Cinecast Episode 497 – On Skis

Scheduling lately has been rough as summer winds down and school is starting and film festivals and then of course hurricanes. But we managed to pull something together with the help of our friend Darren Aronofsky and his mother! The aforementioned hurricanes actually help to facilitate a trip through TIFF that otherwise wasn’t going to happen; so there’re lots of titles there to get through from Bruckner to Zahler. Andrew has been playing catch-up on some bullshit titles of the last year or so as well as going back to earlier Fincher as refresher. Lastly, Twin Peaks Season 3 The Return has wrapped up and Kurt has a number of things to discuss about that little slice of mayhem. Lots to dig into this week folks, and we’re starting with the book of Genesis. So stick this in your ear and settle in.

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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R3view: Brave

Directors:
Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell
Screenplay:
Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi
Story:
Brenda Chapman
Producers:
Katherine Sarafian
Starring [voices]:
Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson
MPAA Rating:
PG
Running time:
100 min


Synopsis:
Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it is too late.

Read all of our reviews below…

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A Mammoth Conversation

Mammoth

A number of us managed to see Lukas Moodysoon‘s global-intimate drama, Mammoth, on the festival and VOD circuit (the film was woefully neglected in Canada and the United States) and instead of posting reviews and hashing things out in the comments section amoungst ourselves, we tried the below experiment: Marina, Mike and Kurt simply had a lengthy email conversation on the film, thus allowing things to flow like a conversation and (bonus for you, the reader!) generating a transcript in ‘real-time.’ This is presented below. We assume those reading it have either seen Mammoth, or do not mind treading in *SPOILER* territory. Two of us, at least, feel quite passionate about the films timeliness and relevancy and believe Moodysson has a lot of things to say (with no small amount of eloquence and grace). We mine the movies themes and influences at length:

 
 

MIKE: To get the ball rolling, I thought we could talk first about our initial expectations for Mammoth, and put our biases on the table. I had never heard of the director, Lukas Moodysson, so it had nothing to live up to, in fact I knew nothing about the film other than that it stars Gael García Bernal and Michelle Williams. Admittedly I adore Michelle Williams and that was the sole reason I wanted to see this film. When it started, immediately there was something ominous to it. This happy mother, father and child playing in their beautiful home, but the score right away takes on a kind of menace out of sync with what is onscreen. Right then I was hooked.

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VIFF 09 Review: Mother

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MotherMovieStill

A few years ago, South Korean director Joon-ho Bong was essentially mobbed by adoring fans after a screening of The Host. At the time, many of us knew nothing about the director other than the fact that he’d made a monster movie that was more than a monster movie but since then, he’s become a recognizable name (at least among film fans) and the announcement of a new project brought much joy to my heart.

As expected, Mother is more than a mystery. It’s a story of love, devotion and ultimately, sacrifice. Hye-ja Kim provides a tour-de-force performance as a slightly offbeat herbalist/rogue acupuncturist. She lives a meagre life with her son who appears to be a little slow on the uptake. When a girl turns up dead and her son is charged with the murder, Kim takes it upon herself to track down the true killer. Using her considerable skills and a knack for getting people to talk, she beings to pull back the layers of the mystery surrounding the girl’s death but what she finds at the end of the tunnel isn’t exactly what she expected.

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Mother On A Mission in Joon-ho Bong’s Mother Trailer

Mother Movie StillIt surprises me to find that although the Row Three crew is anxiously anticipating Joon-ho Bong’s follow up Mother, we’ve yet to post a trailer for the film.

Changing paces, Bong leaves behind the monster film for something a little more subdued, a mystery/thriller about a mother trying to find a brutal murderer who has framed her son for the crime.

The film premiered at Cannes earlier this year and is playing at TIFF in a few weeks’ time which means Kurt should be checking in shortly with a review but until then, an English subtitled trailer has made its way online.

If the news of a trailer isn’t enough, Collider is also reporting that the film has been picked up for North American distribution by Magnolia who are planning on an early 2010 release. That is great news indeed!

