Trailer: Red Lights

I‘m always a bit skeptical when I see the Millenium Logo pop up before a film. They have a taste for aging stars and tried formulas (88 Minutes, Killer Elite, Trespass) but then they pop out something like Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant. Now I’m not saying that this new film with Sigourney Weaver, Robert DeNiro (and Cillian Murphy, Toby Jones and Elizabeth Olson) is going to be that exactly, but it’s directed by Rodrigo Cortés who turned out the pretty darn solid Buried, so I’d be willing to give this a shot even if the trailer gives it something of a conventional, I have a thing for The Amazing Randi, Michael Shermer and other debunkers doing their thing. I’m kind of confident there is something going on, because the filmmakers motive (note video below the trailer) appears appears to be able to look at the film itself for fakery while debunking fakery in the film. Nothing wrong with that, Orson Welles was doing it back in the 1970s to great effect and it’s noble to aspire to that, even in a genre film!

Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away.

Oh, and if you are curious about the title, there is this:

Clip from Rodrigo Cortes’ “Red Lights”

Thanks to Mack and the crew over at Twitch, we’ve got a new clip from the highly buzzed about film from Sundance, Red Lights. Now normally I don’t bother with clips as I like to go into films fresh.

But I made an exception in this case for two reasons. One, I know nothing about Rodrigo Cortes’ (Buried) second English language film, so this clip will help clue me in a little bit about what kind of vibe to expect. But two, I wanted to see Elizabeth Olsen in something other than just MMMM and see if she really has the chops for hanging with Hollywood elites (in this case Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy). I guess on that second front this clip doesn’t give much insight – though she appears to have more acting talent in one of her big, bright, shiny eyes than both of her twin sisters have put together. On the former however, I dig the cold, vaguely European style I get. Plus, without context, whatever they’re taking pictures of and looking for intrigues me.

Here’s the clip below. Once again, courtesy of Twitchfilm.

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!


To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):

Full show notes are under the seats…
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R3view: Inception

Director: Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight)
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
Starring: Leonaro DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Pete Postlewaite, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Lukas Haas
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 148 min

Inception is Ocean’s Eleven taking place in The Matrix with a dash of 007 and a tease of 2001: A Space Odyssey. A convoluted heist film that takes place in dreams within dreams within dreams. The job is to plant an idea into a rich industrialists subconscious (so-called ‘inception’) and get out undetected. The team leader brings his own baggage into the complicated job, and there is danger of the whole operation getting stuck down the rabbit hole as the dig deeper and deeper into the layers of the mind. Made with sharp suits, big guns and practical landscapes and sets, this is the first big budget blockbuster to come along since The New World with a sense of both scale and tactility.

Read all of our reviews below…

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TIFF 09 Review: Perrier’s Bounty

Director: Ian Fitzgibbon (Spin the Bottle)
Writer: Mark O’Rowe
Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Alan Moloney, Stephen Woolley
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Jim Broadbent, Brendan Gleason, Jodie Whittaker
MPAA Rating: 14A
Running time: 88 min.

Google “Irish Snatch” and I doubt Perrier’s Bounty will be anywhere on your list of hits. Yet, that’s exactly what this little caper film strives to be. Unfortunately without the quality humor, twisted plot or clever script writing. That isn’t to say Perrier’s Bounty is a bad film. It isn’t. But it’s clearly shooting for Guy Ritchie territory and doesn’t quite make it.

The picture opens with Cillian Murphy’s character opening his eyes, after a rough night doing himself in, to a couple of thugs demanding their money for the local mob head (Brendan Gleason) – much like the opening to The Big Lebowski. In this case though, Cillian actually does owe the money; unfortunately for him however, he doesn’t have it. Visiting the local pool hall, he’s hooked up with a couple of rather unsavory characters who bring him in on a planned heist. Shortly before the heist is scheduled to take place, Cillian’s father shows up and informs him that he’s dying of cancer. Of course things go astray during the heist and along with the heartbroken girl from downstairs tagging along for the night as she refuses to be left alone, Cillian and father embark on an adventure of sorts in an effort to get the money, get the bad guy, avoid the cops and somehow manage to stay alive.
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Nolan’s Mind Bending Inception Trailer

Inception Movie Still

Christopher Nolan wasn’t always known as the architect of the Batman franchise reboot. Nolan kicked off his career with a few small art films before the mind bending Memento catapulted him into the mainstream. He followed that up with the quiet thriller Insomnia before Batman Begins made him a household name. Taking a break between Batman films appears to be a normal unfolding of events and now Nolan is back with what appears to be another mind bending thriller.

