Blu-Ray Review: Diner

Director: Barry Levinson
Screenplay: Barry Levinson
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern, Tim Daly, Paul Reiser, Ellen Barkin
Country: USA
Running Time: 110 min
Year: 1982
BBFC Certificate: 15


I tend to review screeners of interesting films I haven’t seen before here, but when I’m offered Blu-Ray special editions of old favourites it’s hard to say no. Warner Bros. have recently introduced a new Premium Collection series, exclusive to UK HMV stores, and the first batch of 10 titles include three films I’d class as particular favourites of mine, alongside several other classics. The three dear to my heart, which I’ll be reviewing over the coming weeks, include Little Shop of Horrors (1986), The Shining (the Extended Edition, not previously available in the UK) and Diner. Kicking off my reviews will be my thoughts on the latter.

Barry Levinson’s Diner follows a group of college-age friends in 1959 Baltimore as they hang out, primarily in the open-all-night Fells Point Diner. Each man is at a pivotal point in their life, be it about to get married, stuck in a marital rut already, facing impending parenthood within a strained relationship, on the verge of getting in trouble with the law or the wrong crowd, or simply not knowing what to do next with their lives as they prepare to dive headlong into adulthood.

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Cinecast Episode 411 – We Wanna See The Business

Despite seeing nearly 100 films combined at TIFF 2015, Ryan from The Matinee and Kurt indulge Andrew by getting out to the multiplex to see the latest Johnny Depp performance, as James “Whitey” Bulger in Black Mass. We have a spoiler discussion on that, but needless to say, no one was overly pleased with Andrew for suggesting it. Kurt and Ryan attempt to wrassle TIFF to the ground after 11 days of shared screenings and food. They, in part, hash out the bests, the beasts and the worsts (or in the cast of Love 3D, the wurst) of some of the films on hand.

But wait, there is more.

Ryan and Andrew have a Watch List which includes re-evaluated Spielberg, various Afflecks and a new-ish film starring Matthew Broderick. Hunker down with your favorite blankie, take out your blue contact lenses, and settle in for the show!

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 405 – SPECTRE-tacular

 
Kurt is back from Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival, and he might have a thing or two to say about the movies, the town and the folks at that festival. At nearly two hours we can only say brace yourself for genre-overload. But first, Matt Gamble joins Kurt & Andrew midway through the conversation on Christopher McQuarrie’s installment of the Mission Impossible franchise. Kurt loved it. Andrew liked it. Matt, well, Matt watched it. Practical stunts, exceptional set-pieces and the ass-kicking talents of Rebecca Ferguson and a cleaned up and ready for prime time Sean Harris are all on the conversational docket. While there is no full “True Detective” segment this episode (we’ll cap the remaining three off, next time) there is a full Watch List for your listening pleasure, and Matt does briefly chime in on this season of “True Detective,” along with the doc on Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau remake disaster, and Adam Sandler’s Pixels. Andrew covers off the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer and its direct-to-Nexflix sequel. Finally we settle the Mara Rooney / Kate Mara confusion (sort of).

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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Fantasia 2015 Review: Cop Car

Cop Car

If Cop Car is an example of anything, it is in praise of the small movie, shot big. In our obsession with city destruction, space opera, dinosaurs and other CGI creations, it is telling that the most body wracking tension is created from having two nine year old boys play, confused, with a few heavy firearms. Even if the safety is on, and the kids don’t know it, the amount of nerve wracking tension generated is palpable.

In fact, Jon Watts’ excellent neo-Amblin-Western could have been convincingly titled “No Country For Young Boys” as it shares a similar sense of ‘people tasks silently’ that the Coen Brothers brought in adapting Cormac McCarthy. Kevin Bacon, seems to be enjoying the ‘villain phase’ of his career, and here he is channelling a charming, but malevolent Sam Elliot type of role, country Sheriff Kretzer, with relish.

