Cinecast Episode 457 – Lots of Gauges

We’re finally wrapping up our DePalma summer retrospective with what Film Junk readers have deemed the best Brian DePalma film that ever was, the iconic Scarface. Pacino and Loggia whoop-ah it up to eleven as they take over the Miami, gangster underworld. Is that enough to warrant a three hour run time? Can they carry us all the way to the finish? Kurt and Andrew investigate. From there, we travel a few hundred clicks to the west where the deepest oil well in history blowed-up real good with Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich aboard! Deepwater Horizon was a good time for those of us that got to witness it years later with a large 7-Up and hot, buttered popcorn in our lap. Do you concur? Lasty, Kurt revisits the original Star Trek Motion Picture on the big screen which turned out to be quite delightful and Andrew hopes for another positive showing from Woody Allen in a revisit of Vicky Christina Barcelona. Say hello to your little friend: The Cinecast!

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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Friday One Sheet: How to Mar A Nice Poster

So, you have a nice design idea to get across the feel of your film. You choose typeface for the title, the size, shape and location of the credit block. You come up with a central element. This movie is about writing, it is about New York City. You combine these two items in a clever way, using type to draw the iconic skyline in the page, using a classic mechanical typewriter. You even subtly underscore things by adding a red period that matches the decal on the typewriter.

But then foolishly, the marketing company forces you to be generic pictures of all the mid-tier actors in a garish line of boxes at the bottom, destroying the colour symmetry, clean design, and making the whole concept look half-assed. Why? Why? Is seeing a bearded Josh Peck in a tiny box near the bottom of the poster really adding value? Would not his name suffice? Addison Timlin? Chris Noth? I’m not picking on these actors, they are fine. But when you make a poster to entice someone to consider a film, it only looks desperate to put this sort of thing in.

Trailer: Paterson

“A bus driver in Paterson…It is very poetic.” Says the Japanese man on a bench. This new trailer for Paterson gives you a good feel and rhythm of Jim Jarmusch’s latest slice of top shelf cinema, without even scratching the surface of all the great treasures buried in the film. Adam Driver drives a bus, writes poetry on his breaks, walks his wife’s dog, and has a pint at the local watering hole. That’s it. Heck, if anything this trailer over-emphasizes many of the ‘plot red-herrings’ of the narrative, because “A trailer has to be exciting, right?” No matter, if it gets butts in seats, all the better for this, one of the best films of the year.

Fun Fact: Look for the young couple from Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom making a cameo on Paterson’s bus.

Enjoy.

After the Hype #158 – Green Room

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This week we’re joined by special guest Jackson Stewart – director of BEYOND THE GATES – to talk about the intense little film GREEN ROOM. It’s a great show, so you won’t want to waste another minute. Check it out and let us know what you think!

JACKSON STEWART | BEYOND THE GATES | TWITTER

 

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DVD Review: The Sacrifice

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Screenplay by: Andrei Tarkovsky
Starring: Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Allan Edwall, Guðrún Gísladóttir, Sven Wollter
Country: Sweden, UK, France
Running Time: 142 min
Year: 1986
BBFC Certificate: 12


I‘ve finally made it to the end of my Tarkovsky marathon (view all of my reviews here). I won’t say it was easy. Most of his films are rather long, slow moving and packed with philosophical ideas which largely went over my head. However, I have been consistently blown away by his talents as a director. He took command over some spectacular sequences which will be forever seared in my memory. None of the six films included in the marathon quite matched Andrei Rublev (which I’d seen previously, so didn’t request a screener to review) as my favourite Tarkovsky film. Ivan’s Childhood came close though and I thought highly of all of the films, even if a couple were tougher to get through than others.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, as I still haven’t given my thoughts on Andrei Tarkovsky’s final film, The Sacrifice (a.k.a. Offret or Sacrifice). It sees the elderly Alexander (Erland Josephson) spending time in his remote beach home with his young son, older daughter, wife, two friends and two maids. The group of them debate and bicker about various things until some shocking news is announced on the TV. Several warheads have been aimed towards Europe and the end of life on the planet (or possibly just Europe, it’s not clear) is inevitable. Alexander, his friends and family are all shocked and devastated of course, but it seems there might be one chance to save humanity and it’s in Alexander’s hands.

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Blu-Ray Review: Early Murnau – Five Films

Friedrich Wilheim Murnau is one of the most celebrated directors of the silent era. He’s most famous for Nosferatu and Sunrise, but was the mastermind behind several classic pieces of early cinema before his untimely death in 1931 at the age of 42. Although the two reviews I’ve previously posted of his films haven’t quite perched them on the high pedestal others have placed them (I gave Nosferatu 4 stars and Tabu 3), I still class myself as a fan of his work as I was blown away by Sunrise when I first saw it a couple of years ago. It fully deserves its status as one of the greatest films of all time. So when Eureka announced they were packaging five of his early films in a Blu-Ray set, I didn’t hesitate to take them up on the offer of reviewing it, particularly as it includes one of his most highly regarded works, Der Letzte Mann.

Included in the 3 Blu-Ray set are Schloß Vogelöd (1921 – a.k.a. The Haunted Castle), Phantom (1922), Die Finanzen des Großherzogs (1924 – a.k.a. The Grand Duke’s Finances), Der Letzte Mann (1924 – a.k.a. The Last Laugh) and Tartuffe (1925).

My thoughts on all titles included can be found below.

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Rowthree Staff Summary of TIFF 2016

Our traditional round-up of impressions and reactions to the massive slate of Toronto International Film Festival has arrived in its ninth edition here in the third row. A always been the case, Row Three staff and contributors along with a few a regular reader or two provide a tiny capsule, a postcard if you will, of all the films that they saw at the festival, accompanied by an identifier-tag: [BEST], [LOVED], [LIKED], [DISLIKED], [DISAPPOINTED], [FELL ASLEEP], [WALKED OUT], [HATED] and [WORST].

Collectively we – Kurt Halfyard, Matt Brown, Bob Turnbull, Mike Rot, Ariel Fisher and Sean Kelly – saw a sizable chunk of the 300+ films shown at the festival. Hopefully this post can act as a ‘rough guide’ for films that will be finding distribution on some platform, whether on the big screen, or small internet enabled screen, in the next 18 months.
 
 

THE SHORT VERSION:

Personal BEST: MOONLIGHT [Mike Rot], [Ariel] & [Matt B.], MANCHESTER BY THE SEA [Bob], NOCTURNAL ANIMALS [Kurt], and LA LA LAND [Sean].

Personal WORST: Several folks were not willing to truly hate anything they saw this year (and that’s cool) but the low-lights were: THE DUELIST [Kurt], ONCE AGAIN [Bob], and DOG EAT DOG [Sean].
 
 
Other Consensus Picks: PATERSON, PERSONAL SHOPPER, CERTAIN WOMEN, AFTER THE STORM, RAW, LOVING and GRADUATION.
 
 
The ‘MASSIVE’ version is below. All our thoughts and impressions from offerings of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

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Cinecast Episode 456 – So Far So Good…

The summer of 2016 officially winds down to a stop (thank the maker) as The Toronto International Film Festival comes to a close. Kurt spends a good chunk of this episode going through the best of the fest (from his perspective) and one or two things that didn’t work out quite as well as one would hope. Before we get there, we join Antoine Fuqua and his Magnificent Seven as they attempt to defeat the evil, mining industrialist, Peter Sarsgaard. It’s as close to an A-list cast as one can hope for these days, so does that pay off on the IMAX screen as it once did for the Western Blockbuster (if there ever was such a thing)? Lastly, Andrew has clearly had some time away from recording and producing to see quite a fair number of films. And breezes through a half-dozen of those before the boys call it a done deal. Regrets for not tying off the DePalma retrospective with a Scarface ribbon this week as promised; though that is in the works for next episode.

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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