Andrew Dominik is Back with “Killing them Softly” [trailer]

It’s been five years. Five years. Five years since Andrew Dominik last directed a feature film. That film was of course far and away the best film of 2007: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Some of us were wondering if Andrew had given up on film making altogether or if we had the beginnings of the next Terrence Malick on our hands. Now, while the quality of his films will still remain to be seen (he’s only had two), it does look as if at the very least, we’ve got a director who simply likes to take his time in between projects. Here’s hoping that philosophy will for him as well as it seems to for Malick.

Andrew Dominik has once again teamed up with Brad Pitt for his latest thriller comedy, Killing them Softly. Pitt plays Jackie Cogan; a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game. Slowly the film evolves into social commentary about our (the U.S.) faltering nation. Set in 2008 amidst the presidential election and the economic frustrations, Killing them Softly proves to be a most interesting excursion for the director and the rest of the cast which features Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn and Sam Shepard.

Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think….

DVD Review: Youth in Revolt

Youth In Revolt Movie Poster

Director: Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl)
Writers: Gustin Nash, C.D. Payne (novel)
Producer: David Permut
Starring: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Ray Liotta, Justin Long
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 90 min.

Michael Cera isn’t an actor that shows range. The 22 year old has been playing the oddball geeky kid for a few years now and he doesn’t show any sign of moving on. For the most part his performances work but the films aren’t always good and frankly, the reason to see most of them (to date at least), has been to see if Cera is doing something new but when Youth in Revolt came around, I, and from its box office run, many others, had given up on the idea of seeing Cera in the same old role.

Youth in Revolt Movie StillThat’s why I skipped it and even the addition of bad boy alternate personality Francois Dillinger wasn’t enough to catch my attention during its theatrical run but on DVD, I was going to give it a shot because who knows, maybe Francois is different but now that I’ve seen it, I wish I’d stuck by my initial reading and stayed well away.

Miguel Arteta’s film (based on C.D. Payne’s novel) has it’s moments but its no where near as good as Arteta’s crowning achievement to date, The Good Girl. There’s no reinvention of Cera here and if anything, the film feels like a hipster version of American Pie and at its core, the story of a boy who just wants to get the girl and if possible, get laid in the process.
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Cera in Youth in Revolt Trailer

Youth in Revolt One SheetThe first and last picaresque novel I read was J.P. Donleavy’s “The Ginger Man”. It was an interesting exercise but overall it was not really my cup of tea (though it did have some hysterical scenes). Now it looks like I may, somewhat unwillingly, be making another jump into the style to see just what all the hubbub surrounding “Youth in Revolt” is about.

C. D. Payne’s novel features a 14 year-old boy name Nick. He’s going through puberty, is obsessed with girls and sex and then he meets Sheeni. To gain her attention, he creates a bad ass alter ego named Francois Dillinger who says and does everything Nick doesn’t.

The film, also titled Youth in Revolt, is adapted from the book by screen writer Gustin Nash who made a minor splash last year with Charlie Bartlett (our review), directed by Miguel Arteta and stars Michael Cera in the title role of Nick. The real surprise here is that for the first time, that I’ve noticed at least, Cera seems to be extending a little further than awkward/quirky teen. Though Nick fits Cera’s usual schtick, Francois seems a whole lot more direct and a bit of a douche which should prove interesting. Along with Cera, the film features a great cast of actors including Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi, Justin Long, Fred Willard and Ray Liotta.

The trailer seems interesting enough and as Eirk Davis at Cinematical notes, it’s a bit Fight Club-esque. I’m simply a sucker for teen movies so this one is definitely on my radar.

Youth in Revolt opens on October 30th.

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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Cinecast Episode 125 – Cultural Collateral


Episode 124:
Somehow both Kurt and Andrew managed to miss out on Will Farrel running from dinosaurs as well as the Vegas tomfoolery in The Hangover. Instead we watched a bunch of subversive, exploitative and downright nasty cinema on DVD – that includes Twilight. New is overrated. Oh, and three cheers to Don Bluth.
Thanks for listening!

Click the Audio Icon below to listen in:

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:

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“Crossing Over” Poster

While I don’t have much to say on the project at this point, I will say this film has my money. Though Harrison Ford has sucked really huge, hairy balls over the past 10 years, he’s ultimately still my hero. I’ve seen his ENTIRE filmography and I ain’t stopping now.

A while back, Jonathan posted the trailer for Crossing Over and for some reason I get a strong Babel vibe from this; not entirely sure why, but it’s there.

