“Lost River” Teaser [Ryan Gosling Directorial Debut]

Not sure at all what to make of this. Lost River is the first film written and directed by my man crush (one of them anyway), Ryan Gosling. The cast is fairly stacked, leaning heavy on the women: Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Matt Smith, Iain De Caestecker and Ben Mendelsohn.

Synopsis from the IMDb:
A single mother is swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.

Though with this trailer, all we get is The Doctor screaming “look at my muscles” over and over. A bike and house are on fire and people look at the ground. This will either be pure wankery or genius. Of course we’re hoping for the latter.

Take a look…

Cinecast Episode 349 – Smell the Glove

You’d think this were an episode of “Coast to Coast.” Aliens, Elvis, Stonehenge, Witches, talking birds, dragons, world war III and amps that go to eleven. Matt Gamble is a special guest this week to talk about the “exhausting marathon” that is The Raid 2. We dive into the psyche of Nigel and David and lament the loss of all the past drummers. This is Spinal Tap in all its glory folks (now kick our assess, we insist!) Kurt saw Rio 2 for some reason and Andrew continues MSPIFF with Witching & Bitching and accidentally watches the “wrong movie” when he confuses Kevin MacDonald for Bruce MacDonald. Everything feels loose and foggy in this episode for some reason. Which is just the way Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin) likes 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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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Extended Thoughts: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest HotelThe highly stylized and ever whimsical Wes Anderson has struck again with his latest gem, The Grand Budapest Hotel. A delectably decadent treat, the film unfolds as a kind of matryoshka nesting doll: a story within a story within a story. Peppered with his usual array of players, the troupe is joined by newcomers Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, and Saoirse Ronan to stupendous results. The film hums with zealous energy, rife with vulgarity-laced elegance. It hovers, its feet inches above the ground, the ethereal existence of a Wes Anderson creation done to perfection.

The scene opens on a young girl in present-day, a book firmly clutched in her arms, as she visits the gravesite of who we will come to know only as Author. Hotel room keys adorn a bronze bust of the man, reminiscent of the romanticism of attaching locks to bridges. Lifting another layer, we are in the office of Author (Tom Wilkinson) in 1985, as he recounts his visit to the titular hotel in 1968. You can see where this is going.

In 1968, we encounter a younger Author (now played by Jude Law) at the Grand Budapest Hotel. Shockingly reminiscent of the Overlook, it’s hard to imagine the place as a residence of glamour and class. The wallpaper peels, the orange carpets look as if they haven’t been cleaned in well over a decade, and the tiles crackle and fall from the walls. It’s a sad, desolate place, where the sparse tenants keep firmly to themselves. That is, of course, until our young Author encounters the mysterious Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), the current overseer of the Overlook Grand Budapest. With nary a cajole, Mr. Moustafa agrees to tell Author his life’s story over dinner. Would you like to know more…?

Cinecast Episode 273 – It’s TIFF 2012!

Thanks once again to Ryan McNeil of The Matinee for dropping back in for our huge TIFF recap (and almost spoiler-free!). Andrew sits in quiet solitude on the sofa, acting mainly as an audience member (admittedly, mostly fiddling with Pinterest and playing Tiger Woods Golf) with much amusement as Ryan and Kurt recap a large chunk of their TIFF experience. Sadly, due to the late hour of recording, there was no time left for The Watch List. We are happy, hoever to kick of the Fall Semester of homework assignments. The discussion gets pretty spirited where there is agreement and disagreement on many of the films screening at this years festival. Drop in again next week for a return to our usual programming: a lengthy discussion on PT Anderson’s The Master and responses to this first volley of homework assignments.

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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Cinecast Episode 208 – It’s Gonna Be Ass-Tastic!

Welcome to another edition of the Cinecast, wherein the boys talk a little Joe Wright and Super-Spy-Assassins with the weekend release of Hanna. There is no Gamble on the show today, but in order to properly plumb the depth and nuance of Your Highness, we bring in a mystery guest. Then it is on to Kurt’s 3 days in Asheville, NC watching action films and stunt folks from around the world ply their trade at ActionFest. A recap of some of the highlight titles (from Bangkok stunt-reel filmmaking to white knuckle mountain climbing thrillers and Mixed Martial Arts Kumite) along with plans to revisit next year. DVD and netflix picks round out a show that is on-target and efficient, but a tad on the foul-tongued side. Fair warning.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!



