After yesterdays intense and gritty trailer, we’re all about Denis Villeneuve’s Cannes fêted cross-border procedural, Sicario. This poster stands out with its smoked-butter yellow and graffiti deaths-head. The text is well integrated to the point where you almost do not notice it. I don’t exactly know if it advertises what the movie experience will be, but it certainly would draw eyeballs if it were framed in a theatre lobby.
In Mexico, Sicario means ‘Hitman.’ In Canada, Denis Villeneuve directing means ‘Must See.’ Emily Blunt being a competent bad-ass, Benicio Del Toro being cool as ice, and Roger Deakins shooting the hell out of the picture. The film plays like a Michael Mann police procedural action version of Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, and you have no idea how hard that hits my sweet spot.
This is my most anticipated movie for the remainder of 2015.
Back in January, Kurt posted a short teaser for the SXSW 2015 Audience Award Winner Turbo Kid. He noted then that while it was directed by three mostly unknown Canadian directors–Anouk Whissell, François Simard, and Yoann-Karl Whissell–it’s produced by Hobo With a Shotgun director Jason Eisener and also stars Michael Ironside as the deliriously evil villain.
Today, we have the full trailer for your viewing pleasure… and I’m pleased to say that Turbo Kid looks absolutely glorious. Full of action and gore, over-the-top characters and humor, and an insane looks at a bizarrely contemporary dystopian future (or past?), it looks like some sort of twisted love child between Mad Max, Kick-Ass, and an old-school NES game.
The film hits select theaters and VOD on August 28th.
We made it you guys! One hundred freakin’ episodes! To celebrate this monumental occasion we decided to revisit one of Bryan’s favorite films – TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY. Ryan and Brad join in the revelry and offer up some fun memories of their first encounters with this Cameron masterpiece.
Park World. John Hammond’s vision has finally come to fruition almost 20 years later and, shocker(!), it’s a complete and utter shit show for everyone involved. This is especially so if you are an executive assistant forced to babysit your bosses nephews, or just sitting in a cinema seat watching bad behavior in the audience mirror the bad behavior of park visitors onscreen. From undefined “villains” to unnecessary, slapdash discussions on divorce, the movie wants to have its cake and smash it in your face too. Sigh.
We say farewell to the characters of Westeros for another year as the final episode of Game of Thrones betrays a lot of what the show has stood for in terms of structure and promise. The finale is a bit of cluttered and rushed job. And yet, as the dust settles on the very controversial Season 5, there is a lot to love.
Lastly, we talk John Carpenter’s creature feature set in Antarctica, as well as a plug for another podcast about film background players. Also Netflix’s Bloodline Season 1.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
Canadian comedian Rick Ducommun, who is special our hearts for playing Tom Hank’s busybody neighbour, Art Weingartner, in The ‘Burbs, has died. This is according to Joe Dante’s Facebook and Twitter pages which offer no further details. Dante was one of the few directors who cast Ducommun (who also had a small part in Gremlins 2) and the only director who gave him a significant role, I am expecting the news to be accurate.
Ducommun had a brief flash on the stand-up circuit with his very non-PC 1989 HBO Comedy Special, “Piece of Mind” and a set for Comic Relief III, and was also in very minor roles in Die Hard (where along with his scene in The ‘Burbs he is responsible for cutting the neighbourhood power off) and Groundhog Day (where he played the barfly.) For very sharp eyed viewers he was also a prison guard in Spaceballs, and a helicopter pilot in The Hunt For Red October.
He will always be Art Weingartner to us. Hey Art! You’re wife is home.
How do you measure happiness?
The latest Pixar movie makes a convincing argument, pitched at wavelengths that should be easily received to both to children and adults, that periods of sadness, be it mundane or profound, are crucial to living a full, exuberant existence on this remote little ball of mud spinning through the void of space. Inside Out offers a specific, universal, and staggeringly emotional journey that is the rares of birds, a bonafide family movie. There is no light without shadow, and all that philosophical, spiritual paraphernalia is packaged into the easy to digest tale of moving to a new place and struggling to acclimatize to new surroundings.
