Friday One Sheet: Wonder Wheel

Woody Allen’s latest takes place in New York’s Coney Island amusement park in the 1950s. And this key art delivers a nostalgic glow on the eponymous ferris wheel in the title. It also foregrounds a stern but relaxed (?) and nearly unrecognizable Kate Winslet writing in a journal on the worlds smallest day-bed. The warm glow of her hair is at odds with the severity of her expression. Thus lending the tension, will this film be swimming in rosy nostalgia, or be a darker, deeper consideration of New York’s most frivolous, and often dangerous districts.

Friday One Sheet: The Shape of Charcoal

Fresh off its big Golden Lion win at Venice, its hot-ticket premiere at TIFF, and Opening Film slot announcement at the upcoming at Sitges, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water gets this handsome charcoal-sketch poster that is a variant of sorts from the water-colour teaser design. Clearly articulating the ‘Creature From The Black Lagoon’-as-a-love-story angle of the film and wearing its festival laurels in the corner, this one will be an eye catcher when it is hung (hopefully on paper, not on a screen) in multiplex lobbies in December. Me, I will be standing in the rush line in Toronto (hey, I’ve been here all week!) at TIFF hoping to see if the film lives up to its praise, or I will be waiting until December like the rest of you.

Trailer: The Shape Of Water


Beautiful and emotional and quiet. The latest film/fairy-tale from Guillermo del Toro, features a deaf Sally Hawkins tentatively courting a merman (Doug Jones) a Cold War 1960’s government laboratory where she works as a janitor. Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg are the G-Men, and Octavia Spencer Richard Jenkins, in full beard, are the nice folks. But really, the star as always is the visuals and the tone that the director is aiming for. Remember all those parts where Hellboy hangs out with Abe? This appears to be the feature length, even more romanticized version, and it looks wonderful.

The Lure, Disney’s live action remake of The Little Mermaid, Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid, Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman in Justice League, and now The Shape of Water. Mer-people are clearly in vogue at the moment. And while on that subject, so is sign language. The War For The Planet Of The Apes, and Baby Driver also made good use of sign as quiet character building.

Mamo 428: Vageena/Vagina


Hello! Mamo digs into the true meaning of the auteur theory in a consideration of the subjective successes of Guillermo Del Toro, before addressing the Jennifer Lawrence wage gap standoff and its potential ramifications, and the proper pronunciation of the words “dour,” “vagina,” and “Guillermo.”

Trailer: Crimson Peak

Handsomely artificial, lush steam-punk production design, and an excellent cast (Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska), Crimson Peak, judging by the trailer, seems to continue Guillermo del Toro’s recent ‘inert’ dramatic streak. To put it bluntly, the actors look trapped by the sets and costumes, and the CGI so utterly out of place in this Turn of the Screw/The Innocents kind of homage, that I hope there is much more than meets the eye. Have a look at the trailer below (although judging by the millions of views on Youtube, you’ve probably already seen it by now. Feel free to weigh in on the comment section.

Set in Cumbria, in a crumbling mansion in a largely rural and mountainous region of northern England in the 19th century, young author Edith Cushing discovers that her charming new husband Sir Thomas Sharpe is not who he appears to be.

Cinecast Episode 315 – From Shakespeare to Prada to Zombies

Three theatrical reviews from three wildly different films. Top 5 List of 2013 so far. The advertising differences of Pacific Rim and The Counselor. A fair bit of Watchlist chat, specifically on the Coen’s Man Who Wasn’t There, and Sundance Original series, Rectify. This ain’t a short one, folks.

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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Cinecast Episode 253 – It’s not Trash. It’s Garbage.

Many of you know him as “Goon”, but illustrator/web designer/movie nerd, Corey Pierce of the Critical Mass Cast has parachuted into the Cinecast floating ever so gently down on the buoyancy of his love for Mirror Mirror and making the show one of epic length, even by Cinecast standards; we do not quite break the Cinecast record but we do come dangerously close. After a signature tangent on whether or not it is appropriate to applaud or boo after (or during) a film and comparing The Raid to both porn and “The Family Guy,” we tackle the glossy and relentless Indonesian action film in the context of how a movie can set its own terms, and either fail, succeed on those terms, or transcend them. Where does The Raid fall? You’ll have to listen.

We then move on to listener submitted home work and the glory (or lack thereof) of trash cinema. Going through the various assigned work reveals both enlightening and pandering to the ‘teachers,’ which underscores that our listeners do indeed take these homework assignments seriously. Bravo to you folks. The Watchlist rounds out the show and features a lengthy discussion of the Bully documentary, Eddie Murphy and racial/sexual epithets, JFK Conspiracy Books, American Presidents – right back to the founding fathers – fosters a wacky and over-simplified discussion of politics (Is there any other kind??!!) on both sides of the Canada/USA divide, studio Ghibli, giant gorillas and one-armed drummers. Yeah, the thing is over four hours. Enjoy…or endure! (Bend like a sapling in the wind, lest one break!)

