Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Chronicles of Narnia movies, based on the books by C.S. Lewis, have always been something akin to a red-headed stepchild in the world of the epic fantasy film. The movies have always been profitable, but have (rightfully) never achieved the same level of audience or critical enthusiasm as the far superior Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter franchises, whose successes were largely responsible for the Narnia series being green-lit in the first place. The third and most recent entry in the series is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, a movie that owes a lot to the Pirates of the Caribbean films in addition to the ones previously mentioned. Falling somewhere in between the enjoyable The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and the very weak Prince Caspian, the film is entertaining thanks mostly to the unsurprisingly impressive visual effects and a fun performance from young newcomer Will Poulter, but ultimately does little to distinguish itself from the dozens of other post-Potter cash grabs that have littered our screens in the past few years.
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Now Playing at the Row Three Rep: The Revolutionary

*I had to repost this because the Wikileaks ‘hacktivists’ activity going on right now is as close to a global revolution as we have got lately, and this triple bill puts some of that spirit in context.

[Row Three programming if we owned a Rep Cinema]


The Revolutionary Triple Bill


V for Vendetta – 1pm
Hunger – 4pm
Che (both parts) – 7pm

When does a terrorist become a freedom fighter? How much would you sacrifice for a belief? How does the power of myth distort reality? This programme is about revolutionaries that live by a code as the world around them tires. We begin with fiction, a comic book dystopia in V for Vendetta. Out of the ensuing chaos of a plague-stricken England, an Orwellian police state forms, and as the populace resign themselves to their lot a revolutionary known only as V attempts to make everyone remember what happened on the 5th of November. When Vendetta originally came out, slotted as a summer blockbuster and the first big project associated with the Wachowski Brothers since The Matrix, it’s fair to say, and with no pun intended, it bombed. Taking from the densely political graphic novel and making something with as much levity as 1984, it disappointed the popcorn crowd, as it did me on the first viewing; on revisit, and in context of this triple bill, the potency of some of its ideas rise to the surface. Even this far after 9/11 the bite of Vendetta’s role reversal with the audience sympathizing with the terrorists is still there (in one scene V says blowing up a building is about destroying the symbol of power it represents). Vendetta satirizes the complacency of the modern world and the fascist undertones of the global village all from a particularly English perspective, which flows nicely into the otherwise stylistically diverging entry of this programme, Steve McQueen’s Hunger.
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Cinecast Episode 193 – I Like Watching Him Sweat

 
 
With the curious drought of good (new) content at in the multiplexes these days (there are a lot of great limited releases, but none where we could both have access) Kurt and Andrew instead shift gears a bit and have a solid look at three ‘older’ films: Bruce McDonald’s HARD CORE LOGO, Jonathan Glazer’s BIRTH and Michael Winterbottom’s THE KILLER INSIDE ME. Some tangents on Pontypool (again), Under The Skin and Winterbottom’s diverse filmography ensue before Andrew closes on a revisit to Lady in the Water and Kubrick’s proto-feature, the 67 minute noir Killer’s Kiss and Valhalla Rising (again!) It will be back to regular programming and the return of Gamble next week, but for now, we hope you enjoy our micro-movieclub styled episode. Be thankful you were spared Kurt’s political rantings which were not captured ‘on air.’

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_193.mp3

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_193-alt.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
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Cinecast Episode 193 – (Alt. No Music Version)

Cinecast Episode 193 (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.

Thanks!

 

 
 

Trailer: Vanishing on 7th Street

There seem to be a lot of folks who have seen Brad Anderson’s latest, Vanishing on 7th Street, that want the film that is offered in this trailer, a post-apocalyptic action/survivor film. Instead the film is not exactly as advertised, but turns out to be an interesting enough metaphysical tale. It is smarter than people are giving it credit for, based on the usual expectations of the genre. I am not saying the film is for everyone, but I really dug it (Kurt’s Review.)

