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 Contact Cinema Gotham

Do you have comments? Questions? A film event that you'd like to tell us about? Write us any time!
cinemagotham@yahoo.com
or click here

 Cop Comments

Cinema GothamRe: Your review of Cop Land

I don't think you can emphasize enough how enjoyable the Cop Land DVD commentary was. Some of the biggest directors do the worst commentary because they don't understand that the audience is interested in hearing stories of what happened during filming as opposed to being awed by their technical genius in their less than interesting monotone. We have the "Making Of" segment for technical knowledge to come forward. I realize directors didn't go to film school to learn how to do DVD commentary but many of them need to learn how to do it. They need to understand that they are doing commentary for movie fans not trying to impress fellow directors. The Cop Land DVD commentary was obviously done by 4 people who like each other and feel comfortable with each other and it was done in an entertaining conversational rather than instructive manner. I felt like I was eavesdropping on a coversation that took place on my livingroom couch and that's a good thing. I think it's one of the best I've ever heard.

It's an excellent review of a really fine movie that I have seen many, many times and one that I never get tired of seeing. I'm thrilled Robert Patrick will be working with Mangold again [in the Johnny Cash bio Walk the Line] and I hope Stallone gets another crack at a movie of this caliber, again.

Laura (June 5, 2004)

CG: Thanks for the thoughtful reply. The commentary really is a lot of fun. I haven't heard such a great one in a long time. And giving this fine film a second chance at life is a good move.

Thanks again for writing!

READ THE REVIEW...

 From The Grave

Cinema GothamRe: Your review of Gravesend

Thanks for the great review. I played Chicken in the movie. Quick update on Sal Stabile. He wrote what many consider the greatest episode of The Sopranos, the episode where Ralph beats the hooker to death. He also was the lead writer for the show Fastlane for the first 7 episodes. I'm the only actor from the picture who is still working. I recently sold a script to a producer and he's going to be making it into a $2 million feature starring myself as one of the leads.

Tom Malloy (February 6, 2004)

CG: Thanks for the great letter! For some reason none of Stabile's TV credits are listed on IMDb and the DVD's distributor was no help in tracking him down either. Glad to hear you guys are making a go of the film game. As for Gravesend, like I said in the review, the energy of the cast and directing carry it a long way. Fans of gritty street flicks should give it a shot.

READ THE REVIEW...

 Q Mail

Cinema GothamI read this info on Morbius messageboard regarding an original ending to Q that was on cable and theatres. Since you recently interviewed him,as well as screened the film recently, do you know why they removed the original ending?

Here is the post...At the finale of Q, with the egg hatching and the camera zooming inside to black, a title card stating that Michael Moriarty's character sued the city and got $1 million tax-free is still missing. It hasn't appeared in any video version of the film, only appearing in the theatrical and cable prints. Does anyone have any idea why this little tidbit is missing STILL?

John (August 18, 2003)

CG: Good question. I don't know what happened to that ending and didn't ask Larry about it. However, it sounds kinda lame (I hate "what happened to" titles at the end of a fictional movie) and I think that the ending that's there is absolutely perfect as is. Maybe one of my readers knows the answer.

READ THIS ARTICLE...

 Gimme a Clue!

Cinema GothamHey Gil,

Great review of the Stones DVD Gimme Shelter. Coincidentally, I note you are from Brooklyn and I also note that in your mention of the Madison Square Garden segment in Gimme Shelter you did not mention the obscure cameo appearance of one of New York's most enigmatic guitar slingers. Until I get my copy I will not be able to verify, but you might want to fire up your copy and go to the MSG segment... there should be a part where the lights go up and Mick says "New York, let's look at you..." The camera pans the audience and should pick up a fan near the front of the stage who has positioned himself atop a friend's shoulders. Not sure how defined/close-up the person's image is... but take a look and tell me what you think.

Cheers!
Paul (February 24, 2003)

CG: Criterion's Gimme Shelter DVD is one of my favorites. As for the cameo that you mention, I'm stumped! I checked out the scene and didn't see anything. Also, there's no mention of the cameo on IMDb. Clue me in!

Cinema GothamPaul responds: The cameo is (drum roll)...

New York's own Keith Richards... the incomparable Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls (attending the concert as a young fan).

CG: That's pretty cool, although I don't know that I'd recognize him as a young lad. Still, a good bit of trivia.

READ THIS REVIEW...

 Apparently I Suck

Cinema GothamCG: Usually I reserve the mail page for New York-related mail but this response to my panning of Madonna's Swept Away is just too funny to pass up. I guess Madonna got her start in New York, so it's not totally inappropriate.

i think you suck.yes,even more than madonna!in fact,madonna at least has talent.then again,when it comes to sucking(dick) i'm sure you're pretty talented-just use those mouth muscles like the girls in beijing and you could go places!

John (February 8, 2003)

CG: Wow, it's not every day that I get email from Guy Ritchie!

READ THIS REVIEW...

