Mamo #312: The Train Job

The summer of 2013 has revealed what will doubtless be recorded as its all-time mega-bomb: Disney’s The Lone Ranger, which might be the nail in the coffin of the Western, 2-D, and Johnny Depp himself. Special guest star Ryan McNeil joins us for a gab session about what went wrong and why.

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Cinecast Episode 316 – Pleasantly Tickled

Critics be damned. The Lone Ranger is one of 2013’s best films. Kurt goes to bat against the nay-sayers and does a fairly good job at convincing us. Meanwhile we both agree that the vampire sub-genre has been disserviced (is that a word?) for the past many years thanks to sparkles and tween nonsense. But then along comes Neil Jordan and reminds us he’s actually pretty good at these types of films; even if it doesn’t appear so at the outset. Also, Bullock and McCarthy do the best they can with what they’re given in their female-centric, buddy-cop film. In the Watch List, Kurt shits on Christopher Nolan, gives props to Charlie Chaplin, watches illegal films and Andrew realizes Spielberg is actually still pretty great in the new millenium; even if the Brothers Grimm don’t quite acclimate as well. Oh, and not really any spoilers this week… except maybe in Andrew’s GoT Blu-ray review (sorry).

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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Disney’s The Lone Ranger

This image landed online, once again featuring Johnny Depp in major make-up mugging for the camera. That handsome fellow in the black domino mask is the man behind the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer) and J. Edgar’s gay lover. Disney has been trying with mixed success to get this off the ground since early 2008 (or perhaps longer…) and have announced delays, cancellations and re-starts in that time. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and (Academy Award Winning) director Gore Verbinski are behind the camera. Also, noteworthy is that this marks Depp’s fifth collaboration with his Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango director.

The first image and the May/June 2013 release date confirm that a Big budget The Lone Ranger is on his way with a super-star Tonto. Are you in love with this property? Happy with that image? Looking forward to another Johnny Depp with dredds character?

Review: Rango

Over the past few months, Rango has been a film I have been eagerly anticipating, but I have to admit I truly had no idea just what the film was about. Oh sure I knew it was a Western of sorts, and its title certainly cast illusions that it might be tangentially related to Sanjuro. But in terms of actual plot I really had no idea what I was in for with Rango. But what I did know, is that I had to see it. Of the films coming out early this year, Rango was one of the first to catch my eye. The cast is absolutely monstrous, and the animation looked fantastic. Couple in Gore Verbinski as the director and I knew the film had as good a chance of any of being a fun film, but would it ever be anything more than that?

Within a few moments Rango made sure to let me now it was aiming for more than being a fun children’s animated film, for Rango is an actor. An actor who doesn’t know who he is, because he spends all his time investing in trying to figure out who his character is. Immediately the film had put me on notice that this was to be an examination on film itself, though it made sure to keep the fun at the forefront as often as possible.

But as it launched into numerous movie in-jokes (up to an including adaptions of classic scores, running gags and several rollicking cameos) I fell deeper and deeper into its wonderful web. A web shot and framed based on the recommendations of one Roger Deakins, and the result is incredibly cinematic, made even more incredible by the fact the entire thing is animated. You will be hard pressed to find a better looking film this year, and this is a year with films from Tarsem and Terrence Malick still on the docket.

But while the look of the film is second to none, and blessed with a level of style rarely seen in American animation, Rango possessed far more than just good looks for its audience. It also made sure that it was funny, entertaining, fun and incredibly unique. But even better, while it is a film that most certainly will entertain kids, it can only truly be appreciated when you have thousands of movie watching experiences under your belt, and plenty of time to watch Rango over and over again to fully take in the vast density of each frame. And as I sat in wonder, awed by the sheer enjoyment brought to me in each single solitary frame, I soon realized that Rango was the first great movie of 2011.

[Matt Gamble is a regular on the Row Three Cinecast, and this review is cross published from his own blog, Where The Long Tail Ends.]

