Trailer: The Revenant

Bears, Hypothermia, Buried Alive and Tom Hardy, O My! Leonardo DiCaprio goes full on Grizzly Adams in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s long take snow-caked visceral revenge western. We were teased earlier this year with the bleak gorgeous images and ambitious shot-length strategy of the film earlier this year, but this new trailer offers a lot more Tom Hardy, who plays the villain of the piece, and a fair bit more of the plot of the film.

After being left for dead and buried alive after a bear attack, Hugh Glass (A Grizzly Adams bearded Leonardo DiCaprio) seeks out the sonuvabitch (Tom Hardy) who also had a hand in murdering his son. Vengeance and long-take action sequences ensue.

The whole thing looks to be gloriously next-level-big-canvas epic, as Alejandro González Iñárritu continues his mission (along with his Mexican cohort, Alfonso Cuaron) to re-evaluate film grammar and the long take the digital age of cinema.

TIFF 2015 Review: Legend

Brian Helgeland’s Legend owes more than just passing “respects” to Goodfellas. It should kneel, kiss its ring and swear to handle whatever favours are asked of it. From its use of period precise music to its narration to long take club-entering shots, Legend shoots for that Scorsese vibe and view of the intoxicating power of gangster life. It doesn’t achieve that of course (primarily due to far too many moments that are inexcusably mundane), but still manages to keep a good pace and remain mostly entertaining. And that is primarily due to two key performances: those of Tom Hardy and also Tom Hardy.

Legend covers the rise and reign of the Kray brothers – the legendary gangster twin siblings who grew up in London’s East End. As the film opens, the pair are already local celebrities who ingratiate themselves with the neighbourhood while also running protection rackets and a few nightclubs. Reggie has business sense and can put things into context, but can also suddenly “lose his temper”. As violent as he can be, it feels controlled and with purpose. His brother Ron, however, is all instinct, fight first and ask questions never. He feels that when in doubt, it’s always best to stir things up. He doesn’t easily mix in with general society, though has no issues in openly proclaiming his bisexuality even though the film takes place during the 50s-60s. He begins the film in an asylum, but is released after a little “convincing” of his doctor by Reggie. Clearly no one believes he is in his right mind due to his appetite for mayhem, but Reggie wants/needs him out – they’re brothers after all. Though Reggie wrestles with it occasionally, Ron always wins the competition for Reggie’s allegiance – a battle fought more often after Reggie marries the beautiful young Frances (Emily Browning with a fantastic supporting performance by her cheekbones). Though not necessarily looking to give up “the life”, Reggie does somewhat long to simply run his new club in the West End. It’s profitable, the rich & famous drop by and it’s a sign that they have moved towards conquering all of London and acquiring that broader respect. Of course, that doesn’t fit with Ron’s plans and he actively destroys the regular clientele when Reggie has to do a short spell in prison.

Would you like to know more…?

Friday One Sheet: Legend

The notorious Kray Brothers, Britian’s two most famous gangsters, are getting the big screen treatment with Tom Hardy in the lead. And the poster (much like Ridley Scott’s 2007 mafia pic, American Gangster) is an sleek update on the iconic one sheet from Brian DePalma’s Scarface. Only here, the black and white versions of Tom Hardy are quite literal, as he will be playing both brothers. If you want to see just how good this is in an era post-Winklevoss, give the trailer for Legend a look, I have included it below.

Cinecast Episode 396 – Rated ‘R’ for Mood

row31-640

 

It has finally happened. Matt Gamble shows up and forces a co-host to say enough is enough and leave the room. In these parts, it is probably the best way to handle things until cooler heads prevail – which takes a few minutes. You might think is the grotesquery on display in Fury Road or the non-necessity of the Pitch Perfect sequel becoming this weekends box-office champ. But No. Appropriately it is the Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 6. If Beinioff and Weiss, HBO’s show-runners are looking for a reaction, they have gotten it… Things devolve into semantics, call it the “Daybreaker’s Effect.” But fear not, intrepid listener with ringing ears, we move on to happier, less controversial places created by Mike Judge, Neil Marshall and Alfred Hitchcock.

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

 

 
 

 

Would you like to know more…?

Review: Mad Max Fury Road

There and back again, a breeders tale.

