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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Trailer: Resident Evil 5

You didn’t think I’d pass up this trailer, now did you? Take one part of the teaser trailer for Resident Evil: Apocalypse (still one of the best teasers ever made, for my money, regardless of how crappy the movie turned out), one part all-out global warfare (with very few zombies in sight, to be honest), and if that’s not epic enough, throw in music from The Who and Inception Tron: Legacy [my bad] and then top it all off with a bunch of Sony product placement, and there you go. Milla Jovovich is ready to kick ass as Alice for the fifth time in Resident Evil: Retribution. One thing I’m unclear about – wasn’t that Michelle Rodriguez? As I recall, her character is a little bit….uh…dead. Flashbacks, I suppose? I wonder how Paul W.S. Anderson will manage that level of complexity.

I’ll be out opening weekend. Such is the duty required of Milla adoration.

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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Review: Resident Evil: Afterlife

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It’s a little bit pointless to review Resident Evil: Afterlife, which is why I didn’t even bother seeking out the Rotten Tomatoes score or any other reviews before rushing off to see it opening night. I mean, this is the fourth Resident Evil movie, with basically the same team behind all of them, though directors have changed a few times. You pretty much know what you’re getting into when you buy a ticket for this. If you expect much more than Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter looking hot and kicking ass while spouting ridiculous dialogue in a series of loosely tied together scenes, you’ll probably be disappointed. If not, enjoy it for the even sillier-than-most B movie it is.

Resident Evil: Extinction ended with classic sequel bait, with Alice (Milla Jovovich) promising to find Umbrella Corp bossman Wesker in his underground Tokyo lair and wipe him out, with the help of the army of clones Umbrella had been building to try to find a cure for the T-virus. Resident Evil: Afterlife picks up the story right there, with an all-out attack on Umbrella Tokyo. But Wesker gets away, destroying the facility behind him, and Alice (re-humanized by an injection that neutralizes the T-virus in her) sets off to find the rest of the Extinction group who had left to find Arcadia, a promised infection-free haven. Things don’t go as planned, Alice and Claire (an awesomer-than-I-expected Ali Larter, almost upstaging Milla a time or two) end up with another small group of survivors and eventually face off with Wesker again.

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Resident Evil: Afterlife Trailer Leaves No Survivors

Well, okay, technically Alice is looking for survivors of the Umbrella Corp zombifying virus, but she seems to be doing a lot more killing than protecting in this trailer. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Looks like a nice boss battle with a giant hammer-wielding mutant of some sort, plus an Umbrella Corp mastermind working out of one of those beautifully white sterile control centers that sci-fi likes so much.

Also of interest, it turns out Resident Evil: Afterlife was shot using the same 3D process as Avatar – that makes me slightly more willing to consider trying it in 3D, especially since in this case, I really am just going for the eye-candy. I wonder, though, how well 3D is going to work with the fast-paced and likely very quickly edited action sequences that this film will probably have throughout – focusing on those is hard enough in 2D without having to deal with multiple planes of depth. I liked the 3D in Avatar best in the quieter, less frenetic scenes.

Trailer is after the jump.

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Shallowness Alert: First Stills from Resident Evil Afterlife

Allow me to be shallow for a moment (again) and get excited about the upcoming fourth entry in the guiltiest of guilty pleasures Resident Evil series. I will go to great lengths to get my Milla fix (including actually purchasing Resident Evil movies on Blu-ray, though I have so far resisted buying Ultraviolet). As much as I love The Fifth Element, there’s only so many times I can watch it in a row.

Anyway. The first stills from Resident Evil: Afterlife have turned up on MySpace. That’s one up above; click through to see the rest. No sign yet of the gazillion Alices that ended RE3, but I’m sure they’ll turn up at some point. Because if one Milla is good…a gazillion Millas is better. Right? Right.

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Deathrace Technique: Camera Smash

Despite the poor (ok, downright shitty) reviews that the updated version of Deathrace 2000 is getting, I’m still a bit intrigued with the idea of the Mad Max style vehicles in a super race with the speed and the “real” mash-ups, devoid of any special effects… and of course the hotties. Throw in Joan Allen, Jason Statham and “Deadwood’s” Ian McShane and yeah, I’ll go see it eventually.

Then I read an interview today with director Paul W.S. Anderson in which he talks a little about the making of the film and how they managed some of the cool smash-em-up scenes. It’s all real crashes and real guns. No models or crappy CGI. This was the real deal. In the interview, there are references and inspirations to everything from Mad Max to Two Lane Blacktop to Bullitt to Black Hawk Down and more. This intrigues me further.

Deathrace

But how they get some of the shots is by actually running over and smashing some of the cameras:

I wanted to get the cars to drive into the cameras at high speeds, so we built one of my favorite rigs. We built a rig that had a camera and was completely ringed with basketballs. So it was this big giant ball. We stick it in the middle of the road, and the cars would drive at it. There is a shot in the very first race, when the original Frankenstein drives, where the car slides around the corner, and it looks like it hits the camera, and it does. And then the continuation of that is really funny because the camera just rolls away, bounces away, and it hits the wall.

Cool.

Read the full article over at io9.com [via Gizmodo]