Cinecast Episode 399 – You Cannot Rush a Walk of Shame

Welcome…To Jurassic Park World. John Hammond’s vision has finally come to fruition almost 20 years later and, shocker(!), it’s a complete and utter shit show for everyone involved. This is especially so if you are an executive assistant forced to babysit your bosses nephews, or just sitting in a cinema seat watching bad behavior in the audience mirror the bad behavior of park visitors onscreen. From undefined “villains” to unnecessary, slapdash discussions on divorce, the movie wants to have its cake and smash it in your face too. Sigh.

We say farewell to the characters of Westeros for another year as the final episode of Game of Thrones betrays a lot of what the show has stood for in terms of structure and promise. The finale is a bit of cluttered and rushed job. And yet, as the dust settles on the very controversial Season 5, there is a lot to love.

Lastly, we talk John Carpenter’s creature feature set in Antarctica, as well as a plug for another podcast about film background players. Also Netflix’s Bloodline Season 1.

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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Mondays Suck Less in The Third Row

Check out these links:
Mark Kermode on Jaws @ 40.
The Most Egregious Acting Oscar-Snubs of the Past 10 Years
Errol Morris on Typography and Truth
For Fans of the Plot of Serial, The Undisclosed Podcast
The World’s Largest Shipyard?

Re-live 1980s Cheese with Green Screen and Vector Graphics and Hitler: Kung Fury

The Cinematography Strategy of Fast-Cutting on Fury Road

Wes Anderson Parody Trailers are a Dime-a-Dozen. The editing is strong in this one.

Shia LaBeouf cautions against living in a van down by the river

The Unauthorized Biography of Vincent Price

Josh Olson on the Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean

In praise of The Chairs in Cinema

Kids Talk Film #19: Jaws

After bugging/begging me for some time to watch Jaws, and the long-time-coming upgrade of our home theatre equipment to 1080p/Blu, we desided to christen the re-opening with a trip to Amity Island and a boat ride on the Orca with Team Spielberg. Afterwards, in sunny suburbia, my son and I have a chat about the ins, outs and whathaveyous of the movie, the diets of Great White Sharks, the hubris of grizzled sea captains and the reliability of municipal politicians. *Note Spoilers* within the below video if a 40 year old film can be spoiled at this point.

This is a part of an ongoing series of short film discussion videos in which I take the kids to see stuff without the Pixar/Disney label attached. Enjoy.

Further Episodes (as well as the Studio Ghibli Marathon done for can be found at the Kids Talk Film Vimeo Channel.

Cinecast Episode 295 – I Wouldn’t Wear That. Even in the Future!

This week sees a return to form with all sorts of negativity and disagreement. But [in best DeForest Kelley voice] for God sake man, it’s Anne Hathaway. She’s worth fighting for! Outside of that little tussle, Sean Kelly from joins in on the discussion with a bit more of a unique Oscar experience having seen the whole thing in a packed theater. For the majority of this Cinecast it is a look back at Sunday nights Hollywood back-patting at the Academy Awards. We talk about it all: from winners to losers to hosting to gowns (OK, not really) to stage direction to orchestration. Look no further; it’s all in here. From there we venture into the Watch List with Kurt proving Matt Gamble’s prognostication mostly correct with a viewing of Margaret. We grind the axe a bit more (though less enthusiastically) about modern biblical epics while Sean looks at a couple of Oscar-nominated documentaries and Andrew continues his Star Treking.

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 244 – Of Muscles and Men

We’re going to spoil the shit out of Liam Neeson in The Grey this week. So I hope you’ve seen the film or don’t care about that sort of thing before listening. Right along with our “punch nature in the face” review, we’ve got a brand new top 5 list to go over that deals with manliness in cinema. Not entirely sure what that means to everyone out there, but Kurt and Andrew each give their take on the matter. A smaller watch list this week since we’re recording so close to last week’s episode, but there a bit in here to chew on for sure – including Kurt finally hitting up Joe Wright and his heavy melodrama, Atonement. That should be worth your price of admission right there. We’ve also brought back the homework assignment segment to the show and there may be rewards for those who complete their coursework, so be sure to listen for that. So sit back and enjoy the spirited festivities.