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

Full show notes are under the seats…
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Review: Hanna

Hanna is badass

Director: Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, The Soloist)
Writer: Seth Lochhead, David Farr
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams
MPAA Rating: PG-13

You’ve seen Hanna before. From Angelina Jolie’s Salt to Kill Bill‘s The Bride, from Jason Bourne to Wolverine. In the business they call it genre, and this film is steeped in it (the kind of a film that makes Quentin Tarantino and Stephen King end-of-the-year lists). Without divulging much in the way of spoilers, Hanna is the story of a CIA asset that goes missing only to be found and, as you would expect, all shit breaks loose. Sprinkled about this mayhem is an affecting coming-of-age story wherein the unstoppable Frankenstein monster is a fourteen year old girl who wants to know what music feels like as much as she wants revenge. In lesser hands this delicate balance of genres would upset one or the other fan bases, but with Hanna, director Joe Wright is somehow able to maintain the momentum of both the emotional story and the high-octane action without doing a disservice to either. The result appears effortless, a steady stream of event movie-making on par with anything of the Bourne franchise.

Saoirse Ronan walks the razor’s edge of cool and vulnerable in her performance of Hanna – this curious vision of a doe-eyed, blood-speckled assassin is just one of the joys of the film. Added to this is a stellar supporting cast: Eric Bana as Hanna’s father and sole provider, Cate Blanchett (rocking a Scully do) as the formidable CIA opponent, Joe Wright regular, Tom Hollander, as the whistling psychopath-for-hire, and even a bit part for Olivia Williams as a hippie mom caught in the middle. Hollander’s Isaacs is a stand-out and a fascinating turn for this character actor typically resigned to playing daft weaklings, here, despite his stature, Isaacs is channeling Dennis Hopper from Blue Velvet, running head-on towards whatever damage he can administer. Would you like to know more…?

International trailer for Joe Wright’s Hanna


Shaping up to be the ‘guilty pleasure’ Hollywood action-fest for 2011, the UK trailer for Hanna focuses less on plot and more on Saoirse Ronan’s titlular character. Upon considering both marketing strategies, it looks like a grand time at the movies, either way. Finally (ok, I’m kidding), they made a Bourne/Salt-styled super-spy movie aimed at the teenager set – only it isn’t – particularly when you consider the art-house director, world-class cast, and the promise of it being more than a little bloody. Do you think this will go out rated R? I do.

The trailer is tucked under the seat.
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Trailer: “The Way Back”

This is about as cliché as it can possibly get kids. Peter Weir is notorious for overwrought, dramatic bullshit layered over the top of pretty heavy or epic story lines. The Way Back looks to be no different than the rest; in fact it looks like a prototype of Weir’s M.O. How many times have we seen a prison camp movie with people trying to escape or on the run? Put three zeros behind any digit and I would venture to say that guess would be pretty close to an accurate answer.

Still, if it’s been done a thousand times, there’s usually a reason. Watching human courage battling the odds (as obvious as they may be) still makes for compelling story telling. Drop in a cast of familiar faces that everyone loves (Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess and Saoirse Ronan) and you’ve probably got a critically acclaimed blockbuster on your hands.

The Way Back was scheduled to open in January, but now I guess there will be early screenings in L.A. and New York on December 29th… last minute try for the Oscars anyone? And judging from the subject matter and the straight-up “Hollywoodness” of this trailer, it’s exactly the kind of tripe that Academy eats up. At any rate, the domestic trailer was just dropped by Yahoo!, but there’s an embedded version right here. Just check under the seats…
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Jackson’s The Lovely Bones Trailer

The Lovely Bones Movie Still

With all this Hobbit talk, I’d almost forgotten that Peter Jackson had made another film. Almost.

Adapted from Alice Sebold’s novel by regular Jackson writers Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, The Love Bones is part part mystery and part drama; a story of a murdered girl who helps her family solve the mystery of her death from “heaven”. Go ahead and read that sentence again if you’d like – I had quite the time putting my head around this one. The casting is excellent: Saoirse Ronan in the lead role as Susie, Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz as her parents, Michael Imperioli as the cop investigating the murder, Susan Sarandon as the grandmother and Stanley Tucci as the murderer. If the cast isn’t enough of a sell, the inclusion of Jackson should certainly help but nothing about this trailer is speaking to me. Nothing.

Susie’s heaven looks strung together, wildly beautiful yet unimaginative, the acting looks stilted and to make matters worse, it looks like we may have to rely on Wahlberg’s performace for a part of the story (not to say he can’t be good but here he sounds more like The Happening Wahlberg than Three Kings Wahlberg). The best parts of these two minutes of video are the retro clothes, Imperioli playing the cop rather than the mobster and Tucci looking nothing like his usual self.

I’m not ready to completely write this off in hopes that this is Jackson in Heavenly Creatures mode but truth be told, I’m not feeling it.

The Love Bones opens on December 11th.

Trailer is tucked under the seat or see it in HD at Apple.

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