Review: The Other Woman

TheOtherWomanStill1

Director: Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook, My Sister’s Keeper, John Q)
Screenplay: Melissa Stack
Producers: Julie Yorn
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Don Johnson, Taylor Kinney, Nicki Minaj
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 109 min.


The DNA of The Other Woman is familiar: three women team up to wreak revenge on cheating men. It’s a little First Wives Club and that’s not really a bad thing considering most movies about cheating have the women fighting each other over some lying sack of shit. That wasn’t the case in Wives Club e and it’s definitely not the case here.

Leslie Mann stars as Kate King, a happily married woman who gave up her career to support that of her husband Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). In the opening scenes, she comes across as the typical type of character Mann so often plays: sweet, charming and gullible. She’s blissfully clueless that her husband is cheating on her until she gets a visit from Mark’s girlfriend Carly (Cameron Diaz), a smart, straight shooting power attorney who decides to surprise the apparent man of her dreams by showing up at his home unannounced only to find herself face to face with a woman claiming to be her prince charming’s wife.

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Cinecast Episode 326 – Functionally Retarded, Yet Infectious

As it turns out, we discover as a very welcome surprise that this is Kurt and Andrew’s 300th episode together. So there’s reason enough to celebrate here. Kinda. But if you’re more into movies rather than nostalgia and landmarks, there’s plenty to get into with this episode. We have five, count ’em five, theatrical reviews to get to as well as our respective festival titles and experiences to mention. All of this spirals into a very important homework assignment for the week. Matt Gamble comes aboard to talk about Ridley Scott’s meandering. We get into all manner of awesome, including Robert Redford’s double takes, Polanski spelling it out, Elijah Wood is perpetually twelve years old and Judd Apatow’s version of a Richard Linklater film. All of this and a helluva lot more in another mega-episode that spans nearly four hours.

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: Sail with Ridley Scott’s Counselor

One expects no less than handsome marketing and presentation from director Ridley Scott. And what an effective use of Awoldnation’s super-simple “Sail” to establish an editing rhythm of the piece. Great character beats and strange hair (a mark of potential film excellence if Skyfall and No Country For Old Men have anything to say about it) on Javier Bardem When the first trailers and teasers started appearing for his film based on a Cormac McCarthy original screenplay, The Counselor, it certainly warmed the cockles of my heart to see him tackle a noir-ish little thriller which such an A-list cast.

Trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Counselor Showcases its A-List Cast

Pitt. Fassbender. Bardem. Cruz. Diaz. And the fastest Land Mammal on Earth. These are the things that the teaser trailer wants you to know about the new thriller from Ridley Scott. The title cards helpfully announces that Cormac McCarthy is on screenwriting duty. Ridley Scott gets all the best people. The cast here is so deep (and the teaser so short) they fail to mention or show Bruno Ganz, John Leguizamo, Rubén Blades, Hank (Dean Norris) from Breaking Bad or Margaery (Natalie Dormer) from Game of Thrones.

The Counselor tells the story of a lawyer, played by Fassbender, who finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. It appears to do so with copious amounts of style and production value. No surprise considering the director. These are the types of movies I hope Hollywood keeps getting opportunities to make, and I hope the final film lives up to this brief tease.

Gambit Trailer

I want to yell at the people on youtube who are complaining that a movie called Gambit isn’t about the X-men character but that is a side note. What is more important is to let you know you should watch the trailer for the remake of the 1966 Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine comedy. First off the trailer is pretty fun but more importantly it is penned by the Coen Brothers. It was set for release in just under two weeks on October 12th but has now been pushed back into early 2013.

Cinecast Episode 176 – Planes, Trains and Lobotimobiles

 
A casual show today. We have a new guest, Laura-Jane, for regular listeners of the show that would be Kurt’s wife who digs on all things popcorn and blow-em-up action cinema, who comes in to talk a little Salt and a little Knight and Day (Note that there are SPOILERS! for both). Andrew tries to pin down the near-universal love for The Kids Are All Right. We talk some off-the-beaten path Japanese cinema, with the soon-to-be-Criterioned Hausu as well as stop-motion-animator Kihachiro Kawamoto and his wonderfully dark fairy tales. There is quite a bit of a Tom Hardy love-in, as Andrew finally caught up with Nicholas Winding Refn’s Bronson and, complete with an ignorant viewpoint on Reaganomics, there is some Louie Malle documentary talk, albeit we cannot agree how to pronounce his name. And another round of Dirty Harry sequels. Sit back and relax, this one is tres informelle.

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 172 – pixaR

 
So sedate you could get a lullaby out its dulcet tones, this episode of the Cinecast has the podcasting players considering death and slavery and obsolescence (and Easter Eggs) in the wake of Toy Story 3. (*SPOILERS*) Gamble comes up with his best idea yet: A hard “R” Pixar animated film. The debate ensues whether it should be an adaptation (Watership Down or Animal Farm?) or a straight up original War film a la CatShit1. I hope Emeryville is listening. Jonah Hex is thrown to the wolves – particularly for wasting such an interesting supporting cast. James Mangold’s star vehicle Knight and Day is previewed as being a fun popcorn flick with a saggy final act. Also Day & Night, the Pixar short, (but not Day For Night the Truffaut film or the Curitz film Day and Night or terrorist bombing flick Day Night Day Night) is talked about, confused yet? Andrew takes back his love for Public Enemies and lavishes it instead on Soderbergh & Damon’s pontificating corporate shlub in The Informant. He is diggin naked running men and gory kills from the natives in the Criterion release of Naked Prey. Kurt finally finds a fairly consistent stretch of Lost (Season 3.5 *SPOILERS*) and is in danger of flirting with satisfaction in the show which is eating up ridiculous amounts of his time. Finally, we attempt reader mail to mixed results.

