Trailer: Carrie redux

While Chloe Moretz and Julianne more lack the flat out ‘otherliness’ of Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, the Carrie remake (of Depalma’s 1976 classic) seems to be sticking true to the beats of the original tale while bringing us into the 21st century where cellphones and cyber bullying co-exist with psychical humiliation, and studio cinema has a way of putting ridiculously attractive collection of twentysomethings all in the same highschool. How will a rampage of butchery and revenge by loners and daughter of a zealous religious nutter be taken in our ‘school shooting every couple of months’ world? I predict the film will be good, perhaps too safe for its own good, but not great – and very likely completely ignored by the general public. Your mileage may vary. The trailer is below. It uses a creepy remix of the classic Shirelles song to great effect and it is great to know that head-bashing as a trailer cutting rhythm works quite well here as well, albeit note quite at the level of the masterpiece trailer for A Serious Man.

Dark Shadows Character Posters

The trailer was released earlier this week and seemed to be received fairly positively. Including by this correspondent. While very Burton-esque including all of the usual suspects within a Burton film, I must say that the title of the film doesn’t seem to be very apropos for what we’ve seen out of the marketing department thus far. What I’ve seen has been very flashy with splashes of lightning-like color all over the place. Here is the most recent example – 9 new character poster. Feel free to click any of the images to get a slightly larger perspective.

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Cinecast Episode 184 – Death Lottery

The 4 hour barrier is broken as The Documentary Blog’s Jay Cheel joins Kurt and Andrew on the longest Cinecast ever – you know it is even longer than the previous epic length TIFF show. What do we talk about? For starters, Kurt & Jay examine the Let The Right One In remake, Let Me In (*SPOILERS*), in painstaking detail, and how not to process American remakes of foreign language films. Next we move along for a solid hour on Never Let Me Go (*SPOILERS*) which keeps going on the vibe of comparing source material to eventual film adaptation and why you probably should not do that. More Carey Mulligan talk as Andrew skims and sums up Wall Street 2 with out spoilers. Then, a spoiler-free discussion on Catfish follows, although only Jay caught it, so it is more of a discussion on fake/faux-Documentaries, and ‘narrative-ethics’ which leads to more more talk on I’m Still Here, with a little Last Exorcism and The Blair Witch Project to round things out. Next we move along to the avant garde and barely-narrative Cannes Palme D’Or winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, and a lot of other films we watched: An overview of the “Middletown” documentary series, a bit of Daybreakers-Redux, a bit of Season 6 of “LOST” (you guessed it, with *SPOILERS*), and more avant garde cinema with Last Year At Marienbad. We also debate the finer points of Steve Buscemi and the cast and crew of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Finally (finally!) at around the 4 hour mark, our DVD picks round out a show that carried us well into the wee hours of the night recording. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed chatting. It may be long, but it is a solid and whip-smart show this time around, although we are biased on that front.

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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ALTERNATIVE (no music track):

Full show notes are under the seats…
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New Let Me In Poster

I am more than willing to give the remake of Let The Right One In the benefit of the doubt until I hear that I should not. So far everything I see and hear makes be believe that it will actually be good. The newest poster continues the trend of being spot on for creating something similar yet different and interesting in its own right. Sure, I think everyone should go see the original but that just will not happen so I will be content that the remake may be quite good in itself. I just found the new poster for it and while I was going to link to the site where I originally found it I decided not to because they watermarked it. Instead I’ll provide you with the link to the other site where I found it.

Let Me In

Casting Update for Scorsese’s “Hugo Cabret”

The more I hear about Martin Scorsese’s next project, Hugo Cabret, the more intrigued I become – and I’m sure I’m not alone. The film itself looks mighty interesting, especially to us film nerds. Not only will it be Mr. Scorsese’s first foray into 3D, but the source material looks like it’s right up his alley. The film will be an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s children’s graphic novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which is set in 1930s Paris and partially focuses on the story of cinematic magician Georges Méliès. I’ll seek out the book and read it before the movie hits theatres, and I highly doubt I will be disappointed by it.

Adding to the excitement for this project is its incredible cast. So far, Scorsese has on board *deep breath* Chloe Moretz, Jude Law, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, Ray Winstone and Richard Griffiths. A few weeks ago, it was announced that two more actors would be joining this stellar lineup: Emily Mortimer, who of course worked with Scorsese on his previous film Shutter Island, and Michael Stuhlbarg, who make a great first impression with filmgoers at the center of A Serious Man.

With so many great ingredients, I don’t really see how this thing can not be awesome. Bring on 2011!

Cinecast 168 – The Hacksaw Dilemma

Revenge is a dish best served cold. So claims an old Klingon proverb. While probably not technically accurate as to the origin of the phrase, it is apropos of this weeks cinecast. It would perhaps be even more appropriate to say that revenge is a dish served often, and in a versatile and diverse number of ways! Even though that does not exactly roll off the tongue – we present a couple of lists to prove it. Tying in with this weeks top ten is our full (and shockingly spoiler free!) review of the Michael Caine revenge drama, Harry Brown. Though there are only two of us to go back and forth this week, we still find some DVDs to discuss and maybe grump out a bit at dismal outlook on our near future at the multiplex.

As always, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comment section below and thanks for listening!