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:

Full show notes are under the seats…
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My Love for Film in a Snapshot #10

A little obvious, maybe. But after a recent viewing of Joe Carnahan’s blunt, but highly entertaining, ‘Man vs. Nature’ (but really Man vs. himself with nature lighting the fire under his feet) horror picture, The Grey, my immediate thought was back to Spielberg’s early super-blockbuster, Jaws. This was not so much for the obvious comparison of being stuck somewhere fighting something that wants to eat you, but more in how the film processes manhood through a bunch of hands-on characters. Martin Brody (Roy Schieder), Quint (Robert Shaw) and Martin Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss, not pictured above) work as three representation of manhood – their analogues in The Grey would be Peter Henrik (Dermont Mulroney), Ottway (Liam Neeson) and John Diaz (Frank Grillo). Spielberg has a smoother sense of framing and setting up his characters, as the stakes are not as balls-out immediate in Jaws until the final act – and The Grey, outside of the oil-rig prologue, is pretty much only ‘the final act’ of Jaws. There are hundreds of great shots and moments in Jaws, that is what makes it one of the all time classic populist blockbusters, but at its heart, the film is simply guys standing around thinking about consequences and actions within the twentieth century masculine purview, and I kinda sort of like that.

Finite Focus: Competitive Scars (Jaws)

While my recent rewatch of Steven Spielberg’s breakthrough hit Jaws reinforced all my memories of perfectly paced thrills and well-done animatronic shark effects, what really struck me this time around is the way the film takes its time with these characters, and always in a way that enhances the story at hand. The three men who go after the shark have disparate backgrounds, which are established just enough for their interactions to work, and work they do. Brody is a water-phobic police chief new to the town who feels his duty to protect the people he’s called to serve very strongly, but has to prove himself in the face of skeptical and quite frankly oblivious town leadership. He takes his responsibility so seriously that he overcomes his fear of boats to join the shark-hunting expedition personally. Hooper is an enthusiastic marine biologist who knows sharks inside and out but still may not be prepared for what he’s about to face. Quint is a hardened shark-hunter who faces danger head-on, with almost a deathwish level of intensity. These personalities clash, but there’s one scene where their masculine competition escalates but ends in bonding.

After hunting the shark for a while, they take a break, have a few drinks, and Hooper and Quint start one-upping each other with scars and wounds gathered in their line of work. There’s definitely still a bit of a competitive vibe here, but it’s a friendly one, the barbs of difference deflected as they tell stories about their experiences. It’s not the kind of thing you’d initially expect from Hooper, who initially seems too nerdy to care about such one-upsmanship, but he’s as excited about his work with dangerous animals as Quint, and it makes sense that they’d share a sense of pride in their “war wounds.” There’s a wonderful moment when Brody starts to bare his stomach, presumably thinking about showing a scar of his own (one relating to his fear of boats, perhaps?), but refrains, leaving it to his more boisterous companions. It sets Brody apart from them, and yet, he’ll be the one with the best story to tell from this expedition.

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Playing Horror Catch-up Vol 1

You don’t think I’m going to let Bob have all the fun, do you? Not likely! One of these years I’m going to get to stop using the “horror catch-up” title, because I will be caught up. At least of all the major things I feel like I need to see. I’m not quite there yet, and hopefully I’ll knock a bunch of horror must-sees off my list this month. The title has kind of a double meaning, too, as my boyfriend and I are taking turns catching each other up on films that we care about, and this being October, we’re giving that a horror theme, too. Which mostly means I’m showing him a lot of 1930s-1940s creepy dramas, and he’s showing me a lot of 1990s-2000s scarefests. Good thing we both like most anything!

[rec] 2

The first [rec] was a fantastic example of the first-person camera found-footage technique (one of the few that’s fairly internally consistent), and made great use of its claustrophobic environments. The second one picks up right where it left off, with our intrepid reporter in the attack on the verge of being caught by the virus’s progenitor, then cuts to a SWAT team about to enter the building to shut down whatever is causing the attacks. The scares here aren’t as effective because they’re more out in the open – instead of a creepy feeling of something being just out of sight, the infected here are right there in your face. Which is more gross, but less scary. There are some really interesting things done with structure, though, as parts of the film are done from the point of view of a group of kids who think it’d be cool to break into the building – they’re pretty freaking annoying, but seeing some of the things from a different perspective is nice. The tension ramps up toward the end, and there’s a fairly neat use of night vision. I enjoyed the film, but it doesn’t have the pure viseral thrills of the first.
2009 Spain. Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza. Starring: Jonathan Mellor, Manuela Velasco, Óscar Zafra, Ariel Casas, Alejandro Casaseca.

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