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Comment Archives: stories: Movies

Re: “Alex Gibney's WikiLeaks doc We Steal Secrets: a movie you probably shouldn't watch on a Verizon cellphone

Wikileaks has leaked a full annotated transcript of the film, with links to independent sources of evidence rebutting many of the claims made in the film. I think in fairness to your readers you should maybe update your article to include it at the bottom, to at least alert your readers that some things in Alex Gibney's film are disputed.

As an example, here's one Wikileaks note that deals with how Gibney treats the Swedish case:

To my mind, this is one of the most egregious things Alex Gibney does in this movie. When he was challenged about why he chose to show a picture of a used-looking, torn condom from the police forensics file on screen but chose NOT to tell his viewers that forensics found there was no DNA on that condom, this is what he said (he was responding to a negative review of his film):

"There is some doubt as to what condom is pictured on screen, so it seemed pointless to add detail about dna."

Alex Gibney is lying. There is only ONE picture and only ONE condom in the police forensics report, and Gibney knows that full well if, as he claims, hes researched the Swedish case. So, yes, if Gibney shows a used-looking condom with a big rip in the top then that's the one that Assange supposedly deliberately ripped during sex and the fact it has no trace of any DNA on it not male, not female either is a very big deal indeed. A very big deal. And Gibney knows it. (What was submitted to the forensics lab from the other woman is only a FRAGMENT of a condom). There's no way that Alex Gibney can have missed this vital fact - the no-DNA result is just two pages away from the photo of the condom in the forensics report (on page 77 if anyone wants to go check for themselves. It's available on the internet). Another fact: the Swedish prosecutor received the lab report on 25 October 2010 - so she wrote out an Interpol Red Notice and an extradition warrant for Assange weeks later IN THE FULL KNOWLEDGE that one of the women (interviewed in disguise by Gibney) had handed in faked evidence to the police.

So much for Gibney's film being "balanced, fair and exhaustively researched". So fair in fact that he uses a 3D animation to reconstruct the alleged DNA-free "rapes". Disgusting.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Arbed on 06/13/2013 at 1:20 PM

Re: “Zack Snyder's Superman is a hollow Frankenstein's monster

This is a horrid review! Mr. Wilson has a terrible opinion of a "sure to be" Blockbuster smash! Movies like this set the stage for the rest of the story. Batman Begins, had a similar plot to introduce the new spin on a iconic comic book character. (Look how well that franchise did!) Man of Steel is sure to do the same. Its reviews like this that validate the old saying, "Keep your opinions to yourself" Even though I am contradicting myself with the previous statement, this is merely a rebuttal to Wilson's review. It reminds me of the ignorance of critics. The "Hipsters" of Hollywood who take pride in hating everything and wear the douche crown proudly. Besides, opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one and everyone thinks everyone else's stinks."

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Sean Tibbs on 06/13/2013 at 12:05 PM

Re: “Alex Gibney's WikiLeaks doc We Steal Secrets: a movie you probably shouldn't watch on a Verizon cellphone

Or is Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Britain? Obviously you know all about it. Movie is fictional Propaganda anyway, and outdated.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rose on 06/13/2013 at 6:05 AM

Re: “Three decades after its public stoning, Heaven's Gate, killer of studios and careers, stands as one magnificent beast

Bleah. Forgot we're going to press a day early. Shooting now for Sunday afternoon.

Posted by mr. pink on 05/31/2013 at 9:40 PM

Re: “Three decades after its public stoning, Heaven's Gate, killer of studios and careers, stands as one magnificent beast

So will I, Barbara. Anyone else in Monday night?

And while Jason didn't bring it up — which is kind of refreshing, since it was practically mentioned in the same breath as the movie for decades — Steven Bach's book FINAL CUT remains a fascinating account of the production and the turmoil it engendered within United Artists. Well worth finding at the library.

