Cinecast Episode 396 – Rated ‘R’ for Mood

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It has finally happened. Matt Gamble shows up and forces a co-host to say enough is enough and leave the room. In these parts, it is probably the best way to handle things until cooler heads prevail – which takes a few minutes. You might think is the grotesquery on display in Fury Road or the non-necessity of the Pitch Perfect sequel becoming this weekends box-office champ. But No. Appropriately it is the Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 6. If Beinioff and Weiss, HBO’s show-runners are looking for a reaction, they have gotten it… Things devolve into semantics, call it the “Daybreaker’s Effect.” But fear not, intrepid listener with ringing ears, we move on to happier, less controversial places created by Mike Judge, Neil Marshall and Alfred Hitchcock.

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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Trailer: Turbo Kid

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It is not only Astron-6 doing cheesy 1980s throw-backs. Out of Montreal, Anouk Whissell, François Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissel originally made T is for Turbo for the first ABCs of Death anthology open-submission contest. It did not win the slot (losing to claymation T is for Toilet), but ABCs producer Ant Timpson, along with Hobo With A Shotgun director Jason Eisener, liked the short so much they decided to produce it into a feature. It bowed at Sundance in the midnight program, but to coincide with its premiere last night, they released this 80s synth-scored trailer.

The film is Turbo Kid and it is set in the apocalyptic future of 1997. A young solitary scavenger becomes a reluctant hero when he meets a mysterious girl in the wasteland. The villain is well represented by Canuck legend, Micheal Ironside. If you grew up on everything from BMX Bandits to Hell Comes to Frogtown to Solarbabies, then this might hit your nostalgia sweet-spot when it pops up on the genre festival circuit, or I’m guessing, VOD. If you reside in Canada, indie distributor Raven Banner already has the rights for the great white north.

Toronto After Dark 2014 – A Preview

 

As I’ve mentioned before, the Toronto After Dark film festival is quite close to my heart…I was there at its birth in 2006 and have attended every single one of its birthday parties since – whether it was in the old or new Bloor Cinemas, the Toronto Underground or in its recent digs at the Scotiabank. Every year has had its share of great and good films (and yes, a few not so great ones too) as well as memorable moments like the Funky Forest screening, the storm that blew out a projector, the Black Dynamite screening, the after after-parties, closing down Pauper’s Pub every night, and some damn fine Q&As by directors who are genuinely excited to be there.

Even though just about every film festival that has ever existed says “this will be our biggest year ever!”, all signs certainly point to this being a big one in the history of Toronto After Dark. With just a few days to go before the festival kicks off (it runs from Oct. 16-24 and screens 19 feature length films and 28 shorts), there are already 3 sell-outs and, according to their web site, apparently another 3 about to sell out. Good news for the fest to be sure, but not too surprising when you look at their lineup (all trailers can be viewed from the festival’s schedule page):

 

Thursday October 16th

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Housebound – This opening night film from New Zealand promises a haunted house set of thrills. Apparently it can back up that claim with an award from another festival as well as numerous good reviews floating around. I haven’t seen a really good haunted house movie in a while, so I’m pretty psyched for this opener and expect the fest will kick off with a rollicking crowd pleaser.

Suburban Gothic – Described as a “ghost-hunting horror comedy”, this could go either way – specifically because of the two words “horror” and “comedy” being put together. Oh sure there have been plenty of good ones, but if the director and cast can’t hit the proper tones, it can all fall apart. The cast looks pretty solid, and since TAD has been pretty good at kicking their festival off strongly, I’ll stay on the optimistic side for this evening.

 

Friday October 17th

Hellmouth – A portal to hell horror starring Stephen McHattie? Sign me up! Written by Tony Burgess of Pontypool fame? I’m doubly excited! Wait…Didn’t Burgess also write last year’s abysmal (at least in my opinion) Septic Man? OK, let’s call it even and just say I’m singly excited…

 

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ABCs Of Death 2 – I’m a big fan of horror anthology films, so the first ABCs Of Death sounded like manna from heaven. Turned out to be a mixed bag of Halloween treats – mostly of that crappy candy corn variety. To be fair, there were several really strong stories and rumour has it that this second installment has much more quality control on it and an even more interesting list of directors.

