists, Frosty, Elf … More

The DVD Wrapup: Owl’s Legacy, Good Manners, Childrens Act, Juliet Naked, Unnamable, Little Italy, Gas Food Lodging, SWF, Detective Dee, Windtalkers … More

The DVD Wrapup: Incredibles 2, Superman, Midaq Alley, La Boyita, 7th Day, Longing, Breaking Brooklyn, Mara, Capra Goes to War, Sleepwalkers, The Circus, Native America … More

Quote Unquotesee all »

“When books become a thing, they can no longer be fine.

“Literary people get mad at Knausgård the same way they get mad at Jonathan Franzen, a writer who, if I’m being honest, might be fine. I’m rarely honest about Jonathan Franzen. He’s an extremely annoying manI have only read bits and pieces of his novels, and while I’ve stopped reading many novels even though they were pretty good or great, I have always stopped reading Jonathan Franzen’s novels because I thought they were aggressively boring and dumb and smug. But why do I think this? I didn’t read him when he was a new interesting writer who wrote a couple of weird books and then hit it big with ‘The Corrections,’ a moment in which I might have picked him up with curiosity and read with an open mind; I only noticed him once, after David Foster Wallace had died, he became the heir apparent for the Great American Novelist position, once he had had that thing with Oprah and started giving interviews in which he said all manner of dumb shit; I only noticed him well after I had been told he was An Important Writer.

“So I can’t and shouldn’t pretend that I am unmoved by the lazily-satisfied gentle arrogance he projects or when he is given license to project it by the has-the-whole-world-gone-crazy development of him being constantly crowned and re-crowned as Is He The Great American Writer. What I really object to is this, and if there’s anything to his writing beyond it, I can’t see it and can’t be bothered. Others read him and tell me he’s actually a good writer—people whose critical instincts I have learned to respect—so I feel sure that he’s probably a perfectly fine, that his books are fine, and that probably even his stupid goddamned bird essays are probably also fine.

“But it’s too late. He has become a thing; he can’t be fine.”
~ Aaron Bady

“You know how in postproduction you are supposed to color-correct the picture so everything is smooth and even? Jean-Luc wants the opposite. He wants the rupture. Color and then black and white, or different intensities of color. Or how in this film, sometimes you see the ratio of the frame change after the image begins. That happens when he records from his TV onto his old DVCAM analog machine, which is so old we can’t even find parts when it needs to be repaired. The TV takes time to recognize and adjust to the format on the DVD or the Blu-ray. Whether it’s 1:33 or 1:85. And one of the TVs he uses is slower than the other. He wants to keep all that. I could correct it, but he doesn’t want me to. See, here’s an image from War and Peace. He did the overlays of color—red, white, and blue—using an old analog video effects machine. That’s why you have the blur. When I tried to redo it in digital, I couldn’t. The edges were too sharp. And why the image jitters—I don’t know how he did that. Playing with the cable maybe. Handmade. He wants to see that. It’s a gift from his old machine.”
~ Fabrice Aragno