Cinecast Episode 201 – He’s Got Punch [Alt. No Music Version]

Cinecast Episode 201 (alternate version with no music). This post is simply for streaming purposes and easier access for iTunes subscribers. For full show notes and listener comments, please visit the official post for this episode.




John Hillcoat’s latest gets Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman.

If that headline didn’t make you spit out your root beer float in excitement, I daresay you aren’t much of a movie person. Back in December, we brought you the news that John Hillcoat’s Prohibition-era bootlegging drama The Wettest County in the World was back in the works after falling apart sometime after the originally reported cast (Ryan Gosling, Shia LaBeouf, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Dano and Michael Shannon) left the project due to numerous delays. Quickly becoming all but a distant memory of a film that would never quite be, most were excited to hear the the film was back on. While LaBeouf was still announced as a star, rising screen actor Tom Hardy was now filling the role once occupied by Gosling.

Now, if the prospect of this film were not exciting enough based on the director, the source material, and Tom Hardy starring, it was announced today that Guy Pearce (who previously worked with Hillcoat on the masterful The Proposition) and demigod Gary Oldman are signed on in significant supporting roles. Rounding out the cast is Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, and Jason Clarke. Here’s the descrption from The Hollywood Reporter:

Based on the novel The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant, and on his grandfather and two great-uncles, the true gangsters story details of the saga of the Bondurant boys, bootlegging siblings who take the law into their own hands in Prohibition-era Virginia while making a run for the American Dream. Nick Cave wrote the screenplay.
Pearce will play an overly violent deputy who comes down hard on the Bondurants while Oldman will play a gangster who engages the boys to deliver alcohol.

Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right) plays LeBeouf’s love interest, a local Mennonite girl. Clarke (TV’s Chicago Code) is playing the brother to LaBeouf and Hardy. …

The movie is currently in pre-production in Georgia and is scheduled to begin filming on Feb. 28.

I just picked up the book on the Borders clearance shelf a few weeks back and I am really looking forward to reading it. This adaptation, which is penned by our favorite everyman Nick Cave – is shaping up to be epic… and maybe this will finally be the film that really puts John Hillcoat on the mainstream map. All I am saying is that Hillcoat better get a nice shiny new suit, because based on the strength of those involved, I have a feeling he will be attending quite a few awards ceremonies once this comes out.

Review: Cold Weather


[Cold Weather is now in limited theatrical release and available on IFC On Demand, so we’re reposting our review from the LA Film Festival.]

There are ways to do tonal shifts in movies that work, but the way in which hipster mystery drama Cold Weather tries to do it doesn’t work quite as well as one would hope. The film is really two films in one – firstly, a straight drama/relationship story with the slight twist that the main relationship is a sibling one rather than a romantic one, and secondly, a mildly comedic mystery hinging on the main character’s background in forensic pathology and latent desire to be a detective.

Doug and his sister Gail have recently begun sharing an apartment, both hoping to get their lives back on track after drifting a bit after college. Doug takes a job at an ice factory, becomes friends with Carlos, another guy who works there, and the three of them do random hangout-y things for about forty-five minutes of the film. At some point, Doug’s ex-girlfriend Rachel comes back into the picture, not really in a romantic way, but just in a hangout-y kind of way. Until she maybe disappears, finally kicking off the mystery portion of the film.

Would you like to know more…?

Recent Bookmarks [Jan/Feb]


  • Star Wars Fan Made Documentary
    I’ve seen a lot of Star Wars documentaries in my day; and professional or otherwise, this is probably the best one I’ve ever seen. Granted I don’t watch a lot of “making of” stuff these days, but I can’t recall one that’s put together in this way. If you’re the slightest of Star Wars fans, stop what you’re doing right now and give this a look. I’ve already been hooked for hours and there is plenty more to go!
  • In Defense of Michael Mann’s Collateral
    A few film directors end up becoming masters of specific subjects. Michael Mann is the Hollywood Epic Techno-Crime expert. Did he grow up with it? Did he research it? Even though Mann has made good films in other genres (The Last of the Mohicans and specially The Insider), it is in his crime stories that we witness such a level of detail that we never question their realism. The impact of his characters on us is stronger; they spring from a part of real life that most of us have never been in contact with. Mann knows the precise block of the prison where they met, what their aliases are, what crimes their rap sheets include, and what dark and isolated places under which bridges they plan their schemes.
  • 20 Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies That Need Sequels
    He’ll be back…
  • Grading the Movie Studio Logo Openers – Part I: The Big Boys
    Like most movie geeks out there, I get giddy at the sight of many a movie studio’s animated logo sequence before the start of a film. Although some may say that it’s merely a meaningless logo, those who work in or have studied the graphic arts (or perhaps live in close proximity to someone that does) know that logos are powerful instruments that can build up or tear down companies. Additionally, they each speak volumes about not only the companies themselves but about the products that the companies deliver to you.
  • Affleck to Call Bullshit for Next Film?
    With two critically-acclaimed films under his belt, Ben Affleck has plenty of options for his next directorial gig.