Inception has been shrouded in secrecy. Aside from a stellar cast, which includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Lukas Haas, Ken Watanabe and Nolan regulars Michael Caine and Cillian Murphy, and a vague IMDb plot description which reads “A CEO-type becomes involved in a blackmailing scandal,” very little was known about the project. There was quite a stir when it became knowledge that the first teaser was attached to Inglorious Basterds (our review) as everyone hoped for something to make the project a little clearer and perhaps answer the question “what the heck is the movie about?” It wasn’t meant to be as there’s more speculation now than before the teaser went public.

The official website went live on Friday but offers little to go on and movie sites went a little crazy trying to uncover anything they could on the film (including running character names as news). Now that the trailer is online for those of us who have yet to see Tarantino’s film, it will also give hardcore fans a place to dig and I expect someone somewhere will examine each and every frame to gleam something, anything on the story. Good luck.

“Your mind is the scene of the crime” may not be a whole lot to go on but it suggest that Nolan is returning to the films of his early career.

Inception is scheduled for release on July 16, 2010.

Trailer is tucked under the seat or available at Yahoo! in HD.

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High-Brow Sci-fi: Inception Will Kick Ass

Christopher NolanHow do I know it will kick ass when no one else even knows what the movie is about? By virtue of the talent involved.

Let’s see if we can’t get you on board. Inception is Christopher Nolan’s new project (you know, the Batman guy? the man that also made Insomnia and Memento), written and directed by Nolan himself. Leonardo DiCaprio had previously signed on to star and news today is that Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy and Ellen Page are also in talks to star.

Really, with a cast this talented, do you really need a synopsis? I didn’t think so and that’s a good thing too because the film’s subject matter is a tightly guarded secret. The most the studio (WB) is willing to leak is that it’s a sci-fi action film “set within the architecture of the mind.” So…like The Matrix? Oh jeez, where do I buy my ticket?

We’ll be keeping you posted as more details are revealed until then, speculate away!

Early Preview Screening: Hippie Hippie Shake

Hippie Hippie Shake cast on location

Oz magazine was a leading publication of the 1960s countercultural underground press, using satirical humor, psychedelic art, and scathing anti-establishment political articles to critique the status quo of the time, first in Australia and then in London. Its envelope-pushing content and endorsement of the expression of free love in pretty much any form landed its editors in obscenity trials in both countries. After being acquitted upon appeal in the Australia trial (1964), main editor Richard Neville and editor/artist Martin Sharp headed to London in 1966 to recreate the magazine in the center of the countercultural movement. They were joined there by Neville’s girlfriend Louise and other contributors, notably Germaine Greer, who would later become very well-known for her feminist literary critical work The Female Eunuch. By 1970, Oz‘s editors again found themselves indicted for obscenity and intent to corrupt minors.

The upcoming film Hippie Hippie Shake, adapted from Neville’s memoir, focuses on London Oz from its inception (Neville and Sharp’s arrival in London) through the obscenity trial. I saw the film at a work-in-progress preview, so it wouldn’t be fair to give a definitive review on it at this point, but I’d like to at least give some impressions of the film as it is now. Most of the issues I had with the film were pacing and narrative issues – I’m interested to see if director Beeban Kidron (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) will be able to iron those out before the film is released (it currently has no release date set).

Oz #3 CoverThe first half of the film covers the rise of London Oz, as Richard (played by Cillian Murphy) and Martin (Max Minghella) join Louise (Sienna Miller) in London and gather contributors for the magazine, which include David Widgery, an earnest young political activist who wants to write only about things like the horrors of Vietnam, and Germaine Greer, of course focused on feminist issues and sexual equality. Soon they are joined by business whiz Felix Dennis, and rifts begin to form that eventually threaten Oz nearly as much as the obscenity trial that takes up the second half of the film. Felix is quickly typed as one who is interested in the magazine for the amount of sexual material it allows him to work with rather than its serious countercultural aspirations. Other interpersonal conflicts occur when Martin wants to do an all-image issue, and when Louise feels as though Richard cares more about an increasingly ill-defined cause than he does for her.

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The Edge of Love Trailer

Raise your hand if you’re a Keira Knightley fan. Ok ok, me neither. But let’s be honest, when it comes to period pieces, she does her job quite well. As a big fan of both Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, I can see quite a large star rating popping up from me on this new one: The Edge of Love.

Sure it kind of looks like an Atonement wanna-be, but I don’t have much problem with that; especially considering Cillian Murphy is involved and even Sienna Miller looks to have a fairly showy role as well. The only question mark I can see is director John Maybury, who’s only credit that I’ve seen is The Jacket (which was mediocre at best).

At any rate, I’m fairly impressed with the trailer. I can think of one other RowThree writer who will totally be on board with me on this one. Another to add to the list of top ten most anticipated of 2008.