Trailer: The Ides of March


Cannot get enough of the ubiquitous Ryan Gosling? Here comes The Ides of March, an election campaign drama/thriller directed by George Clooney with about as many talented actors as you can squeeze into a movie: The aforementioned Gosling joins Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marissa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright and George Clooney himself in the role of the spotlighted political candidate. The film was penned by Good Night and Good Luck writer, Grant Heslov, who co-incidentally directed Clooney in the much sillier Men Who Stare at Goats.

After seeing this trailer, I’d vote for Clooney (he always delivers a good speech on screen), even if a very charismatic Gosling is going to backstab him on the campaign trail. This is one of the many films in the initial volley of TIFF titles, so those in Toronto will have a chance to catch this in early September, meanwhile the film will get its official release on October 7th. Sony is wise to release this sooner rather than later as America is going to be quite exhausted with the rhetoric of the 2012 presidential elections by mid next year, and may not want to see a more idealized reflection of the national climate up on screen.

The full trailer is tucked under the seat.

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Trailer: Red State


This trailer gives a fair bit of the feel for Kevin Smith’s Religious ‘thriller’ Red State and the variety of tonal changes in the film by outlining the gist of about 3 of the 5 ‘acts’ in the narrative. But the devil surely is in the details and you get a wonderful flavour of Michael Parks, Melissa Leo and John Goodman here. As I watched this trailer, loaded with Kevin Smith zingers, I suddenly realized that I liked the film more than my review (here) may indicate. Would I pay $60 for that film an a Q&A? Doubtful, as I have seen several of the the directors Q&A videos, but I would happily pay the usual $10 for a regular screening.

The full trailer is tucked under the seat. *Warning, it is loaded with F-Bombs.
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DVD Triage: Week of July 26

Quite a variety of stuff coming out this week, from mainstream cerebral sci-fi to Quebecois art films to medieval-set genre movies. Plus, Mad Men on Instant Watch. Still a lot of expirations coming at the end of the month, so watch out for those, and I’ll post August’s major additions to Instant next week. They come out on Monday, which is pretty far away from now and I was already running late with this as it is. 🙂

New Release Picks of the Week

Source Code
A more mainstream-friendly film from Duncan Jones, for better or worse, but the multiple universe concept behind it is pretty interesting, and there are some well-played character moments as well.
2011 USA. Director: Duncan Jones. Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix

Xavier Dolan’s sophomore film is a self-consciously stylized New Wave imitator that’s perhaps short on substance, but so gorgeous to look at (and listen to) that I didn’t care. Now can we PLEASE have I Killed My Mother on DVD in the US? Heartbeats is also on Instant.
2010 Canada. Director: Xavier Dolan. Starring: Xavier Dolan, Niels Schneider, Monia Chokri.
Amazon DVD | Netflix

I have to admit that when I watched the trailer, seeing Giamatti traipsing around being all indignant while wearing medieval armor kind of made me snicker, but I am always down for checking out medieval-set stories, and other Row Three-ers seemed to have a good time with it.
2011 UK. Director: Jonathan English. Starring: James Purefoy, Brian Cox, Derek Jacobi, Kate Mara, Paul Giamatti.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix

Life During Wartime Criterion
It’s rare for Criterion to put out a brand-new film on DVD – they do it with a portion of IFC releases, of which this is one, so even though I feel like it’s largely a marketing thing, it still perks up my interest. I haven’t seen other Solondz films, but I do want to delve into his reportedly eccentric filmography at some point.
2010 USA. Director: Todd Solondz. Starring: Shirley Henderson, Allison Janney.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix

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Mamo #210: Man On Fire

Mamo returns from the infernal brink of Hades itself! We talk Captain America, Comic Con, and the first wave of TIFF announcements. Plus, at some point in this show, Matty Price might actually single-handedly solve the problem of theatrical distribution for all time. Listen for it.

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DVD Review: Trigger


The band is called Trigger and in their day they were something. Ten years later in present day Toronto the two lead women of the band reunite in a sterile restaurant that smacks of everything their music was once in revolt of. They haven’t spoken since their abrupt onstage break-up, and the paths they have taken live in the shadow of what they once were. Kat is late and Vic is seething. Thus begins a conversation that carries them from Harbourfront to Parkdale to Allen Gardens to out of the way high school, devolving and evolving into something organically funny, sad and at times startling profound. In this his second Toronto story of the year, Bruce McDonald has made his own My Dinner with Andre that soaks in the talent and environment of Hogtown in a beautiful swan song for the late Tracy Wright, whose first lead performance as Vic will break your heart.

While still reveling in a medley of pleasures, the reuniting of the Twitch City crew, the original music of Brendan Canning (of Broken Social Scene), the ‘smell’ of Rock n’ Roll, and the guerilla sensibility of a bunch of friends making something on the familiar streets of our home, Trigger is more than a lark. Working from a phenomenal script that broaches the most believable animosities and familiarities of friends and lovers who have grown apart, Molly Parker as Kat and Tracy Wright as Vic are magnificent in their respective roles. Kat, the L.A. sellout, and Vic, the insecure music purist (with her ‘acoustic introspections’), struggle to reconcile their differences with one another and the drunk and junkie identities they left behind. McDonald plays up the inner struggles with theatric asides of the characters fantasizing of falling off the wagon, but mostly the struggles are seething under the surface ready to explode in key scenes.
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Cinecast Episode 222 – Goooochebaggery

After a fortnight hiatus, the Cinecast makes a most triumphant return back from Fantasia, furnace-level heat, and retro-future Nazis. This is somewhat of a quintessential episode because it includes everything we are (in)famous for: Bashing the comic-book film formula, an epic show length, film and people’s names mispronunced, wandering trains of thought, talking over one another, more than a hint of unpreparedness, out-of-the-blue spoiler bombs and Matt Gamble getting really angry.