  • In Defense of The Notebook
    If there is one film from the last decade maligned only for its genre and audience, and nothing else, it is “The Notebook.” I contend that not only is “The Notebook” a good film, it is the single greatest work of romantic fiction of the last decade.

  • 20 Outstanding Tron: Legacy Fan Artworks
    These are more fun than the actual movie.


You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this:


Trailer for British Wes-Anderson-esque Submarine


There are the inevitable comparisons to Rushmore when considering Richard Ayoade’s debut film, Submarine. Strong and interesting musical integration, self-aggrandizement, family issues, quirky adults and quirkier young folks. But do not let that be considered a detriment, because Ayoade (perhaps best known from TV’s The Mighty Boosh and The IT Crowd) easily puts his own stamp and style on things. The seaside British locales go a long way towards giving this a unique visual look (along with Erik Wilson’s earth-tone and sunlight cinematography), and the supporting actors include Noah Taylor, Sally Hawkins and Paddy Considine all at the top of their game. Having seen the film, I think they (UK’s Optimum Releasing) could have, somehow, sold it better than this trailer, something I am finding hard to articulate is missing, but nonetheless, it shows off the look and hints at the tone.

Based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne, Submarine follows one 15 year old boy who must fight to save his mother from the advances of a mystic, and simultaneously lure his girlfriend in to the bedroom armed with only a vast vocabulary and near-total self-belief. His name is Oliver Tate.

After very successful runs at major festivals (TIFF, London Film Festival, Sundance) you will want to check this one out when it drops theatrically sometime later on this year (likely a lot sooner if you are in the UK.)

The trailer is tucked under the seat.
Would you like to know more…?

DVD Review: Wild Target

Wild Target DVD Cover

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Screenplay: Lucinda Coxon, Pierre Salvadori
Producers: Martin Pope, Michael Rose,
Starring: Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Rupert Everett, Martin Freeman
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 98 min.

I sometimes wonder what attracts actors to certain projects. On some occasions the reasons are obvious: a big paycheque, a movie that will attract lots of eyeballs, Oscar contenders, juicy roles – but when a movie like Jonathan Lynn’s Wild Target attracts the likes of Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt, the thought re-emerges.

Wild Target Movie StillAdmittedly, Nighy, as awesome as he is, has a (recent) track record of less than stellar work, case in point are Underworld (one, two and three) and G-Force, but having him and Blunt together here was enough to get my attention. Even if it was only out of mild curiosity at the train wreck.

I’m happy to report that Wild Target isn’t nearly as bad as the trailer and synopsis suggested though it does feel like a script that was pulled out of 1973 (in reality 1993), given a mild updating and shot with some recognizable names.

Blunt plays Rose, a small time con artist who gets in over her head when an art forgery sale goes wrong. Ferguson (Rupert Everett in yet another comedic side role – I can’t remember the days he did anything besides these), the purchaser, figures out it’s a fake and hires Victor (Nighy), the best assassin in the country, to take her out but he finds himself drawn to Rose and botches the job. Ferguson then hires Hector (Martin Freeman) to take them both out but by this point, Rose has hired Victor to provide around the clock protection. Mixed into the equation is Tony (Rupert Grint) who Victor takes under his wing as his protégé.

Would you like to know more…?

Film on TV: February 7-13

Red, playing late Tuesday/early Wednesday on TCM.

More Oscar-nominated goodness from TCM this week, including some that are more current than TCM’s usual fare, though no less worthy of inclusion, like 1994’s Red, one of my all-time favorites, playing in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. See also political thriller Z on Wednesday on TCM, Danny Boyle’s reinvigoration of the zombie genre in 28 Days Later on IFC on Friday, and holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street on TCM on Sunday. And don’t miss TCM’s all-day tribute to 1939, one of the best years of film in all of cinema history.