Posted by mr. pink on 05/31/2013 at 1:25 AM

Re: “Three decades after its public stoning, Heaven's Gate, killer of studios and careers, stands as one magnificent beast

I have long loved this movie - and been a passionate defender of it - and can't wait to see it long last. I'll be there Monday night.

Posted by Barbara Please on 05/30/2013 at 6:11 PM

Re: “Gatsby eludes Baz Luhrmann's ginormous grasp, but dazzling DiCaprio is an undeniable pleasure

If the greatest pleasure of the movie is seeing "DiCaprio be beautiful again", something about which I could not possibly care less, I think I'll pass. Terribly over-rated book, anyway.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Marvin on 05/10/2013 at 8:49 AM

Re: “What did Stanley Kubrick hide in the Overlook Hotel? Room 237 wants to know

worth reading on the subject: an interview with Kubrik assistant and friend.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by LR on 05/03/2013 at 5:27 PM

Re: “Ever get the feeling you've been here before? That's not deja vu, it's Oblivion

But an outstanding, penetrating comment!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Sicinski on 04/26/2013 at 7:55 AM

Re: “What did Stanley Kubrick hide in the Overlook Hotel? Room 237 wants to know

On the contrary: I can't imagine anybody watching ROOM 237 and *not* wanting to see the backwards/forwards superimposition. So thanks, Belcourt. As big a crock as the WIZARD OF OZ/DARK SIDE OF THE MOON "phenomenon" is, it's worth seeing once just to hear the audience go bonkers when the "ka-ching!" in "Money" synchs up with the switch from B&W/sepia to color.

I'd argue ROOM 237 crosses over into the lunatic fringe earlier than that. My problem with the movie is that Ascher pretty much treats all the theories as equally plausible within a nonjudgmental "all readings are valid" framework. Certainly a work of art takes on new life in a viewer's mind, but Ascher draws no distinction between allusion and delusion: his ultimate effect — which I can't believe is intentional (or why make the movie?) — is to suggest any analysis of the movie (or by extension any movie) is far-fetched.

I agree, though, that fans of THE SHINING will love it — find an all-nite coffee house and have the knock-down-drag-out argument of a lifetime with your buddies.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by mr. pink on 04/26/2013 at 12:37 AM

Re: “What did Stanley Kubrick hide in the Overlook Hotel? Room 237 wants to know

This is worth seeing for any fan(atic) of "The Shining", but the film "Making The Shining" by Kubrik's daughter Vivian, is far as grounded in reality as this one is in fantasy. I'm frankly surprised the Belcourt is doing the backwards-movie-superimposed-over-the-Shining circus trick (not just a rumor, their promo email confirms it). That's the point at which this "Room 237" movie crossed into the lunatic fringe, in my opinion.

Room 237 is still worth seeing, though. Dr Hofmann* will be at the door, to be sure you fully appreciate the reverse-superimposed silliness... Paul is dead...… <-- IMDB for Vivian's little foray into filmmaking. Highly recommended!

*saving you the Googling; Albert Hofmann, inventor of LSD

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tommy Salami on 04/25/2013 at 7:42 PM
Posted by Kelliente on 04/19/2013 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Reduce your hopes for Terrence Malick's To the Wonder — so you can see how good it really is

I think the quality of Malick's voice-overs has gradually declined, as they've become detached from character. I get your point about the abstraction of the THE THIN RED LINE voice-over, but there's an increasing distance from the notion of character itself in TO THE WONDER. Ben Affleck, in particular, seems to be playing a posture rather than a person, and the same is true of the actresses. It's less true of Bardem only because he's interacting with real people much of the time, although I found the film's view of modern suburbia a lot less interesting than you did.

Posted by Steven Erickson on 04/18/2013 at 4:05 PM

Re: “Reduce your hopes for Terrence Malick's To the Wonder — so you can see how good it really is

The big difference is that in BADLANDS and DAYS OF HEAVEN, the distancing is in effect: the voiceover may be first-person, but the narrators don't seem to be speaking their innermost thoughts — what they don't or can't say (especially in BADLANDS) is often more telling than what they say or how they say it. In his subsequent features, he's using voiceover essentially as what the heart would say if it could articulate what the characters can't. It reaches a whole new level of abstraction in THE THIN RED LINE, with its free-floating voiceovers and man-vs.-nature inquiries.

