Blu-Ray Review: Diner

Director: Barry Levinson
Screenplay: Barry Levinson
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern, Tim Daly, Paul Reiser, Ellen Barkin
Country: USA
Running Time: 110 min
Year: 1982
BBFC Certificate: 15

I tend to review screeners of interesting films I haven’t seen before here, but when I’m offered Blu-Ray special editions of old favourites it’s hard to say no. Warner Bros. have recently introduced a new Premium Collection series, exclusive to UK HMV stores, and the first batch of 10 titles include three films I’d class as particular favourites of mine, alongside several other classics. The three dear to my heart, which I’ll be reviewing over the coming weeks, include Little Shop of Horrors (1986), The Shining (the Extended Edition, not previously available in the UK) and Diner. Kicking off my reviews will be my thoughts on the latter.

Barry Levinson’s Diner follows a group of college-age friends in 1959 Baltimore as they hang out, primarily in the open-all-night Fells Point Diner. Each man is at a pivotal point in their life, be it about to get married, stuck in a marital rut already, facing impending parenthood within a strained relationship, on the verge of getting in trouble with the law or the wrong crowd, or simply not knowing what to do next with their lives as they prepare to dive headlong into adulthood.

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Cinecast Episode 458 – The Opposite of a Pass

Kurt and Andrew get into a little bit smaller film this week with Joshua Marston’s Complete Unknown in which it’s kind of unnecessary to praise Michael Shannon at this point, but we do reckon with the fascinating filmography of one Rachel Weisz and come to agree that she’s one of the more interesting big name actresses working today. Next up, Kurt dives into the multi-plex for some Big Hollywood thriller with Emily Blunt and her train riding. Sorry folks, it’s not as exciting as it sounds. Next up, apparently The Light Between Oceans is too depressing for even our computers to listen to and so it decides to cut out some of what Kurt is saying. We get the gist though and despite divisive opinion, he manages to convince Andrew it’s worth a watch. Lastly, Andrew goes back to revisit a sequel to one of his more beloved films, Bill and Ted. This week, those crazy kids find themselves going to hell, heaven, purgatory and wouldn’t ya know it, the future! But does it work as a film in 2016? And finally, Kevin Costner makes a triumphant return to the Cinecast when we talk once again about the greatness of the Kennedy administration – or at least how it’s portrayed on screen in Thirteen Days. Hashtag better than Stone/Morris.

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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Mamo 457: OWN’d


Welcome back to Mamo! Join us for a far-ranging discussion that starts with Donald Trump, Devin Faraci, and complicity in rape culture; wraps its arms around Ava DuVernay’s 13th and Queen Sugar and the proper use of one’s “power list” capital; and gets, generally, into where we are right now.

Yes Yes YES! “John Wick: Chapter 2” Trailer

Tragically underseen at theatrical release time, John Wick has grown into somewhat of an internet phenomenon. That is, the 2016 equivalent of a “cult” film. Based on Box Office alone (about $40 mil domestic and another $40 mil foreign), I’m a little surprised to see a sequel emerge. I guess when you’re budget is only $20 mil and you quadruple that in sales, Hollywood is willing to give you a second shot. Ergo, this author is delighted!

The poster was released a handful of hours before this trailer was and I have to admit I wasn’t all that impressed – hence not mentioned in this post. But the trailer has me excited. It’s got that same dark look of a fictional city cast in an overnight blue color. The rules of the assassin’s society still seem to be in play and Wick is once again out for some serious blood justified.

I’m so happy it’s dropping in the middle of February when we I really need something like this to life my spirits and just give me some straight-up, yet well thought out (hopefully) action thriller. Starring thealways energetic and charismatic and passionate Kenau Reeves, is anyone else super excited for this?

Trailer: The Monster

It is Halloween month, so out come the horror pictures! This ‘one room’ (well it is a big 1980s car) creature feature is directed by Bryan Bertino, who turned out the wonderful The Strangers in 2008. Scott Speedman returns (no sign of him in the trailer) in some capacity, with Zoe Kazan in the lead. A24, the micro-distributor of good taste is putting it into cinemas, although somehow they resisted the tagline, “It was a dark and stormy night…”

The Monster will screen at the Sitges Film Festival on October 15, before a limited theatrical release and VOD on November 11.

Friday One Sheet: Paterson

Paterson, New Jersey. City of waterfalls, inspiration to poet William Carlos Williams, and in a post-modern sense, to poet Jim Jarmusch. This minimal German poster for the film highlights several, but not all elements of the film, does not showcase the star, Adam driver, but rather the city and the mood of the film, contemplative, a bit blue, and a wee bit out of sorts with ones pet.

Trailer: Sleepless


I feel like we already got our American street crime movie this year (not that we couldn’t always have more!) in one of 2016 best films, but tragically underseen, Triple 9. But this one has more neon, a Torreto-like muscle car, Jaimie Foxx and takes place in… Nevada(!?). It’s based off of a French film titled Nuit Blanche, which I’ve not seen but apparently is pretty highly regarded as a great crime thriller. So count me in for both!

I’m unfamilar with the director, Baran bo Odar, as he’s done the rest of his output in Germany. But I like what I’m seeing here and pretty excited for this actually. The film also stars David Harbour, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, T.I., Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Battista and Scoot McNairy.

Trailer: Patriots Day

Certainly a hit or miss director, and still kind of an auteur in his own right. A subdued Michael Bay. A smarter Michael Bay some may say. Others may say Michael Bay with a little help from Paul Greengrass. Whichever it is, Peter Berg is kind of making a niche for himself with these American Hero tragedies. While certainly in the realm of patriotic, they aren’t generally over-the-top ra-ra America stuff. It’s in there, but it’s much more subtle than say a Clint Eastwood might do it.

He takes “actiony” disasters and makes them watchable. More than watchable actually. Entertaining. Well written. Deepwater Horizon was probably the best “explosions and stuff” summer blockbuster we got – and it was released in September!

Having said all that, his newest film is actually called Patriots Day and features waving flags quite prominently. Although, I suppose that’s just the nature of the event that took place on April 15, 2013, in which two bombs rocked the Boston Marathon killing three and wounding scores more. The Boston Police were generally regarded as doing their job well and handling the situation as best as it could have been.

That’s probably because Mark Wahlberg was on duty that day…

The poster for Deepwater Horizon was really cool. And I think the one-sheet for this movie is pretty awesome as well. At first I thought it was just the American Flag in tatters, but upon closer inspection, it’s shoe laces. Well played marketing team!