Monday, February 7

12:00N – TCM – Libeled Lady
Throw William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, and Jean Harlow all together in an MGM comedy, and you’re almost guaranteed a winner. And Libeled Lady delivers with a twisty story, fast-talking script, and the best these stars have to offer.
1936 USA. Director: Jack Conway. Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow, Walter Connolly, Charley Grapewin.

12:30pm – IFC – Spirited Away
Often considered Hayao Miyazaki’s finest film, it’s easily among the best family-friendly animated films in existence, full of magic and wonder, gods and spirits, and shapeshifting spells.
2001 Japan. Director: Hayao Miyazaki. Starring: Rumi Hiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki.

5:15pm – TCM – South Pacific
This is actually one of my least favorite Rodgers & Hammerstein films, yet it has one of my favorite Rodgers & Hammerstein scores. I think I just never liked the use of colored filters in the film. Yet, I do love the score.
1958 USA. Director: Joshua Logan. Starring: Rosanno Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, France Nuyen.

10:00pm – TCM – Mrs. Miniver
One of the more celebrated World War II home front films has Greer Garson in an Oscar-winning turn as the stalwart title character, holding her home together against the German Blitz. It’s the kind of movie that could only be made in 1942, and it won awards all over the place. It comes off a bit over-earnest today, though.
1942 USA. Director: William Wyler. Starring: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright.

Would you like to know more…?

“Cowboys and Aliens” Super Bowl Ad

I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot of ads coming out of Super Bowl Sunday over the next few days. A more interesting one might be the promo spot for Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. While I remain skeptical, it’s optimistic skepticism as the trailers so far have looked fairly exciting and interesting. Everything here looks pretty great. And I’m always hoping my childhood hero will someday make a triumphant comeback. Will this be it? Probably not, but I can always hope. Universal is bringing Cowboys & Aliens in only 2D(!) to theaters on July 29th, 2011 this summer.


1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution dont welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). Its a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience a fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation.


Review: The Illusionist (2010)


Recently, my ten-year old son has moved away from calling me “Daddy” and started in with the shorter and more to the point “Dad”. I’ve been having mixed feelings about this – while it’s great to see him mature and push his boundaries a bit towards his upcoming teenage years, it’s also kind of sad to see a few more of the remaining traces of my little boy evaporate in front of my eyes. Oh sure, the occasional “Daddy” still slips out every so often, but he’s made the turn. It’s just one of many changes that any child goes through as they mature and yet another point where the parents can reflect on what’s slipped away while also being excited about what’s ahead. It’s pretty much a perfect example of the word bittersweet.

Change that evolves (as opposed to change that is designed) is like that. You can see the reasons for it occurring, but sometimes that doesn’t ease the pain of losing what was there. Take, for example, the circumstances facing an old time magician caught in a fast changing modern world as shown in The Illusionist. Sylvain Chomet’s most recent exercise in beautifully hand-drawn animation, depicts the wonderful subtlety and gentle wonder of the old art form of a travelling stage magician. He performs sleight of hand tricks, pulls small props out of nowhere and, yes, even a rabbit out of a hat (one particularly grumpy rabbit), but he does this to small apathetic crowds. It’s getting tougher and tougher for him to eke out a living so when he gets offered a job in the Northern region of Scotland he takes it. The simple rural existence of the pub patrons allows for an appreciation of his craft and there’s no cynical pointing to what’s up his sleeve or seen-it-all-before attitude anywhere in his new audience. In particular, a young girl working at the pub is enthralled with his act and ends up following him back to the big city. She literally believes he can do magic.

Would you like to know more…?

International trailer for Joe Wright’s Hanna


Shaping up to be the ‘guilty pleasure’ Hollywood action-fest for 2011, the UK trailer for Hanna focuses less on plot and more on Saoirse Ronan’s titlular character. Upon considering both marketing strategies, it looks like a grand time at the movies, either way. Finally (ok, I’m kidding), they made a Bourne/Salt-styled super-spy movie aimed at the teenager set – only it isn’t – particularly when you consider the art-house director, world-class cast, and the promise of it being more than a little bloody. Do you think this will go out rated R? I do.

The trailer is tucked under the seat.
Would you like to know more…?