Trailer: Creep

One of the big comic surprises at The Fantasia International Film Festival last year was the Mark Duplass and Elizabeth starring twilight zone romance, The One I Love. The other big comic surprise was the Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice starring slow-burn found footage character study, Creep. Duplass is a master of just making your skin crawl, and owns every inch of the screen, while he co-star, Brice directs the picture. It probably cost nothing to make, but it is a treasure that keeps on giving up on the screen.

When a videographer answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day job in a remote mountain town, he finds his client is not at all what he initially seems.

Creep will be hitting iTunes on June 23 and Netflix on July 14.

Cinecast Episode 369 – Sometimes You Gotta Lie to Tell the Truth

We should retitle the show from Cinecast to “room full of loudmouths.” Matt Gamble is back on the show this week to add that extra dimension of bitching, praising, complaining, droning and bloviation that this episode needed to give the series a good crane kick in the ass. First up it’s the festival favorite TIME LAPSE, which despite its high concept and heady nature, the boys find surprisingly little to say about except that it’s pretty great. Andrew and Matt report on the Jeremy Renner vehicle, KILL THE MESSENGER – which peaked far too early in the run time. Pat Morita is the sensei for THE KARATE KID in this week’s volume of The 1984 Project. With The Watch List this week, it’s more Fincher, more Duplass, more sci-fi and high concept, cannibalism, Amazon Prime, Mike Meyers’ directorial debut and Harry Potter with horns. Lastly we argue about nothing regarding HBO’s newly announced method of content delivery.

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 362 – Primordial Dwarfism

 
Aafter nearly a three week hiatus, Weeeeee’re Baaaaa-aaack. In what is a true first on the Cinecast’s 8 year history, all three of Andrew, Kurt and Matt assembled in the same space to do a show with no telecommunications/web bridge. So, of course we pick a noisy bar and record over too many cocktails. With munchies and Montreal Smoked Meat, on the docket are three main reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy, Boyhood and Lucy which, oddly enough GotG gets the consensus favourite. Ever want to hear Kurt praise a Disney-Marvel production, now is your chance.

There is no 1984 project this week, but rest assured things will return to tomorrow with 2010: The Year We Make Contact next week, and Stop Making Sense after that.

Kurt does his annual 1+ hour recap of The Fantasia International Film Festival (which was also the source of the imported smoked meat) which is followed by a slew of titles from Matt (James Cameron Rape Sci-fi, Abortion Comedy, Punk Catharsis) and Andrew (Zach Braff, Heavy Metal, Alan Partridge and the last of Phillip Seymour Hoffman) with a little Terry Gilliam to round out the picture. LIVE FROM MINNEAPOLIS it is a lengthy, boozy, robust episode of the Cinecast, where bartenders, paramedics, rowdy billiard players, and the odd waitress all make for background character and salty language is tossed around in public spaces.

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 Review: The One I Love


I doubt I will laugh out loud more at a film this year. Charlie McDowell’s couples therapy session par excellence featuring a very game cast of two, Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss, made me smile so hard at times my face actually hurt. I burned fucking calories with the enjoyment of this movie. The One I Love, contains enough insight and humour (not to mention, utter engagement) in its neo-Twilight Zone execution, that you may never have to visit the self-help section of the bookstore, ever. This is the mandatory date movie of the year.

Sophie and Ethan are several years into their marriage, still without kids, and are more content to follow the usual rhythms and patterns established over the years. This is to the point where they attempt to recharge their batteries by re-creation of positive prior romantic experiences in their more whimsical youth. They are desperately looking to find the original spark in their relationship, and it comes, oddly enough, in the form of a recommendation from their therapist. “I’ve sent a lot of couples there, and they come back…renewed,” a country retreat doesn’t sound the least bit ominous coming from the lips of a snowy haired Ted Danson, but Charlie Kauffman rules are in play here. Serious mayhem goes down.

The guest house at this retreat has some rather unique properties that I will not spoil — the joy is in the discovery of exactly what is happening in the comforting and blandly mundane space. Unfortunate that such a memorable film gets the unmemorable moniker of The One I Love. A better title would be the pun-ish double meaning of “The Guesthouse,” which I can only surmise was already taken by another, more inferior movie. I digress.

The myriad ways Sophie and Ethan approach their strange set of options prove a deep silver-mine of opportunities to explore the foibles of men and women, Mars and Venus, logic and emotion, fantasy and reality. Role-playing gets externalized and folded to the point where I’m not sure what the better half of a double bill for this film would be, Linklater’s Before Midnight, or Polanski’s Carnage, maybe even Cronenberg’s The Brood.

