James Horner. 1953 – 2015

Composer James Horner passed on yesterday in a plane crash while flying his Embraer EMB 312 Tucano turboprop aircraft. Horner, like many film score composers, has a massive list of film credits, including most of James Cameron’s filmography (From Aliens to Avatar), most of Ron Howard’s filmogarphy (From Willow to A Beautiful Mind), most of Mel Gibson’s directed films (Braveheart to Apocalypto) and so many more. Take a ride with the Fire-mares below from the camp classic Krull.

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Cinecast Episode 300 – Lets Talk Some Shit!

For our MEGA-SUPER-DUPER-EXTRAVAGANZA episode 300, we do what we always do, talk casually about movies. Seriously folks, despite our inability to properly plan for these big milestone episodes, we appreciate our listening audience mightily, and their ongoing interaction on the site and by email and other means. To kick off the show, Andrew reads some listener mail which gets us right down into the minutiae of Park Chan-Wook’s Stoker (again.) This is a film we love to talk about! Kurt skims across the surface of three profound science fiction epics, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris and Sunshine before getting mired in the bizarre world of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk with Me. We talk the legacy of James Cameron’s Titanic in all its goofy glory, as well as boats and tigers novel adaptations with Life of Pi. And we leave with a bang in the form of homo-erotic riff on Sergio Leone by way of Bill Murray’s Quick Change – the 1967 Japanese-noir-gangster-western A Colt Is My Passport.

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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Mamo #255: Knowing is Half the Battle

We circle back in 360 Screenings (previously featured on the podcast here) and discuss our reactions to the inaugural event, where we stepped into the world of Ghost. Plus, the summer 2012 box office shenanigans just keep coming: Men In Black 3 underpeforms, and G.I. Joe 2 clears clean out of the year altogether. Battleship might’ve sunk, but was Titanic the year’s most significant success?

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo255.mp3

Movies We Watched

Sometimes we watch stuff that we want to talk just a little bit about, not a full review worth. These are those films. If any of the films reviewed are available on Netflix Instant Watch (US or Canada) or HuluPlus (US only), we’ll note that by putting a direct link below the capsule.

Red Planet

2000 USA. Director: Antony Hoffman. Starring: Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Benjamin Bratt, Tom Sizemore, Simon Baker, Terence Stamp.

This is my kind of B-Movie… one that actually takes itself deadly serious but remains no less shitty and fun to watch. I enjoyed this so much I am almost inspired to rewatch DePalma’s Mission to Mars to see who out-camps who. The writers of Red Planet sought to compile the most space cliche elements they could find into 90 minutes, it is kind of remarkable how many films it emulates, worthy of a drinking game. Despite being the captain of the spaceship and worthy of some nominal authoritative import, Carrie-Anne Moss is perpetually leered at by the camera, including a goofy shower scene, and some downright absurd nipples-popping through shirt shots as she barks order over an intercom to Houston. Now that is my kind of captain. Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore are at that point in their careers where they still got it, and they are pretty fun to watch. Terrence Stamp fumbles through the film with some of the worst dialogue to spew, as the writers crowbar in the science vs. religion theme in laughable doses. Despite all of these goofy parts of the film it at times is surprisingly competent visually, some interesting ship and costume design, a couple interesting action sequences. I am giving it four stars not because it is so bad it is good, but because it is that unique hybrid where the bad parts are fun but there are good parts that kind of hold it all together to make it as a whole, an enjoyable space romp.

The Sitter

2011 USA. Director: David Gordon Green. Starring: Sam Rockwell, Jonah Hill, Max Records, Ari Graynor.

Not horrible, but not very good either. At this point, David Gordon Green needs to earn back my trust before I see anything he does ever again. Jonah Hill is kind of funny and he keeps the movie watchable. I definitely lol’d a few times. I also liked the idea of giving each of the kids their own story arc even if it is kind of shallow and obvious. It was interesting watching this movie with Adventures in Babysitting sitting at the forefront of my brain. Comparing and contrasting always gives a film some sort of merit. Altogether, funny bits but fairly disposable stuff.