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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Thoughts on the LET THE RIGHT ONE IN Remake

You go on vacation and it is a relatively slow movie and news week, but my interest perked up upon glancing at the two released stills from Matt “Cloverfield” Reeves’ english language remake of Let The Right One in. First off, if you average out the Row Three contributors’ picks on 2008 films, Låt den rätte komma in was probably the most loved, so most people writing for the site have some sort of emotional stake in seeing it redone for a North American Audience. You know the part where they polish off the rough edges, take out the emotional depth and thematic resonance, and make it a thrill ride (for any or all of the above, see: The Vanishing, Bangkok Dangerous, Nine Queens, [REC], La Femme Nikita, etc. etc.)

But, oddly enough, I am rather interested in such an immediate do-over in spite of the high water mark set by the Swedish version of the film. There is the casting of the two leads, Chloe Moretz who kicked ass in, well, you know, and Kodi Smit-McPhee who give stellar performances in two dark films, The Road and Romulus My Father. Also, the producers are being rather clever in using the title of the first edition translation of the Novel, Let Me In, which at least tells me they took the time to do a bit of looking into how the book and film have been processed over here, and are not slapping it with the same title (causing some confusion due to the proximity of the releases) or giving it some focus-group moniker. Furthermore, I thought Cloverfield was a fairly solid both in the writing department and the directing department, and Reeves is doing both the remake (albeit Reeves did not write Cloverfield). Lastly, the novel has a number of twists and turns that were polished out of the original movie. The author of the novel, John Ajvide Lindqvist, wrote the screenplay and I’m sure he knows his own material, but having an outsiders interpretation, particularly at some of the more graphic elements in the novel, if the producers are willing to go there, would be enough to get me in the cinema.

Really, there is bound to be some disappointment with the remake, due to how familiar I am with the source material and the original movie, but at this point I am not flat out against an English Language production. After all, there have been some good remakes done out there, Gore Verbinski’s The Ring has that knock-out addition with the horse on the ferry, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed was entertaining and added a gritty Boston atmosphere to the story, and lest we forget that both The Thing, The Fly and Invasion of the Body Snatchers all got it right on the second whirl around.

Cinecast Episode 163 – The Jesus Camp of Comic Book Movies

By audience request, a special welcome to FilmJunk’s Jay Cheel (also of The Documentary Blog) as he drops by the virtual studio for this cinecast episode to help level the playing field on our SPOILER quite divided impressions of Kick-Ass. Of course Matt Gamble is here to help with that discussion as well representing the comic-nerd side of the equation. We are also in the midst of the Minneapolis Film Festival, so there is be some talk on that cinematic smörgåsbord as well as a critical mention of the 6 hour road-show edition of British TV mini Red Riding Trilogy. The usual DVD picks and other bits of movie related banter, including must-see Aussie noir, The Square, a break down on the Howard Stern saga known as Private Parts and Earth Day visual extravaganza Oceans. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to listen the show; we are glad to have you along and welcome feedback and other forms of kick-assery in the comments section..

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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Millar’s Crossing: Extended Thoughts on Kick-Ass

In Carl Matheson‘s early aughties piece on the humour of TVs The Simpsons, he talks about something he calls hyper-irony: “The flavor of humor offered by today’s comedies is colder, based less on a shared sense of humanity than on a sense of world-weary cleverer-than-thou-ness.” Of course this is not designed to be perjurious, but rather complimentary, insofar as any fan of The Coen brothers reacts to the humour of their equally cleverer-than-thou takes on both genre and cinema. Matthew Vaughn’s new superhero adventure certainly plays in this sandbox and it does it very well. It walks the line of ‘what if’ while soft-shoeing around comic nerd fantasy and realism. Knowing full well that the bulk of comic-book entry points are from the adolescent pure fantasy point of view (Iron Man‘s wise-ass chauvinist inventor stud billionaire anyone?), that is the tone that wins out in the end, but damn if it still wants you to believe that things are set it in real world. I think it is this sort of high-wire act that got The Dark Knight such critical and audience love, although it was done without any sort of ironic distance by Christopher Nolan and company. Kick-Ass seems to specialize in this sort of tone and succeeds (not in making high-art) where the makers behind the film version of Millar’s Wanted completely failed to find the right proportions of grounded-ness and ironic fantasia. Vaughn and Goldman have certainly done the author a service.

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Final (?) Greenband Kick-Ass Trailer

With a boatload of fan-boy love propelling this one into the mainstream, and a savvy lack of political correctness, Mathew Vaughn’s Kick-ass continues the publicity train. Satisfyingly, the trailers for this one keep getting better and better, and for once, the film easily lives up to its trailer. When the embargo lifts on the film, my thoughts will appear, but suffice it to say, as not the biggest lover of comic-book hero films, this is one I can easily get behind.

Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan with a few friends and who lives alone with his father. His life is not very difficult and his personal trials not that overwhelming. However, one day he makes the simple decision to become a super-hero even though he has no powers or training.


Kick-Ass opens wide on April 16th.



Super Hero Parody + Japanese Cult + Wanted + Children = HitGirl

This is so hilariously wrong that I am curious how many parents may take their children to see Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass after something like Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Well mommy and daddy probably will not if they see this highly amusing Red-Band teaser for the film that proves that Quentin Tarantino isn’t the only director who can re-purpose Japanese school-girls and severed limbs into something distinctly Western-Hemisphere. If the film was to live up to the promise of this teaser, I’d say that someone made Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted for the pre-teen set. Anyone want to see Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) actually attempt the Battle Royale remake?

Trailer *Language definitely NSFW* is tucked under the seat.

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