Cinecast Episode 354 – Past is Prologue

Put the flag up the pole, Andrew and Kurt like a comic book superhero movie a lot. And go figure, X-Men: Days of Future Past mimics the Kurtzman-Orci canonical reset button, has time travel figure largely into the plot, and revels at times in 1970s trappings. But there is empathy and stakes… and that matters. After talking a little X-men (SPOILERS!), things move on to a Top 5 and tangents on time travel in cinema (as in, just what the hell is a time travel movie these days?)

Then it is onto some Filth (mild SPOILERS!) where James McAvoy grins like a guilty child while banging everything in sight and generally misbehaving. But what was the missing ingredient from the film? There is talk again of that slippery thing called empathy.

Finally, things roar to a finish with a single Watch List title: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior a movie that is timelessly simple and pure in execution. We look forward to George Miller drivin’ that tanka again in his rebooting his own franchise with Mad Max: Fury Road a film that has been in production forever, but arrives in May 2015. Someone out there is starting rumors that it will be a game changer. Will it give Star Wars VII a run for its literal money? It will if Kurt has anything to say about 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 202 – Obviously You’re Not a Golfer


It is a cornucopia, a smörgåsbord, a veritable potpourri of cinema, as the Cinecast regulars get together with nothing on the agenda other than to talk about what they have watched, in the cinema, on the DVD and streamed from the internet or (in an exciting technology development, from the Computer Hard Drive.) Andrew continues to dig into the Foreign Language Nominees with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful. Kurt comes at Oscar a different way with the new documentary on the man with the midas touch when it comes to little gold men, Harvey Weinstein. And Gamble talks best animated film of 2011 with a preview of the flat out awesome Gore Verbinski/Nickelodeon/Industrial-Light-And-Magic Johnny Depp western, Rango. From there, we go from the occult, to Penelope Cruz DTV failures, to two vastly different takes time travel from the 1980s to Chinese shopping malls. Then it is onto Romans wandering about Scotland, Aussie crime dynasties and suburban teenage prostitution rings! It is all a part of your complete breakfast.

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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Biff Tannen: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Heaven knows why this was omitted from the recent Blu-ray release of the Back to the Future Trilogy, but channel on YouTube over the weekend released the full version of the video playing at The Biff Tannen Museum in Back to the Future Part II.

This is 3 1/2 minutes of uncensored Biff awesomeness with Lea Thompson even making a small cameo. It’s amazing the film makers at the time went to these lengths to give a little something extra to that scene in Part II which has Marty gaping in perplexed awe as he realizes the devastating consequences his action have had on the future. I mean all three movies do a fantastic job of reliving a specific period in American History/Future. But the 1970’s were never tackled until this little gem was released.



Cinecast Episode 152 – Modern Detritus

Episode 152:

We take last week’s negativity and turned it upside down in an old school show between Kurt and Andrew complete with our signature tangents in which we keep it fairly positive (except for The Lovely Bones which sadly is a sizable disappointment). There is a lot of unconditional Gary Oldman love in the under appreciated Book of Eli. There is also some kudos to Jeff Bridges both his long career and his recent turn as a grizzled country singer in Crazy Heart. Some really fun DVD picks this week as well as a look back at a time when Robert Zemeckis was awesome. Thanks a bunch for downloading/streaming. Enjoy!

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54 Years Ago Today…

1955: A clock, a slippery toilet seat and a severe concussion lead to the invention of time travel.

Ernest O. Lawrence, Emmett L. Brown and J. Robert Oppenheimer peer at the controls of the 184-inch cyclotron, which was being converted in early 1946 from its wartime use to its original purpose as a cyclotron.


Dr. Emmett Lathrop Brown is known for being a member (unverified) of the Manhattan Project, a physics professor at Hill Valley University, and a talented entrepreneur and handyman. But it’s his contribution to the field of temporal physics for which he is best remembered.

According to archival footage, Brown was standing on his toilet seat on the evening of Nov. 5, 1955, attempting to hang a clock in his bathroom, when he slipped and slammed his head on the side of the sink. Upon regaining consciousness Brown reported having “a revelation, a picture, a picture in my head.” A picture which he crudely scrawled down on a piece of paper and subsequently spent 30 years of his life and family fortune to build.

That picture, of course, was the flux capacitor. And as every high school physics student knows, it’s the device that makes time travel possible.

The main hurdle Brown faced with the flux capacitor was delivering enough power to make it function. The capacitor required a staggering 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to generate a time-displacement field. Brown first surmised that meeting the capacitor’s power needs could be accomplished in two ways: either by channeling a nuclear reaction or harnessing a bolt of lightning. Lightning as it turned out, was pretty much out of the question, because it’s impossible to determine when and where a bolt will strike.

Brown decided to go for the nuclear option. He hypothesized that within 30 years, material like plutonium would be easily obtainable — probably available in corner drugstores. It turned out he was dead wrong.

By 1985 Brown had squandered his family fortune and allegedly committed several acts of insurance fraud to finance his time machine. Built from a Delorean DMC-12 (whose stainless steel body had a direct and influential effect on flux dispersal), it was fitted with a working flux capacitor that was powered by a nuclear reactor. Desperate for fuel, Brown duped a group of Libyan terrorists into providing him with weapons-grade plutonium.

At 1:21 a.m Oct. 25, 1985, Brown (with the help of his protege, Martin McFly) was able to successfully — and safely — send his dog forward and then McFly back in time. After a series of setbacks resulting from the first temporal displacement, Brown and McFly would travel to the years 1955, 2015 and 1885.

Unfortunately, because of a railroad accident near Hill Valley’s Eastwood Ravine a day later, Brown’s DeLorean along with its flux capacitor was destroyed. Despite repeated requests from the media and scientific communities, Brown has declined interviews and refuses to share or replicate the flux capacitor’s technology.

The incidents leading up to the time machine demise also served as the basis for the award-winning documentary, Back to the Future.

Bookmarks for September 28th through October 4th


What we’ve been reading – September 28th through October 4th:

  • The Lynch Mob on Polanski
    “Roman Polanski is a criminal, Roberts said. "He raped and drugged and raped and sodomized a child. And then was a fugitive from justice. As far as I’m concerned, just take him out and shoot him.”
  • Let’s Make Theatre Hopping Legal…
    Would this benefit moviegoers? Sure. This will legalize something a good number of people are already doing. Just like downloading music or movies, pirates will still exist, but a majority of folks are law-abiding citizens who prefer to live within the law. People who've paid $9.50 to see a real turkey may not feel quite so ripped-off if they get to see another movie (or part of one) for free.
  • Top 10 Unanswered Questions in Geeky Movies
    GeekDad covers some of the more extensive plot holes in popular blockbusters. Mainly Science-fiction movies, because that seems to attract the folks most interested in minutae.

We’re Only 6 Years Away from Hover Boards!

Watching clips from Back to the Future 2 at work today, I realized that all the great technological advances that occur between Marty McFly’s teenage years and to the point where he meets himself as a father is actually only 6 short years away – 2015!

So in the next few years, you can look forward to not only hover boards but also mechanized shoe laces, dehydrated pizzas that expand and cook in seconds and the ability to watch fifteen different channels of television all at the same time. I can’t wait.