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.
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.
Spread out all over the place cinematically, mentally and globally this week. Yes, even more so than usual. As Kurt imbibes the nectar of the corporate greed in the hot, humid air of the Magic Kingdom, we’re left with some pretty limited release and local festival fare. The DVDs picks this week are rather slim and divisive as well. Not much of a ride to take, but a ride nonetheless.
As always, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
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Fantastic Mr. Fox opens this weeks show on a fantastic note and is followed up quickly by a fantastically epic episode. An Education gets a lengthy (fantastic) mention as well as Cormac McCarthy’s fantastic novel adaptation, The Road – which finally got a slightly wider release last week. Not such a fantastic week in the DVD department but that is more than made up for with fantastic discussions on the fantastic Noah Baumbach, Coppola Siblings, James Cameron and introducing kids to the fantastic Star Wars trilogy. Thanks so much for checking out this fantastic show and feel free to leave your thoughts (let them be fantastic!) in the comment section below. As snobby as we may sound, we love to hear discussion and/or disagreement from any of our fantastic regular or fist time listeners.
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What we’ve been reading over the past week or so.
- A Top 10: Lengthy Tracking Shots
From Godard to Scorsese. Showy Shots abound. There are plenty more to add (feel free to suggest in the comment, I am surprised they left out the big D.W. Griffith shot in Intolerance. Or for that matter, The Protector, Brazil, Serenity, Boogie Nights, Satantango, etc. etc. But then again, it is only a top 10.
- Playboy does James Cameron (no photos!)
“Avatar is made very consciously for movie fans. If critics like it, fine. I can’t say I won’t read the reviews, because I may not be able to resist. I spent a couple of decades in the capricious world of being judged by those not knowledgeable about the depth and history of film and with whom I would not want to have a conversation—with a few notable exceptions. Why would I want to be judged by them? For me, this past decade has been about retreating to the great fundamentals, things that aren’t passing fads or subject to the whims of some idiot critic. You can’t write a review of the laws of thermodynamics.”
- SPIEGEL Interview with Umberto Eco on the vertigo of making lists
“I was fascinated with Stendhal at 13 and with Thomas Mann at 15 and, at 16, I loved Chopin. Then I spent my life getting to know the rest. Right now, Chopin is at the very top once again. If you interact with things in your life, everything is constantly changing. And if nothing changes, you’re an idiot.”
- ‘Nine’ Leads Indie Heavy Golden Satellite Nods
While the awards – handed out by International Press Academy – are generally disregarded as a serious Oscar precursor due to their often inexplainable decisions, this year’s batch is definitely full of worthy nominees, particularly from the specialty sector.
- More Mainstream Press for THE ROOM.
“Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” is a train wreck of almost incomprehensible proportions: Whole scenes are out of focus, while others are repeated in their entirety; characters appear without introduction, while others vanish without explanation; and the unfortunate cast engages in behavior that few would consider typical. All of which, of course, makes the painfully overwrought relationship drama one of the greatest comedies ever to be created entirely by accident.”
- The Road Takes Desolate Journey From Page to Screen
To deliver “The Road’s” worn and weathered ambience, Hillcoat avoided as much as possible the over-the-top digital approach employed by director Roland Emmerich for his post-apocalyptic spectacle, “2012.” Hillcoat shot “The Road” at 51 real-world locations to give the R-rated film, which opens Wednesday, an extra dose of authenticity.
- 100+ Cliche Dialogue Lines
‘The Definitive List of Cliched Dialogue’ or just another day at the office for those ink stained grinders writing Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Dacacos or Steven Segal flicks.
- Critical Shift: New Moon vs. Gone With The Wind
Peter Howell considers what has changed in the critical landscape in how lurid melodrama and hammy acting was received in 1939 vs. 2009.
- Tres Chic Twin Peaks Photo Gallery
Quite an awesome (yet creepy) set of on-set photos taken during the taping of Twin Peaks by Richard Beymar.
- The 99 Most Jaw-Dropping Movie Moments
We love those movie moments that make us feel like we’ve been swiftly punched in the gut. The shocking scenes that give us goosebumps and gasps at the same time. Because we love those shock & awe bits so much, we’ve compiled our 99 favourites, counting down to the all-time greatest jaw-dropping movie moment.
When it was announced that Australian director John Hillcoat would be taking up the challenge of bringing the bleak and difficult novel, The Road, to the screen it seemed liked the absolute perfect match of director and material. After all, his gritty and fly-coated outback western The Proposition had that right mix of apocalyptic and tender that is the essence of Cormac McCarthy’s prose (the crisp non-nonsense sentences are as sparsely worded as any book that I have read, yet finds power and poetry in its repetition). And are not many post-apocalypse survival movies similar in tone and execution to the modern anti-western? Make no mistake, this is a handsome, consistent and harrowing adaptation of the work, but it is not quite a filmic masterpiece because I fear the novel as it is, is not translatable from the written page to the screen. There is something about letting the immediacy of each small sentence in the book sink in slowly, whereas Hillcoat and co. have only 2 short hours with with to pain their gray portrait of a world in ruin. It is a faithful adaptation of the book to be sure, many of the “Day After Tomorrow” images in the gawd-awful trailer cut by the Weinstein Company are (thankfully) not in the in the film, and any scars or signs of its length (and likely troubled) production history are not evident on screen. Rest assured that The Road is the quiet and intimate drama, and very likely to be the bleakest multiplex movie of 2009 (should the distributor finally stop shuffling it back in the calender again and again) as it should be; yet, nevertheless between book and screenplay, something of the soul was lost in translation.
