Trailer: Blade Runner 2029 – The ACTION Picture


The latest advert for Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to cult classic science-fiction-noir Blade Runner, is made for television. With that in mind, I never expected the tradition and history of this film to result in a generic shoot-em-up action picture, but hey, that is how one gets butts in seats. Of course, the trailer also gives more glimpses of the wonder post-urban world that cinematographer Roger Deakins and producer Ridley Scott magnificently deliver.

The internet is ‘freaking out’ and telling people not to watch this, as they embed it in the very-same ‘warning article.’ I am less caring about Spoilers, and more curious as to if this film will indeed be an action picture, and not an atmospheric, thoughtful science fiction film. Knowing Villeneuve (who recently made the nearly-gun-and-explosion-free Arrival, which brimmed with thoughtful sci-fi concepts and sophisticated film grammar, I am expecting the latter in spite of this bit of marketing.


Second Trailer: Blade Runner 2


If you want action and chases and a lot more Jared Leto, well then, this recent trailer for the Blade Runner sequel is probably tailored to your liking. Sure it sells it like a more conventional action-blockbuster, which I am confident it will not be, but there is your marketing department for you.

Also getting a healthy amount of trailer time are Robin Wright and David Bautista, but the real star here is the production design by Dennis Gassner and the cinematography by Roger Deakins.

Trailer: Blade Runner 2


The full trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s epic-scaled Blade Runner sequel has arrived, and it is glorious. In terms of future hologram bespackled cities, Ghost in the Shell, in hindsight was simply an amuse-bouche to the feast that Roger Deakins has prepared for us. Cold grey-blues, Fury-Road oranges, infinite whites, and twinkling Atari lights.
Oh My.

In terms of new cast members Robin Wright and Jared Leto introduced here, as does Ana de Armas (blink at the right point, and you will miss Dave Bautista).

I hope the story is as beautiful as everything on display here. I expect nothing short than greatness, even as I believe that movie will explicitly, in no uncertain terms, finally INSIST that Deckard is a replicant, and likely all of the police force.

Blown away here at the moment, though. Enjoy.

Review: Everest

everest-posterDirector: Baltasar Kormákur (101 Reykjavík, Jar City, The Deep, 2 Guns)
Writers: William Nicholson, Simon Beaufoy
Producers: Nicky Kentish Barnes, Tim Bevan, Liza Chasin, Eric Fellner, Evan Hayes, Tyler Thompson
Starring: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Jake Gyllenhaal
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 121 min.



My original posting of this review can be found on LetterBoxd


What could possibly drive a man or woman to attempt to climb Mount Everest, almost 30,000 feet above ground, the highest mountain on the planet? Risking their lives for this treacherous journey to do something practically impossible, people make the trek every year, despite knowing the likelihood of death, and the grueling conditions that have taken so many who scaled those same heights. Baltasar Kormakur’s epic new film Everest may not get into the nitty gritty of the psychology behind such madness, but it does explore in excruciating detail the most notorious real-life tragedy that has been suffered on top of that great beast. Known simply as the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, competing teams of climbers led by Rob Hall (played by Jason Clarke) and Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) faced the summit on May 10th, 1996, only to be met by a ferocious storm that took the lives of eight people. It was the deadliest day on Mount Everest until 2014, and Kormakur brings it to life in a heart-stopping recreation that chills the bone.

Earlier this year saw the release of the blockbuster extravaganza San Andreas, which played natural disaster for cheesy popcorn thrills. Everest could have gone a similar route, taking this tragedy and amping it up for the cheap seats, as the events offer plenty of opportunity for jaw-dropping sequences depicting the ravaging potential of mother nature to decimate human beings who test her limits. Instead, Kormakur demonstrates his commitment to authenticity, pushing his actors to their physical brink by bringing them to real locations in order to capture these agonizing conditions as realistically as possible. That dedication pays off tremendously, as Everest seamlessly combines the on-location footage with scenes shot in studio, and embellished with CGI, for an experience that is frighteningly in your face, never showing any cracks in where the real environments end and the generated ones begin. It allows for an extremely immersive journey that takes the audience right into the heart of the beast with these climbers, making you shiver in your seat as you feel the chill. Or maybe that shaking is from the pure suspense that the director draws out of one heart-stopping sequence after another once the storm hits.
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Cinecast Episode 366 – Mermaid Mode

In this episode, Kurt and Andrew struggle to grasp hold of Ari Folman’s hybrid animated/live-action film The Congress. Then it is back to 1984 to visit Madison the Mermaid and high energy Tom Hanks. The Watchlist looks at the healing power of music, obscure Tae Kwon Do weirdness, VHS culture, Swedish deadpan masterpieces, a musician hiding behind paper mâché head, and Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan touring restaurants in Italy. Have at it.

