Trailer: Left Behind

It seems not even the niche Christian-focused blockbusters are immune to the remake bug. Here we see the Kirk Cameron headlined Left Behind franchise rebooted with none other than Nic Cage as a bigger, badder, cheesier bit of rapture-porn. Other than the overt Christian stuff, (“The God my father talked about would never do something like this!”) it’s not easy to distinguish this from any other mid-budget direct to video apocalypse thriller. Lea Thompson and Ashley Tisdale also star.

An airborne 747 is heading to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun.

Prepare for mediocrity!


Friday One Sheet: Joe

I suppose since I posted the Under the Skin and Jodorowsky’s Dune posters earlier this week with their respective trailers, and was remiss in posting the new trailer for David Gordon Green’s Joe (It’s up at Apple’s Trailer Page) here is a good place to have a gander at the earth tones and and working class handsome on evidence. An unusual credit block placement and relatively subtle critics quotes, coupled with the huge trees appropriately in the background, give a pretty balanced design here. Nothing flashy, but really solid. Just like the film itself, which is very much worth your time.

French Trailer for David Gordon Green’s Joe

Joe is a fair bit more ‘paced’ than this condensed 120 second overload implies – playing much more like a companion piece to Jeff Nichols’ Mud. If the quiet remake that was Prince Avalanche was a rumbling of David Gordon Green was itching to return to the early pictures that made him an indie director of note, this film shows the director fully back in the saddle. And, much as I enjoyed The Pineapple Express and even Your Highness, bless him for getting back to his roots. Nicolas Cage’s twin careers of quiet melancholy (Leaving Las Vegas, Bring Out The Dead) and maniac bluster (Wild At Heart, Vampires Kiss and too many to count) have finally converged into a single thing: A nuanced and still lively performance delivered here as the title character. The film is about killing trees and surrogate fathers, and is gorgeous and engaging from start to finish.

Cinecast Episode 275 – Flaming Zemeckis

Continuing with another week centered around an interesting title to talk about, Corey Pierce from CriticalMassCast joins us for a (SPOILER!) filled discussion on structure, themes and mouth-feel of Looper. Corey explains the ‘Rule of Awesome’ when it comes to these types of movies, and whether or not to nitpick. Kurt obsesses about the visual queues in the film and Andrew contemplates Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s adoption of Bruce Willis’ body language. We move on to grading homework, wherein Matt Gamble joins us for colour commentary and general merriment. The Watch List has Corey giving a mini-review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, while Kurt falls down the Kubrick rabbit hole with visual essays both good and bad. Micro-discussions on The Fountain, Christopher Guest, Electric Cars, The Game, Alan Rickman and Compliance ensue.

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_12/episode_275.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
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Nicolas Cage and Nicolas Cage on SNL

Truth be told, I’m not the biggest Nicolas Cage fan around these parts (I suspect Andrew and Marina are off somewhere now battling for that title), but even I loved SNL’s recent Weekend Update segment with Nicolas Cage and…Nicolas Cage? Watch the two Nics discuss their plans, their upcoming film Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and their deep, abiding appreciation for each other. It’s a hoot.

Movies We Watched

Sometimes we watch stuff that we want to talk just a little bit about, not a full review worth. These are those films. If any of the films reviewed are available on Netflix Instant Watch (US or Canada) or HuluPlus (US only), we’ll note that by putting a direct link below the capsule.

Buried

2010 USA/Spain/Frane. Director: Rodrigo Cortés. Starring: Ryan Reynolds.

An extreme form of one-room film, with the whole thing set in a coffin buried somewhere underground. Ryan Reynolds carries the film admirably as an army contractor who gets taken hostage and buried alive with just a cell phone and a few other items, with the intention that he will get a sizeable ransom from the US government for his release. As we know, the US government doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, leaving Reynolds hoping that the dispatched search and rescue team will find him before his air runs out. The film ratchets up tension admirably, keeping the audience engaged through 95 minutes of basically nothing happening except a man talking on a phone. There are nitpicks to be made, and I do wish there had been some better explanation for why he didn’t try to dig out through the obviously loose and relatively shallow dirt above him, but for the most part, it’s pretty effective as a tight-space thriller.
– JANDY

Netflix Instant (USA)

Gattaca

1997 USA. Director: Andrew Niccol. Starring: Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, Uma Thurman.

While Gattaca did not fly quite as far under the radar as The Man from Earth or Dark City, I cannot help but feel that it remains incredibly underseen and underappreciated. It is generally regarded as a strong film, to be sure, yet I would argue that it is among the greatest sci-fi films ever made. Nimbly toeing the line between the bleak and hectic Blade Runner and the philosophically draining The Man from Earth, Niccol’s universe not only feels realistic – it feels possible … if not probable. The physical presentation of the world is bleak, yes, but it is also vibrant and alive, crafting a future that is advanced, but not so advanced so as to be a distraction. This, of course, ignores the tremendous turns of Ethan Hawke and Jude Law, whose relationship is organic and beautiful. Uma Thurman is undoubtedly the weak link in the chain, but that may be as much a product of her underutilization, if not a side effect of the brilliance of most everything else.
– DOMENIC

Netflix Instant (CANADA)

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Movies We Watched

Sometimes we watch stuff that we want to talk just a little bit about, not a full review worth. These are those films. If any of the films reviewed are available on Netflix Instant Watch (US or Canada) or HuluPlus (US only), we’ll note that by putting a direct link below the capsule.