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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Trailer for Carl Bessai’s Mothers&Daughters

Mothers&Daughters One SheetOne of my favourite films coming out of VIFF, and one that may break into my Top 10 of 2008, was Carl Bessai’s Mothers&Draughters (our review).

Shot partly in documentary style, the film tells three very different stories of women and their relationships with their daughters. A bit comedic and a bit dramatic, Bessai’s film strikes a perfect balance that moves the film along at a nice pace and allowing the women, all of whom fit their roles perfectly, to develop naturally. These are real women with real problems and the truth of their characters and situations shines through in the film which stars Tantoo Cardinal, Babs Chula, Tinsel Korey, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight, Gabrielle Rose and Camille Sullivan.

Though I haven’t been able to confirm a release date but according to a reliable source, Mothers&Daughters will be released on Mother’s Day (May 10th).

Check out the trailer below and I found an earlier, teaser on the film’s MySpace website which I’ve tucked under the seat.

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31 Days of Horror: Day 21 – Braindead

Braindead ALA Dead AliveLong before Peter Jackson was known as the guy who brought Lord of the Rings to the screen he was known for his B movies. In 1987 he wrote, directed and produced Bad Taste, then in 1989 brought us Meet the Feebles and then in 1992 he wrote and directed what is likely the most gory and bloody zombie movie ever: Braindead which was released in North America as Dead Alive.

Just like several later horror movies Braindead opens with a scientist discovering a rare monkey and attempting to bring it back into the city. Like the rest of the movie this first scene uses a fair amount of humour interspersed with the horror. The scientist threaten off the local natives who want to keep the animal from getting out. After the initial chase scene the scientist ends up being bitten and his guides hack him apart with a large machete. The murder of the of the scientist is bloody and funny as hell.

After we return from the credits we discover that the guides still want money so they take the monkey to the city anyway and hand it over. From there we zoom over to the city of Wellington where Lionel Cosgrove lives with his overbearing mother and Paquita (Diana Peñalver) the local shopkeeper is told by her fortune telling grandmother that she will fall in love with Lionel but that he lives with death. Darkness surrounds Lionel. Lionel and Paquita go out on a date at the zoo and Lionel’s mother, who is spying on him gets bit by monkey. According to the zoo keeper the monkey is actually a Sumatran Rat-Monkey, a hybrid that resulted from the rape of tree monkeys by plague rats. Lionel’s mother first gets sick and then slowly turns into a zombie.

Lionel has to deal with his mother who is a zombie. Instead of trying to kill her he instead decides that it would be better to keep her sedated the entire time. This of course fails and slowly over time he ends up with more and more zombies under his control. Each of them is kept sedated and tied up but hijinks of course occur. Everything happens from the catholic priest and the nurse zombies having sex all the way to zombies turning into super zombies.

Braindead

Braindeadis another one of those great over the top midnight madness movies that is a real blast to watch with a large crowd. The reason it is such a success is that it is also a pretty smart movie when it comes down to it. The humour is hillarious. The highpoint of which has to be when Lionel takes the zombie baby out to the park. Watching both Lionel’s reaction to the baby escaping and the other mothers at Lionel’s eventual capturing of the baby had me rolling in stitches.

I don’t think any review of Braindead would be incomplete if the lawnmower is not mentioned. Once the zombies are running through the house at full force Lionel comes in to battle them, not with an axe or bat but instead a lawnmower tied upside down in front of him. I have never seen this much blood and gore thrown around. This is a classic scene that just needs to be seen to be believed. I do not think I can do it justice by trying to describe it.

If you are looking to be scared I suggest looking elsewhere. I did not jump once during the movie. What I did do was have a total blast of a time and was laughing my ass off for the majority of Braindead. In many ways I would love to see Peter Jackson return to these smaller B movies. I doubt it will ever happen which is a shame as this one is truly a classic.