(prologue) As we can begin to hear the death rattle of the oughts, we in the third row decided to start on this continuing series throughout 2009 that will look back at our favorite films of each of the past ten years (2000-2009). This will ultimately culminate in a “ten best/favorites of the oughts” piece sometime in early 2010.
This has got to be the finest year for cinema goers over the past ten years. I can remember narrowing down my personal list to about 30 favorites and then having a real tough time weeding it down to 10. Hence coming up with a consensus for a “top” five among seven or eight people proved to be downright impossible (leaving off all of the great “off the wall” cinema was particularly difficult – e.g. Grindhouse, Bug and Black Snake Moan specifically). So we each listed five movies that really captured our hearts that year and I tried to make the best executive decision I could that really showcases some of the best 2007 had to offer while maintaining a general sense of the tastes here at RowThree. Here are five films (and of course some honorable mentions) that represent some of the greatness that 2007 delivered.
Well, it’s here: not just the final two months of 2009, but the end of another decade. Not that these films are necessarily Oscar contenders, but November and December are notorious for launching all the high profile, “good” movies of the year. While we’ve seen some great stuff over the past 10 months, here is a smattering of pictures being released wide in the final two months of the decade that we’re really looking forward to and anticipate much critical love for; including making several top ten lists. Sure there are more than just these titles that are anticipated, and we’d love you to mention them in the comment section, but there are enough here to keep you busy and these are probably the “must sees” for these final 60 days of the year…
Lars Von Trier
The more I think about this film and the more times I see the trailer the more and more I absolutely love it and little by little it keeps climbing notches on my ten best of the year list. If Charlotte Gainsbourg isn’t nominated for a best actress statue then there is positively no justice in the world. Obviously not for everyone as the film is fantastically brutal and psychologically traumatic. But it is also gorgeous in every way a film can be gorgeous before punching you in the face with tennis racket made of lead.
Director: Glendyn Ivin
Screenplay: Mac Gudgeon
Producers: Antonia Barnard, Nicholas Cole, Nick Cole
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Tom Russell, Anita Hegh, John Brumpton
MPAA Rating: NYR
Running time: 90 min.
Looking for the perfect companion piece to Cormac MacCarthy’s The Road (our review)? Then look no further as Glendyn Ivin’s Last Ride is just the ticket you’re looking for. Not set in a post-apocalyptic world, but rather in a desolate and sparsely populated Australian Outback, a rugged, middle-aged man (Kev) and young son (Chook) struggle to survive while quite obviously on the run from a troubled recent past.
The film is maybe more comparable to Clint Eastwood’s A Perfect World starring Kevin Costner with the only major detail change being that the boy in Last Ride is our anti-hero’s son. But the comparison still sticks as the two outlaws cross the gorgeous Aussie Outback sleeping wherever and stealing whatever they can; causing a substantial amount of intentional and unintentional amount of understated mayhem in their wake. What differentiates this film from Eastwood’s is the difference in expectations that our main characters have and wish for. While young Chook wants nothing more than a good family structure and a warm bed in his very own home, Kev wants nothing of it and would rather his son learn the ways of the world in the harshness of said world.
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Kurt and Andrew finally face to face at the same table. We cover a lot of highlights from the Toronto International Film Festival but specifically the much anticipated John Hillcoat film, The Road and Werner Herzog’s whacky remake of Bad Lieutenant starring Nicolas Cage. Sleep deprived but hopped up on espresso and instant noodles, we forge on through the 4am hour.
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Reviews are starting to roll in for John Hillcoat’s The Road and from most sources, the reviews have been very positive. Not that it’s much of a surprise considering the pedigree; Cormac McCarthy is a genius with a pen and Hillcoat is no so shabby himself when it comes to directing great films.
While the rest of us eagerly await the film’s October 16th release date, we can bask in the knowledge that Hillcoat already has a new project to jump onto once promotion and film festival jumping is complete. Hillcoat has signed on for another adaptation, this time Nick Cave’s “The Death Of Bunny Munro” which tells the story of a “sex addicted travelling salesman on his final road trip.”
I’m not very familiar with Cave’s work outside of his music, and even then I’m a fan in passing but I like the idea of another Hillcoat project and one that sounds as promising as this one. I can’t be the only one excited to see what a sex addicted travelling salesman looks like never mind what sort of shenanigans he gets himself into.
This will not be the first time that Hillcoat and Cave have worked together. Cave created the score for The Road, the two worked together on The Proposition and Hillcoat also directed the Bad Seeds film Babe, I’m On Fire.