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Trailer: Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer

After fellow Koreans Kim Ji-Woon and Park Chan-Wook launched their English language debut films (The Last Stand and Stoker, respectively) the most nuanced of the trio of directorial superstars, Bong Joon-Ho is delivering the largest in scale, the nuclear-winter bound science fiction flick, Snowpiercer. He has brought along the magnificent Song Kang-Ho for the train ride, alongside a sampling of Brit and American character actors including, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Steve Park, Ewen Bremner, Allison Pill and Chris Evans. You may not be able to recognize many of them covered in dirt, grease and facial hair.

Bong’s Memories of Murder and The Host are two of my favourite Korean films, thus, I have high expectations for this one, Inception soundtrack and all…

A train-trapped version of Alien3 with Orwellian grace notes and a lots of axes, this hopefully, will be my The Hunger Games! Set in a future where, after a failed experiment to stop global warming, an ice age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. A class system evolves on the train but a revolution brews. The film is an adaptation of Jean-Marc Rochette’s French graphic novel series Le Transperceneige.

Toronto After Dark 2011: The Divide Review

 

Not a moment is given before the gorgeously apocalyptic opening of Xavier Gens new film sees its cast of characters barricaded in the basement bunker of a New York City high-rise. Then the few survivors have all the time in the world, stuck with each other after the world end. Such is the premise of The Divide, a film that is more icky than it is beautiful, as if someone decided to make a less-parable, less-arty version of Fernando Meirelles and José Saramago’s Blindness with video-game aesthetics as book-ends. The Divide is not so much about anything, but much like the directors previous, and quite furious film, Frontier(s), it plays out the situation that leaves little to the imagination, and more than a fair bit of wincing from this viewer. For the film takes its little neo-society of under a dozen and puts them through a hell that one character foreshadows, “but you are going to be swimming through a whole lotta godawful shit before you get out.” Yea, that about sounds right.

The actor who utters this phrase, is none other than Michael Biehn, who James Cameron endeared to science fiction geeks everywhere with the soldier-of-fortune 3-punch: The troubled freedom figher Kyle Reese in The Terminator, stalwart and reliable Cpl. Hicks in Aliens and hair-trigger nutter Lt. Coffey in The Abyss. To say the dude has INTENSE down pat is an understatement, and that Gens has more than a little worship of the actor doing his thing onscreen is apparent. Case in point, Biehn’s first line of dialogue is “Let there be light.” So that kind of says everything we need to know. Biehn plays Mickey, a retired NYC Firefighter turned superintendent – maybe a tad racist – and tightly wound-up nutter, but one that good sense to have a fully stocked bunker in the basement just in case New York takes another pounding from, his words, those towelheads. He is stand-offish and intimidating towards his new found roommates: Josh, a gay man (ex-Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia) his lover Bobby (Michael Eklund) and younger brother (Ashton Holmes), an older mom (Rosanna Arquette) and her pre-teen daughter, a black guy (Courtney B. Vance), a lawyer (Iván González) and his wife Eva (Lauren German) who looks enough like Milla Jovovich that one suspects she be start kicking some ass later on. I list the characters as ‘types’ here and there is a reason for it. The film is not so much interested in developing character as it is tightening the panic-screws on the trapped souls. Initially there are guys in Hazmat suits that have lots of plastic and lab equipment, but little interest in helping anyone. When they take the daughter out of the equation, this is a an act of mercy for the audience considering the five rings of hell the film descends into from there on out.

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Cinecast Episode 214 – I Hate that I Know That

 
 
We start things off simple. No Kurt. Just some Pirates and Priests. With unpleasantness out of the way, Kurt jumps in with both feet for a indie post-apocalyptic film out of Toronto, a re-evaluation of Inglorious Basterds and Tarantino’s career. Trains and Toni Collette keep the conversation chugging along and with Gamble here, “Game of Thrones” is sort of unavoidable. We all revel in the love for Rip Torn and South Korea before rounding everything out with a talk about sequels that are crazier than a rat in a tin shithouse (ala Caddyshack II and Gremilns II). Nobody dies.

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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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Trailer: Perfect Sense

Judging from the image, you might think that it was a possible production still from Danny Boyle’s rumoured Trainspotting sequel, where Renton uses his stolen money to open up a fancy restaurant and brings Spud along for the ride (In a word: “Pleasure”). But no, this film is stranger. A romantic apocalypse tale starring Eva Green (looking to have the same wardrobe as her other 2011 release, Womb,) Perfect Sense is premiering at Sundance 2011, and is directed David Mackenzie, who made very fine use of Ewan McGregor, along with Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan and Emily Mortimer, in the criminally underseen Young Adam, a noirish sex-tale also set in Glasgow.