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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Movies We Watched

Sometimes we watch stuff that we want to talk just a little bit about, not a full review worth. These are those films. If any of the films reviewed are available on Netflix Instant Watch (US or Canada) or HuluPlus (US only), we’ll note that by putting a direct link below the capsule.


2001 US. Director: Jordan Melamed. Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Don Cheadle.

Shot in a pseudo-cinéma vérité style, Manic, at its most basic level, details the experiences of young adults in a mental health facility. It does not preach an agenda, at least not obnoxiously so, instead relying on an intimate connection between the viewer and its very talented group of actors. A very raw film, both in style and substance, this was the film that first showcased Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s considerable talents. His subtle facial tics and expressive body language are both endearing and heartbreaking throughout, and his character is far more nuanced than one would suspect for such an underseen (and underappreciated) film. I would also argue that, despite the fine performances of Zooey Deschanel (who hasn’t quite returned to the heights reached in this film) and always impressive Don Cheadle, Gordon-Levitt also demonstrated his ability to carry a film, stealing most every scene with relative ease. With his popularity skyrocketing due to (500) Days of Summer, Inception, and 50/50, I found it quite worthwhile to revisit what may still be his most impressive turn.

Netflix Instant (US)

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Trailer: Julia’s Eyes


I managed to catch this Guillermo Del Toro produced Spanish ghost story in Toronto (even briefly running into the big man himself, which was pretty cool.) Directed by Guillem Morales, Julia’s Eyes went on to be the opening night film for the 2010 edition of Sitges, where leading lady Belén Rueda (The Orphanage) turned quite a few heads in a red dress. But enough about these little festival details. The film is being released commercially in the UK by Optimum (May 20th, 2011) releasing and they have issued the first English friendly trailer for the film (no word on this side of the pond yet.) High on atmosphere and virtuoso camera work, maybe a bit low on originality, it is a workman film that yields a good time at the movies considering what often passes for horror or scares out of Hollywoodland. Jandy liked it a bit more than I did.

Julia, a woman suffering from degenerative sight disease, finds her twin sister Sara, who has already gone blind as a result of the same disease, hanged in the basement of her house. In spite of the fact that everything points to suicide, Julia decides to investigate what she intuitively feels is a murder case, entering a dark world that seems to hide a mysterious presence.

The trailer (thanks QE!) is tucked under the seat.

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Christopher Nolan’s Memento gets Micro Re-Release in Select Theatres, Feb. 17


Ten years after its theatrical debut, Christopher Nolan’s neo-noir thriller told in reverse, Memento is getting a celebratory ONE NIGHT ONLY re-release on February 17th, 2011. Screening in select digital cinemas across North America, these screenings will feature an exclusive Q&A with writer/director Christopher Nolan speaking with acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro. Did you miss Memento when it debuted to an almost instant cult following upon its limited release? Here is your chance to check out a crisp HD version in the cinemas.

Confirmed CITIES/THEATRES include:

New York, NY City Cinemas
Atlanta, GA Studio Movie Grill
Boston, MA Nat’l Amusements
Dallas, TX Studio Movie Grill
Houston, TX Studio Movie Grill
Los Angeles, CA Rave The Bridge
San Diego, CA UltraStar Mission
Washington DC Rave Fairfax Corner
Toronto, ON Cineplex Varsity
Vancouver, BC Cineplex Scotiabank Theatere

More may be added, so you can check here if you are curious if your city has a screening.

AFI Fest 2010: Julia’s Eyes



When introducing this entry in his producing career, Guillermo Del Toro mentioned a sequence that he had told first-time director Guillem Morales during the scripting process that he simply couldn’t, or shouldn’t, do on film – a twenty-minute sequence where the camera never shows anyone’s face. But Morales held firm and Del Toro trusted him to make it work, and make it work he did. Julia’s Eyes is a conscious throwback to early Italian giallos, the work of early Bava or Argento that walk the line between suspense and horror.

Julia suffers from a genetic disorder that causes blindness, exacerbated by stress, which can accelerate the loss of sight exponentially. Her sister had the same disorder, and her death opens the film – a death that was quickly ruled suicide by the authorities, but which Julia suspects but cannot prove was murder. As Julia investigates on her own, her sight deteriorates quickly, soon putting her in the same situations that led to her sister’s death, situations that spiral into ever-more disturbing physical and psychological places.

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