After the Hype #146 – Ghostbusters (1984)

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When Thursday rolls around, and you’re looking for something to do, and you’ve got an hour to spare….who you gonna call? That’s right! AFTER THE HYPE! YAY, MUCH CLEVER! We’re here this week with special guests Mackenzie Peykov and Renee Gauthier to talk the 1984 classic GHOSTBUSTERS. Saddle up them proton packs and get ready to be slimed. It’s gonna feel funky…in a good way.

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Trailer: Hell or High Water

Not a particularly clever title, but it’s great to see Ben Foster getting back on the proverbial horse. Ten years ago and I would’ve said this guy is going to be an A-lister among A-listers. But he’s been virtually nowhere to be seen.

 

A story about the collision of the Old and New West, two brothers — Toby (Chris Pine), a straight-living, divorced father trying to make a better life for his son; and Tanner (Ben Foster), a short-tempered ex-con with a loose trigger finger — come together to rob branch after branch of the bank that is foreclosing on their family land. The hold-ups are part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that powerful forces beyond their control have stolen from under their feet. Vengeance seems to be theirs until they find themselves in the crosshairs of a relentless, foul-mouthed Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) looking for one last triumph on the eve of his retirement. As the brothers plot a final bank heist to complete their plan, a showdown looms at the crossroads where the last honest law man and a pair of brothers with nothing to live for except family collide.

 

 

Hell or a High Water is a modern action drama set in West Texas where the distinction between honest men and outlaws has blurred beyond recognition. Besides Ben Foster, Hell or a High Water features a cast that includes Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Gil Birmingham.

CBS Films will release Hell or a High Water in select theaters on August 12th and nationwide on August 19th. See you there?

Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

As if you need further proof that the rebooted Star Trek universe is flash-in-the-pan pop cultural action-blockbuster-mush instead of boldly attempting any kind of science fiction or social ideas — something more or less ended with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country — here is Rihanna fiddling while Rome burns.

While the nerd collective throws an over-the-top hissy fit about the all-Female Ghostbusters, I continue to quietly lament the Star-Wars-Too-Fast-Too-Furious-ification of this third go-around on Trek in the multiplex.

(Also, on a serious, perhaps inappropriate note, at least a more morbid one, this is twice now that Justin Lin inherits a big budget franchise, one of the leads dies tragically via car. Two data points doesn’t make a trend, but I wonder if Star Trek Beyond will have a Yelchin-bump in terms of audience interest in the same way the Furious Franchise did with Paul Walker.)

DVD Review: Ivan’s Childhood

Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky, Eduard Abalov (uncredited)
Screenplay by: Vladimir Bogomolov, Mikhail Papava, Andrey Konchalovskiy (uncredited), Andrei Tarkovsky (uncredited)
Based on a Story by: Vladimir Bogomolov
Starring: Nikolay Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov, Evgeniy Zharikov, Valentina Malyavina
Country: Soviet Union
Running Time: 90 min
Year: 1962
BBFC Certificate: PG


Andrei Tarkovsky is a director whose name has become a byword for the kind of ‘high-art’ cinema that critics tend to love, but your average viewer would gladly distance themselves as far as possible from. I have a hit and miss relationship with that style of filmmaking so you might have thought I would have been hesitant to offer to review his work, currently being remastered and re-released on Blu-Ray and DVD in the UK by Curzon Artificial Eye. However, I’ve only actually seen one of Tarkovsky’s films before, Andrei Rublev, and that blew me away with its spectacular set pieces and striking cinematography. So I’ve been desperate to dig further into his oeuvre ever since and practically leapt at the chance to review Ivan’s Childhood, Tarkovsky’s debut feature and the first of his films to receive the re-release treatment by Curzon Artificial Eye. I’m planning on reviewing the whole set (other than Andrei Rublev due to time constraints and the fact I’ve already seen it not too long ago), so watch this space.

Ivan’s Childhood is set during WWII and tells the story of a 12 year-old orphan, Ivan (Nikolay Burlyaev), who works for the Soviet Army as a scout. His size and seeming innocence make him a perfect candidate for the job, so his three pseudo-guardian officers keep him operating as such, despite their misgivings about sending such a young boy out on such dangerous missions. They do try to send him to military school at one point, but Ivan is too determined to allow this. After his mother and sister were killed by the Nazis he spends his nights dreaming of vengeance.

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Cinecast Episode 446 – Needlessly Sleazy

We may have to sprint for the end on this one. Time constraints is our enemy this week but we’re powering through undaunted; just like Brian DePalma filming a big-budget picture. This week we feel a little bit bad about staring at Blake Lively’s ass (a little bit) in Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows. We also get to (finally!) talk about the De Palma documentary, aptly titled De Palma. This segues nicely into his 2002 film, Femme Fatale. Unlike previous sessions of our ongoing De Palma retrospective, there’s a difference of opinion on this one, who loves it and who was not in love?

On the blockbuster front, Kurt smartly stayed away, but Andrew couldn’t resist catching up with a 20-years-in-the-making sequel to see if Jeff Goldblum still has what it takes to save the planet from invading aliens. Spoiler: he does, but no one else really does. Andrew zips through a quick watch list that includes a first time watch of Harold & Maude, a light-hearted look at the abortion issue in Obvious Child and Danny Boyle forces you into a straw filled with piss… and man you get thirsty. We dip our toes into other things in this brisk, but packed, show as well. It’s not a dream.

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: American Pastoral

This handsome, exceptionally well designed, one sheet for Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, American Pastoral is eye catching in part due to the sepia-on-fire colour palette, but mainly due to the 90 degree tilt. Lovely use of both the large tree, and the negative space for which to put an unconventional title placement (notably in the smoke of the fire). Based on the Philip Roth novel of the same name, one can hope that the film itself is as good and thoughtful as the energy that went into the poster design!

Trailer: The Shallows

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I wish more trailers were cut this good. Somehow we missed Sony’s colour-saturated, tiny shark survival movie starring Blake Lively, when it first popped up online. But with its soundtrack, voice-over and smooth edit, this is one of the best trailers I’ve seen this year, and too damn good not to post; hence, we offer it now. The film, at least in Canada, opens this weekend, even if the trailer says June 29th.

The Shallows is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, who was responsible for two underrated Liam Neeson action flicks (I know, I know, there is a glut of these), Non-Stop and Run All Night

Trailer #2: The Birth of a Nation

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Nate Parker’s ‘taking back the title’ historical drama, The Birth of A Nation is an important corrective measure in American cinema, coming to cinemas 100 years after all the damage that D.W. Griffith’s epic blockbuster of the same name enabled back in 1915 — not the least of which is resurrecting a near-extinguished KKK. Griffith’s film also is considered the first mega-sized film produced, and kicked off the ‘bigger is better’ mentality that has been the rhythm of Hollywood almost ever since.

If 2016’s The Birth of A Nation looks like Oscar-bait, that is because it is. But not the cynical, play the game Hollywood boutique kind, that of an earnest, passionate voice looking to come to the table on his own terms. This is what Oscar-bait should look like if we are to take the derogatory connotation away from the phrase. The challenge of this picture is to come out from the long shadow of Steve McQueen’s extraordinarily shot and acted, 12 Years A Slave.

The Birth of a Nation won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being picked up by Fox Searchlight. The film hits theaters stateside on October 7, 2016. And the second trailer is below.