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 143 – An Education on Amputated Toes

Episode 143:
Welcome to another episode of the Cinecast. These Richard Kelly discussions are always fun to get into and we disagree vehemently on almost each one. Enter The Box into our lives. I chose to push the button, Kurt throws the damn thing out the window. It’s a good discussion. We also have sneak peeks of Fantastic Mr. Fox and An Education. We have weekly DVD picks and some of those good old-time conversational tangents as well. An “F” this week in the home-work assignment department as we forgot to dish one out – blasphemous after seeing An Education. Next week we will dive into the portal of time for Mayan scheduled disaster and cheese, we talk bit about Roland Emmerich and rationalizing anticipation for 2012.
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Review: The Box

Director: Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales)
Story: Richard Matheson
Screenplay: Richard Kelly
Producers: Richard Kelly, Dan Lin, Kelly McKittrick, Sean McKittrick
Starring: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella,
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 115 min.

What would you do? A classic philosophical question being asked to students and colleagues alike for decades ever since the short story, “Button, Button” was penned in 1970; published by Playboy Magazine. If you push a button, two things will happen. One, you’ll receive a very large sum of cash. Two, someone whom you don’t know, somewhere in the world will die. Do you push the button? How would you rationalize it to yourself and what might the ultimate consequences be? It’s a conundrum of a conversation that could go on for hours. Or in director Richard Kelly’s case, two hours.

This above scenario is exactly what is presented to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis. A financially struggling couple living beyond their means when a disfigured Frank Langella shows up at their door out of the blue offering them this very deal. Well of course it’s not much of a spoiler to disclose that eventually the button does get pushed (wouldn’t be much of a story otherwise would there?). When the payoff is delivered, Mrs. Lewis asks of her mysterious “business associate”, “What happens now?” He resonds with the answer that the box will be reprogrammed and the offer given to someone else “whom I can assure you, you don’t know.” So sets off a story of paranoia and mystery as to the nature of the box, who is this mysterious deal offerer and what are the consequences to the pressing of the button?
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Push the Button; The Box Gets Trailered

The Box Movie Still

Two movies in and Richard Kelly is notorious. From where I’m standing, that’s not a bad thing but I get the feeling that the general public isn’t so forgiving. Though there’s loads of love for the mind fuck of Donnie Darko, Southland Tales was generally perceived as a disaster and though I can’t fully grasp everything in it, I can’t help but enjoy the disaster as it unfolds. And now, just three years after blowing my mind a second time, Kelly is back with what looks to be a fantastic little film.

Based on a Richard Matheson short story (one of the few I haven’t read) titled “Button, Button,” The Box stars Cameron Diaz and James Marsden (talk about an odd pairing) as the Lewis’, a couple who on the surface appear to be leading a happy, healthy life in upper class suburbia until they start to run into financial trouble. Then, just as things are looking really dire, they get a package and a visit from a mysterious (and creepy) man played by Frank Langella with a proposition: press the button and someone in the world dies – in return you get a million dollars. Queue the creepy music.

I dislike, a great deal though hate might be too strong a word, Cameron Diaz and I’m finding it hard to wrap my head around the fact that I’m actually going to have to watch a film with her in it (I keep reverting to In Her Shoes; the only film I’ve liked her in) but I can’t say no to mind bending Kelly. This comes across as a much more straightforward horror film (though it still asks some of the big questions that Kelly seems to be haunted by) and I am beyond excited to see how it turns out. The trailer suggest sleek visuals and solid performances and I kept thinking of The Shinning which I think has more to do with the overall look and mood of the trailer than anything else. Regardless, I’m more than a little excited. That’s not to say I forgive the lame ass one sheet.

And can someone please help me out here? I recognize the trailer music at the end from something else but can’t put my finger on it…if you know it, drop it in the comments.

The Box will be making a well timed premiere on October 30th. Finally, something other than Saw for Halloween!

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Alright! Braff is Back on the Proverbial Horse

Zach BraffI know that I’m in the minority around here when it comes to loving Zach Braff’s writing/directing debut, Garden State. But that’s okay, because I’m right. It’s fun, it’s well written, the drama is believable, the characters are great, the story is real and all of this is balanced terrifically with some nicely crafted humor that works fantastically when it needs to. Oh, and it has Peter Sarsgaard in it. So yeah, victory is mine.

The good news today though, is that we all win because apparently all of my bitching for the past three years seems to have paid off as Zach Braff appears to finally have himself a new project: writer, director and star of a new film entitled Swingles; which is being described as sort of a 21st Century version of When Harry Met Sally, co-starring Cameron Diaz.

That’s basically about the extent of the information available right now, but I’m really just glad to see Braff get away from sitcoms and film flops and get back to writing/directing. The story doesn’t sound all that exciting to me and I hope this isn’t a case of the sophmore slump. But again, if Garden State is any indication, there no reason to think we won’t have more critical success with Swingles.