Trailer: Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs

So, well within the vein of Fantastic Mr. Fox, comes Wes Anderson’s Japan-set new stop-motion animated feature. Isle of Dogs was not penned by Roald Dahl, but Anderson and his team certainly made Fantastic Mr. Fox their own when they adapted it for the big screen, and this feels almost like a sequel. Many of the Anderson regulars, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Fisher Stevens are here, with some new voices added including Scarlett Johansson (who does a LOT of voice work these days), Greta Gerwig, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston and Liev Schreiber. It looks familiar and great, and really, Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of the best things to happen to feature length animation some time, even if Anderson directed it over the phone from Paris to London.

The film gets a wide release date, March 23, 2018.

Cinecast Episode 465 – Ny Ny York

Award season is upon us and from here on out we’ll be diving into a lot of so-called “Oscar Contenders.” Perhaps no other film in 2016 is as universally lauded as Damien Chazelle’s La La Land starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Andrew and Kurt are finally able to put a discussion to this picture after Kurt had seen it months ago at The TIFF. Is it quite the spectacle everyone claims? From there, we quickly pound through a Watch List that includes Mozart in the Jungle, some b-level (c-level?) sci-fi horror pictures, Wes Anderson at his “most mature” and venture back to the Satruday morning cartoon cereals. This episode is kept a little tighter this week. If you want a little more from the guys, be sure to check out The Super Ticket with the Mamo Matts in which we talk a little movie called Star Wars Rogue One.

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

We’re now available on Google Play!



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Mondays Suck Less in The Third Row

Check out these links:
Mark Kermode on Jaws @ 40.
The Most Egregious Acting Oscar-Snubs of the Past 10 Years
Errol Morris on Typography and Truth
For Fans of the Plot of Serial, The Undisclosed Podcast
The World’s Largest Shipyard?

Re-live 1980s Cheese with Green Screen and Vector Graphics and Hitler: Kung Fury

The Cinematography Strategy of Fast-Cutting on Fury Road

Wes Anderson Parody Trailers are a Dime-a-Dozen. The editing is strong in this one.

Shia LaBeouf cautions against living in a van down by the river

The Unauthorized Biography of Vincent Price

Josh Olson on the Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean

In praise of The Chairs in Cinema

Cinecast Episode 382 – Warm and Foreign


The one in which Kurt doesn’t realize he’s the winner of a (much controversial) bet. In exchange, buys Andrew a present for his sunken heart after The Oscar results. We dive headlong into The Academy Awards with all its ins and outs and what-have-yous with Neil Patrick Harris and the face touching and the boring music and the severe lack of montages and the… hey hey hey don’t hurt me. We do recognize Julianne Moore as a favorite however, and we praise her Oscar win with a heartfelt review of the quite good, Still Alice. The Watch List rattles on with pro wrestling, Cronenberg, submarine movies are always awesome and… Aeon Flux? Yeah.

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 376 – 2014 in Review: Ski Lifts & Psychological Rape

We needed a referee. Seriously. And unless it’s Jesse “The Body” Ventura, we might as well not even bother. The rampages on 2014-in-film are epic: Battles are fought, won, lost and lines are drawn in the sand (Cross this line, you DO NOT…) Also, Jim Laczkowski from The Director’s Club Podcast is here to help us figure out Inherent Vice. Is it “pure shit” or “something that needs to be seen 18 times to enjoy”? And where does Matt Gamble come down within the argument? Shortly after tackling the critical darling that seems to be Selma, we look at all of the trends and highs and lows of 2014: from lack of strong female performances to computer desktop horror to the importance of ski lifts and dog revenge. Everything culminated in our annual top ten list and figuring out the odds (or lack thereof) of best picture winner.

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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Mamo #345: Veronica Mamo

10 years after Serenity, what do we make of the latest fanbase-cum-motion-picture boondoggle, Veronica Mars, and its digital-download boondoggle, UltraViolet? Plus conversation about The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ghostbusters III, Star Wars VII, and more vidja game movies. Also, be careful: we speak out about Apple, which apparently carries vast cosmic karmic consequences.

