Get Your Cast to Mars – Bonus Episode: Life And Covenant

Get Your Cast To Mars was originally a three part (+ bonus episode) micro-podcast focusing on the planet Mars in the movies. Matthew Brown and Kurt Halfyard considered the red planet as an image, an idea, and a somewhat rare place visited in the cinema (and Television) of the past 100 years.

Like humanity itself, we just can’t leave well enough alone! Welcome to our ultra-casual (no introductions, we just drop you right in the middle of the experience) and long promised bonus episode to Season 2! While the second season focused on National Geographic’s MARS docudrama-mini and all that was fine and nice, we couldn’t help but check in in Trump-era 2017 to talk about Mars as an evolving infection. As per Season 1’s bonus episode the lion-share is on Sir Ridley Scott’s evolving Alien franchise. To be on topic, somewhat, there is also some discussion about Daniel Espinosa’s LIFE.

Consider this bonus episode the capstone to our two-season-and-done micro-podcast. We hope you enjoy this extra edition as much as we did the strong black coffee and savoury biscuits, while recording at Toronto’s Sumach Espresso.

Viewing Syllabus: Life (2017) and Alien: Covenant (2017).

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

 

The Complete First Season of Matt and Kurt getting their Cast To Mars:

 
 

The Second Season:

 
 
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Cinecast Episode 483 – Drag Me to Hell

We’ve come full circle. The Cinecast started with an argument on Alien and almost ten years later it continues with an argument about Alien: Covenant (SPOILERS!). Almost ninety minutes of chatting about the inner-workings of Ridley Scott’s brain and his plan for the current state of, and future of the Alien franchise. Something things to love, some things that aren’t quite as lovely. But rest assured with double the Fassbender, there is a lot to discuss here. After that, we try to rank out the order of Fincher’s filmography should be exposed to children after some talk on Zodiac. Our beloved Romancing the Stone makes another Cinecast appearance as well as Mendelsohn and Reynolds grinding through Mississippi. And hey Tarantino’s breakout hit is actually a master class in editing. We talk about the kids’ experience with “R” rated material and remember our own childhoods and being turned away from the multiplex for not having the proper ID.

Turns out the Alien franchise is a nice morning warm-up and we’re happy to share it with you. But beware of face-huggers and SPOILERS! As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

We’re now available on Google Play!

 

 
 

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Sunday Video Essay: Prometheus Primer

With Alien: Covenant on the horizon, it is about time for a religious primer of the images and ideas considered in Prometheus. Here video blogger Eugene Baldovino looks at the various Egyptian, Christian, and Mayan images and stories that are incorporated into the basic storytelling DNA of Ridley Scott’s Alien Prequel. Since that prequel is on its way to becoming an entire prequel trilogy, and the second part has the very religious subtitle of Covenant, have a look. His theory at the end, feels more like Interstellar, than Alien (this video was recorded prior to Christopher Nolan’s film), but the journey leading there is pretty intriguing.

Cinecast Episode 481 – History is Unfair

HotDocs is back for its 2017 run and according to Kurt it’s been a wonderful festival so far – especially if you’re into donkey poetry and encouraging children to cut out tongues. Luckily Andrew got to join in the mix this year and help with the discussion on shoe shiners in the delightful Shiners and with the glorious 78/52 in which talking heads analyze Hitchcock’s infamous shower scene in his classic and most well known film, Psycho. But before we get to all that, the multiplex has been only somewhat watchable with no one (wisely) wanting to compete with The Furious of the Seven. We find things to like about The Lost City of ZED but also a lot of issues with the film making. Next up, Anne Hathaway fights inner demons and giant robots in the surprisingly dark Colossal, which is basically a mishmash of Pacific Rim and Rachel Getting Married. Andrew’s watch list includes Oscar-bait mediocrity, a horrible (or terrific depending on which host you ask) comedy remake and Joss Whedon’s dry run at “Firefly”/Serenity. There are some tangents on casinos, senior discounts, Jonathan Demme and legalizing marijuana along the way. Classic Cinecast… We hope you enjoy listening as much as we did conversing.

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

We’re now available on Google Play!

 

 
 

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Prologue: Alien Covenant

With all of the marketing for the new Alien movie, the so-called sequel to Prometheus, you might have been asking, what of the two survivors from the first film, Elizabeth and David? Well, the most recent prologue answers that question in the most handsome and wonderful way. I cannot be more excited for what Ridley Scott and his creative time of writers and craftspeople come up with, but I’m happy to see Michael Fassbender continue to command center-stage in this, second Alien Trilogy.

