Trailer: The Black Sea

What to make of the career of Scottish director Kevin MacDonald? He started out his career making documentaries until mountaineering doc Touching The Void became of of the highest grossing docs ever made. He went on to try his hand at Oscar Bait (The Last King of Scotland), Hollywood star vehicles (State of Play), Sword and Sandals epics (The Eagle) and Young Adult fiction (How I Live Now), all to mixed success.

Here MacDonald tries his hands at the sweaty submarine thriller, mixing elements of treasure hunting adventure and the horrors of men. It looks like solid entertainment somewhere in the middle ground, pop genre cinema with high production values, but not squashed by CGI. I am not entirely sure if Jude Law is miscast or daring as a rogue submarine captain who pulls together a misfit crew of Brits and Russians to go after a sunken Nazi treasure in the depths of the Black Sea. Greed and desperation over shares of the spoils turn the already fragile crew on one another in the cramped environment.
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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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ALTERNATIVE (no music track):

Full show notes are under the seats…
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Isaac Asimov and Kevin MacDonald to Make Sweet Sweet Love

Asimov's end of eternity

I am lousy at doing these News posts and for the most part don’t do them unless something quite stupendous slaps me upside the head as if to say tell it on the mountain, this here is important.

In my universe, this here is important.

Sean at Film Junk recently posted that Kevin MacDonald has been hired to direct the film adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s The End of Eternity, a story which allegedly takes a clever approach to time paradoxes as time-transgressing humans known as Eternals co-exist with mortals in the distant future. The prospect of merging the very best of hard sci-fi with the proven acute sensibilities to storytelling that MacDonald as a director has proven in films like Touching the Void and Last King of Scotland, fills me with anticipation. While I have not read any of Asimov’s novels this one is instantly at the top of my queue for summer reading.

I am loving this sci-fi resurgence we have coming, perhaps it will be what superhero movies have been for the last couple years now. With names like James Cameron, Ridley Scott, David Fincher and now Kevin MacDonald getting into the action, my hope is the genre will get back to spotlighting heady ideas in films.

Overlooked: State of Play Trailer

State of Play Movie StillWatching “Lost” for the first time as it aired was both a great and annoying experience; great because I no longer need to worry about spoilers and annoying because of the commercial breaks. One of the pesky breaks included a trailer for a new Russell Crowe film that I had either 1) ignored or 2) missed.

Directed by Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald and based on an acclaimed BBC miniseries from a few years ago, State of Play stars Russell Crowe as a journalist investigating the suspicious death of a congressman’s mistress.

The film adaptation was at the centre of a bidding war and at one point had both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton lined up as potential stars before Crowe came onto the scene yet, I’ve managed to miss everything about the production which struts a great supporting cast which includes Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman, Robin Wright Penn, Rachel McAdams, and Jeff Daniels.

The TV spot left me cold but a glimpse at the cast peaked my interested enough to search out the trailer which is, thankfully, a better experience. Political thrillers rarely hold my interest and I’m not buying Ben Affleck as a congressman (he seems too young) this one is selling me on cast alone. I’m not a huge fan of Crowe’s but he, more often than not, manages a great performance and with this cast, I’m finding it difficult to walk away.

State of Play opens on April 17th.

Trailer is tucked under the seat.

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