To download this episode, use this URL:

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…?

Red Band Trailer: The Grand Budapest Hotel

After breaking per screen average records at the box office for its LA/NY release this weekend, the kind folks at Indian Paintbrush have cut a Red Band trailer for Wes Anderson’s latest. Focusing on the more vulgar linguistic elements in the film, it nevertheless gives a much more thorough picture of the marvellous central character, Gustav H. A little crudeness is necessary to get the full appreciation of just how good Fiennes is in this film.

My review of the The Grand Budapest Hotel is here.

Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

An enormous hotel perched at the top of a mountain, a grand old European country on the cusp of war, headlines sprawled across the local broadsheet, the one with the charming moniker of the Trans-Alpine Yodel: Wes Anderson’s latest is a truffle of pageantry which barters the pathos intrinsic to his previous work (Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, even Fantastic Mr. Fox which is this films closest analogue in the auteur’s growing oeuvre) for the overstuffed frippery and copious quirk that his critics tend to use as a bludgeon when fail to see the trees for the forest. Like Mendl’s chocolates so often on display in The Grand Budapest Hotel, everything is elaborately packaged and constructed out of tastefully ostentatious pastel, and contains far more empty calories than actual nourishment, but no matter, they are ‘the finest.’

The film is more ephemeral than anything the director has ever done; it is that murder-mystery party you and your pals dress up for in a suburban living room as a convoluted excuse to hang out without the bother of attempting any kind of meaningful conversation. All that being said, the The Grand Budapest Hotel is also effervescent, pitch perfect in its pacing, celebratory in its bursts of vulgarity, and hilarious with its mannered turns of phrase. It would be dishonest, and a tad uncharitable of me to deny that I had an absolute buzz on during its fleet 100 minutes and laughed out loud far more time than any comedy made in the past 15 years.

Gustav H. is said to be the most perfumed man in Europe and is gainfully employed as the fussy head concierge at the eponymous Grand Budapest – a hotel situated near the painted backdrop of Carpathian peaks in Hungary, accessible by funicular. Ralph Fiennes becomes thoroughly immersed in the comedy and pomp of this mythic character, and plays the type of control freak that director Wes Anderson has self-deprecated himself in a series of Visa advertisements from a few years ago. Gustav H. glides, perhaps even plows, through the high ceilinged lobby of the GBH making quippy criticism and snappy correction of the aesthetic choices of the staff, elaborating on proper posture and behaviour, and in confident command on how the entire hotel-machine is run; this without so much as getting winded. He is a man on a beer budget with champagne taste who has a habit of discreetly wooing the elderly rich and royal guests, perhaps as a way to ‘inherit’ his way out of his class-situation. One of these matrons, Madame D., is played by Tilda Swinton, sporting impeccable old-age make-up to bring her up to an octogenarian state, who promptly kicks the bucket and leaves a large fortune and an even larger number of heirs (and estate staff) looking for what is theirs. Madam D.’s last will and testament consist of a heaping pile of scraps of paper that is cumbersomely carted in by her lawyer (Jeff Goldblum with notable spectacles, wondrous facial hair sitting at a desk made entirely from antlers), that will take ages to disentangle, but her top priority, the last thing she wrote was to gift a priceless painting (“Boy with Apple”) to Gustav H. much to the chagrin of Madame’s eldest son, Adrien Brody; here repurposing his Salvador Dali caricature to great effect as a blustering, rather ineffectual villain.

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Friday One Sheet: All Budapest All The Time – MEET THE CAST

We simply cannot get enough of the key art from Wes Andreson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Here you are offered the boisterous size of the cast based on their mail slot tags in the lobby. You also get all their character names, but really the emphasis is on “LOOK AT THAT CAST!” in a big way. As for attention to detail, if you look closely (large version here) you will see that each of the reinforcement ring on each of the tag is stressed differently.

****UPDATED**** The new trailer is below, and introduces the cast analogous to the poster above – and it is marvelous, simply marvelous.