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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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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Cinecast Episode 144 – Feeling a bit “Rusty”

Episode 144:
Twilight is upon us! Thankfully our own expert on all things Twilight, Marina Antunes, drops by our virtual studio to offer her thoughts on the film as the guys in the row fell asleep or watched disaster flicks instead. And by popular demand, we also bring back time track listing (in the show notes below) so that you can skip over the stuff you don’t want and know right where to go to hear all about Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. We managed to catch some other stuff in theatrical release including 2012, Surrogates and the latest in the Oprah archive, Precious. Add to this our doomsday marathon, weekly DVD picks and some other bits of goodness, we hope you enjoy the show and be sure to drop us a line either by email or in the comments section below.

Thanks for listening!

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Twilight Saga Just Got Interesting

Eclipse Movie HeaderI take it back.

Earlier today Kurt posted a link to a story about a rumour that has been kicking around the web for a few days that Juan Antonio Bayona, the director of the great The Orphanage (our review), was in talks to direct the third instalment of the Twilight Saga Eclipse. I’ve been tacking so many rumours about the direction of the third film that I never considered the possibility that Bayona would agree to take on the job but go figure, the Spaniard has gone and surprised me.

According to Variety, Bayona has signed on to helm the third film in what is bound to be a media sensation for the next few years. I have to admit, I’m very impressed by the talent that Summit has brought to this production. I had problems with Twilight (our review) but thoroughly enjoyed the film and loved Catherine Hardwicke’s direction and the emphasis that she and scrip writer Melissa Rosenberg placed on the certain aspects of the story; most of my problems with the film were in relation to the effects, but these recent revelations go beyond what I expected from the franchise.

Summit decided to go against most of the fans (a studio with balls – but I guess 15 year old girls are less threatening than 30 year old men; maybe not…) and brought on Chris Weitz to take on New Moon. Not necessarily an improvement but definitely a director better suited to the story which unfolds in this entry into the series. Now with Bayona on board for the third, it’s clear Summit isn’t letting this franchise coast through. And can you blame them? This is a cash cow, and would continue to be even if the quality of the entries didn’t improve, but I’m thankful to see that they’re making the effort.

It’s early in the going, the cast didn’t land in Vancouver until early this week, but I’m very curious to see what comes of the rest of this franchise. As long as they do something about the sparkling effect (like maybe just leave it out? Just pretend it was never written alright?), improve on the “vampire effects” (again, just leave out the lame effect and improve on the wire work) and infuse some great Underworld-styled werewolf transformations and we should be good to go. All of a sudden, this franchise has gone from having my fangirl love to something I’m expecting quality from. Hope it doesn’t disappoint.

I’m officially opening the door on “Breaking Dawn” speculation.

Surprise! Hardwicke to Tackle Another Teen Story

Catherine HardwickeFunny thing about Hollywood: it has a short memory.

Just a few months ago the news rags and sites were abuzz with speculation that director Catherine Hardwicke had left the now called Twilight Saga due to difficulties on set but those speculations sound highly unlikely in the face of today’s news. According to EW, Hardwicke has signed on to direct a new project, another book adaptation, for Summit Entertainment.

Based on the yet-to-be-published novel by Gayle Forman, If I Stay tells the story of Mia, a 17-year old musician who, after a violent car accident, finds herself watching herself be taken from the car wreck and is forced to decide whether or not she has the will to live. Sounds a little reminiscent of The Lovely Bones which also features a girl watching over her family from heaven (who knew this would be such a popular story angle?) but I have to admit that as much as I like Hardwicke, I’m much more excited for Jackson’s film.

I have enjoyed most of Hardwicke’s films (I’ve yet to see The Nativity Story) and I’m always curious to see what she’s up to next. I’m not overly enthused for this project yet but I hope that hearing more about the story and the production will change that. It’s worth noting that this continues in her track record of sticking to the “teen” story and I’m even willing to bet that Summit is hoping that Hardwicke’s name will help sell the project to the Twilight obsessed teen demographic. And for those that think fans don’t care about directors, don’t be so sure; in the case of the Meyer phenomenon, it seems like the fans care about everything.