Riley is on the verge of turning 12, a single child with affluent, doting parents (at this moment I am certain there is a queue online to chew on white privilege, but I will not be one of them). Her inner-self, represented by anthropomorphic emotional avatars of Fear, Disgust, Anger, Sadness and Joy dwell in the construct of her developing brain. The latter rules the roost in a chirpy, but passive-aggressive, dominant manner, wanting everything to be happy all the time for Riley. There is even a way for these emotion characters to quantify their success: Every memory Riley makes is represented as a coloured crystal ball, a single-shot 360 degree video unit shaded in the hue of the emotion attached to it. Her memories are almost entirely hued yellow. Presumably Riley’s parents want also this perpetual happiness for their daughter as well. It’s a fools errand and we all race on this treadmill!
The bulk of the memories, at the end of each day, are pneumatically delivered to her brain’s storage archives and compartmentalized via a Brazil-like bureaucracy. A detail that I love about this representation are the various departments working at odds each other, be it clock-watching transport engineers, an over enthusiastic disposal crew (“She won’t need these phone numbers anymore, they’re stored in her phone.”) or the fact that there are simply memory spheres lying between shelves and in the nooks and crannies all willy-nilly. In this bright Pixar world, a way was found to make biology look messy and kudos for that.
I was cynical when I first heard about the development of a modern animated incarnation of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Who can blame me? Other classic cartoon characters revisioned for modern audiences have turned out mostly abysmal.
Needless to say, it looks like I was wrong. If the trailer is any indicator, The Peanuts Movie is not going to be Alvin & the Chipmunks or Smurfs.
It’s been 35 years since we’ve seen the Peanuts gang in a feature length film and, while the earlier films do hold up, perhaps it was time to revisit the characters for a new generation of kids. Charles Schulz’s very own sons helped write and produce the film and they even used archival recordings of Bill Melendez (who died in 2008) for the voices of Snoopy and Woodstock.
Yep–I’m sold. The Peanuts Movie hits theaters on November 6, 2015.
Director: Fernando Di Leo
Screenplay: Fernando Di Leo
Based on a Novel by: Giorgio Scerbanenco
Starring: Gastone Moschin, Barbara Bouchet, Mario Adorf, Philippe Leroy
Running Time: 102 min
BBFC Certificate: 18
The Italians spawned a number of subgenres that have remained popular amongst lovers of cult and genre cinema. I love a good spaghetti western myself and I’ve been starting to work my way through more giallos recently. One Italian subgenre I wasn’t particularly aware of until watching Arrow’s new release of Fernando Di Leo’s Milano Calibro 9 (a.k.a. Caliber 9) though is the poliziotteschi. This is a form of crime and action film that came from Italy in the late 60’s and 70’s, cashing in on the success of tough American cop thrillers like Bullitt, Dirty Harry and The French Connection. Although Di Leo’s film wasn’t the first in the subgenre, it was a critical and commercial success and helped boost the popularity of the poliziotteschi and the director. I’d heard of Milano Calibro 9 through a podcast and I’ve been keen to see it ever since, so I was very happy to hear Arrow Video got their hands on the title.
The film opens with a classic money/drugs exchange which goes wrong, resulting in some gangsters being out of pocket by $300,000. They quickly take their anger out on all those who could have done it, in a spectacularly violent fashion. They find nothing, although they didn’t quite get to everyone. Ugo Piazza (Gastone Moschin) was sent to prison shortly after the deal. Mobster nutcase Rocco (Mario Adorf) is waiting for him as soon as he sets foot outside the prison gates, and harasses him for the money. Ugo claims he doesn’t have it, but Rocco tells him that he has to pay the money back to his boss The Americano (Lionel Stander) or there will be devastating consequences. The police believe Ugo has the money too and also give him a hard time. Ugo does his best to keep both sides at bay, enlisting the help of his former gangster ‘family’ Chino (Philippe Leroy) and his Don. As expected, things don’t quite go to plan though and the bodies begin to pile up.