Cinecast Episode 383 – Dogpocalypse


Ever walk into a typical coffee shop, order a basic cup of joe and think to yourself, “well this is a much nicer brew of java than I would have expected!”? This is how we bookend this weeks review on the show. While we rarely dive into “the news” on The Cinecast, the passing of Leonard Nimoy, the magnificent Mr. Spock himself, is an important issue that both Andrew and Kurt feel needs addressing; as does Harrison Ford in another Blade Runner movie. Meanwhile, canines take over the city in White Dog God, which the boys discuss despite Andrew’s screener conking out at the halfway mark (Kurt managed to get it all in however).

In The Watch List, Andrew tackles two more films on the IMDb 250 Project after defending the choice of using such a list for viewing fodder, while Kurt caught up with a Wong Kar-Wai influenced piece of joy in Millenium Mambo as well. Kurt also gives a brief sneak review of Jay Cheel’s ( How to Build a Time Machine based on the current work-print (fair warning). Lastly, Liam Neeson goes smokes on airplanes and Anne Hathaway is cute then sexy. All in an evening’s work here in the third row.

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




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Mamo #306: The Death of the Film Critic, Part Deux

Critics reacted to M. Night Shyamalan and Will Smith’s After Earth and fans reacted right back, in the only way they know how: erratically. With more layoffs at “real” publications, and Twitter telling us what we already think anyway, is proper film criticism dead?

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Mamo #283: Mamo Into Darkness

With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey still dangling like a high frame rate sugar plum mere days away, and Skyfall back in first place, we turn our attention to Star Trek: Into Darkness, and the perils of being J.J. Abrams. Plus: between Oblivion and After Earth; is it science fiction time again?

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Jaden Smith vs. Killer Earth in “After Earth” Trailer

After Earth

I didn’t know M. Night Shyamalan was working on a sequel to The Happening but looking at After Earth, it looks like that’s exactly what the writer director has been cooking up with the Smiths.

Humans have killed Earth (mother nature didn’t win after all), abandoned it and created a new home for themselves on Nova Prime, and now a man and his son have crash landed on old earth to find that it’s not only alive and well but that everything on the planet, plants and animals alike, have evolved over the last 1,000 years with one purpose: to kill humans.

The concept of two people crash landing on Earth a thousand years after we left isn’t a bad one but this has a few worrisome aspects, first and foremost being that M Night Shyamalan, who hasn’t exactly been on the upswing over the last few years, is not only directing but also co-writing (though the fact that Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta does give me a glimmer of hope). At least this time it won’t be weird if the trees are killing people since Will Smith essentially tells us that in the voice over for the trailer. It also doesn’t bode particularly well that most of the movie will comprise of Jaden Smith walking around, or more accurately running and flying around, a CG planet, and though there are other cast members listed, the trailer makes it look like it’s just Jaden vs. Killer Earth.

It might all work out and I hope it does because I love a good dose of big budget sci-fi but I’m not holding my breath.

After Earth opens June 7, 2013.

Trailer: Men in Black (Cubed)

By the time you get up to the second sequel or more, you either have to go to Europe or go back in time. It appears that Men In Black 3 has chosen the latter route. The wacky-deadpan tone of things, the signature of the series, can easily support such an easy choice; as evidenced by Josh Brolin playing a young Tommy Lee Jones in the 1960s. Does anyone have any loyalty to this franchise, or is a 3rd go-around with wacky aliens, shiny weaponry and crisp G-men suits one too many? Or in MiB speak: “Is this old and busted or new hotness?”

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

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American Remake of Oldboy Dead?



I‘m sure many of us around here will be glad to hear this news: The planned Steven Spielberg-Will Smith Oldboy film has halted in the negotiation stages and now looks as if it’s dead in the water. Latino Review has a tip that production companies Mandate and DreamWorks didn’t see eye to eye, negotiation for the rights to the manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya (on which Park Chan-Wook’s incredible Korean film was based) have fallen through and DreamWorks is walking away from the project.

/Film and Film School Rejects wonder if it’s still possible that another production company might just pick up where DreamWorks left off, but let’s just keep our fingers crossed this is the end of it, okay? Going off the original manga was at least a better idea than a direct remake of Park’s film, but come on. Oldboy is a pretty perfect film as it is, and everyone should just rent that one. I can only imagine the happy/sentimental ending it would’ve gotten in an American version.

And anyone else working on remaking a foreign film that’s only a few years old? Please stop. Now. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Let Me In. /pipe dream)

“Earth vs. Moon” Update

Way back in April of 2008 I put up a post about some rumbling of a movie called Earth vs. The Moon. At the time, I was just curious about the film based purely off of the title and the comment section of that post became epic in scale and is still one of the best discussions to ever come out of the RowThree archives. Today as I browse around, I found a little bit more information about this project: what it’s about, who it’s coming from and an approximate time frame of when we might get to see this.

