Trailer: The Snowman

 

At one point the big film adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s serial killer novel, The Snowman, was to be directed by Martin Scorsese. Eventually the job went to Thomas Alfredson, a Swedish director who is no stranger to murder set stories in the ice and snow, as he stormed onto the global stage in 2008 with coming-of-age vampire drama Let The Right One In. This trailer mixes almost repetitive exposition with some really intense images, and a cool soundtrack. It’s hard to get a read on whether the story (one of many featuring the authors lead detective, Harry Hole) will be more Zodiac or Seven, but all things point to the latter. Rebecca Ferguson, Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer, Chloë Sevigny, J.K. Simmons, and Charlotte Gainsbourg ensure the film will have no shortage of acting talent, combine that with a Hossein Amini (Drive, The Wings of the Dove and Alfredson’s exceptional directorial chops, and this has prestige written all over the gruesome subject matter.

Cinecast Episode 483 – Drag Me to Hell

We’ve come full circle. The Cinecast started with an argument on Alien and almost ten years later it continues with an argument about Alien: Covenant (SPOILERS!). Almost ninety minutes of chatting about the inner-workings of Ridley Scott’s brain and his plan for the current state of, and future of the Alien franchise. Something things to love, some things that aren’t quite as lovely. But rest assured with double the Fassbender, there is a lot to discuss here. After that, we try to rank out the order of Fincher’s filmography should be exposed to children after some talk on Zodiac. Our beloved Romancing the Stone makes another Cinecast appearance as well as Mendelsohn and Reynolds grinding through Mississippi. And hey Tarantino’s breakout hit is actually a master class in editing. We talk about the kids’ experience with “R” rated material and remember our own childhoods and being turned away from the multiplex for not having the proper ID.

Turns out the Alien franchise is a nice morning warm-up and we’re happy to share it with you. But beware of face-huggers and SPOILERS! As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

We’re now available on Google Play!

 

 
 

Would you like to know more…?

Prologue: Alien Covenant

With all of the marketing for the new Alien movie, the so-called sequel to Prometheus, you might have been asking, what of the two survivors from the first film, Elizabeth and David? Well, the most recent prologue answers that question in the most handsome and wonderful way. I cannot be more excited for what Ridley Scott and his creative time of writers and craftspeople come up with, but I’m happy to see Michael Fassbender continue to command center-stage in this, second Alien Trilogy.

Review: Song To Song

SongToSong

And so the prostitute says, “Create the Illusion, but don’t believe it.”

I am not sure if that is Terrence Malick’s thesis with Song To Song, an elliptical fairy tale of despondency, but the film does feature Val Kilmer wielding a chainsaw on stage at the SXSW music festival, so there is that.

It also embeds clips from Eric Von Stroheim’s Greed, offers heartbreaking relationship advice from punk rock goddess Patti Smith, cheerfully cuts off Iggy Pop in mid-sentence and makes a little time for Natalie Portman to wait tables and attend church services kitted out in Erin Brockovich inspired push-up bras.

Song to Song is Malick’s fifth film in six years, not including his forthcoming Europe-set WWII epic, to be released later in 2017. Apparently, The film has been in production in one way or another for seven years; long enough to recast Christian Bale (or re-purpose his footage into Knight of Cups) and lose Arcade Fire completely in the editing room. This means that the overall process overlaps all the way back with Tree of Life, the touchstone for his current mode of cinema.

The ongoing price to pay for scrapping conventional storytelling (and, you know, actual scripts) has yielded his work some superb benefits … for those keen to tune into his wavelength. Of course, this is not for everyone, and do not be surprised when many film-goers drawn in by the marquee actors and musician cameos flee the experience in frustration. Like it or not, Malick has, for some time now, been in the business of capturing elusive, immersive, Steadicam dreams of time and place that he subtly bends into narrative in the editing room.

Here he films in the in-between spaces of Texas, be it backstage casual at South By Southwest, the concrete and glass boxes of the wealthy, or windswept desert pools in the wilderness. You would not recognize this as the same Austin in the front half of Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof or the sprawling walkabouts of so many a Richard Linkater joint. And though the film features an impressively programmed and multifarious playlist, the soundtrack is less the music, and more the palpable ennui of gorgeous white young things trying to find themselves in a confusing world of indulgence.

Would you like to know more…?

Prologue: Alien Covenant

Is this the first 5 minutes of the new Alien movie, or merely a web-released bit of glossy fan-service? (Or do you remember that TED Talk issued prior to Prometheus?)