Twilight Sequel Without Hardwicke

New Moon Book Cover ImageSo continues the teen vampire saga.

It was bound to happen so it came as little surprise that the week following the successful opening of Twilight (our review), it was officially announced that the second book in the series would become a film. New Moon is scheduled to push into production in March 2009 and thought both leads are signed on for part two, the same wasn’t true for director Catherine Hardwicke who had talked about the second film but had not officially signed on. Now it looks like we’ll never get to see her vision of the saga.

According to reports from Deadline Hollywood, Summit is officially moving on with the sequel without Hardwicke due to what they’re calling “differing visions”. I’m wondering if there’s something more at play like maybe the fact that Summit is pushing to keep the budget small yet this film will require a whole lot more special effects (with transforming werewolves and all) and considering the flack Twilight has taken for the cheesy effects, I’m not surprised Hardwicke wanted more money for a better looking film. Then there is the simple fact that book two features very little of the saga’s dreamy male lead (OMG no Edward?) – I’m wondering how they plan on working around this minor glitch which has nothing to do with the director but which I’m very curious about.

As much as I enjoyed the movie (and yes, I realize it’s not a great movie but I did like it a whole lot) I’m not quite sure Harwicke needs to come back for number two. The second part of the story doesn’t have the same amount of teen angst at play and now that it’s been set up rather nicely, they can move along with the rest of the story.

The question now: if not Hardwicke who? Let the fangirl speculation begin.

Twilight Will Be HUGE

Twilight Movie Still

When they first announced the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s novel, I was instantly on-board. I knew the books were best sellers but I didn’t realize the reaction would be quite this overpowering. I don’t think anyone did.

Immediately the fangirls started to swoon and sigh over every announcement and by the time the film made it to Comic-Con, it was out of control. Remember the fan reaction? Even funnier than that was the backlash from fanboys that felt the girls were taking over “their” turf. Suck it up boys. Girls are entitled to their own moments of crazy reaction. If it happens to surround a teen vampire love story rather than the newest comic book adaptation, so be it.

I’m looking forward to Twilight and even though I don’t have high expectations that it will be a great film I do expect to be entertained. More than that, it’ll be cool to share in a moment with other women that doesn’t include high-heels, shopping and drinking cosmos.

But I have limited patience for big crowds, especially those made up of screeching teenage fans. Do I make the outing on opening weekend or do I wait? What’s a girl to do? I’m thinking I will make the trek, if only to take it in with other fans. That, in and of itself, should make for an interesting night out.

And for doubters that didn’t think this would make any money – time to rethink the power of the teen girl market. Two weeks before the film opens and there are already sold out screenings across the US and I’ve already received two emails from Cineplex encouraging me to buy my tickets early. If that’s not enough, a Fandango Survey from the week ending October 31st had the following statistics to share:

* 92% of respondents say they’ll see Twilight on opening weekend;
* 85% say they plan to see the film more than once;
* 97% have read the novel by Stephenie Meyer
* 95% of the respondents to the survey are female;
* 42% of respondents are 25 or older; 58% are younger than 25.

When I posted a similar entry in my personal blog, I made a pretty bold statement: Twilight won’t just break November box office records, it will OBLITERATE them.

Sadly, I made that statement before checking to see what the current record was. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire holds the record for biggest November opening with $102,685,961. That’s a whole lot of money. I have no idea how many screens Twilight will open on but if it’s comparable to HP (approximately 3,900) it’s likely to make as much money though obliterating that amount will require an act of god.

Bottom line: fans are bound to be happy regardless of how bad the movie is and Summit has hit the jackpot.

First Full Length Twilight Trailer

Perhaps I’m not the best person to be commenting on the new trailer for the upcoming teen vampire romance tale titled Twilight which is being directed by Catherine Hardwicke. I’m a big fan of the books and this movie could be the worst ever made and I’d still have a good time watching it.

Andrew’s already posted about the movie and I’ve posted a teaser and rather than gush over it like a school girl (I’ll save that for my personal blog), I’ll let you tear it to pieces.

And just so you know, I’ll be there for the midnight screening.

NOTE: Updated with new crisp trailer!