When you boil all of the fireworks and prop-fetish out of the latest Mad Max film, Fury Road, you really have simplicity. The women are fed up with the men using them as chattel – literally, as seen in a human dairy farm made for the purposes of feeding the big-bad, Immorten Joe, and his mutant children, ‘mothers milk.’ The remaining, less tethered, women decide to leave, but then, given few options for emigration in a desert planet, decide to return. Vehicular mayhem of the likes never put up on screen in the history of cinema ensues. And there are consequences of upsetting the social order of things, mostly the crashing and burning of things, but a few lessons are learned along the way.

Mad Max, at least in the ever-increasing-in-budget sequels, has always been the iconic Ronin who wanders into town, tipping the scale of social order by his masculine independence. He is a symbol in a world of warlords and cowering, dirty plebian peasants.

In the rather muddled opening prologue seemingly run at 1.5x speed and laden with superfluous micro-flashbacks of the disappointed children who have taken root in Max’s subconscious, Max is captured by Immorten Joe’s ‘War Boys,’ stripped of his V8 Interceptor, and arrives at the Citadel to coincide with the younger women, those not tied to a milking apparatus, making their exodus. The gambit involves the outposts only female warrior, Charlize Theron here a hard-beaten alloy of Pris, Cherry Darling, Meredith Vickers, and Sarah Connor folded to steel and decorated in cosmetic axel-grease foundation. Imperator Furiosa has a plan to smuggle out the last of humanity’s corn-fed center-fold DNA to the mythical ‘green place,’ beyond the desert sandstorms under the guise of a regular gasoline and ammunition resupply run. Joe straps on his Vader-meets-Bane breathing apparatus and engages in pursuit. Max gets entangled.

Fury Road is essentially a remake of the (superior) template-setting 1981 sequel, The Road Warrior. It replaces gasoline with lady-flesh clad in fluttery white maternity wear, and aims to get way-the-fuck-beyond the Thunderdome. This is helped considerably by hundreds of millions of 21st century studio dollars. For George Miller nerds, there are enough callbacks to the original films (from actors to onscreen images) to fuel a good sized jerrycan. The wild practical stunts involving vehicles and men leaping from car to truck to monster-truck, or dangling from poles and any number of resulting slap-stick visual gags buried in a modern CGI spectacle reminded me more of the set-pieces in Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger than George Miller’s previous desert chases. Perhaps this seeded the desire for the film to be about how we watch these kind of movies. Maybe it is.

Would you like to know more…?

Final Fury Road Trailer

The final, Mad Max: Fury Road trailer popped up online yesterday. It features much of the wild tone and imagery of all the previous trailers, but this one exists more or less to communicate the actual story beats.

At this point, I’m not sure what Warner Brother’s feels they need to sell with the film, either people are chomping at the bit to see the promised insanity and over-the-top imagery, or they have decided it is not for them.

I’d argue that the marketing folks nailed everything there is to nail with the Comic-Con trailer last year, with its Clockwork Orange meets massive post-apocalyptic chase imagery, but if need to scratch the itch for a few new bits of Fury Road before the films May 15th release date, this trailer more than hits the spot.

First Look: Mad Max Fury Road

madmax-magcover[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #a9a883;”] O [/dropcap]ut side of some kids’ films, the great George Miller hasn’t been behind a camera for nearly 20 years. What he has done has been slightly better than mediocre but I don’t think I’m alone in saying I’m ecstatic that he’s going back to his post-apocalyptic roots with more Mad Max in Mad Max: Fury Road ! Tom Hardy will be in the titular role and along for the sure-to-be high-octane ride is Charlize Theron (apparently with some sort of robotic, prosthetic arm), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Nicholas Hoult and Zoë Kravitz.

The closest we have come to visiting the Mad Max world on any kind of a budget was in 2007s (awesome) Doomsday from Neil Marshall. And if these pictures released in the July 4th issue of “Entertainment Weekly” are any indication, this going to be awesome; plain, simple and pure.