Jonah Hill is funny.

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Cameron’s Leaked Oscar Acceptance Speech

An eternity ago when Cameron won the best picture/director Oscar for his titanic Titanic, we proclaimed he was the king of the world. Going down in Oscar history as quite the prolific and some might argue, pompous, acceptance speeches of all time, Cameron has sat down and prepped out what he’s going to say on the big stage “when” he wins again this year for the even more titanic, Avatar. Luckily, Vanity Fair stole a copy of Cameron’s notes for that upcoming speech and has shared it with the world…

read the final 3 (yes, 3) pages that I’ve tacked up under the seats:
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Cinecast Episode 145 – Animalistic Nature

Episode 145:

Fantastic Mr. Fox opens this weeks show on a fantastic note and is followed up quickly by a fantastically epic episode. An Education gets a lengthy (fantastic) mention as well as Cormac McCarthy’s fantastic novel adaptation, The Road – which finally got a slightly wider release last week. Not such a fantastic week in the DVD department but that is more than made up for with fantastic discussions on the fantastic Noah Baumbach, Coppola Siblings, James Cameron and introducing kids to the fantastic Star Wars trilogy. Thanks so much for checking out this fantastic show and feel free to leave your thoughts (let them be fantastic!) in the comment section below. As snobby as we may sound, we love to hear discussion and/or disagreement from any of our fantastic regular or fist time listeners.

Thanks for listening!

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Will the 3D Madness Ever End?

Titanic3DWhenever a new 3D feature is announced, I can’t help but get a little queasy at the very thought of seeing it. Sure, some have the option of either standard or 3D screenings but when a film is specifically designed for 3D, I can’t help but feel that I may miss something integral to the experience by not taking it in the way the filmmaker intended and so, I trek to the theatre and hunker down for a probable headache at the other end. To make matters worse, very few films take full advantage of the technology choosing instead for the awe factor instead of what suits and enriches the story.

We all know it’s a trend one that, unless James Cameron’s Avatar really is as groundbreaking as the buzz suggests, will go the way of the Dodo soon but when I see these stories, I can’t help but wonder: will it ever end? Do we really need a 3D re-issue of Titanic? I can see the argument that the scenes of the sinking ship could be great in 3D but the film was never intended as a 3D film and what will this gimmick really add? A few more bucks to the line the pockets of the studio and that’s about it.

Am I missing the added value that 3D will bring to Titanic or does this seem as pointless to everyone else as it does to me?

Review: Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road poster

Director: Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead)
Novel: Richard Yates
Screenplay: Justin Haythe
Producers: Bobby Cohen, John Hart, Sam Mendes, Scott Rudin
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, David Harbour, Michael Shannon
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 119 min.

While the reuniting of Kate and Leo might be the big news in the eyes of the general public and mainstream media, for me this gossipy-esque reunion news couldn’t interest me less. However, DiCaprio and Winslett are two performers who NEVER let down their audience and are always on my favorites list. Put them under the direction of Sam Mendes and the potential for greatness is sparked. With that spark, was there enough fuel for fire? In a word, “oh hell yes.”

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett in Revolutionary RoadSet in the 1950’s, the film opens with Frank Wheeler and April (DiCaprio and Winslett) meeting for the first time at a party. Flash forward a few years and they’re married. Flash forward a few years and they have 2 kids, boring, dead-end jobs and life is difficult and dull. And they fight… a lot. Sick of the pointless bickering and stagnancy of their dreary life, they hatch a plan to escape with the kids to France to live a whole new, exciting life. What they’ll do exactly and how they’ll make a living when they get there is only worked out in a superficial sort of way. Of course the neighborhood and co-workers are secretly up in arms about the scheme, but Frank and April are adamant about the adventure. That is until some unforeseeable circumstances provide obstacles that the two may not be able to overcome.

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