I can hardly believe it but the festival is almost over. Where did it go exactly?!
It’s been a few days since we last talked and since then, Bill (@soundjam69) has seen a hundred more movies (exaggeration – but not by much) and I’ve seen a few more, most of them good which brings the good to bad ratio in the favour of good and that, at least, is something worth celebrating.
We will be returning later this week with a final wrap of the festival and to share our top picks but until then, this will keep you informed!
At the tail end of the show I mention a recent episode of the Talkhouse podcast though I picked the wrong genre icon! The episode features Ben Wheatley and Alex Cox (not Richard Stanley – who is also awesome) and you can listen to it here.
For up-to-the-moment updates from the last few days of the festival, be sure to follow us on twitter. Bill is at @soundjam69 and I’m at @themarina.
While many in the media and social media are spinning it otherwise, Matt Damon is Science Jesus. Who else better than to charm the pants off of Andrew and Kurt but Science Jesus, really? Ridley Scott’s The Martian is a straightforward crowd-pleaser to be sure, but there is a wisp of metaphor still to be had in the Wadi Rum valley.
October is here and the boys have decided to hit up a different first-run (ish) horror movie each week in the Cinecast for the month. This week is an Iranian black and white, vampire film shot in California mimicking Jim Jarmusch: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.
The Watch List offers balcksploitation, blood and guts in the Star Wars franchise, trailers as deconstructionist/reconstructions art, journeys to the centre of the earth, and the case for Jason Bateman getting an Oscar nomination this year.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
Director: Gez Medinger, Robin Schmidt Screenplay: Andrew Ellard Starring: Miranda Raison, Sam Keeley, Daniella Kertesz, Elarica Gallacher, Lorna Nickson Brown Country: UK Running Time: 97 min Year: 2015 BBFC Certificate: 18
October is upon us, which can mean only one thing to film bloggers. A month full of horror movies! My month probably won’t be ‘full’ of horror as I’m going to be hitting my usual mix of classic and cult titles from the glut of screeners I’ve greedily requested. However, for my first review of the month I thought I’d better join the early halloween celebrations my fellow writers revel in.
On October 19th, Icon Film Distribution and FrightFest, the UK’s leading genre film festival, team up to launch FrightFest Presents, an all-new expert driven social community-building label ready to deliver true shocks and scares straight into your home just in time for Halloween and beyond. FrightFest Presents will bring you the most unsettling feature films from the festival; a series of movies that wowed and earned critical acclaim, hand-picked by FrightFest directors Alan Jones and Paul McEvoy. Blueprint: Review plan to review the first six films being released on the label, starting with this, After Death
After Death (sometimes titled AfterDeath) sees five young adults wake up on a beach at night next to a small cabin. They soon realise they are actually dead after all being killed in a nightclub disaster. They’re now being held in purgatory or possibly even hell itself as it certainly isn’t heaven. They are regularly harassed by some sort of demon made of smoke and the harsh light of a neighbouring lighthouse triggers disturbing visions and pain in the entrapped group. Robyn (Miranda Raison), the last of the group to arrive, is convinced she can escape and get back to the world of the living so she tries to get to the bottom of what sins could have caused the five to be destined to hell and whether they can harness Onie’s (Daniella Kertesz) ability to randomly disappear. This investigation causes rifts amongst the group though, particularly with regards the one man, Seb (Sam Keeley), who is revealed to be a violent sexual predator.
. Once again, October is upon us and a film fan’s fancy’s turn to horror. Though I’ll watch scary/creepy films any time, I like to pack October full of first time horror watches. My first four consist of: The Taking Of Deborah Logan, V/H/S: Viral, Creep and The Nightmare.
The Taking Of Deborah Logan (Adam Robitel – 2014)
I thought I would start my viewing with several “found footage” style horror movies – mainly because they are just so damn plentiful these days. Though many people are sick of them at this stage, I can usually still find something appealing in them if they make an effort to build atmosphere and don’t simply go for the cheapo jump scares. Much of The Taking Of Deborah Logan does indeed do the former we watch a documentary film crew slowly realize that the Alzheimer’s patient they are capturing on camera is not quite afflicted with the standard form of the disease. As the titular character starts to descend more and more into seeming madness and the supernatural angle becomes more apparent, the film loses a bit of steam – it forgets the basic premise of setting up an unsettling environment and goes for back story and plot. Neither of those are anywhere near as disturbing as, say, a simple shadow or an old woman’s unexpected appearance in an attic. Still, the film has its moments if you can get past some of the inherent problems these films typically have (e.g. the necessity to fabricate reasons to keep a camera running or the shells of characters that do little more than complain).