Take a look and tell me you’re not excited (so that I can ban you from the third row 😉 )

[tabs slidertype=”images” auto=”yes” autospeed=”5000″] [imagetab width=”640″ height=”396″] http://www.rowthree.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mmfr01.jpg [/imagetab] [imagetab width=”640″ height=”396″] http://www.rowthree.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mmfr02.jpg [/imagetab] [imagetab width=”640″ height=”396″] http://www.rowthree.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mmfr03.jpg [/imagetab] [imagetab width=”640″ height=”396″] http://www.rowthree.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mmfr04.jpg [/imagetab] [imagetab width=”640″ height=”396″] http://www.rowthree.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mmfr05.jpg [/imagetab] [imagetab width=”640″ height=”396″] http://www.rowthree.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mmfr06.jpg [/imagetab]

[/tabs]

Review: Lawless

Director: John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road)
Screenplay: Nick Cave (The Proposition)
Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 115 min


I don’t think that this is the film that John Hillcoat or Nick Cave wanted. That’s not to say that Lawless is bad – far from it. In fact, I’d say that there are quite a few moments of brilliance, which is to be expected considering the enormous talent involved. Yet, just like the title was altered from The Wettest County in the World to The Promised Land to The Wettest County to, finally, Lawless, one gets the sense that producers had a hand in more than simply a title change.

Would you like to know more…?

Trailer: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

It doesn’t always work out so well for acclaimed European directors when they take on English-language films – remember Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck with The Tourist or Tom Tykwer with The International or Timur Bekmambetov with Wanted? Maybe only going as far west as the UK is a good idea, because early signs suggest that Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson might have a better time. The first trailer just dropped for his English-language debut Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy, based on John le Carré’s best-selling novel. Le Carré is well-known for writing excellent and realistic Cold War-era spy thrillers, and it looks like the film follow through on that, with a serious but urgent tone thanks to the driving string score. There’s a Russian mole at MI6, and just check out the cast list we’ve got working on ferreting the weasel out: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Ciaran Hinds. Wow. I’m down for that cast, that director, OR that source material, so all three together should be pretty awesome.

Looks like the film releases September 16th in the UK and November 18th in the US. Check below the seats for the trailer.

Would you like to know more…?

Everyone Loved “The King’s Speech” – Especially Britain

About a month ago I told everyone I know to mark David Fincher’s The Social Network on their Oscar ballot right now. It was a lock. It’s over. Guaranteed. While I will be sticking with that pick, it’s looking more and more like a closer race than I thought. The King’s Speech has been eating up audiences and the buzz is pretty much at its peak. On top of that, it nabbed 7 BAFTA’s last night (winning half of their 12 nominations) which just keeps the freight train a truckin’. Having said that, Fincher did get the win for Best Director and Best Screenplay, so I think there’s still a chance his film will get Best Picture come Oscar day.

Other than that, nothing here all that surprising or hard to predict. Another ho-hum Oscar season in which just about everything is either a lock or a 1 in 2 chance of winning. So just like last year, it seems there are really only two horses in this race. Who will cross the finish line first?

BAFTA Winners:

Best Film
The King’s Speech

Outstanding British Film
The King’s Speech

Director
David Fincher – The Social Network

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer
Chris Morris – Four Lions

Leading Actor
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

Leading Actress
Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Supporting Actor
Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech

Supporting Actress
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech

Original Screenplay
The King’s Speech – David Seidler

Adapted Screenplay
The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin

Film Not In The English Language
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Animated Film
Toy Story 3

Original Music
The King’s Speech – Alexandre Desplat

Cinematography
True Grit – Roger Deakins

Editing
The Social Network – Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter

Production Design
Inception – Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias, Doug Mowa

Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland – Colleen Atwood

Sound
Inception – Richard King, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A Rizzo, Ed Novick

Special Visual Effects
Inception – Corbould, Franklin, Lockley, Bebb

Make Up & Hair
Alice in Wonderland – Valli O’Reilly, Paul Gooch

Short Animation
The Eagleman Stag – Michael Pleas

Short Film
Until the River Runs Red – Paul Wright, Poss Kondeatis

Orange Wednesdays Rising Award
Tom Hardy

 
 

Anne Hathaway Cast as Cat Woman

          

 
The title of this post pretty much says it all. I’m only posting as an excuse to do a Google image search for this year’s Oscar co-host and then imagine her in tight black leather.

In related news, recent new RowThree favorite, Tom Hardy, will also appear in the film as a villain known as Bane. We know he can bulk up and be absolutely a terrifying person (see Bronson or Star Trek: Nemesis), so this sounds like it should work out just swimmingly.

So while I haven’t given much thought to Christopher Nolan’s next (and supposedly final) chapter in his Batman franchise, this casting news seems pretty sweet to me. What say you?