Cinecast Episode 500 – You’re On Your Own From Here…

Ten damn years! The Cinecast has been around for ten years totaling (more than) 500 episodes. We’ve argued over, bickered about, tongue-bathed, laughed about and quoted movies for close to 2000 recorded hours. We’ve made loads of new friends, lost loved ones, earned degrees, visited other continents, entered the covenant of marriage, written books, attended countless festivals, interviewed celebrities and even starred in a couple of low budget films in that time. And the amount of alcohol consumed… I don’t even want to think about it. We have some of the most devoted listeners in podcasting and I have to believe we’re in the running for most hours recorded of one series in the history of podcasting at this point. Therefore, of course we have a good hour of reminiscing and say thanks to a few important folks. But as we hit this momentous milestone we, for the most part, treat it like any other episode except for one big in-house announcement. We have three theatrical reviews: Thor: Ragnorak, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Murder on the Orient Express. Then we take some time to look back at the year that is 2017 which of course includes a top five list. We also fulfill on a years-old promise (or at least half of it) with a retro-review of Tyrannosaur in return for a generous donation from listener Len Fearnside.

This is The Cinecast 500. Yes, have some.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

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After the Credits Episode 220: November Preview

Summer love

We missed October due to festival and scheduling craziness but I’d like to think we more than made up for it with a couple of bonus episodes from VIFF.

The crew is, however, reunited this month as Colleen, Dale (Letterboxd) and I (Letterboxd) look ahead at November which is a mishmash of everything from action adventure (Thor: Ragnarok) and family fare (Coco) to awards hopefuls (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

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Cinecast Episode 499 – Automat

Blade Runner 2049 fixes some things about the original 1982 film. This is exactly why Andrew is happy and why Kurt is pissed off. Also, is it basically a remake in disguise? The boys dissect. Up next, what if The Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino were married and their child was a gore hound? You’d have S. Craig Zahler and Brawl in Cell Block 99 would be his sophomore effort.

Kurt is back from Sitges and we get a little taste of that experience at the beginning of the show. Towards the end of the episode, Andrew has been turning off his brain with mostly junk cinema while Kurt saw his favorite film of the year. Have a listen and make your case/point in the comments below.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

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After the Credits Episode 219: VIFF Dispatch #3

The Vancouver International Film Festival is back for another year and with it, our semi-regular VIFF dispatches.

We’re back for our third update and final update from the festival. I’m (Letterboxd) joined by festival correspondent and friend of the podcast Mr. Bill Harris (Twitter), whom you can regularly find on The Green Screen of Death podcast along with Lisa, who joins us for another year as we count down our favourite picks from the festival.

After the Credits Episode 218: VIFF Dispatch #2

The Vancouver International Film Festival is back for another year and with it, our semi-regular VIFF dispatches.

We’re back for our second update from the festival and once again, I’m (Letterboxd) joined by festival correspondent and friend of the podcast Mr. Bill Harris (Twitter), whom you can regularly find on The Green Screen of Death podcast.

After the Credits Episode 217: VIFF Dispatch #1

The Vancouver International Film Festival is back for another year and with it, our semi-regular VIFF dispatches.

For our first check-in from the festival, I’m (Letterboxd) joined by festival correspondent and friend of the podcast Mr. Bill Harris (Twitter), whom you can regularly find on The Green Screen of Death podcast. Bill is nearly 3 weeks and 2 festivals into his current run and he’s got some great coverage of the first half of the festival including insights into some of the most lauded movies of the year so far. I chime in with the occasional insight because frankly, I simply haven’t seen as many movies.

We’ll be back with another dispatch from the fest in a day or two but for now, check out our overview of the first 10 days of VIFF.

Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Producers: Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Pedro Pascal, Hanna Alström, Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 141 min.

 

 

My original posting of this review can be found on LetterBoxd

 


The general attitude for making a sequel is “more” and Kingsman: The Golden Circle follows that straight to its demise. There’s more action, more style, more CGI, more characters, and it all drowns whatever this movie could have been, turning it into a barely tolerable assault on the senses that’s all confection and nothing more. The first Kingsman movie was a breath of fresh air, bringing a subversive tongue in cheek edge to the current glut of franchise movies that are so tired and repetitive, with each one feeling like an imitation of everything else. Of course, making a sequel to such a film creates the dilemma of how you can keep things consistent while still bringing that level of creativity to the table. Matthew Vaughn and company clearly weren’t up to the task, and their solution was apparently just to overwhelm this beast (running almost two and a half hours for god knows why) by throwing as much at the screen as they possibly could.

To be fair, The Golden Circle isn’t all bad. As far as the style and sense of humor goes, it does still feel unique among the rest of the pack of franchises out here, even if it can’t achieve the level of success in either of those departments that the first film did, particularly in the case of the comedy as a lot of the jokes in this one fall very flat. The action is still incredibly fun and inventive, although again they definitely do overdo it and nothing can compare to the incredible church fight in the film’s predecessor. Perhaps its finest asset though is the charm of leading man Taron Egerton. As is the case with the other compliments I can give the film, this does come with a caveat. A large part of the appeal of the first film was watching Egerton’s Eggsy on his Pygmalion arc from street thug to super spy, and inevitably we don’t get to enjoy any of that this time around since he starts the film off already established as a Kingsman. At the same time, it allows us to enjoy the charm of Egerton fully embracing that role from start to finish, and there’s plenty of fun there.