Trailer: Alien Covenant

Let the franchise pandering continue with the latest trailer for Prometheus Sequel, or just another Alien movie, Alien: Covenant. Clearly the trailer is highlighting a lot of classic tropes of the ever increasing franchise of xenomorph films, but the trailer does highlight an interesting dynamic across all these varied films, that of the community on the ship. The first Alien movie was blue-collar workers in space, and the second film was gung-ho marines, the third movie was uneasy inmates and the fourth one was, ahem, Firefly. Prometheus was an uneasy collection of corporate mercenaries, kind of 2nd and 3rd string of competence (hence all the dumb mistakes they make, which people relentless write off as ‘plot holes’ or ‘bad writing’.)

Covenant has the crew organized as romantic couples, settlers for a new world. Since sex and violence and inter-species rape has always been churning in this franchise, I’m actually quite curious to see how this plays out. But at the moment, yes, all the ‘give them what we think they want’ aspects of the Covenant marketing campaign have been putting up a lot of red flags.

Also, the Australian and New Zealand locations sure look sweet here.

Prologue: Alien Covenant

Is this the first 5 minutes of the new Alien movie, or merely a web-released bit of glossy fan-service? (Or do you remember that TED Talk issued prior to Prometheus?)

Nevertheless, if you want a look at the crew of the Covenant, a colony ship with its human inhabitants (and another version of Michael Fassbender’s android, David) bound for a humanities first reachable Class-M planet on the far side of the galaxy, Fox has put a solid introduction online. With some quite serendipitous timing, in light of the recent NASA discovery of host of possible Class-M’s only 40 light years away.

I hold out hope that Alien: Covenant will continue the weird ‘quest for god’ angle in Prometheus, rather than simply rehashing Scott’s 1979 film. But I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t point out that I find it a little weird that cowboy hat sporting Danny McBride and ghoulish kill-joy James Franco are humanities idea of future world builders. Katherine Waterston, Amy Seimetz and Billy Crudup among others make up the principle cast in this chapter, and the IMDb indicates that Noomi Rapace will return.

But for now: props to David’s 22nd century improvement on the Heimlich Maneuver.

John Hurt: 1940 – 2017

Legendary actor John Hurt as passed on just less than a week after his 77th birthday. How does one even begin to sum up his career? From British Television in the 1960s to a small role in the multi-Oscar feted, A Man For All Seasons, to drunken patsy and terrible spouse, in 10 Rillington Place, to the shockingly gaunt Emperor Caligula in the greatest BBC miniseries of all time, “I, Claudius.” Even though the actor always looked older than his actual age, he was just getting started.

All of this was before that iconic scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien (and Hurt was deprecating enough to re-enact it as a comedy bit in Mel Brooks Spaceballs, nearly a decade later). Later came memorable roles David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, Stephen Frears (deeply underrated) The Hit, and his iconic Winston Smith in the 1984 adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Hellboy, Harry Potter, “Dr. Who”, Snow Piercer, The Proposition and several collaborations with Jim Jarmusch and Lars Von Trier demonstrate that the man had one hell of a career in front of the camera; on screens in the arthouse and the multiplex.

The man was outspoken and forthright in his own public life, by all accounts. In short, he is one of those prolific, truly great actors.

You can still see him in the cinema, right now he as a significant supporting role in Pablo LarraĆ­n’s Jackie. And has several pictures in post production, including Joe Wright’s Winston Churchill biopic, Darkest Hour, where he plays infamous British PM Neville Chamberlain.

The Hollywood Reporter has more.

Friday One Sheet: Alien Covenant

One simply cannot argue with the simplicity of the teaser poster for the latest (8th?) entry in the Alien franchise.

Lots of negative space, the Alien hiding so close in the dark, this could be an image taken directly from the first, and still classic, film. When Ridley Scott went the prequel route with Prometheus, the marketing was very coy about whether or not the film was connected to the franchise, and in this prequel-sequel (second prequel?) they are being as clear as possible. The Xenomorph outside of perhaps Frankenstein, Dracula, and Godzilla, is the one of the most iconic creatures in popular culture, and it certainly makes a lot of sense to maximize its use at this point.

Also, most succinct tagline ever: “Run.”

Mondays Suck Less in the Third Row

Check out these links:
Barack Obama’s Spotify playalists for DAY and NIGHT
Kid asks dad for a “real” Thor hammer for his birthday
Mark Hamill’s awesome autographs
Creative Star Wars posters
129 Of The Most Beautiful Shots In Movie History
Kurt Halfyard told me to post this
Tianjin Chemical Explosion Visible From Space
Furniture and clothing made to look like human flesh and guts
Corn!



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Friday One Sheet: Extraterrestrial

click for full screen

This cabin in the woods meets hostile aliens picture looks derivative and boring in almost every way, but I have to hand it to the key art team for crafting a concise, aesthetically pleasing poster that evokes both alien abduction movies, and the Evil Dead remake simultaneously. If the goal is to offer passers-by a glimpse what your film is with just a glance, this is how it is done, folks.