At any rate, I ran across the poster today and while half of it is typical floating head garbage, the other half is mildly interesting looking and certainly attention grabbing. But the fact that it is obviously meant to resemble the American Flag is kind of a neat trick of the eye I think.

click image to see larger version:
Crossing Over poster

The trailer for Crossing Over finally released

Harrison Ford finished filming Crossing Over with director Wayne Kramer before he ever even began filming Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Yet, over five months after Indy Jones’s release, there was still next to nothing released on Crossing Over – only a small handful of photos, no poster, no trailer, not even a set release date.

The film is a multi-character drama focusing on illegal immigration in the United States that co-stars Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, and Alice Braga. The more I heard about it, the more it seemed like it would be something in the vein of Crash or Babel, just a couple years late to the party. When the studio kept pushing it back and pushing it back more, I didn’t take that as a good sign, although since it was the unpredictable Weinstein brothers doing so, it was impossible to know the problem.

Finally though, we have the trailer. It looks a lot less like Crash or Babel than I initially anticipated, although it is certainly clear that it is going to be a message movie. Which can be fine, as long as it doesn’t slap you across the face with it over and over.

Since this is Harrison Ford and I would follow Mr. Ford off of the edges of the Grand Canyon if he led me, I’m rooting for this to be a well-made film embraced by critics and movie-goers alike – and who knows, maybe by some minuscule chance, we’ll get to see Harrison up for some awards this year (or whenever this sucker is released). Chances are, this won’t be the film to do that at all, but at 66-years-old, I think this kind of movie – and by that I mean a film driven more by the acting than the action – is a step in the right direction for Mr. Ford.

You can watch the trailer over at Yahoo! Movies or below.

Is it a trailer? A Promo-reel? Well, it’s La Linea.

Thanks for the Quiet Earth boys for spotting this one and passing it along. Here we have a B-ish gangster film called La Linea (The Line). The video below is too long to be a trailer, and a tad spoiler-ish, so I am guessing it is a promo reel that has found its way onto one of the many video streaming services out there.

A crime drama loosely based on the infamous Arellano Felix drug cartel. Veteran ham-ster Ray Liotta plays a Los Angeles based assassin who is hired to kill him. He hooks up with a meth addict living in Tijuana who is struggling to kick the habit for the sake of her daughter. And there is Danny Trejo doing what he does best. (That would be making people dance to bullets.) And Andy Garcia stops by to give a drug-lord speech or two.

While the pacing and what not are not quite electric, this is solid D2DVD gangster material, it still makes pretty good use of the Babel score. I am going to go out on a limb here (or not) and say that this is likely a better movie than Righteous Kill, but then that probably is not saying much. Machete cannot come soon enough, folks.

La Linea

31 Days of Horror: Day 4 – Identity

Idenity PosterI know a lot of people who aren’t too enamored with my next movie. I on the other hand really enjoyed the 10 Little Indians based horror thriller Identity. What it comes down to is if you can accept the actual premise then you will like this movie. If you can not, you will end up hating it most likely. I am in the former group and this is one of my favorite thrillers of the early 21st Century.

I am going to avoid spoilers for this one completely but I can not promise that the comments will avoid them. So I really recommend watching the movie first before reading the comments below.

Identity is the story of 10 travelers who become stranded at a small hotel in the middle of nowhere after the highway is flooded out. The 10 strangers are consist of a limo driver (John Cusack), an ‘80s TV star (Rebecca DeMornay), a cop (Ray Liotta) who is transporting a killer (Jake Busey), a call girl (Amanda Peet), a pair of newlyweds (Clea DuVall and William Lee Scott) and a family in crisis (John C. McGinley, Leila Kenzle, Bret Loehr). As the 10 strangers take shelter from the storm they soon discover that someone or something is killing them off one by one.

Identity Asian PosterWhat really makes this movie a great thriller for me is the cast combined with the premise. I am a fan of pretty much all the actors. None of them are truly mainstream A grade actors but that is what makes it all the more interesting. They are all extremely strong and the overall story is very compelling.

If you haven’t already figure it out I am being very vague when it comes to Identity. I want you to watch it but I do not want to tell you what is really going on and if I try to delve into the story or why several people I know dislike this movie too much will be said. All I can say is that at times it is as creepy at hell and I really enjoyed the tension that was created between the 10 as they slowly die one by one. I challenge you to see this and to let me know what you think. I’m also curious to know when you figured out who the murderer is.

Oh and the poster over on the right is an Asian version which I really like. I’ll never understand why they dropped the cool hand print or even the Asian one when it came time for the DVD release. They picked the most generic boring image. You can check it out here.