Duplass and Moss have exceptional movie-chemistry, and the subtlety of body language, costume details and other ‘clever audience cues’ are richly fulfilling to observant viewers. Even if you get ahead of the film, and you probably will, it is the journey, not the destination. Parsing the details remains secondary to all the different ideas of how people are both alone and together in any relationship; whether in a phase that is rewarding, or anxious, or petty and broken; what we see in someone else, what we want to see, what we even accept what we are seeing. And that we will be different people as time moves on is inevitable, hilariously so. The rules of what exactly entails ‘cheating’ on your spouse have never been more difficult to navigate.

In either case, the truism here is that either member of the couple cannot help but fuck with it; it being the nature of the beast, for better or worse, richer or poorer, and all that. Watching Ethan and Sophie fail time and again to ‘accept the mystery’ of their relationship and circumstance is, for the viewer with a certain disposition, a joy. The One I Love somehow manages to riff on Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with only a single couple, but still get at the ‘burned out version’ and ‘naive fresh version’ from Nicols’ film, that only McDowell’s special premise (the guest house) could make possible.

The film is a trust exercise that goes off the rails with intelligence and care, every detail just so, every revelation hilariously true. One minor nitpick involving a bit of unnecessary exposition via computer screen is easily forgivable when everything else is this fun. Suffice it to say, it’s going to be an interesting car ride home, whether you are just dating or married for decades. I wish I could say more. I feel this movie should be studied by genre fans and psychiatrists in equal measure. I wish all relationship movies, from rom-coms to art house dramas, were this smart.

Trailer: The Freebie

 

A couple days behind the internets on this one, but to be frank, the gawd-awful title just let this item linger in my inbox without actually checking it out. Foolish me. The Mumblecore to Mainstream train continues to roll onward with this low key romantic drama that features an out-of-left-field dramatic turn from Dax Shepard. Will the film be a compelling look at the ebb and flow of a long term relationship or indulge in high-concept and melodrama? It’s hard to tell, but the lo-fi intimate aesthetic seems to indicate the former, not to mention that Mark Duplass is producer here and his recent foray into multiplex fair, Cyrus (Kurt’s Review) was a pleasant surprise which also took a (relatively) restrained approach to its own rather ‘so-easy-it-writes-itself’ high-concept. And while Shepard is certainly no John C. Reilly, he looks to be turning in some surprisingly good work along with his co-star and Duplass regular (actually, his real life wife) Katie Aselton. This is probably no shock or revelation, but The Freebie is about as ironic of a title possible!

Darren (Dax Shepard) and Annie (Katie Aselton) have an enviable relationship built on love, trust and communication-they still enjoy each others company and laugh at each others jokes. Unfortunately, they can’t remember the last time they had sex. When a dinner party conversation leads to an honest discussion about the state of their love life, and when a sexy bikini photo shoot leads to crossword puzzles instead of sex, they begin to flirt with an idea for a way to spice things up. The deal: one night of freedom, no strings attached, no questions asked. Could a “freebie” be the cure for their ailing sex life? And will they go through with it?

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

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Noah Baumbach’s “Greenberg” Trailer

While admittedly not a huge fan of Margot at the Wedding, I’m still willing to give Noah Baumbach the benefit of the doubt after his fantastic turn out (one of the best of the decade actually) with The Squid and the Whale. While this new trailer for Greenberg looks like it still has the angsty, man deals with family and age stuff, it looks like it’s probably a lot lighter and less depressing than Margot; especially with Ben Stiller in the lead – who looks like he’s turning in an actual performance here rather than that of the silliness ilk.

Out of a job and none too interested in finding one, Greenberg agrees to housesit for his younger and more successful brother, thereby getting a free place to stay in Los Angeles. Once settled in, Greenberg sets out to reconnect with his old friend and former bandmate Ivan. But times have changed, and old friends aren’t necessarily still best friends, so Greenberg finds himself spending more and more time instead with his brother’s personal assistant Florence, an aspiring singer and herself something of a lost soul.

Director: Noah Baumbach (Margot at the Wedding, Squid & the Whale, Kicking and Screaming)
Starring: Ben Stiller, Rhys Ifans, Juno Temple, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mark Duplass, Dave Franco, Chris Messina
Release: March 12