Movie Club Podcast #23: Crash and Crash

The FilmJunk crew has bowed out this week; but do not fret. Other exciting guests have entered the fray to help make the Movie Club Podcast go back to what it was originally intended to be: an always rotating panel of movie buffs and bloggers. This go-round sees the likes of RowThree favorites Ryan McNeil of The Matinee and Jim Laczkowski from The Director’s Club Podcast. Which Crash is your crash? Are you a lover of both, dismissive of both or somewhere in between. The sexual nuances of David Cronenberg’s 1996 Cannes award winner are teased out, while the subtleties of Paul Haggis’ Oscar winner are actively searched for. It’s a Thanksgiving Crashtacular, your mileage may vary!


The Movie Club is as much for the listeners as it is the contributors. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section over at the Movie Club Page. (Comments are turned off on this post.) The Next Episode will be recorded probably sometime in January (maybe, but do not hold us to that; regularity is not our strong suit!) and the films on discussion will be Paris, Texas and Southland Tales.

Trailer: Vanishing on 7th Street

There seem to be a lot of folks who have seen Brad Anderson’s latest, Vanishing on 7th Street, that want the film that is offered in this trailer, a post-apocalyptic action/survivor film. Instead the film is not exactly as advertised, but turns out to be an interesting enough metaphysical tale. It is smarter than people are giving it credit for, based on the usual expectations of the genre. I am not saying the film is for everyone, but I really dug it (Kurt’s Review.)

The stylish and kinetic trailer is tucked under the seat.
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Trailer: The Vanishing on 7th Street


I do enjoy me a good Brad Anderson flick. Sure, he doesn’t work out of the United States much these days, preferring Europe, which essentially means his type of genre flick is a little lower budgeted than all the ‘horror remake’ stuff going on stateside currently. Session 9, The Machinist, Transsiberian are all solid (if occasionally workmanlike) flicks. Making its debut at the 2010 edition of TIFF is Anderson’s latest, The Vanishing on 7th Street, sort of a post-apocalyptic survival film starring Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and John Leguizamo (incidentally, none of these are popular with the mainstream-genre-crowd, so casting here is a bit baffling):

From TIFF:

It starts with a power outage. Where once stood living beings are now piles of discarded clothes. The once sunny city is shrouded in blackness. Shadows creep across every surface and whispers echo in the empty streets. Is it some form of enemy attack or a swift judgment from the divine? Each passing day contains fewer daylight hours, and only those who cling to some other form of light can escape the encroaching darkness.

A small group of survivors congregate in an old bar powered by a gas generator. Luke (Hayden Christensen) is a slick TV anchor forced to live by his wits. Paul (John Leguizamo) is a lonely projectionist working in a multiplex theatre. Rosemary (Thandie Newton) is a distraught mother whose baby is missing, and James (Jacob Latimore) is a shotgun-toting kid waiting for his mother to return. With their light sources slowly dying, they must find alternative illumination and a way out of the city. Overcome with paranoia and fear, the group struggles to understand the events that have brought them together.

Nevertheless, the idea with the slowly shrinking span of daylight is a keeper, and Anderson doesn’t scrimp on character development, so here is hoping.

The full trailer is tucked under the seat.

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Cinecast Episode 144 – Feeling a bit “Rusty”

Episode 144:
Twilight is upon us! Thankfully our own expert on all things Twilight, Marina Antunes, drops by our virtual studio to offer her thoughts on the film as the guys in the row fell asleep or watched disaster flicks instead. And by popular demand, we also bring back time track listing (in the show notes below) so that you can skip over the stuff you don’t want and know right where to go to hear all about Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. We managed to catch some other stuff in theatrical release including 2012, Surrogates and the latest in the Oprah archive, Precious. Add to this our doomsday marathon, weekly DVD picks and some other bits of goodness, we hope you enjoy the show and be sure to drop us a line either by email or in the comments section below.

Thanks for listening!

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Review: 2012

Doomsday Movie Marathon


Director: Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 B.C.)
Writers: Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser
Producers: Roland Emmerich, Larry J. Franco, Harald Kloser
Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Thomas McCarthy, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 158 min.

Chaos and destruction has once again raised its ugly head in the world of Roland Emmerich; as it does every couple of years or so. Except this time there is no saving grace. There is no rocket ship to destroy an asteroid. There’s no computer virus that will snuff out the impending doom and there’s no brilliant scientist to selflessly push a button that will both make a martyr out of said scientist while simultaneously saving the planet by properly aligning the earth’s core rotation. What there is is a whole lot of wonderful effects of destruction, death and mayhem; interspersed with poorly paced melodrama, nick of time airplane escapes, overly convenient problem solves, paycheck acting, famous landmarks destroyed in seconds and of course a dog rescue.

Due to a rare aligning of all the planets that only happens once every 640,000 years, unprecedented solar flares release neutrinos that heat the earth’s core to such a temperature that enormous volcanoes erupt across the globe and earthquakes so large that they can’t even be considered earthquakes. These ruptures rip apart continents and literally turn the world upside down as the magnetic poles spin around the planet before finally the south pole actually settles over what was previously Wisconsin.

Through all of this chaos are the obligatory characters we’ve come to expect of nearly every disaster film (by Emmerich or otherwise). Jackson Curtis is a divorced father of two trying to regenerate his writing career while he watches a new husband take over his family. On a camping trip with the kids, Jackson stumbles upon a secret gov’t operation in Yellowstone National Park and a crazy, conspiracy theorist (Woody Harrelson) who was able to predict this disaster with accuracy and give Jackson all of the information he needs to possibly save his family. In an effort to remain succinct, there is also a good hearted American president, a brilliant scientist, the slimy advisor, a few potential love interests and a couple of other random civilians given to us for more dramatic impact – which lands mostly on your ass as you sit for an extra 45 minutes in the theater due to these characters.

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Emmerich Brings Destruction (Again)

2012 Movie Still

So we didn’t post it but I’m assuming that in passing most folks have heard something or other about Roland Emmerich’s upcoming film 2012 which from the title alone, I took to be some end of the world, Mayan calendar disaster movie. I was only partly right. You see, no one told me this would also be a direct ripoff of Deep Impact. So it’s not caves but spaceships. Seriously…what gives?

It stars John Cusack, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Oliver Platt and the totally awesome Chiwetel Ejiofor and includes huge special effects which are bound to attract the big crowds but I just can’t get over the fact that this is such a rehash (of already rehashed stuff). And here I was hoping for something even mildly original. At some point, I’d love to see someone do a good 2012/Mayan Calendar story.

I won’t kid you though – hubby’s already marked the calendar and I’m going whether I like it or not. At this point, I’d rather poke my eyes out.

You can see the trailer over at Yahoo. Personally, I prefer the teaser trailer; it had more doom and gloom.