After the Hype #132 – Crimson Peak

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Welcome to our spookiest episode yet. We’re joined by special guests Danielle and Ben as we take on the demented mind of Guillermo Del Toro in CRIMSON PEAK. Beware. BEWARE! But, like, still listen to the episode.

BENYouTube | Cerebral Static

 

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Trailer: Genius

As Oscar-baity films go, being released in March is not a sign of faith. Exhibit A is the trailer for a film based on the relationship between Thomas Wolfe and his editor Max Perkins, here played by Jude Law and Colin Firth, respectively. The film is in the period-drab hue of grey, and has a fine supporting cast including Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney playing put-upon wives, and Guy Pearce and Dominic West play F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemmingway, respectively. The trailer does feel like it walks you through all of the plot and emotional beats of the story, but I could be mistaken. The two men spend the film trying to bring a 1000+ page manuscript of Wolfe’s novel, “Look Homeward, Angel” down to a manageable length for publishing, and it puts them at odds with just about everyone, including themselves.

Genius is adapted from the biography “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius” by A. Scott Berg, written by John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator, Hugo, Skyfall), and being the directorial debut by playwright Michael Grandage.

Trailer: X-Men Apocalypse

It is big and loud, as I suppose an apocalypse should be. The latest X-Men feature will breeze into cinemas after the left-field success of Fox’s Deadpool movie. If this is Fassbender & Lawerence’s last kick at this particular can, the third of the ‘period-piece’ reboot of the franchise, it looks like they are going to go out with a lot of action and a lot of characters. Brian Singer returns to direct, and here is hoping that among all the chaos of this particular chapter, there is more than a little time for some character building and social allegory that the franchise has been so good at under his watch.

Contained in this new trailer is a chance to see Sophie Turner as a young Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan as a young Cyclops, and Oscar Isaac caked in CGI and make-up as the seriously-full-of-himself heavy. (When they asked him if he was a god, he said, “yes.”)

Cinecast Episode 433 – Stay for the Limb Licking

We should probably just get right to it as there is a lot to cover this week folks! First off, we have our good friend Corey Pierce of the Soundtrack of your Life podcast joining us this week to help in a (SPOILER!) discussion of the spiritual successor to Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane. After that, there are some other films in the cinemas these days so we dive into both Stephen Chow’s Mermaid and the astoundingly great movie that got yanked from US cinemas at the zero hour, The Little Prince.

The Watch List has documentaries, remakes, young adult epics, the slowest film of all time (yes, one of us shut it off after an hour), James Gillham’s (Google him) favorite film of all time, a Ben Stiller marathon, revisiting of an Oscar nominee, Wrestlemania and Thundercats in the Soprano’s TV era. If there isn’t something in there to float your proverbial boat, then you’re probably not even reading this in the first place. We do have some connection issues with our guest towards the end as Corey drifts off into the ether.

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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Rubbing Is Racing In Kinetic Ben Hur Trailer

I don’t see the resurgence of the sword and sandals film any time soon, so clearly the raison d’etre for remaking the Charleton Heston biblical epic, Ben Hur, is to update the iconic chariot race. And besides some impressive Roman naval warfare, it seems Paramount (a studio on a role lately with upscale entertainment including Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Little Prince) wants to up the bar in the hippodrome.

Plus, Morgan Freeman in white dreadlocks.

Seriously.

(I know that Ben Hur has name value, but Hollywood, please, make a Lord of the Rings Trilogy of Guy Gavriel Kay’s chariot race heavy novel, The Sarantine Mosaic)

Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

cloverfield-posterDirector: Dan Trachtenberg
Writers: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, Damien Chazelle
Producers: J.J. Abrams, Lindsey Weber
Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr., Bradley Cooper
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 103 min.

 

 

My original posting of this review can be found on LetterBoxd

 


When is a movie more than just a movie? 10 Cloverfield Lane pulled off a rare feat in this age where audiences know everything about a movie before they even step into the theater. Hidden under a bare logline and the vague title Valencia, the world was shocked only two months before its release when it surprisingly revealed its true title, and along with it the fact that it was somehow connected to Matt Reeves’ found-footage monster movie from 2008. J.J. Abrams, the man who barely gave anything away in the trailers for the biggest movie of last year, and his Bad Robot team had once again pulled the wool over our eyes without us even realizing it. Yet, after its big reveal, the strangest thing happened – 10 Cloverfield Lane turned into a phenomenon simply due to the fact that no one had known it existed until now. That big moment charged the hype machine for the film in a way that major summer blockbusters aren’t capable of achieving with an entire year of buildup and spoiler-filled trailers, making this film one of the most talked about projects in the past year simply due to the fact that no one knew what it actually was. Now that the film is out and everyone can get all of the answers they had been manically theorizing over for the past couple of months, the truth is that 10 Cloverfield Lane isn’t nearly as interesting as the mysterious buildup to its release.

In actuality, no one could have mentioned the name Cloverfield in correlation with Dan Trachtenberg’s film, left it almost exactly the same, and audiences wouldn’t have been any the wiser. Naturally, I’ll avoid any spoilers for those who want to go into the film as fresh as possible, but aside from one misguided and nonsensical shot, the connections between this and its predecessor are vague at best, and in this viewer’s opinion 10 Cloverfield Lane actually works better if you don’t even think about Cloverfield while watching it. As it stands, the connections to the previous film feel poorly conceived and tacked on way after the fact (a symptom of the script by Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken being re-written by Whiplash’s Damien Chazelle to retroactively forge a relationship with Cloverfield), opening up far too many questions for the sake of nothing, when the standalone elements of the film are more or less satisfying on their own. Abrams has become renowned for his ability to keep so much mystery about his projects in a time where almost every detail has been picked apart long before the final product is unveiled, which is an admirable and refreshing quality to be sure, but sometimes it can backfire. I don’t know how or if the experience of watching 10 Cloverfield Lane Lane would have differed if it had followed a conventional marketing campaign, but the way that it ended up being marketed and hidden for so long ended up being more interesting than the film itself, as it drew this air over it that made the film seem like something far more fascinating than what it actually was.

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Sunday Video Essay: This is Water.

Were a little bit outside of film technique or interpretation this week. Instead, here is prolific essayist, novelist and satirist David Foster Wallace blew up the standard Liberal Arts commencement speech in 2005 in looking at one aspect of what education actually means. Some enterprising video company took the audio and built this busy, but engaging video to go along with it, we hope you enjoy text on screen.

In my own mind, it is tangentially related as to how we talk about film around here. Sometimes we choose to see what we want to see in a film, and even it is unlikely, it is always possible.

Friday One Sheet: In A Valley of Violence

We are still loving the phoenix-like renaissance of the Western genre over the past couple years, and it appears that cult indie director Ti West is getting in on the game with In A Valley Of Violence. He has an interesting cast with Ethan Hawke, Karen Gillan (Dr. Who, Guardians of the Galaxy) and John Travolta. But we’re here to talk about this vintage style poster, which almost has a 50’s TV-show style with both the typesetting (“A man can only take so much!”) and the tiny man-on-horse (with dog) on the barrel of the gun. I expect many more posters for this film, as West has a history of getting a lot of key-art for his films (see also, House of the Devil and The Innkeepers in the Rowthree poster archives.)

Cinecast Episode 432 – A Tiny Little Screwdriver

Just a quick bonus episode this week from Kurt and Andrew in which they review Tina Fey and Martin Freeman in WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (SPOILERS!). Also Kurt was remiss in mentioning some awesome Wong Kar-wai last week; so we gotta talk some My Blueberry Nights. Enjoy.

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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