Trailer: American Ultra

Is there hay to be made by combining The Pineapple Express (and a dollop of Clerks) with The Bourne Identity? Well, somebody thinks so, namely Project X director Nima Nourizadeh, and his team has gone through the trouble of assembling a pretty fine cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Kristin Stewart, John Leguizamo, Topher Grace, Bill Pullman and Nash Edgerton, and shooting just that: An Amnesiac Super-Spy Stoner Comedy. And an Adventureland reunion of sorts.

Your mileage may vary, but you’ll probably crave a lot of popcorn.

Cinecast Episode 326 – Functionally Retarded, Yet Infectious

As it turns out, we discover as a very welcome surprise that this is Kurt and Andrew’s 300th episode together. So there’s reason enough to celebrate here. Kinda. But if you’re more into movies rather than nostalgia and landmarks, there’s plenty to get into with this episode. We have five, count ’em five, theatrical reviews to get to as well as our respective festival titles and experiences to mention. All of this spirals into a very important homework assignment for the week. Matt Gamble comes aboard to talk about Ridley Scott’s meandering. We get into all manner of awesome, including Robert Redford’s double takes, Polanski spelling it out, Elijah Wood is perpetually twelve years old and Judd Apatow’s version of a Richard Linklater film. All of this and a helluva lot more in another mega-episode that spans nearly four hours.

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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Trailer: Sail with Ridley Scott’s Counselor

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.

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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Trailer: Vanishing on 7th Street

There seem to be a lot of folks who have seen Brad Anderson’s latest, Vanishing on 7th Street, that want the film that is offered in this trailer, a post-apocalyptic action/survivor film. Instead the film is not exactly as advertised, but turns out to be an interesting enough metaphysical tale. It is smarter than people are giving it credit for, based on the usual expectations of the genre. I am not saying the film is for everyone, but I really dug it (Kurt’s Review.)

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Trailer: The Vanishing on 7th Street

 

I do enjoy me a good Brad Anderson flick. Sure, he doesn’t work out of the United States much these days, preferring Europe, which essentially means his type of genre flick is a little lower budgeted than all the ‘horror remake’ stuff going on stateside currently. Session 9, The Machinist, Transsiberian are all solid (if occasionally workmanlike) flicks. Making its debut at the 2010 edition of TIFF is Anderson’s latest, The Vanishing on 7th Street, sort of a post-apocalyptic survival film starring Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and John Leguizamo (incidentally, none of these are popular with the mainstream-genre-crowd, so casting here is a bit baffling):

From TIFF:

It starts with a power outage. Where once stood living beings are now piles of discarded clothes. The once sunny city is shrouded in blackness. Shadows creep across every surface and whispers echo in the empty streets. Is it some form of enemy attack or a swift judgment from the divine? Each passing day contains fewer daylight hours, and only those who cling to some other form of light can escape the encroaching darkness.

A small group of survivors congregate in an old bar powered by a gas generator. Luke (Hayden Christensen) is a slick TV anchor forced to live by his wits. Paul (John Leguizamo) is a lonely projectionist working in a multiplex theatre. Rosemary (Thandie Newton) is a distraught mother whose baby is missing, and James (Jacob Latimore) is a shotgun-toting kid waiting for his mother to return. With their light sources slowly dying, they must find alternative illumination and a way out of the city. Overcome with paranoia and fear, the group struggles to understand the events that have brought them together.

Nevertheless, the idea with the slowly shrinking span of daylight is a keeper, and Anderson doesn’t scrimp on character development, so here is hoping.

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Review: Gamer

Gamer One Sheet

Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Screenplay: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Producers: Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Skip Williamson, Richard S. Wright
Starring: JGerard Butler, Kyra Sedgwick, Michael C. Hall, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Leguizamo, Amber Valletta, Terry Crews, Logan Lerman, Johnny Whitworth, Zoe Bell
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 95 min.

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have made careers for themselves by making action films. Films with little plot but loads of heart pounding, non-stop, balls-to-the-wall action. They’re sometimes rude, sometimes crude and always unapologetic. Pathology was a deviation. Though the duo didn’t direct, their story had more thought crammed into ten minutes than both Crank films put together. Gamer is an all together different beast which attempts to marry ideas with the Neveldine/Taylor style of action and the result is sometimes messy but also smart while never forgetting to be a whole lot of fun.

Gamer Movie StillThe near future is a crazy place. Advertisements are found everywhere, including the pyramids, and among the familiar brand names is a new beast: “Slayers.” In a world that features advanced and highly developed internet and gaming technology, Slayers is the brainchild of Ken Cable. The game allows players to control an icon in a first person shooter game except the icon is a real person partaking in real combat which results in real death. The icons are death row inmates who have “volunteered” for the opportunity to be set free – they simply have to survive through thirty rounds of carnage. Kane is the best there is: twenty eight games in he’s close to release except Cable will never let him go free because Kane knows too much.

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