Cinecast Episode 214 – I Hate that I Know That

We start things off simple. No Kurt. Just some Pirates and Priests. With unpleasantness out of the way, Kurt jumps in with both feet for a indie post-apocalyptic film out of Toronto, a re-evaluation of Inglorious Basterds and Tarantino’s career. Trains and Toni Collette keep the conversation chugging along and with Gamble here, “Game of Thrones” is sort of unavoidable. We all revel in the love for Rip Torn and South Korea before rounding everything out with a talk about sequels that are crazier than a rat in a tin shithouse (ala Caddyshack II and Gremilns II). Nobody dies.

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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Iron Man 2 Trailer


I bet you didn’t think we were going to post this, considering that it as about as ubiquitous as can be around the internet geek-sites. There was a lot of indifference and dismissal of the first Iron Man around Row Three for playing things oh-so-safe to formula (both comic book superhero formula and RDJ persona-formula) and its embrace in the popular and critical community. Call me a sucker, but this one looks slightly better with its Euro-accented Mickey Rourke and CEO-Celebrity Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) becoming a political and economical trump card. There is grist there, will they mill it?

Fool me twice, shame on me!

Trailer is tucked under the seat.

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DVD Review: Two Lovers

Two Lovers DVD Cover

Director: James Gray (We Own the Night, The Yards, Little Odessa)
Screenplay: James Gray, Ric Menello
Producers: James Gray, Donna Gigliotti, Anthony Katagas
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, Elias Koteas, Moni Moshonov
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 110 min.

Irecall walking away from James Gray’s We Own the Night thinking that I’d just seen the beginning of something special. Though the film was overlooked by critics and the general public there was something about it that sat with me long after the credits rolled. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Bobby Green was understated but powerful and Gray’s direction was demure and beautiful.

Two Lovers Movie StillI instantly paid a little more attention when a new Phoenix/Gray collaboration was announced and when the trailer for Two Lovers premiered, I knew it was a film I had to see even if the trailer was misleading (as I assumed it was). The trailer does this film very little justice.

Phoenix plays Leonard Kraditor, a man who moved back with his parents after his ex-fiance’s family canceled their wedding. He took the breakup badly, retreating into a world of self abuse and attempted suicides eventually returning home to start rebuilding his life. But months have passed and though he appears to be getting better, his parents are visibly worried and they want him to move on with his life. They devise a plan to set him up with Sandra (Vinessa Shaw), the daughter of a local business owner. Things start off well and the two seem to hit it off but things aren’t as perfect as they appear. Immediately after meeting Sandra, Leonard meets Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), his new upstairs neighbor and becomes instantly smitten by both her looks and her personality. In an instant Leonard goes from meek and shy to juggling two very different women in two very different relationships.

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Paltrow and Phoenix in Two Lovers Trailer

Two Lovers Movie StillSmart, taut, adult romantic dramas are few and far between. From the sounds of it, we’ve already had a good one in Elegy (our review) and if all goes well, we may have a second coming in the next few months.

James Gray and Joaquin Phoenix have teamed up a third time (the two previously worked together on The Yards and the wrongly dismissed We Own the Night) for Two Lovers, a drama about a bachelor torn between two women, the family friend his parents want him to marry (Vinessa Shaw) and his neighbor (Gwyneth Paltrow). Gray has, yet again, set his story in New York and we’re likely to see more of the great NY flavor that has surrounded his previous films. The trailer sets up the story nicely and seems to capture some of the difficulties of dealing with relationships when you have cultural/familial bonds to deal with as well.

I’m not completely sold mostly because I’m not convinced that Gray can pull off a straightforward romance, but I am interested. I found the relationship dynamic between Phoenix and Eva Mendes in We Own the Night was excellent and Paltrow has been very selective in her roles over the last few years, appearing in mostly (I’m not counting the favor she did for her brother appearing in the forgettable The Good Night) good films and re-watching Seven last night I was reminded of how good she can be when she’s “on”.

Sadly, the film is being “dumped” into the abyss of January. Two Lovers opens on January 9th.

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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