First of all, the story is penned by the writers of the upcoming Zombieland (Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) starring Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg.

“It’s about two societies at war, but it’s also about a family, not at war, but a fractured family. Half of them have gone to the moon and the other half are still on Earth and so they are on opposite sides of this conflict and we wanted to make sure that as big of movie as it’s going to be, it works on a small level. It works on a personal level, the way we like to think about Zombieland working. It’s just this huge post-apocalyptic landscape, but we really want it to work on an interpersonal level for just a few people who are the stars.”

So to me this sounds like an updated version of The Civil War TV mini-series, North and South… in space. The writers go on to talk about how this will be a giant budget movie or not at all and they want Will Smith to star. Alright, so I’m one of the few who loves Independence Day, but c’mon. Why can’t you make this awesome on a smaller budget and with a little less Hollywood polish? Does District 9 ring a bell guys? Especially right after they get done saying that they got the idea based off of a speech from Stephen Hawking in which he talks about “the necessity to colonize other worlds because of the inherent dangers on Earth: nuclear dangers, biological dangers, and the need to have a back-up society.” So you’ve got a smart idea and you’re going to dumb it down? Not a good idea.

Still, we’ve got Zombieland to look forward to and if that is as fun as it looks, I still have hope.

Bookmarks for July 11th through July 15th


What we’ve been reading – July 11th through July 15th:

Cinecast Episode 116 – Knowing is Half the Battle


Episode 116:
We’re back with a little Knowing this week. A lot of Knowing actually. Then it’s on to some other tidbits of goodness, DVDs and Spike Jonze.

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Below the fold are the Show Notes…
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Today, We Celebrate… Our Independence Day!

Don\'t Make Plans for August

My first real experience with true Summer Blockbuster hype that I can really remember was Independence Day (or ID4 as some of the promotional materials touted it as). I was 20 years old and walked into the flashy new theater at the Mall of America (which is now a completely crap theater) around 4:30 in the afternoon, only to find out that ID4 was sold out for every screening until 10:50 that evening. “Holy shit” I thought. I’ve never seen this before. I convinced my girlfriend at the time to hang out at the mall all day until our screening at 10:50 that night. Reluctantly she agreed. And I’m so glad she did. It was the most memorable and maybe the best theater experience I’ve ever had in my life. And probably why I saw the movie in the theater at least 5 times back in late ’96.

Now, does ID4 have some holes and get a little cheesy here and there? Most certainly. Is some of the dialogue a little corny? Yeah. But the rest of the film is so enjoyable and successful and cool and fun and exciting that these very minor problems are so easy to overlook. Instead of the typical review, I’ll assume everyone’s seen the movie and present a list of reasons why I love ID4 so much (currently at #53 on my list of favorite movies of all time) and why I had such a great experience.

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Review: Hancock

Hancock one-sheet

Director: Peter Berg (The Rundown, Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom)
Writers: Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan
Producers: Akiva Goldsman, James Lassiter, Michael Mann, Will Smith
Starring: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Jae Head, Eddie Marsan
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 92 min

There are movies, flicks, film and cinema. Each of us has their own measure of what precisely each of those values quantify. For me, Hancock definitely falls under the category of movie. Big action, big stars, big effects and a little bit of drama thrown in to keep the movie from getting too stale or too close to the “flick” side of things. For a new take on the superhero genre with a bit deeper of a story, Hancock largely succeeds at what it sets out to do. Although not without some clunkiness along the way.

John Hancock (Smith) is a rogue super-hero in Los Angeles. Superman strength, skin like steel and of course the ability to take to the skies on a whim. The only one of his kind, he feels ostracized from society and thus resides as sort of a recluse and becomes a binge drinker. But when trouble comes calling, Hancock is always willing to help out; but not before usually causing quite a bit of trouble himself (destroying buildings, tearing up roadways, blowing up vehicles, etc). When one day he saves the life of a go-getter, entrepreneur P.R. rep named Ray (Bateman) from being killed, it sparks an idea in the young idealist’s head: make Hancock a better person by representing him as sort of his agent. Ray’s first step is to convince this foul mouthed, binge drinking asshole of a superhero to reprimand himself to state prison and go to AA meetings and anger management classes; all the while teaching Hancock about what a real superhero does and how he behaves. It’s a struggle, but they both work through it together as best they can – much to the chagrin of Ray’s wife Mary played by a Charlize Theron.
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