Cinecast Episode 348 – Immediately to Eleven

 
So Game of Thrones is finally back on the air with a brand new season. Does it live up to the wait we had to endure or was it a bit of a let down? Matt and Kurt also deliver a back and forth on the two wide to semi-wide theatrical releases this week in Captain America: Winter Soldier as well as Jodorowsky’s Dune. We dive into a very Red Dawn in which fantasy and reality’s lines are blurred which Kurt takes quite an issue with. The Minneapolis Film Festival is in full swing and Google and Bollywood make their appearances known. Danny Boyle is in the mix along and apparently the 90s b-squad is going for a comeback in Jerome Sable’s Stage Fright. Seriously, Minnie Driver is still around?

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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“You didn’t think I was rolling out of here naked, did you?” Trailer for Milius Documentary

Iconoclastic filmmaker, writer, gun-owner John Milius, is the man who is responsible in part for the Dirty Harry Franchise, Apocalypse Now, 1941, Conan The Barbarian, Red Dawn and HBO’s Rome; who was rumoured to have pulled a piece on a film executive and is the direct inspiration for the Coen Brother’s Walter Sobchak character (“MARK IT ZERO!”) Making its debut at the SXSW festival this week is the documentary that is comprised of stories from just about every major Hollywood director from the 70s and 80s as well as clips and photos. And Sam Elliot and his glorious mustache spouting something worthy of a Milius-ism: “He didn’t write for pussies. And he didn’t write for women.” That just about sums it up!

The Substream sorts out the Black Wednesday Movie Release Logjam

With the impending American Thanksgiving bonanza on the horizon there are a lot of films released today for people to attend in between over-eating and over-shopping. In the weekly Watch This Instead segment (WTI), mustachioed Canuck Mike Cameron, whose handsome mug is seen often over at The Substream, breaks down the pros and the cons of the myriad of movie options before settling on a confident recommendation for his favourite film of the year.

Trailer: Tomorrow When The War Began

 

I caught this ‘Aussie Red Dawn’ almost a year ago at ActionFest (My Review.) While the film is certainly flawed – and hasn’t traveled well outside of Australia – I have to say Freestyle has cut a trailer that makes the film look pretty darn good. Part one of a series of books that were almost as successful in Australia as The Hunger Games and Twilight are in North America, it has taken a long time for the film to get to this part of the world but it comes to VOD and limited theatrical on February 24th. Tomorrow When The War Began is almost worth catching in the cinema for its knock out action sequence involving a heavy dump truck and a machine-gun toting dune buggy and the fact that the current remake of Red Dawn is stuck in perpetual limbo, yet the film is ultimately weighed down by bad dialogue (no different than John Milius’ 1980s cheese-fest) and overly pretty people.

ActionFest Review: Tomorrow, When the War Began

 

Tired of waiting for either MGM’s bankruptcy or the decision to change the Chinese villains to North Koreans in the beleaguered Red Dawn remake? Australia has your solution in the form of Tomorrow, When The War Began. A group of teenagers take a weekend camping trip into the bush, and when they come out, Australia has been seized by an unidentified Asian country. You know it is serious when the family dog is the first on-screen corpse. With their town of Wirrawee, all set for the summer fair with beauty queen contest and ferris wheel, is converted to POW camp, with the parents and townsfolk rounded up and put in cages. Thus the group makes the trial-by-fire transition from care-free children to hardened guerilla soldiers.

Based on a very popular set of Aussie books and adapted for the screen and directed by Stuart Beattie, a screenwriter who has a list of high profile Hollywood screenplays Collateral, The Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise, Australia, and G.I. Joe making his directorial debut. Beattie should look back at the talented directors, such as Gore Verbinski and Michael Mann that manage to extract much of the exposition out of the story and focus on the visuals, because here, there is not a scene that isn’t overwritten or over-baked enough to elicit guffaws, pushing Tomorrow, When the War began almost into Twilight territory of undiscriminating teens only. Some examples of Beattie’s over doing it: When our heroine, Ellie, a can-do farm girl, has a heart-to-heart with her bff, she not only does it in their childhood tree house (they are planning to go back to their isolated camping spot called Hell to hole up) but she looks at not one, but two different toys during the conversation. The young religious girl working herself up to shed some blood in the name of the resistance does so with a looming, forlorn looking swing-set in the foreground, or the group sits around at camp like The Breakfast Club, they are all ‘types’ at this point, anyway, discussing their motivation to run away or defend their country smacks of unadvised overkill rather than revealing drama. I suppose that two of the three key couples happen to be interracial pairings (Vietnamese/Caucasian and Greek/Caucasian) reflects the large number of cultures integrating into Australia these days, but the film never feels as believable or grounded as the opening pre-war chapter. A high energy cameo from Judy Davis’ hubby, Colin Friels threatens to jump-start the picture, but he quickly moves on, leaving things in the hands of our young and pretty collection. They pick up a stoner character at one point, but that just makes things worse.

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Cinecast Episode 171 – Spiffed Up Stuffy Stuff

 
Waxing (on, and off) nostagic this week with glossy summer product. Two remakes from the heady cheese days of the 1980s dominated the multiplex last weekend: Will Smith Jr. in The Karate Kid and flying tanks in The A-Team. Contrary to what we say in the show it does not get very “spoilerific” at all; if you are over 30, these two films are more or less beyond that (your mileage may vary). Gamble has a quick take on the upcoming weekends behemoth Toy Story 3, from the perspective of someone (perhaps the only one) who didn’t like Toy Story 2. Kurt talks at length on The Duplass’ brother’s Cyrus which also opens this weekend in a few cities. Furthermore, in an ongoing behind-the-curve look at pop-cultural phenomenon LOST, Kurt continues to moan about the bad drama and stalling nature of the narrative, but does praise the heck out of the Season 2 closer and the Season 3 opener (there are *spoilers* ahoy in that conversation, be warned). Rounding out the show are DVD picks, a few other tangents – anyone up for Chinese cultural imperialism, or Communism vs. Fascism in 80s trash? How to parse TV awards shows? Ron Mann’s choice of having comic book authors read lengthy portions of their books on screen? Fashion Fan Boys? Oh, and another round of the piracy, file sharing, copyright debate ensues.

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…
Would you like to know more…?