Cinecast Episode 202 – Obviously You’re Not a Golfer


It is a cornucopia, a smörgåsbord, a veritable potpourri of cinema, as the Cinecast regulars get together with nothing on the agenda other than to talk about what they have watched, in the cinema, on the DVD and streamed from the internet or (in an exciting technology development, from the Computer Hard Drive.) Andrew continues to dig into the Foreign Language Nominees with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful. Kurt comes at Oscar a different way with the new documentary on the man with the midas touch when it comes to little gold men, Harvey Weinstein. And Gamble talks best animated film of 2011 with a preview of the flat out awesome Gore Verbinski/Nickelodeon/Industrial-Light-And-Magic Johnny Depp western, Rango. From there, we go from the occult, to Penelope Cruz DTV failures, to two vastly different takes time travel from the 1980s to Chinese shopping malls. Then it is onto Romans wandering about Scotland, Aussie crime dynasties and suburban teenage prostitution rings! It is all a part of your complete breakfast.

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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Rango. Well, I’m At Least Intrigued

Your guess is as good as mine. Without doing too much research, all I know is it ain’t Pixar and it’s got a whole slew of recognizable personality voices; including Johnny Depp (playing the title character – apparently a chameleon with an identity crisis), Abigail Breslin, Bill Nighy, Isla Fisher and Stephen Root. And thank God Gore Verbinski is off those atrocious Pirates movies.

I gotta say though, for a teaser trailer this is a pretty swell wft:

P.S. If you go to the main site like the teaser instructs, you’ll find a whole lot of not much. SOme links to their social media usuals and an animation that goes on forever. I watched it for a long time hoping something would happen; instead, not much goes on. It makes for kind of a fun screen saver though I suppose.


Fresnadillo Enters BioShock

BioShock Videogame StillOn various occasions, I’ve heard it uttered around here (mostly on the Cinecast) that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s 28 Weeks Later is a better film than its predecessor. I’m not sure I agree, I like both films a great deal but I will give in to the fact that Fresnadillo is a talented filmmaker. Now I’m curious to see the reaction at this latest news which puts the Spaniard at the helm of a film adaptation of a video game.

I’ve never played “BioShock” but recall the game was quite the hit when it was released in 2007. A first person shooter, the game is set in an alternate history 1960 where Jack, the survivor of a crash, explores an underwater city called Rapture populated by mechanical drones. It certainly sounds like there’s a bit of story there but enough of a framework for a movie? Writer John Logan found enough to write the script but will it be any good? Logan is hit (The Aviator, Gladiator) and miss (The Time Machine) so it’s not clear which way this one is going to go. I’ll give the project this much: the potential for this looking awesome is definitely there. The mechanical drones and the city of Rapture look damned cool. I could see this going down the steam punk route.

Pirates lover Gore Verbinski was in line to direct the film but had to step down when he couldn’t commit to overseas shooting so the reigns have been passed on to Fresnadillo. This also happens to be one of the big projects set up at Universal. Does it surprise anyone that Fresnadillo has been given the reigns to such a massive tent pole project? Does anyone care?

Get a Clue

Floating around the webs the last day or two is the news that Gore Verbinski (of Pirates notoriety) is slated to direct another film version of the popular board game, “Clue.” My first thought (as usual when it comes to remakes) was “why”? The 1985 version starring Tim Curry and whole slew of other recognizable faces was terrific and funny as hell; still is. It was also innovative with the different endings depending upon which theater chain you saw it at. So why re-do this at all?

Clue board gameSo reading further into it, I do like the idea of where this board game is expanding. According to Verbinsky’s label, Blind Wink, the film will be a “global thriller and transmedia event that uses deductive reasoning as its storytelling engine.” OK, that’s interesting. So instead of accusing Miss Scarlet of doing it in the conservatory with the lead pipe, maybe it will be a cyber hunt for Col. Dijon who used serin nerve gas in Sudan.

Hey, if you’re going to redo a film, why not expand the hell out it and make it something grander and more intricate. The comedy angle was done, now let’s try a thriller and not confine it to a single household. Sounds like an interesting idea to me.

While I’m not a huge Verbinski fan, I can see his budget and access to anything he wants a real plus in this latest endeavor. It will be years before this thing comes to fruition, but as it gets closer I’ll have my ears to the rail to keep tabs on the production.