Cinecast Episode 205 – See Thomas Howell

Welcome one, welcome all! The latest episode of The Cinecast sees the destruction of four things: Los Angeles (or a back-lot set) from invading aliens, in Battle: LA; Dartmouth Nova Scotia gets bloody and graffitied up, exploitation style, from gangs going to war with a Hobo With A Shotgun; Catherine Hardwicke’s career with the flirts-with-camp-total failure of Red Riding Hood (Gamble took one for the team on this); and finally the end of Robert Zemekis’s Mo-Cap technology with the Disney mega-bomb Mars Needs Moms. Furthermore, while it was more of a mild pummeling by release circumstances than the complete destruction of what is a very solid film, the unfair treatment of I Love You Phillip Morris is discussed. Then we dig deep into what we have been watching. On the menu are political British Gangster dramas, Nazi propaganda films, Art-Giallo hommages, silent comedies, a knuckle-biter suspense spectacular, the Bard with music ‘n guns, more 80s nostalgia and TVs Party Down. We are back to our usual tangents, in particular on a certain actor that has Matt losing it, in tears, mid-show, and an angry ranting-slash-bit-o’-tomfoolery regarding Robert Redford’s baseball movie to close things out. We cram a lot into this show. I hope you enjoy it in all of its shaggy glory.

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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New “Red Riding” Trailer [Disappointed]

As I mentioned in the comments section when the first trailer for this film was released a couple of months ago, the visuals are very handsome. I still basically agree with those sentiments, but this trailer is so full of terrible it kind of overshadows any of those interesting ideas. Even the potential for an interesting twist isn’t really enough for me to shrug off the fact that basically this looks like Twilight all over again with the way the brooding Pattinson look-a-likes wander the village (“If you love her… you’ll let her go” **eyes roll**). For some that sounds like an amazing concept. For me, it sounds like a way to completely destroy what would otherwise be an interesting and update take on the classic fairy tale. And what is with that music(?)… ugh!

With Amanda Seyfried in the lead, the film also stars Gary Oldman, Lukas Haas, Virginia Madsen, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, and Julie Christie. You can see them all on March 11th.


First trailer for Catherine Hardwicke’s “Red Riding Hood”

Red Riding Hood

I was aware that Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood was going to provide a fresh approach to the classic story but I didn’t really give it much thought beyond that. It’s probably best that I didn’t because had I thought about it or read some of the descriptions floating around, I may have been disappointed by the trailer but as it stands, I’m just a little… surprised.

Set in a medieval forest, the film stars Amanda Seyfried as Valerie, a young woman (in a red riding hood) in love with Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) an orphaned woodcutter, but her parents want her to marry the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Valerie and Peter plan to run away together but when Valerie’s sister is taken by the werewolf that stalks the woods surrounding the village, their plans are thwarted. So how does the awesome Gary Oldman fit into this picture? He’s the priest/werewolf hunter the town calls on to rid them of the beast. Other notables along for the ride include Lukas Haas, Julie Christie, Virginia Madsen and the fabulous Billy Burke (apparently Hardwicke likes Burke as much as I do).

The trailer features quite a few interesting tidbits, including more than a handful of host of Seyfried looking startled which concerns me a little but then, it’s a trailer and I generally like Seyfried so I’m happy to chalk that up to editing. The most striking aspect of this trailer are the visuals. Now, Hardwicke is recognized for her sense of aesthetic (likely stemming from her previous work as a production designer) but I’m thrilled to see that she’s paired up with award winning cinematographer Mandy Walker who also shot Baz Luhrmann’s gorgeous Australia (review) (and was glaringly overlooked for an Oscar nomination).

I have to admit I’m not expecting much from this story but my inner girl is thrilled by what she sees: supernatural overtones, period, romance. Oh yes, this has my name written all over it.

Red Riding Hood opens March 11, 2011.

Trailer is tucked under the seats but it’s also worth a look in HD over at Apple.

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Screenshots of Lust II: Lust Harder

The highly popular Screenshots of Lust, Part 1, can be viewed here. This latest batch continues the effort to capture moments of lust in cinema without resorting to the outright pornographic. It is admittedly Romy Schneider heavy – what can I say, she was perfectly cast as the object of desire and obsession in Clouzot’s L’Enfer. As always I would like a full report of the images that I missed. Enjoy.

Romy Schneider in Choses de la Vie
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Review: Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet Poster

Director: Gary Winick (13 Going on 30, Bride Wars)
Writer: Jose Rivera, Tim Sullivan
Producers: Ellen Barkin, Mark Canton, Eric Feig, Caroline Kaplan
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gael García Bernal, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 113 min.

It was clear from the trailer that Letters to Juliet wasn’t going to be high art, a timeless romance like Gone with the Wind or Atonement (review). It was a trailer that crammed the entire film into its two minute and thirty one second running time complete with stolen looks, half hidden smiles and Taylor Swift. The sort of thing designed to sweep the romantics off their feet and it must have worked because it caught my attention.

Letters to Juliet Movie StillSophie and Victor are in love and engaged. She’s a fact checker for The New Yorker. He’s a budding chef getting ready to open his first restaurant. They’ve planned a trip to Italy. For her, it’s a pre-wedding honeymoon. For him it’s a business trip (with a little fun on the side), meeting and schmoozing with suppliers. After a day together driving across the Italian countryside tasting cheese, olive oil and wine, they decide to part ways for a few days. He to work, she to see the sites. “Win win” Victor says. During an excursion to Juliet Capulet’s home, she spots a woman taking away the letters that hopeful romantics leave behind, uncovers Juliet’s secretaries, responds to a 50 year old letter and a short week later, is met by a handsome Brit who has returned to Verona with his grandmother on a wild goose chase searching for an old love – all thanks to Sophie’s letter. The rest of the film, as you may guess, is one car ride after another as Sophie accompanies Charlie (the grandson) and Claire in search of her Lorenzo.