Posted by mr. pink on 04/13/2013 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Reduce your hopes for Terrence Malick's To the Wonder — so you can see how good it really is

Having recently re-watched Badlands, I've come to the conclusion that the problem most people seem to have with Malick is the "whispery" voice-over narration. I have to say, I think it worked much better in Badlands and Days of Heaven, because it was more blunt and matter-of-fact; the narrators in both of those films seemed to have no sense that what they were saying was "important" in any way, which I think accounts for the "chilling, ironic distance" you mentioned.

In my opinion, the voice-over in Thin Red Line and Tree of Life is what drives people bonkers...I hate to say it, but I've wondered what the experience would be like of seeing those films without the voice-over track...

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by J. Kirkland - Screen Door Records on 04/12/2013 at 8:55 AM

Re: “Think Argo told a ripping true-life political yarn? The word is No

The BBC 5Live Radio Show had a really good interview with Gael García Bernal about the real life campaign:

Fun-Fact: apparently, we've all been pronouncing "Pinochet" completely wrong.

Posted by J. Kirkland - Screen Door Records on 04/11/2013 at 8:54 AM

Re: “Rediscovered singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez embraces newfound fame through the doc Searching for Sugar Man

Unfortunately , the record industry has probably caused great music to dissapear many times during my lifetime. This story just resonates and highlights what true artistry is about , humble in protest, reflecting on all the ills of capitalism gone bad, honest to the core. Yet somehow the American Dream lives due to the fact that Rodriguez stayed true to himself, and discovereded for his great work way past his rightful time in a far away place. Thanks for the Internet and the greater ability to research others passions.
The gatekeepers of the record business are a notorious bunch, from the A&R executives to the publicists who manipulate the media. This is still very true today. I feel it, as I have recently experience some of the questionable elements of the machiene at work during the 54th Grammy run with my favorite unknown artist Linda Chorney. No 500k of list record sales in this story , just a working class Cinderella indie, who made it to the dance... The new book will tell the rest in her disarmingly funny narrative "Who the F$#% Is Linda Chorney" Authors cut now available at her Web site. LindaChorney dot com.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Scott Fadynich on 03/27/2013 at 9:31 AM

Re: “Margaret: A grassroots movement tries to save a movie from oblivion — against its distributor's will

You're right about the greatness and the flaws both, which I find really hard to separate in a movie that is so "messy" by design. It's on cable a lot now, reaching a much wider audience than ever saw it in release. Alas.

Posted by mr. pink on 03/22/2013 at 1:20 AM

Re: “Margaret: A grassroots movement tries to save a movie from oblivion — against its distributor's will

I've just finished watching Margaret and would agree that is is a great film. Not without some flaws which are completely outweighed by the performances. Every role, small and large was a gem of acute observation. Matt Damon was never better and Anna Paquin..well, she held it together, a mesmerising performance. Definitely deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ann Downey on 03/21/2013 at 6:05 PM

Re: “The beginning of a beautifully twisted friendship: James Stewart in Anthony Mann's Winchester ’73

Agreed, and I think you'll find some hardcore Anthony Mann fans on the Belcourt's staff. My own favorite of the Mann-Stewart Westerns is BEND OF THE RIVER, but THE NAKED SPUR is great too. The Mann Westerns are marked by the complexity of the villains, who tend to suggest a path not taken by the hero, and Ryan was an actor who seethed with barely suppressed tensions.

Have you ever seen Mann's MAN OF THE WEST, with Gary Cooper instead of Stewart? HAWAII FIVE-O's Jack Lord does the sniveling sadist so well you'll want to see him dangled from a cliff.

Posted by mr. pink on 03/15/2013 at 10:29 AM

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