Cinecast Episode 367 – Ginormous

After our brief September hiatus we are back to talk about…well…being ‘off the air’ for most of the month. Kurt gives (brief) highlights on the best things he saw at the Toronto International Film Festival. With no interest in either seeing or talking about Young Adult yawnfest The Maze Runner or A Walk Among The Tombstones (aka Taken 4), there is a brief conversation on last weeks’ cinema release, James Gandolfini’s final film, The Drop, a Brooklyn small-time gangster picture which also showcases a fine Tom Hardy performance. We go back to 1984 to re-examine the Joe Dante classic Gremlins. And there is a quite varied Watchlist including The Devil’s Rain, Open Range, Karate Kid III, Night of the Demon and Live.Die.Repeat.

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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Cinecast Episode 366 – Mermaid Mode


In this episode, Kurt and Andrew struggle to grasp hold of Ari Folman’s hybrid animated/live-action film The Congress. Then it is back to 1984 to visit Madison the Mermaid and high energy Tom Hanks. The Watchlist looks at the healing power of music, obscure Tae Kwon Do weirdness, VHS culture, Swedish deadpan masterpieces, a musician hiding behind paper mâché head, and Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan touring restaurants in Italy. Have at it.

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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Cinecast Episode 359 – Downtown China

 
Not sure even where to start with the monologue this week. Let’s see, there’s The Bay-Man’s fourth installment in the giant robots fiasco; which inexplicably is really easy to get worked up about. It’s not really worthy of hate, nothing to love, yet so easy to rant about. There’s a “sick, twisted desire” to torture ourselves over this movie – plus always an opportunity to delve into Andrew’s sordid history with the franchise.

Before all of this is Bong Joon-Ho’s English language debut with Snowpiercer and it’s overly satirical view of our apocalyptic, dystopian future on a crazy train. And Chris Evans is there. And protein bars made of shitty CGI.

The 1984 project continues with Val Kilmer’s first starring role in Top Secret!. He sings, dances, talks backwards, bar fights underwater and delivers punchlines that will be stolen by countless films for the next thirty years.

The Watch List sees Kurt wrapping up Breaking Bad, Andrew living in Tiny Houses, and Matt enjoying Disney’s Amblin knock-off currently playing in theaters. It’s a 150 minute power rant. LATRINE!

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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Cinecast Episode 347 – Two Princes

Part II is here. We talked Vol I of Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac last week, we finish that conversation this week in all its glorious whippiness and lack of Udo Kier. Then 1984 is continued with Prince and The Revolution, not Lake Minnetonka, Clarence Williams III, First Avenue and laughing in the Purple Rain. But we’re still on a weekend hangover from the Frabramble wedding party so we keep it short with no Watch List. But next week will get crazy with Game of Thrones starting up and also Andrew hitting M-SPIFF.

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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Cinecast Episode 337 – Hand on the Tiller

Another week another episode of quality TV. Quality of course being an understatement as we bask in the best television (and Matthew McConaughey) has to offer in “True Detective.” With nothing playing in the January mutliplexes, we time travel back 30 years to continue The 1984 Project. Sitting around the marijuana campfire, we lament the demise of The Doobie Brothers, drink full bottles of Jose Cuervo and bask in the Jungle and Lite-Jazz adventure that is Romancing the Stone. The Watch List this week is brief with Joe Dante and Ken Burns. And just for fun, there is a very quick Top 5 list in the mix. No time for the ol’ in and out, we’re just here to read the meter.

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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Cinecast Episode 336 – The Delivery of Disapproval

Trying out a new segment this week in our 1984 Project. We’ll be reviewing a different high profile (to us, anyway) film from 1984 each week for the foreseeable future. This week, that picture is 1984’s highest grossing film, Beverly Hills Cop. Before we get there though, we talk Iran’s submission for the foreign language Oscar (not nominated), The Past (Le passé). We also have a television show for one of our main reviews in episode one of HBO’s new series, “True Detective.” Lastly, there’s a bit of a watch list tucked in there towards the end of the show as well in which Andrew finally sees the latest Spike Jonze masterpiece and Kurt travels with Julia Roberts and Ms. Streep to Osage County.

