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

Roy Atkinson on: DVD Wrapup: Commuter, Oscar, A Taxi Driver, Humor Me, Prince, Doris Day, Shakespeare Wallah, Pomegranates and more

gary j dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup: Ballad of Lefty Brown, Wonder, Blades, Seijun Suzuki, Fellini, Hellraiser, Paradise and more

Yvan Prime on: The DVD Wrapup: Ballad of Lefty Brown, Wonder, Blades, Seijun Suzuki, Fellini, Hellraiser, Paradise and more

Antoine Ratliff on: The DVD Wrapup: Letter From An Unknown Woman, Despicable Me 3, Crucifixion, Maurizio Cattelan, A New Leaf, Silent Night and more

Fernando on: The DVD Wrapup: King George, Cars 3, Overdrive, Afterimage, Glass Castle, Whisky Galore, The Journey, Into the Night, Sissi, Stay Hungry and more

Woody on: The DVD Wrapup: ET, Vietnam, Big Sick, Glory, Certain Women, The Hero, Hana-Bi, By the Time It Gets Dark, The Prison, The Flesh, Moderns … More

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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

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch