Bond. 2015. Spectre.

Skyfall was the first Bond film I saw that I felt wasn’t a novelty. It was a proper film (as Mark Kermode might say). It was gorgeous. It had interesting characters. The story was intricate and plot fulfilled. But the nostalgia was still there. Today all of the nine one-one on the next Bond film dropped in one fell swoop. Director, cast, title, villain and some marketing material.

So glad was I to hear that Sam Mendes would be returning for another go around! For twenty years, no Bond film has been made by the same director. So when they finally got one right, it’s wonderful to hear the news that they’ll be bringing back essentially the same team.

Of course, the first question I had was, “will they bring back Roger Deakins as cinematographer?” Alas no, but coming in at a close second – that I’m more than happy with – is Hoyte Van Hoytema, who has done some of the best looking cinema of recent years (e.g. Her, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Let the Right One In).

Next on the list is actors. Let’s just say my attention is garnered! Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw (returning as Q), Ralph Fiennes (spoiler character), Dave Bautista, Léa Seydoux, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear (Skyfall) and Albert Finney.

So yeah, I’m usually not that all caring about the next Bond film, but this one jut jumped up pretty high on my list of must sees in 2015. What do you guys think of all the news dropping today?

 

 
 

Blu-Ray Review: Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages

Director: D.W. Griffith
Screenplay: D.W. Griffith, Anita Loos, Hettie Grey Baker, Tod Browning, Mary H. O’Connor, Frank E. Woods
Starring: Robert Harron, Mae Marsh, Constance Talmadge, Alfred Paget, Miriam Cooper, Margery Wilson
Producer: D.W. Griffith
Country: USA
Running Time: 168 min
Year: 1916
BBFC Certificate: PG


My initial introduction to the work of D.W. Griffith didn’t go down too well. In the middle of last year I sat down to watch his controversial classic The Birth of a Nation and I did not enjoy the experience. Not only was the film uncomfortably offensive (which I was expecting), but I found the first half incredibly tedious. It was clearly a work of great importance, but I found it a real chore to watch. So when I was offered the chance to review his epic follow up, Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages, I almost turned it down. However, my desire to work my way through the classics crept in and after enjoying a run of excellent silent films over the last couple of months I decided to take the plunge.

Through groundbreaking intercutting techniques, Intolerance tells four stories of love struggling through intolerance of various forms in different eras and locations. The earliest is set in ancient Babylon, where a free-spirited mountain girl fights for her prince amongst a time of religious rivalry. The next shows a few scenes from the later life of Jesus Christ when the Pharisees condemned him. Another shorter section is set in 1572, following a doomed relationship during the build up to St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Paris. The final and most extensive section (alongside the one in Babylon) is set in the present day (1916), where social reformers make the lives of a young couple increasingly more difficult.

Would you like to know more…?

After the Credits Episode 162: December Preview

AMostViolentYear

We can now hang up our hats satisfied that we have provided preview shows for an entire year. Sure, it doesn’t sound like much when you consider the frequency of the other podcasts hosted here at Row Three but it’s a big deal for us so let us revel in it OK?

Colleen (adead.horse), Dale (Letterboxd) and I (Letterboxd), are a little distracted by the upcoming Whistler Film Festival (a preview podcast will go up either later today or tomorrow) and the fact that post move, I had limited ways in which to see the upcoming movie list, but we muddle through December’s offerings – from the awesome to the less so.

At the top of the show, we also share a few podcasts we’re listening to. Link goodness:

Colleen – Caustic Soda, Horsetrack Hooligans
Dale – Canadaland
Marina – Serial, On the Media, NPR: Planet Money, TLDR

Would you like to know more…?

Trailer: Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Da Sweet Blood

Never one for modesty, Spike Lee, has been in a bit of a dry patch lately, but Da Sweet Blood of Jesus looks to change all that in a big way. Just the kind of small-but-still-big canvas that the director excels at, and in an indie mode (Kickstarter + $10K from Steven Soderbergh got this made in 16 days) that he can get away with just about anything. The trailer has a lot of stuff going on, addiction, class, race, sex, murder, and all of it very is compelling. Look for the Danny Glover cameo.

Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) becomes cursed by a mysterious ancient Afrian artifact and is overwhelmed with a newfound thirst for blood. He however is not a vampire. Soon after his transformation he enters into a dangerous romance with Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams) that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is getting a day and date release (Theatrical and iTunes) on February 13th.

Black Friday One Sheet: Black Christmas

One of the original North American slasher films (freshly influenced from the Italian Giallos) turns 40 this year. Yup, Bob Clarke’s Black Christmas, in all its string-light, POV, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Keir Dullea glory.

Designer Gary Pullin delivers a handsome one-sheet in three colours, Red, Black and White to celebrate this fact. Nice details like the sorority-house letters on the phone, the infamous suffocation scene, and an ominous crimson tree looming over the entire house.