We’ve got a **SPOILER LADEN** review of Captain America to dive into, and dive we do. Furthermore, Gamble offers two sneak peek reviews: First for The Change-Up with Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman as well as the large-ensemble screwball comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. Rounding out the 5 minutes shy of four hour show are Kurt’s exploits at the Fantasia Film Festival, Shivers as a Peep Show, some love for Chris Sarandon in the original Fright Night, Bradley Whitford as a 70s era copper, four entire words on Harry Potter, and more Indiana Jones references than you can shake a shield at. Lastly, with apologies to Bob Turnbull, Andrew was quite disillusioned with The Illusionist.

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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Full show notes are under the seats…
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TIFF 2011: First Wave of Titles Announced



A number of the Row Three Staff make it an annual ritual to see between 30 and 50 films during the month of September when Toronto is taken over by its largest celebration of cinema from around the world, The Toronto International Film Festival, aka TIFF. So the first announcement of titles is interesting because it often goes back to what the festival was many moons ago: a Festival of Festivals, where best films from Cannes, Berlin and Sundance (amongst others) are offered to local audiences. Of course the festival has gotten bigger over the years (and much more expensive) and World Premieres are also par for the course, but this first announcement allows to see many of the ‘big titles’ (aka Special Presentations and Masters programmes) with guaranteed distribution will make their World, North American or Canadian debuts.

A quick survey by director offers new films from David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method), Lars Von Trier (Melancholia), Pedro Almodovar (The Skin I Live In), Francis Ford Coppola (Twixt), Fernando Meirelles (360), Alexander Payne (The Descendents), Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive), Steve McQueen (Shame), Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz), George Clooney (The Ides of March), Roland Emmerich (Anonymous), Todd Solondz (Dark Horse), Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea), and Luc Besson (The Lady).

Other titles of interest is the former Soderbergh project starring Brad Pitt, Moneyball, as well as a lot of stuff from popular music, including Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam documentary, David Guggenheim’s U2 documentary and a feature film from Madonna simply titled W.E.

Some interesting genre films, including the James Ellroy adaptation, Rampart, which has a loaded cast: Woody Harrelson, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ned Beatty, Ben Foster and Anne Heche. South Korean thriller The Countdown exposes uses the underbelly of Seoul as a backdrop for a thirller. The Hugh Jackman and Olivia Wilde comedy, Butter, which also features Kristen Schaal. Noirish Killer Joe features Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple and Gina Gershon. And the B&W silent comedy favourite at Cannes, Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist will be screening, as will Joseph Gordon-Levitt cancer comedy, 50/50 which also features Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Phillip Baker Hall and Anjelica Huston

In the more dramatic side of things, I’ve been quite anticipating Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur which features Peter Mullan as an angry, cynical alcoholic who has reached rock-bottom is surprisingly brought back into life by a complete stranger: a middle-class woman with a strong belief in Christ. Eddie Marsan is also in it. Also Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilley star in Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin. Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas star in Lasse Halstrom’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. And from the directors of Persepolis comes another enchanting film adaptation of a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi: Chicken with Plums follows the last days of a talented musician’s (Mathieu Amalric) life as he desperately seeks to replace his beloved instrumental, the violin.

There are many titles, 50 in all so far, for those who wish to peruse over at the TIFF website.

Trailer: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s INTRUDERS

As the resident 28 Weeks Later super-fan, it seams reasonable that it should fall to me to post the trailer for the next Juan Carlos Fresnadillo film starring Clive Owen, Daniel Brühl, Carice Von Houten and Kerry Fox. Now that is my kind of casting! It is a small movie shot in Spain, but since that country seems to be the mecca for high craft genre-filmmaking, and Fresnadillo has an ability to inject a lot of subtext into a horror-thriller (see also Intacto) I am quite excited to see the results.

Two families whose lives are thrown off track by menacing apparitions: in Spain, a mother protects her son from a faceless stranger; meanwhile, in the UK, a young girl has terrifying dreams of Hollowface, a demon who becomes a real danger to the girl and her family. More than a simple tale of supernatural horror, Intruders is an intense psychological drama taking the family as its central theme.

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

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New Cult: KILL LIST Trailer

It has been a banner year for the rebirth about horror films or thrillers about cults and satanists. After a week at Montreal’s Fantasia Film festival and seeing several variants on the subject, one could say it’s a new trend. And one not that has not coagulated in any serious way since the late 1970s early 1980s. Following Ti West’s House of the Devil, I say things are long over due. One film that was surprisingly absent at this years Fantasia, especially considering the cultish status of Down Terrace, was Ben Wheatley’s Kill List, which from talking to those who caught it at Cannes or SXSW, is a masterpiece of the genre, and the trailer at least popped up a little while ago. Unable to get to it in mid-festival, I’m posting it here now, in case you missed it.

Eight months after a disastrous job in Kiev left him physically and mentally scarred, ex-soldier turned contract killer Jay, is pressured by his partner Gal, into taking a new assignment. As they descend into the dark, disturbing world of the contract, Jay begins to unravel once again – his fear and paranoia sending him deep into the heart of darkness.

The Trailer is tucked under the seat.
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