 The Passing of Sonny Carson

Cinema GothamI noticed your blurb for the film The Education of Sonny Carson and it mentioned that Sonny was in a coma. Just to update, Sonny Carson has passed away. Much was mentioned about this film and how the community looked forward to seeing it with him but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be.

Thank you
Vincent (February 3, 2003)

CG: Thanks for writing. Sonny Carson died December 20th, 2002, after being in a coma for some time. It is a shame that he never got to join the community to revisit the fine film based on his life.

READ THIS FEATURE...

 She Likes Spike

Cinema Gotham Spike Lee is the worst kind of a person because he doesn't have a clue to fairness in life.His movies are not worth viewing. I feel sorry for New York because he thinks they like him so he stays there and stays there and stays there.Maybe one day the people with the money will learn that he can not direct and maybe then he will shut up and get a job.On second thought i don't he's smart enough to hold a job!

Karon (January 17, 2003)

CG: Why don't you tell us how you really feel? You may be aware of the old saying that compares opinions to... never mind. Spike Lee has often divided viewers, it's true, but I would argue that that often comes about because he mines touchy territory with a strong element of truth. And don't spend too much time feeling sorry for New Yorkers over this. We've got plenty of quality filmmakers to pick and choose from.

READ THE INTERVIEW...

 Sisterly Love

Cinema Gotham I read your review of 'Double Whammy' and thought it was well-written and balanced. My brother is Keith Nobbs (who was in the film), so I admit I'm a little biased. Thanks so much. The film's been through a lot of political crap, and I'm glad it's finally getting seen.

Kim Nobbs (January 17, 2003)

CG: Thanks for writing in. Double Whammy hasn't been given a fair deal by critics or the distributor but, like you said, at least it's out there now. And let Keith know that he did a great job. We'll be watching out for him in the future.

READ THE REVIEW...

 "Flawed" Day in Harlem?

Cinema Gotham Gil-

Is this video a Jean Bach presentation or a compilation of Milt and Mona Hinton's 8 mm footage? This is extremely important as the historical integrity of the photograph is "flawed."

If this is not the case would or could you direct me to the "first" video surrounding the days activities called a "Great Day in Harlem."

Sincerely,

~~ GIF ~~ (January 15, 2003)

CG: Gif, I'm not aware of any film other than Jean Bach's called "Great Day in Harlem." Bach's film, however, does include some of Milt and Mona Hinton's footage. Maybe some reader knows the answer to this. Also, in what way is the "historical integrity" of the photo "flawed?" Inquiring minds need to know!

READ THE REVIEW...

 9/11

Cinema GothamI bought this used at Blockbuster yesterday and watched it last night. Wow. No words to adequately describe it.

You should have mentioned in your review how every member of this particular Firehouse survived 9/11.

How bizarre: These 2 brothers decided months before to film this particular team of firemen/firehouse, happened to be THE ONE(s) to capture the impact of the first plane, happened to focus on the ONE Probie (Tony) whose survival on 9/11 also happened to be the subject of the longest wait to see if he had lived, happened to be a firehouse in which NO ONE died 9/11. Etc. Coincidence? Maybe, but incredible!!

Eric (December 17, 2002)

CG: Eric, I wasn't sure if I should mention in the review that everyone survived (to ease some of the tension) or to omit it (so viewers could discover that information for themselves.) Given that this isn't just some mystery film with a twist ending it wasn't an easy decision. I decided to leave it out so viewers would have to worry. After all, 3000 did die and being left to wonder about the fate of Tony and his squad would allow viewers to feel just a little bit of the worry and fear that so many felt that day. After all, the filmmakers decided to exclude that information until the end as well; Notice there are no interviews with the firefighters in question until after they return to the house. Regardless, it is a moving, powerful piece of filmmaking and I'm glad you had the chance to watch it.

READ THE REVIEW...

 Gangs of New York

Cinema GothamI clicked onto the review of the Gangs of New York as the film is opening here soon. I really enjoyed reading about the film and how well you told of the film. I am so impressed. there is not many times that reviews catch my eye, but this deserves gold. Thank you so much for an awesome insight into the movie.

Joanne (December 14, 2002)

Gil,

Just wanted to drop a quick note and say that I really enjoyed your extensive coverage of GONY.

David (dgc) (December 13, 2002)

CG: Make sure you write us again when you see the film. We've now seen it twice and it's definitely the best film of the year.

READ THE REVIEW
READ THIS BEFORE YOU SEE GANGS OF NEW YORK

 Not-so-merry Xmas

Cinema GothamThere is a fault on the 'R Xmas DVD- in 5.1 the music is balanced so that it almost all comes out of the right hand side front speaker. It is clear. So when you said clear seperation and sharp sound, but didn't hear his fault, it brings up the question- should you be writing techincal reviews on DVD's? Tell me what you think.