When the aforementioned young boys are out for one of those endless summers day walks in wide-stretching Texas farmland, trading cuss-words and imagination play, they stumble upon the eponymous police cruiser with the keys on hand. They take it out for a joy ride, off road, leaving Kretzer in the middle of his nefarious task to get his car back before dispatch figures out that shenanigans are happening. Guns and a few other surprises are in the vehicle, (which the kids are of course obligated to get into) which the Sheriff has to engineer, tout suite, a delicate, balanced solution.

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Billy Bob Thornton’s JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR Heads to DVD and Blu-ray This December

Anchor Bay Films announced today the Blu-ray and DVD release of Billy Bob Thornton’s Jayne Mansfield’s Car. Currently available On Demand and on iTunes, the film will be in stores on December 10, 2013.

In what critics are calling his best work as writer/director since Sling Blade, Academy Award®-winner Billy Bob Thornton stars along with Oscar winner Robert Duvall, two time Oscar®-nominee John Hurt and Golden Globe®-winner Kevin Bacon, in this story of fathers and sons, wars and peace, and the turbulent time that changed America forever.

It’s 1969 in a small Alabama town, and the death of a quirky clan’s long estranged wife and mother bring together two very different families for the funeral. But do the scars of the past hide differences that will tear them apart or expose truths that could lead to the most unexpected collisions of all?

 

Cinecast Episode 234 – High-Five, Movie. I’m outta here!

A high energy show, especially so considering the lack of Matt Gamble. Kurt and Andrew talk a little Tower Heist and the public whipping of Brett Ratner – due to more than one recent public faux pas and his penchant for being a douchebag in public. They then move into the meatier movie meal that is Martha Marcy May Marlene **SPOILER WARNING**. But wait, there is more: A new Top 5! Plus, the Watch List keeps the fires burning, all toasty-like, as Kurt gets really, really enthusiastic about big screen viewings of Kubrick and Gilliam films. There is a fair bit of disagreement about the pleasures of David Twohy’s Pitch Black. Also We Live in Public, Streets of Fire, From Dusk ‘Till Dawn (the proto-Grindhouse vampire flick), Super and Sexy Beast keep things lively and lengthy right to the very end. Have at ‘er, folks, she’s a good ‘un.

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:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_11/episode_234.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
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Footloose is Actually Starting to Excite Me

The remake of Footloose has started to pique my interest. Got word today that the musical artist of the past decade, Jack White and his stripes, is headlining in some of the music in the OST. As well as rap recording artist, David Banner. Just throwing in a White Stripes song isn’t really what excites me – although that helps. What excites me is the fact that it’s Craig Brewer directing the film and if there’s anything he seems to pull heart out of for his movies, it’s his musical selections.

Now me personally, I can’t stand rap. I’ve tried to listen to so many varieties, artists and sub genres and I can never seem to grasp what the flavor is (except for The Beastie Boys). That changed in 2005 with Brewer’s Hustle and Flow and took the heart and soul of rap and exposed it nobody less than the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, who bestowed upon it an Oscar for best song in a motion picture. Next up for Brewer was one my favorite soundtracks of 2007 in the fabulously gritty Black Snake Moan. The sweaty blues and healthy doses of soul pulled you into that world so effortlessly it gives me goosebumps.

Footloose was the first soundtrack I ever purchased and if memory serves, it was only the second cassette tape I ever bought for myself with my own money (after MJ’s “Thriller” of course). Footloose just about lives and dies by it’s soundtrack and its “angry dance” sequence. It was an HBO/Showtime favorite for pretty much everyone back in the 80’s. Hearing that it would be remade gave me kind of a “meh” attitude. But now with all this great music being poured into it, and with Craig Brewer really knowing how to get soul from his movie through the music and his interesting eye for everything Southern States culture, I’m really looking forward to this film and also to see what other musical tricks may be coming down the pipe. Can you see Kevin Bacon finishing off the film dancing to The White Stripes’ “Catch Hell Blues?” Me either. But it won’t be Kevin Bacon Dancing and this won’t be your papa’s Footloose. This will be Craig Brewer’s Footloose and sweat will fly.