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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Trailer: Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer

After fellow Koreans Kim Ji-Woon and Park Chan-Wook launched their English language debut films (The Last Stand and Stoker, respectively) the most nuanced of the trio of directorial superstars, Bong Joon-Ho is delivering the largest in scale, the nuclear-winter bound science fiction flick, Snowpiercer. He has brought along the magnificent Song Kang-Ho for the train ride, alongside a sampling of Brit and American character actors including, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Steve Park, Ewen Bremner, Allison Pill and Chris Evans. You may not be able to recognize many of them covered in dirt, grease and facial hair.

Bong’s Memories of Murder and The Host are two of my favourite Korean films, thus, I have high expectations for this one, Inception soundtrack and all…

A train-trapped version of Alien3 with Orwellian grace notes and a lots of axes, this hopefully, will be my The Hunger Games! Set in a future where, after a failed experiment to stop global warming, an ice age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. A class system evolves on the train but a revolution brews. The film is an adaptation of Jean-Marc Rochette’s French graphic novel series Le Transperceneige.

Movies We Watched

Sometimes we watch stuff that we want to talk just a little bit about, not a full review worth. These are those films. If any of the films reviewed are available on Netflix Instant Watch (US or Canada) or HuluPlus (US only), we’ll note that by putting a direct link below the capsule.

Buried

2010 USA/Spain/Frane. Director: Rodrigo Cortés. Starring: Ryan Reynolds.

An extreme form of one-room film, with the whole thing set in a coffin buried somewhere underground. Ryan Reynolds carries the film admirably as an army contractor who gets taken hostage and buried alive with just a cell phone and a few other items, with the intention that he will get a sizeable ransom from the US government for his release. As we know, the US government doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, leaving Reynolds hoping that the dispatched search and rescue team will find him before his air runs out. The film ratchets up tension admirably, keeping the audience engaged through 95 minutes of basically nothing happening except a man talking on a phone. There are nitpicks to be made, and I do wish there had been some better explanation for why he didn’t try to dig out through the obviously loose and relatively shallow dirt above him, but for the most part, it’s pretty effective as a tight-space thriller.
– JANDY

Netflix Instant (USA)

Gattaca

1997 USA. Director: Andrew Niccol. Starring: Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, Uma Thurman.

While Gattaca did not fly quite as far under the radar as The Man from Earth or Dark City, I cannot help but feel that it remains incredibly underseen and underappreciated. It is generally regarded as a strong film, to be sure, yet I would argue that it is among the greatest sci-fi films ever made. Nimbly toeing the line between the bleak and hectic Blade Runner and the philosophically draining The Man from Earth, Niccol’s universe not only feels realistic – it feels possible … if not probable. The physical presentation of the world is bleak, yes, but it is also vibrant and alive, crafting a future that is advanced, but not so advanced so as to be a distraction. This, of course, ignores the tremendous turns of Ethan Hawke and Jude Law, whose relationship is organic and beautiful. Uma Thurman is undoubtedly the weak link in the chain, but that may be as much a product of her underutilization, if not a side effect of the brilliance of most everything else.
– DOMENIC

Netflix Instant (CANADA)

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Bookmarks for September 2nd through September 3rd

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What we’ve been reading – September 2nd through September 3rd:

  • Where the Wild NY Times Feature Is.
    "Really, though, the quarrel was about something more unusual in Hollywood than darkness versus light, something more central to Jonze’s identity: the question of plot versus attitude." The NYT Magazine has a seven page feature on Where the Wild Things are and a Spike Jones Career retrospective (The visual version of this is at the Museum of Modern Art in the near future)
  • Online Steaming: Movies From Youtube and Google
    "Google Inc.'s YouTube is in discussions with major movie studios about streaming movies on a rental basis, a test of whether the online video giant can persuade its millions of users to pay for premium content."
  • So today is a very good day for dolphins!
    The Cove appears to be a successful piece of activism: "Today is September 1st, the first day of the dolphin slaughter season in Japan. But when I arrived today by bus from Kansai Airport with media representatives from all over the world, the notorious Cove from the movie was empty. There were no dolphin killers in sight."
  • Best ‘Movie Summer’ Ever?
    While the entire Cinematical.com staff go to town on their favourite movie summers, I have to side with Scott Weinberg. 1984. Temple of Doom, Star Trek III, Gremlins and Ghostbusters all within 15 days. O My.