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Review: Chloe


Chloe may be considered exhibit A in the ever shrinking market for commercial, adult erotic thrillers. Featuring the star power of Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson (who is a tad ubiquitous these days, but at least this is not another action blockbuster) and an on the rise starlet with a very pretty face, Amanda Seyfried, while directed by a much lauded director Atom Egoyan and coupled with the promise of soft-core hanky-panky. This is Egoyan at his most accessible, somewhere in middle of spectrum between Adrian Lyne’s mega-trashy Indecent Proposal and Jane Campion’s seriously underrated In The Cut. And while the director and his young starlet manage to drop the ball during the film’s over-hysteric climax (shades of another Lyne pot-boiler, Fatal Attraction), this is more than made up with a drop-dead performance from Julianne Moore. Perhaps the film should have been titled “Catherine,” albeit that does not quite have the same ring to it.

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First Look at Egoyan’s Chloe

ChloeMovieStillFollowing it’s premiere at TIFF, Atom Egoyan’s newest film started to generate buzz; Not too surprising considering he is a Canadian sweetheart premiering his film in Toronto. Sadly, the first round of reviews have not been particularly positive. A review is forthcoming from one of our Toronto correspondents but until then, take in this reaction from The A.V. Club’s Scott Tobias:

Chloe (09 Egoyan C): Lipstick on a pig. Egoyan tries to polish material unworthy of him.Seductive surface (two words: Mamma Mia), but dopey.

Doesn’t sound particularly optimistic which is a shame for Egoyan whose last few films have been lacklustre.

Chloe stars Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson as Catherine and David, an apparently happy and successful couple making their way through life among Toronto’s well to do. When David misses his flight home and his surprise birthday part, Catherine suspects that he is cheating and so she hires an escort named Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to seduce him and see if he falls for the bait.

It sounds like an interesting enough story full of drama and potential emotional eruptions and though I expect Egoyan keeps a tight reign on the performances, I’m a little worried about the lukewarm reception.

A trailer has yet to make the rounds but earlier today a clip, the film’s first, found its way online. It features Catherine and Chloe in what appears to be their first meeting and as expected, we have Moore quietly falling apart on camera. The short clip shows promise.

Clip tucked under the seat!

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I ACTUALLY Want to See a Megan Fox Movie

Now I know why Megan Fox always rubbed me the wrong way: she’s a demon!

From the mind of Diablo Cody and the lens of Karyn Kusama comes Jennifer’s Body, a tale of a hot cheerleader (Fox) who eats boys. Literally. Sadly for Needy (Amanda Seyfried), Jennifer plays both sides of the fence and Needy’s next. I’m sure there’s more to the story but that’s as much as I took from the trailer and I’m ready to see more.

I know. Shocking. I actually want to see a movie which features Megan Fox in the lead role. The world is about to freeze over.

In my defence, this looks like a whole lot of fun. Not as innovative and new as some are making it out to be but I like horror movies with a comedic bite and this one looks like it might hit the mark. Reminds me of Clueless via Raimi and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may end up missing the mark (we all know there’s a fine line between teh horror and comedy and most writers and directors can’t walk it) but I’m willing to give this female heavy production some love.

Jennifer’s Body opens on September 18th.

Egoyan Casts Next Film

Atom EgoyanThought most have yet to see Atom Egoyan’s new film Adoration (look for it playing across Canada early this year as part of Canada’s Top Ten), he’s already started work on his follow-up, a new thriller about infidelity and mistrust.

Chloe is adapted from the French film Nathalie by writer Erin Cressida Wilson who was also responsible for the scripts of Secretary and Fur: A Portrait of Diane Arbus. Empire has news that the film has cast the major roles and they include some great talent namely Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried. Moore will play a woman who thinks her husband (Neeson) is cheating so she hires a call girl (Seyfried) to seduce him.

Admitedly the project sounds run-of-the-mill but Egoyan is anything but that. I’m hopeful that there’ll be a little more substance to this thriller and with Egoyan and these actors on board, it’s a likely possibility. I only hope this turns out better than Where the Truth Lies.

The film will start shooting in Toronto in February.

More Trashy Romance on the Horizon

Amanda SeyfriedI wasn’t going to post anything about this but I figure I’d better clear something up.

During our September preview I showed some enthusiasm for the upcoming romance Nights in Rodanthe. Heck, a few months back I even posted the trailer with some enthusiasm. But in the week since our recording something has changed. All because I started reading “Nights in Rodanthe”.

I’m happy to say that with 1/4 of the book left, I still haven’t shed a tear but sadly, something else has become clear: Sparks, who was never a great author to begin with, has gotten ever worse. This particular story is brutally slow and I can’t see how they’ve made an entire movie out of it. I’m thinking they’ve made some major changes to create some dynamic between the characters. Seriously, other than a few love scenes, very little happens. Not so sure I’m as keen to see this anymore.

This has also soured other Sparks adaptations for me. And there will be more like the recently announced Dear John based on the novel of the same title. This time around it’s the story of a young woman who meets and falls in love with a soldier while he’s on leave. Channing Tatum will play the soldier while Amanda Seyfried will play the young woman. I’m a big fan of Seyfried; she’s fabulous in “Big Love” and easily the best part of Mamma Mia! (our review) (outside of Colin Firth singing) so I’m a bit saddened that she’s jumped into this stinky pile of romance tripe.

Yet, as bitter as I am now, when that trailer is released it will likely get a bit of attention from me. I have a few bits of kryptonite and cheesy romances is one of them. Damn you Nicholas Sparks!