Con Air

1997 USA. Director: Simon West. Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, John Cusack, Colm Meaney, Danny Trejo, Ving Rhames, Dave Chappelle, Steve Buscemi.

They just don’t make ’em like they did back in the late 90s. On rewatch, the movie is as goofy as ever but done so completely deliberately; which is something I actually appreciate now, more so than my theatrical experience 15 years ago whereas I just looked at everything as action cheese. It’s as simple as it gets but the outlandish scenarios keep things interesting at every turn. The score is awesome! It’s a unique blend of mechanical sound effects (listen closely whenever Buscemi is on screen), heavy metal and strings. The action and effects still hold up (the Vegas crash scene is terrific!). And of course it’s Nic Cage in proper mode working next to a fucking great, over the top John Malkovich performance. It’s fun and funny. For good ol fashioned, proper action flicks, you could do a lot worse.
-ANDREW

The Hunger

1983 USA. Director: Tony Scott. Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon, David Bowie.

Finally, a Tony Scott film I can actually get behind. OK, I do like True Romance, but it doesn’t quite hit on all it’s cylinders with me – especially towards the end. Though the last 15-20 minutes in this modern day vampire story (well, it was modern day when it was released 25 years ago anyway – those hairstyles certainly couldn’t be mistaken as modern at this point), go slightly astray here as well, there’s a lovely slow build up as Catherine Deneuve marks medical researcher Susan Sarandon as her next companion. A lot is made of the steamy scenes between Deneuve and Sarandon, but they aren’t the focus here (in more ways than one – things are so soft focus you’d swear they were filmed through a feathered pillow). Deneuve plays the countess with a wonderful icy cool exterior that belies the real fire beneath and Sarandon’s big eyes soak all of it in (Bowie is actually very good as her previous companion as his Thin White Duke character slides perfectly into place). The style occasionally threatens to undercut it all, but (short of that last section) it achieves a strange tense balance that had me solidly entranced for most of it.
-BOB

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Cinecast Episode 206 – My Disney Compass is Spinning

 

 
 
Hello folks. We are back after a week off and we waste no time getting into a detailed, and probably too damn introspective, conversation about Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch. Is it a movie that panders so hard to its base, or a movie that stabs its core audience in the chest while smiling? Is it a case of too much director ambition, too little story telling chops or simply a product of too much fiddling on the studio end such that, and there is no debate on this last bit, things just end up a muddled mess? Matt and Kurt discuss the particulars (onward ye Soldiers of Cinema, this may be your toughest battle yet) and remain, astonishingly spoiler free in the process. Afterwards, it is around the table again (and again) for a lengthy session of what we watched. We go from cheese-merchants to sleaze-merchants (that would be from Don Simpson and Joel Silver to Elmore Leonard and Paul Schrader for those keeping score) before Gamble trumps all with crazy-awful Dan Aykroyd paranormal documentary TV. Kurt revisits a couple of childhood horror-kids flicks, Gremlins and Dragonslayer while Matt travels to New York for the premiere of Beauty Day. Andrew re-evaluates Polanski’s The Ninth Gate, and there is mucho talk about the Spanish Swords and Sandals and Science Blockbuster Agora. Of course, there is the proverbial much, much more in that segment (which clocks in at a staggering 110 minutes) as well as DVD picks, Netflix fresh and expiring picks and a tiny tangent on the Canadian Bandwidth Wars(tm). Grab your battle-axe, strap on your shield and wade into it.

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_206.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
Would you like to know more…?

The Con Air Rap (explicit language)

I highly doubt we’ll ever see that Con Air sequel director Simon West was talking about. Damn shame too, given that the original might just be one of the most enjoyable action flicks to come out of the nineties.

Still, even though we probably won’t be seeing Nic Cage and his lucious head full of long flowing hair take flight again any time soon, there still isn’t any harm in taking five minutes to reflect on just how badass that movie really is. That’s what the muscial comedy troupe Elephant Larry have done, putting together this extremely funny and extremely NSFW rap video that highlights the sheer awesomeness that is Con Air.