When a truck driver in Glasgow experiences a sudden inexplicable crying fit and subsequently loses his sense of smell, Susan [an epidemiologist] learns that more than 100 other people across Europe have been stricken in similar fashion. As more and more people around the globe begin to suffer these strange symptoms that first attack their emotions and then their symptoms, Susan and Michael [her new boyfriend] are forced to try and weather the storm and find out how the human race might cope with such a pandemic.

The trailer is tucked under the seat.
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Fruit Loops, Federico Luppi and Firearms: A Frenetic Trailer for Fase 7

 
I missed this disease outbreak film from Argentina by a mere few days at this years Sitges Fantastic Film Festal due to my departure flight being early in the day. Then came the positive reviews to rub a little salt in the wounds. But I can contentedly go into little seizures with this high number of cuts-per-minute trailer. Fans of Guillermo Del Toro’s films will recognize actor Federico Luppi and not unlike Helen Mirren in Red, the filmmakers here have seen fit to let him fire a lot of guns. Furthermore, there have been a lot of good satirical films coming out of Argentina (Nine Queens, The Method) but this is the first time I’ve seen that national cinema do a full-blown, post-apocalyptic one. I am interested.

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

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Sitges Review: Stake Land

 

At one point in fabulously envisioned Stake Land, the loner-hero takes a brief snatch of down time from kicking up road dust and vampire killing to relax on an outdoor recliner chaise. It is the moment that you realize that the film has far more in common with a classic American Western than the current craze of Vampire movies. But this is only one of the revelatory delights that the film is stacked with chock-a-block to the point where you sit back and smile that genre films can be made so well. In a year where John Carpenter has a new film that is as unsatisfying and generic as oatmeal, it is nice to see that others have taken up the mantle to resurrect the no-nonsense, bad-ass, Snake Plissken type (here named simply “Mister”) and drop him into an interesting and wide open space – a post-Apocalyptic america that has returned to its frontier roots in the wake of a Vampire epidemic. But these are not your Bram Stoker, Anne Rice or Stephenie Meyer Vampires. A stake through the heart will finish them off, assuredly, but there isn’t much going on upstairs beyond the extreme feeding instinct. They are sort of a hybrid of rage-zombies and rabid (foaming) nocturnal pack-animals, not far off the were-rat creatures featured in the director-writer-star combo’s (Jim Mickle and Nick Damici) first film Mulberry Street. Certainly, this peculiar (and quite gross) brand of vampire is something something you do not want to be caught surrounded with on a moon-less prairie night after being robbed and dumped by religious fanatics with a vindictive sense of road-justice. This is, more or less, taken in stride by Mister – one more speed-bump on the road out of a sadly compromised and brutally over-stretched America that has seen the final monster sized Katrina-disaster which has pushed it back to the 19th century.

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Two Mad Max Films!? Nice.

George Miller, the name brand for P-A flicks, is reportedly working on a second Mad Max film to nearly coincide with the already underway Fury Road. Twitch is claiming the the second film is titled Mad Max: Furiosa. Just as filming is wrapped for Mad Max: Fury Road, shooting will begin on Furiosa.

The idea apparently is that the two films will also be released in fairly rapid succession (ala Matrix 2 & 3 or the Kill Bill movies). Though no date has been set for the theatrical release, we might be able to bet on (or at least have our fingers crossed for) some early 2012 screenings.

Though no Mel Gibson, Charlize Theron is set to star and the young Tom Hardy will be in the titular role…

“It’s a relaunch and revisit to the world. An entire restructuring. That’s not to say that it’s not picking up or leaving off from the Mad Max you know already, but it’s a nice re-take on the entire world using the same character, depositing him in the same world but bringing him up to date by 30 years.”

Two of these things? I’m down – even if I do have to wait a relatively long time to see them.

Take A Peek Behind the White Wall

White Wall Movie Still

Our buds at Quiet Earth are at it again and this time they’ve uncovered a pretty spiffy looking trailer for a spiffier looking film the poster for which was enough to get my attention. From there, I clicked through to the website where I saw the headline “It is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent” and from there I spotted this very nice looking teaser. Where do you go from here? How about into the trailer.

QE lists the film’s synopsis as:

“Set in a wasteland enclosed by a large white wall, the last survivor from a brutal child internment camp reluctantly takes on one final bounty hunting job to protect the idyllic life he has rebuilt.

I’m not really digging the voice over in the trailer but otherwise it looks pretty kick ass. Chances we’ll get to see it on the big screen? Probably zero but it looks like one to look for on DVD.

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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