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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Cinecast Episode 342 – Nobody is Happy After a Three Way

The only regret on this episode is that Matt Gamble couldn’t get Frank (from Film Junk) to cry at some point. From Kurt’s drunken obsession with the female form (seriously folks, it is profound) to Andrew’s bafflement at the hatred for Colin Farrell’s lens flares. It’s a good thing Ryan McNeil is somewhat of a veteran of the show as it takes a special type of mortal to endure this kind of full throttle podcast that only the Cinecast can deliver. Lessons learned: Kurt may or may not have had a three-way, gigolos are “amazing”, Robin Wright’s labia is probably what was in Marcellus Wallace’s brief case. Amongst all the tomfoolery, there is a debate on the merits of the Second Indiana Jones film and Amber Heard should retire yesterday. It’s all in here along with plenty more. Thanks to our guests for sticking it out late; it was a show for the ages – yet we magically come in at under three hours – this is what passes for ‘concentrated’ with this podcast…

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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Cinecast Episode 320 – Robin Wright 2.0

Keeping it rather short and sweet this week; but the kids are alright. Outside of our quick review of 2 Guns, we kind of just tease through some reviews for upcoming wide releases or show discussion topics. Mostly we just can’t wait for next week’s Blomkamp/Allen reviews. Still, we do manage to get through some talk about space Abyss, adult swim and another gander at Joe Wright’s Hanna.

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: The Congress


And now, I am instantly excited for the prospect of Ari Folman’s science fiction feature, The Congress, an idea driven hybrid of live action and animation. After the phenomenal success of his rotoscoped war-drama Waltz with Bashir, it appears that identity and consciousness (two themes that were very much at play in that film) are still on his mind. Here Robin Wright, playing a fictional version of herself who has been retired to raise her son (The Road‘s Kodi Smit-McPhee) for some time – this curious timing considering her astounding turn in the recent House of Cards. Nevertheless, she is convinced by Harvey Keitel and Danny Huston, neither playing fictional versions of themselves, to have her ‘entire self’ digitized into an algorithm. Now in the digital world, there are several versions of her running around yearning to find out their true identity. The animation and the story seem to evoke everything from Cool World to Paprika to Sim0ne, and the modern classic science fiction tones please me greatly. Also noteworthy is that The Congress is all based on Novel from the great Stanislaw Lem (Solaris). The film will make its initial bow quite soon at Cannes and I cannot wait for it to cross the pond.

Blu-Ray Review: The Princess Bride

Director: Rob Reiner
Screenplay: William Goldman
Based on a Novel by: William Goldman
Starring: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, André the Giant, Fred Savage, Peter Falk
Producers: Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman
Country: USA
Running Time: 98 min
Year: 1987
BBFC Certificate: PG

In the 80’s (and just into 1990), director Rob Reiner had one of the greatest runs of films in the history of filmmaking (in my opinion at least). Being of the generation that experienced them pretty much first hand (on their VHS and first TV runs – I’m a little too young to have caught them on cinema), these were films that helped shape my love of film and still stand up incredibly well. This is Spinal Tap and Stand By Me will probably always be in my top 10-15 films of all time for sheer quality as well as pure enjoyment and nostalgia. Add When Harry Met Sally, Misery, the underrated The Sure Thing and this, The Princess Bride and you’ve got six ‘modern’ classics that all have a huge fanbase. A Few Good Men came next, which a lot of people love too, but for me it wasn’t on a par with those aforementioned titles.

After that, his films steadily declined in quality. I keep hoping for a comeback, but I’m not holding my breath. However, we still have those six greats to go back to time and again – their re-watchability being among many strong points. So that brings us to the well-loved The Princess Bride, which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year with a new feature-packed Blu-Ray edition.

For those of you that haven’t seen The Princess Bride, before you march straight to the nearest shop to buy yourself a copy in shame, here’s a summary of the plot. We open on a young boy (Fred Savage of The Wonder Years fame) who is a bit poorly and bed-bound for the day. His grandfather (Peter Falk of Columbo and A Woman Under the Influence fame) hears of this and comes round to comfort the boy by reading him a story that his own father used to read when he was ill. The video-game loving youngster reluctantly allows this. The story that follows is of Buttercup (Robin Wright), a beautiful young woman whose true love Westley (Cary Elwes) is supposedly murdered at sea by the Dread Pirate Roberts. In her misery she does little to stop the cruel Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) from claiming her for his wife. Whilst awaiting the big day though, she is kidnapped by Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) and his assistants, the sword-master Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and the giant Fezzik (Andre the Giant). Hot on their trail however is a mysterious masked man who is revealed to be the Dread Pirate Roberts himself. Or could he be someone else entirely?

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Cinecast Episode 290 – Great Tatts

And we’re back! Almost like we never left. Almost. With the new season of the Cinecast starting up we’re going to be trying some new things. We get privy on all the new shit while we get our bearings on this cold weather to open up the show. Then we dig into the second film of a trend in Hollywood for 2013 of “old action stars attempting a come-back” in Bullet in the Head. We enjoyed the Schwarzenegger version, can Stallone compare? Also Kevin Spacey is back to work within the U.S. government in David Fincher’s, Netflix original series “House of Cards.” Check out all the news ideas and we’ll be back later in the week to assess.

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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Moneyball – the next great baseball classic?

It took forever for Brad Pitt to get his passion project Moneyball made, but he has finally done it – and it looks glorious. Based on the 2003 nonfiction book by Michael M. Lewis, the film follows the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane who attempts to create a competitive team with creative and controversial methods, due to having very little finances.

Unfortunately, I can’t help but wonder what this could have been back before Sony booted Steven Soderbergh as the director, due to some of his interesting and unconventional ideas, which included peppering the movie with interviews of the actual people this film dramatizes. Still, with Capote director Bennett Miller behind the camera and a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Robin Wright, I can’t help but be excited about this. When was the last time a good baseball movie came out?

The film will be released in US theaters on September 23, 2011. In the meantime, sound off with your thoughts!

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

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