Nevertheless, if you want a look at the crew of the Covenant, a colony ship with its human inhabitants (and another version of Michael Fassbender’s android, David) bound for a humanities first reachable Class-M planet on the far side of the galaxy, Fox has put a solid introduction online. With some quite serendipitous timing, in light of the recent NASA discovery of host of possible Class-M’s only 40 light years away.

I hold out hope that Alien: Covenant will continue the weird ‘quest for god’ angle in Prometheus, rather than simply rehashing Scott’s 1979 film. But I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t point out that I find it a little weird that cowboy hat sporting Danny McBride and ghoulish kill-joy James Franco are humanities idea of future world builders. Katherine Waterston, Amy Seimetz and Billy Crudup among others make up the principle cast in this chapter, and the IMDb indicates that Noomi Rapace will return.

But for now: props to David’s 22nd century improvement on the Heimlich Maneuver.

Trailer: Terrence Malick’s Song To Song

After the magnificent Knight of Cups and the egregious Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey in 2016, Terrence Malick is back (so soon) with a rock and roll sour romance (Mike Nichol’s Closer with guitars and keyboards?) featuring some of the best A-list actors working today: Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman. Not featured in the trailer are the host of other actors, Cate Blanchette, Clifton Collins Jr., Christian Bale, Benicio Del Toro, Holly Hunter, Angela Bettis, Val Kilmer, and Halley Bennett. Nor do you see the various musicians: Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Johnny Lydon or Arcade Fire.

Shot with his signature style (lots of voice over, wide angle lenses, and pretty much zero emphasis on narrative) with his usual cinematographer, Emmanual Lubezki, if you wanted to know what an indie-rock tale would look like from the elegiac master of cinema, well, the trailer is tucked below.

Song to Song opens on March 17th.

Trailer: Trespass Against Us

Despite a turn for intensity at the end of this trailer, do not be fooled, Trespass Against Us is kind of Sundancey-cute for all of its big themes of sins of the father, academia-vs-‘school-of-life’ and the United Kingdom’s social isolation of gypsies. It’s a glossy package perfectly suited for middle-brow consumption.

The very high profile cast including Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson and Sean Harris (going full retard in this one, and defying the old Robert Downy Jr. commentary on this – he is excellent here, but not featured at all in the trailer. First time director (he is normally a documentary guy) Adam Smith goes for smaller moments, but cannot resist a ‘big finish’ that the movie seems to completely earn, but is nevertheless (kind of) pulled off by the sheer magnetism of Fassbender’s presence. At this point, by my editorializing, you can guess I caught this at TIFF where it debuted to kind of muted satisfaction afterwards. Trespass Against Us passes the time, but hardly leaves much of an impression. Considering all the car chases in the film, your mileage may vary.

Trailer: X-Men Apocalypse

It is big and loud, as I suppose an apocalypse should be. The latest X-Men feature will breeze into cinemas after the left-field success of Fox’s Deadpool movie. If this is Fassbender & Lawerence’s last kick at this particular can, the third of the ‘period-piece’ reboot of the franchise, it looks like they are going to go out with a lot of action and a lot of characters. Brian Singer returns to direct, and here is hoping that among all the chaos of this particular chapter, there is more than a little time for some character building and social allegory that the franchise has been so good at under his watch.

Contained in this new trailer is a chance to see Sophie Turner as a young Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan as a young Cyclops, and Oscar Isaac caked in CGI and make-up as the seriously-full-of-himself heavy. (When they asked him if he was a god, he said, “yes.”)

Trailer: The Light Between Oceans

Derek Cianfrance has quite a number of fans in these parts, particularly for his break-out arthouse hit, Blue Valentine and his more complex, if flawed, followup, The Place Beyond the Pines. His films aim for a kind of heightened misery at the cause of circumstance, and how his characters tackle these emotional challenges.

In adapting M.L. Steadman’s book, The Light Between Oceans he looks to continue in this vein. The story of a couple, played by Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, who find a baby girl washed up to their lighthouse home, only to discover many years down the road, the mother of the child, played here by Rachel Weisz continuing her phase of crying a lot on screen (see also, The Lobster and Youth, shows up and forces a dilemma on the non-biological parents who have raised the child for 4 years or more.

The gorgeous cinematography and camerawork here (see trailer below) by Adam Arkapaw (True Detective, Macbeth, Animal Kingdom) looks very much in the style of Emmanuel Lubezki, that I hereby will be referring this film henceforth to, The Tree of Strife.

The film comes out in September 2016.