Review: Super

[In light of its limited (and VOD?) release this weekend, I happily re-run my review of James Gunn’s scuzzier and funnier version of Kick Ass. Worth a trip for good supporting roles by Ellen Page and Kevin Bacon and James Gunn’s amusing sense of humour]

 

Do not let the sprightly pencil crayon song-and-dance credit sequence fool you, James Gunn’s latest film, a send-up of amateur vigilantes called Super, wants to give you some awkward, messy violence for your entertainment dollar. The drama is mostly of the sad-sack variety, the laughs are mostly of the gallows kind, and while the film seems a bit late to the party (despite being written years ago) it will satisfy the culty niche that considers Watchmen was too glossy and Kick-Ass too mainstream. The line between superheroes and sociopaths has for some time been a blurry one, but Super takes great pleasure in kicking the line completely out of existence.
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Cinecast Episode 189 – Just a Symptom of 1986

It is again that wonky time of year where studios favour the platform release, getting in the way of folks from Toronto and Minneapolis having a friendly movie chat about the same darn movies. Instead, we must be content with Multiplex Matt Gamble and the mainstream mega-release. Here he gives some thoughts on Todd Phillips’ newest, Due Date and tries to break down some pre-conceived notions. There is also some talk of the Asian Film Festival. Kurt gives a snippet of reaction to Danny Boyle’s follow-up to his Oscar win, 127 Hours. It is likely that the boys will revisit this one at some point for a consensus discussion, but as a nice double bill with the other ‘trapped between a rock and a hard place’ movie Buried there is a fair bit of stuff to chew on. Meanwhile Andrew finds solace in the comfort of his Blu-ray player… sometimes twice a day. Peter Weir is revisited in a lengthy discussion on The Mosquito Coast and also some Picnic at Hanging Rock, Master & Commander, The Truman Show and of course, the upcoming The Way Back. DVD picks and Japanese pornography are also on the bill.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

 
 

 
 

 


 
Full show notes are under the seats…
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TIFF Review: Super

 

 

Do not let the sprightly pencil crayon song-and-dance credit sequence fool you, James Gunn’s latest film, a send-up of amateur vigilantes called Super, wants to give you some awkward, messy violence for your entertainment dollar. The drama is mostly of the sad-sack variety, the laughs are mostly of the gallows kind, and while the film seems a bit late to the party (despite being written years ago) it will satisfy the culty niche that considers Watchmen was too glossy and Kick-Ass too mainstream. The line between superheroes and sociopaths has for some time been a blurry one, but Super takes great pleasure in kicking the line completely out of existence.
Would you like to know more…?

New York, I Love You Trailer

New York, I Love YouI knew that at some point we’d posted a trailer for the anthology film New York, I Love You what I didn’t realize was that that trailer was posted a year ago.

The film premiered at TIFF last year and Kurt foresaw the film would open early in 2009 but for some reason, reviews perhaps?, it was shelved and forgotten until today when a sexy discombobulated new trailer appeared. With acting and directing contributions from a long list of talented folk (Park Chan-Wook, The Hughes Brothers, Faith Akin, Mira Nair, Yvan Attal, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Joshua Marston, Andrei Zvyanginstev, Brett Ratner, Shia LeBeouf, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Anton Yelchin, Orlando Bloom, Christina Ricci, Chris Cooper, Kevin Bacon, Robin Wright Penn, Maggie Q, Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Olivia Thirlby) this is bound to have a little something for everyone.

The trailer is not exactly eye popping but it certainly looks nice and I have love for much of the talent involved so I’m game. I still haven’t seen Paris, je t’aime but I may have to check it out before being sucked into this one.

New York, I Love You is scheduled for limited release on October 16th.

Now, who’s working on a Vancouver, I Love You?

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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