The stylish and kinetic trailer is tucked under the seat.
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Movie Music: 20 Great Pieces

For me, one of most important and enjoyable parts of a film is oftentimes the score. A great score can make an otherwise mediocre film good, just as a bland score can bring the quality of a great film down. My first rule when creating this list: the musical piece should not quite have iconic status – at least not in the sense that it would be recognized by the average, everyday person who doesn’t have a passion for cinema. This definition, of course, is vague and highly debatable, so I simply used my best judgment. When I say “iconic,” I’m thinking your Raiders March, your Good Bad Ugly, your Lawrence of Arabia iconic. These are twenty pieces that really stuck with me and helped pull me into the world that the filmmaker was creating.

Take a look, listen through, and feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments!

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8 Movie Characters Who Are Cooler than Your Man

This one goes out to all of those who may be in a happy relationship with a man they love and cherish, but who deep down know that he lacks one key component that would really light their fire: coolness. Well, ladies and gents, not everyone can be as cool as these guys listed below – but if you want to give them a lesson or two, you can have them check out these movies and maybe they will take the hint. And if not, maybe it’s time to move on.

1. Eddie Felson


Movie(s): The Hustler, The Color of Money
Quotable: “I’m the best you ever seen, Fats. I’m the best there is. And even if you beat me, I’m still the best.”
Why he’s cooler than your man: Granted, he smokes too much, drinks too much, he hardly knows when to quit, and he doesn’t much know how to treat a lady, but when it comes down to it, his nearly fatal flaws are what make him so cool, even if that was not Paul Newman’s intention in his creation of the character. Smarmy, stubborn, and obsessive, his pool playing skills have inspired thousands of men to pick up the cue stick at the bar – none of whom have ever been able to pull off the over-the-top confidence like Fast Eddie could. Your man usually just ends up looking like a real dick.
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Robert Downey Jr. can sing! And sing he will.

It probably won’t surprise anyone, but the multi-talented Robert Downey Jr. has a musical voice of the gods. In fact, he has been singing on soundtracks for his movies as far back as Chaplin (where he did a rendition of “Smile”) and as recently as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (the song in the closing credits). Anyone who watched Alley McBeal while he was on there is also probably aware of this. He even has a jazzy full-length album titled The Futurist.

Now that Downey is one of the biggest stars in the world, it is no wonder that Warner Bros. is developing a musical comedy as a starring vehicle for him, which he and his wife, Susan Downey, will also produce. According to Deadline:

The script and lyrics [of the untitled musical comedy] will be written by Brian Yorkey and the music will be composed by Tom Kitt. That’s the duo best known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning rock opera Next To Normal, which won 3 Tony Awards, including Best Score. … Yorkey and Kitt developed the idea with Anonymous Content’s Joy Gorman, with Downey and his Team Downey partner Susan Downey aboard to produce with Anonymous Content.

The hope is for Downey – a gifted singer – to play one of two Broadway songwriters who find themselves creatively and financially bankrupt when their big-break musical is a huge flop. Searching for some inspiration for their comeback, they take jobs as counselors, teaching singing and dancing at the theater camp they attended as kids.

First of all, I love that RDJ and his wife have a production company together called Team Downey. Secondly, anything starring Downey is worth getting excited over, especially if it will have him singing and dancing. If your unfamiliar with his musical endeavors, be sure to check out below the song “Broken,” which played during the closing credits of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

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Back to the Future 4… kinda.

If you were a kid of the 80s, then there was almost certainly a point in your life where you lounged around in your bed listening to your Huey Lewis and the News cassette, yearning for 2015 to arrive so that you could purchase the latest hoverboard. Now, over twenty years after the final movie in the Back to the Future trilogy, these desires may seep back into our subconsciouses. Telltale Games is releasing a five-part episodic video game that will continue the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown, taking place shortly after the events in the third film.

Much like the recent Ghostbusters video game, the original stars of this 80s classic (Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, in this case) lend their voice talents to the game, which will be playable on PC, Mac OS X, iPad and PlayStation 3. Knowing the company making these games, these voices will probably be the game’s only highlights, so it’s no wonder that the trailer plays solely off nostalgia.

A quick Google search of the game reveals that the first episode will come out this month and it can be downloaded on the official website for free using the code “121GIGAWATTS.”

I doubt I will bother, unless it by some slim chance gets fantastic reviews, but I will be interested to read about where the story goes after some others play through. And hey, if this inspires a new generation of kiddies to watch the classic trilogy, then I suppose these games weren’t a complete waste of time to make.