This little slice of nastiness from John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road), a director who knows his way around balancing bleak and heart, looks to be pushing the envelope of Sicario and Training Day as far as it can go.
Triple 9 has elements of the militarization of police, the war of attrition with crime and violence (severed heads abound), and everyone thrown into the blender. Props to whoever came up with the kids ‘this little piggie’ to score this trailer, because it is damn effective with the imagery on display.
The cast is beyond stacked: Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, Casey Affleck, Aaron Paul, Anthony Mackey, Gal Gadot, Clifton Collins Jr., and somewhere in there is Kate Winslet. All stuck in John Hillcoat’s murky grime. I cannot wait to wade into this urban warzone in February 2016.
We were well into the first week of the festival when we recorded this on Saturday and naturally since it’s now Monday, we’re now even furher into the frey.
Reporting from the trenches (actually the very pleasant courtyard of The Cinematheque on a lovely sunny day!), I’m joined by friend of the podcast Bill Harris (@soundjam69) – who also co-hosts the great The Green Screen of Death with Adrian Charlie (who we talk about in passing and whom you can find @Adrian_Charlie) – as we talk movies so far (or more accurately, he talks movies so far and I occasionally chime in).
The Vancouver International Film Festival runs September 24 to October 9. For full listing of films and tickets, visit the official website.
For up-to-the-moment updates from the festival, be sure to follow us on twitter. Bill is at @soundjam69 and I’m at @themarina.
Director: Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated, The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, What Women Want) Writer: Nancy Meyers Producers: Suzanne McNeill Farwell, Nancy Meyers Starring: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Anders Holm, Adam DeVine, Zack Pearlman MPAA Rating: PG-13 Running time: 121 min.
Nancy Meyers is a brand as identifiable as any currently existing in Hollywood. From films like Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday, the writer/director has made herself known for her particular style of well-lit, amiable comedies starring A-listers looking to have a pleasant break from the harder fare that they usually take on. The Intern, her latest, fits squarely into the rest of her canon, while also surprisingly raising the standards she usually adheres to. While her previous efforts are as pat as they come, leaving your mind as quickly as they enter it, The Intern has a bit more lasting pleasantries to keep you reflecting on the admittedly diverting experience that Meyers delivers. This largely comes from the unconventional pairing of Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway in the leading roles, an unusual duo who bring a surprisingly wonderful chemistry to the table in this light comedy about working in the modern age, seen from two unique viewpoints – the modern working woman who is looked down on by misogynistic men, and the older male seen by many as past his usefulness simply due to his age.
Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) is widowed and retired, but he can’t get settled into a life of doing nothing the way that his friends have – at least those who are still living, as he’s finding himself regularly attending funerals as the days go on. He’s tried everything from learning Mandarin to tai chi, but nothing seems to do the trick. By chance, he happens upon a flyer advertising a senior internship program at About the Fit, an upstart e-commerce fashion company run by founder and CEO Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). When he gets the job, he’s assigned as the personal intern for Jules, despite the fact that she doesn’t remember agreeing to the program in the first place, nor does her extremely busy schedule allow her time to deal with an elderly employee who she’s worried won’t be able to keep up. Naturally, it turns out that Jules needs Ben as much as he needs her, with their opposites attract friendship developing pleasantly over the course of two hours, as Meyers steers us on this enjoyable ride loaded with gorgeous sets and pretty people.
With all the excitement for fast cars, flying super heroes, dinosaurs and international spies each summer, some of us who enjoy our slow burn stories from the 19th century have to consider ourselves lucky if we get one western picture (from a big studio) in a year. But saddle up pardner, this year we get/got several. And if the quality of Slow West, The Keeping Room and The Salvation (and some might consider Far From Men or The Homesman 2015 western releases) is any indication, the two we’ve got coming up from Quentin and Craig Zahler are going to be real treats.
Bone Tomahawk brings Kurt Russell back into the western genre and also stars Richard Jenkins, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and holy shit it’s Sean Young!
Though this is a directorial debut from Zahler, this trailer has gotten me pretty excited to get my boots dusty with Bone Tomahawk in between all of the explosive mega-blockbusters coming in this last gasp of 2015.
The latest 007 adventure is going to land in theatres in about a month (a week or so earlier if you are on the other side of the pond), and the final trailer is here to emphasize action, action and more action. With a garnish of Christoph Waltz.