Matt (November 25, 2002)

CG: Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Sadly, we missed this error the first time around but this is a pretty serious flaw. We've updated the review to include this information. The disc is still worth a look for the excellent film, but buyers should beware. As for our ability to review technical aspects of DVDs, there are no guarantees in life. We try to be accurate but we're human beings and we make mistakes. Apologies all around.

READ THE REVIEW...

 The Education of Sonny Carson

Cinema GothamDear Gil:

Thank you so much for the kind words. As you know, THE EDUCATION OF SONNY CARSON is a passionate subject to me. Unfortunately, Sonny is still in a coma and the doctors paint a very grim picture. We're praying for a true miracle. My next step is to visit with kids in juvenile prisons all over America (when time allows) and deliver Sonny's message. We will be working with city officials in New York to start.

Best regards,
Michael Campus, director of The Education of Sonny Carson (November 1, 2002)

CG: We hope for Sonny's recovery and wish you the best of luck getting this outstanding film out to as many people as possible.

READ THIS FEATURE...

 The Alloy Orchestra and Metropolis

Cinema Gotham I read your review of Speedy and the discussion of the Alloy Orchestra's accompaniment to Metropolis. I saw both at The Telluride Film Festival in 2001 and can't agree more. Metropolis was THE Event of the Festival. Do you know if a DVD or VHS version of Metropolis with the Alloy Orchestra score has been recorded and how that might be available?

Thank you, Leslie (October 16, 2002)

CG: Alloy's Metropolis score is only available on CD from their website. The upcoming Kino DVD will most likely not have the Alloy score and I believe Kino has requested that Alloy stop performing their version for now. But there's always hope! I mention in the piece some DVDs that do have Alloy scores, however, so you can always check those out in the meantime.

READ ABOUT SPEEDY AND THE ALLOY ORCHESTRA...
READ ABOUT KINO AND METROPOLIS...

 Itching For Scratch

Cinema GothamHi Gil--

Just a quick THANK YOU for writing such an enthusiastic review of the SCRATCH DVD. I'm an old-school theatrical film enthusiast, so I had to be recently convinced that DVD is "where it's at" but now I'm super excited about our DVD, too, partly thanks to your article. Glad you liked it, hope you don't mind that I quoted the article on the DVD page of our website scratchmovie.com

Sincerely-- Doug Pray, director/editor SCRATCH (September 24, 2002)

CG: Thanks! While we aren't running a happy-happy PR firm here (just ask the makers of some of the films that we've savaged!), when we see something we love we aren't afraid to say so. Also, make sure to check out Doug's excellent Seattle grunge doc Hype! while you're at it!

READ THIS REVIEW...
READ OTHER NEW YORK RELATED REVIEWS...

 Entering the Panic Room

Cinema Gotham Thanks so much for that very interesting and well written article. I also enjoyed the opening credits and felt/commented on the homage (if you will) to North By Northwest. I'm going to keep track of your stuff, if that is possible.

-Rich (September 10, 2002)

CG: Thanks for letting us know. Keeping up with Cinema Gotham is easy. Just bookmark us and keep checking back!

READ THIS FEATURE...

 Kino's 25th Birthday: Metropolis and More

Cinema Gotham While I really enjoyed your notes about the upcoming Kino release of the Classic film - Metropolis, I couldn't help noticing that you -like so many web reviewers - avoid discussing the most controversial aspect of this restoration.. the problem? The movie was transferred at the wrong speed! I have had this confirmed by no less than five sources - including Kino.

The problem is Kino went and spent tons of money to have a huge orchestral scoring of the original music for the film.. Great move.. Unfortunately, the film was projected at the modern 24 fps when the scoring was done.. This is too fast for a silent film - 20 fps is more accurate. This speed is pretty much the same speed as the Madacy release. The visual and audio restoration will be awesome, but Kino has said that they have no current plans to rescore the film for DVD. Understandable, but regrettable. anyway, I thought this was a pretty important fact that you might want to be aware of if you aren't already. thanks for listening.

-Steve (July 31, 2002)

CG: We've heard of this debate and decided to not get into it. Folks who know a lot more about this than I have debated this issue to death, so I defer to their expertise. But thanks for keeping an eye out!

READ THIS FEATURE...

 Sitting in Limbo: New Films by Abel Ferrara and Tom DiCillo

Cinema Gotham Dear Gil, Thanks for your excellent review of Double Whammy. I was surprised that it is only playing in a few theaters, because it's already out on DVD in the Netherlands, where I live. (link) It's region 2 only, bare bones edition, but it's very cheap. All the best,

-Marcel (July 21, 2002)

CG: Good to know! Thanks for writing!

READ THIS FEATURE...

 The Return of John Sayles' The Brother From Another Planet

Cinema Gotham Just wanted to give some props to Gil Jawetz for his interview with John Sayles. Excellent questions! Nice job Gil! Makes me wish I was in New York to attend some of the programs. Glad to hear that Brother from Another Planet will be making it to dvd, though.

-Boot (June 9, 2002)

CG: Thanks for the kind words! We'll keep you posted on that Brother DVD.

READ THIS FEATURE...

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