The counter point to that, unfortunately, is the incredibly misguided decision to bring back Colin Firth’s Harry. I won’t spoil how they justify this return in the context of the film, suffice it to say that the direction/explanation they take with it is unbelievably disappointing and retroactively damages one of the things that made the first film so great. It’s just one example of how messy and awkwardly written The Golden Circle is. Julianne Moore’s villain is completely isolated, removed from the action, and doesn’t have any interaction with the main cast until the very end for an incredibly brief period of time. It’s such a shame when you compare it to how great the first film handled Samuel L. Jackson’s memorable villain. It wouldn’t be hard to forget that Moore was even in this, and she’s the big baddie!
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Cinecast Episode 498 – Completionist

Thanks for dropping by for another edition of The RowThree Cinecast; inching ever closer to the big Quincentenary episode. These week we play it fast and loose, as does director Doug Liman tend to do with the subject of this week’s main topic, American Made. It ain’t perfect or perhaps even all that memorable, but it sure is a fun way to spend a rainy fall afternoon. Not much time to get to anything else but the boys do each have a pair for The Watch List – well, Andrew has a “Listen List” this week with a new podcast mention. Kurt visits a couple of Cinecast favorites with David Mamet and Denis Villeneuve. Andrew visits one of the six, yes six(!), films of the year to feature a John Denver song in Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire. It’s not a whole lot to go on, but we certainly get some mileage out of it.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

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Cinecast Episode 497 – On Skis

Scheduling lately has been rough as summer winds down and school is starting and film festivals and then of course hurricanes. But we managed to pull something together with the help of our friend Darren Aronofsky and his mother! The aforementioned hurricanes actually help to facilitate a trip through TIFF that otherwise wasn’t going to happen; so there’re lots of titles there to get through from Bruckner to Zahler. Andrew has been playing catch-up on some bullshit titles of the last year or so as well as going back to earlier Fincher as refresher. Lastly, Twin Peaks Season 3 The Return has wrapped up and Kurt has a number of things to discuss about that little slice of mayhem. Lots to dig into this week folks, and we’re starting with the book of Genesis. So stick this in your ear and settle in.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

We’re now available on Google Play!

 

 
 

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Review: Mother!

Director: Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, Pi, The Fountain, Noah, Black Swan)
Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Producers: Scott Franklin, Ari Handel
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 121 min.

 

 

My original posting of this review can be found on LetterBoxd

 


If you love your very on-the-nose religious allegories aggressively shoved down your throat for an excruciating two hours, then Mother! is the movie for you! Darren Aronofsky’s latest is a big ol’ parable that’s pretty impossible to miss since instead of wrapping its deeper ideas inside of anything resembling a plot of its own he instead throws it right there on the surface with giant sign posts indicating every little thing that anyone needs for even the most basic viewer to “get it”. Of course it’s also just the kind of obnoxiously “ambitious”, “auteur-driven”, “provocative” feature that will ignite a heavily divisive response with its lovers insisting that the detractors somehow “didn’t get it” even though there’s literally nothing else to it. That’s a big part of the problem. Aronofsky just drowns this beast in his giant allegory (which, yes, could also be an interpretation of the creative process, but isn’t that essentially the same thing? And really there’s too much religion here for it not to be that more than anything), leaving no room for anything else.

Certainly not for even the slightest modicum of character development or dimension, as a talented cast led by Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem is criminally underserved by a script that treats their characters as props rather than actual people with inner lives who the audience are supposed to care for. And yet as the deliriously, infuriatingly chaotic final act rages on there’s this odd pull that the movie suddenly wants us to have an investment in these people, but it did absolutely zero groundwork to get us to that point. Ultimately it did zero work to establish practically anything. It’s well and good to work an allegory like this into something, but you have to actually have something there in the first place to work it into and Aronofsky missed the boat on that one. Even more than that he missed the concept of having it all actually mean anything on a grander scheme. Sure, it’s all about religion, but for what purpose? Why does this movie exist? Beats me.

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Harry Dean Stanton: 1926 – 2017

Possibly the greatest character actor of the past 40 years, the cantankerous stalwart for the smoking, drinking working fellow, Harry Dean Stanton passed on at the venerable age of 91. The actor has approximately 200 film and television credits dating all the way back to the 1950s, so obviously you might fit into one or more of several camps of HDS. There is the dopey working class performances in Red Dawn, and Alien (Rieeeght). There is the creepy, creepy villain rolls in TV’s Big Love series, Seven Psychopaths, and Wild At Heart. The existential drifter, in Paris Texas, and his last major film to come out, 2017’s Lucky. The mentor and father figure, in Pretty in Pink, Repo Man. As a seedy sidekick in Escape From New York and Cockfighter. Or the witness to events in The Straight Story, The Green Mile, The Avengers, Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me, and The Last Temptation of Christ. Or mood-setting troubadour strumming his six string in Cool Hand Luke, Access All Areas and recently in Twin Peaks: The Return.

His lanky frame and ‘I don’t give a fuck’ posture, which was meticulously achieved with committed performances in even the tiniest of parts, made him one of the recognizable faces in film, and he will deeply missed. Of course, Stanton worked right up to the moment of his death and can be seen acting alongside one of his regular collaborators, David Lynch (he is in the bulk of Lynch’s filmography), in John Carroll Lynch’s Lucky as well as in Michael Oblowitz’s Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner picture, Frank & Ava.

Variety has more.