OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL & THE ABCS OF DEATH: CFQ Spotlight Podcast 4:10

The Shamrock Shake is Back for a Limited Time? C'MON!: James Franco and Mila Kunis en route in OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL.
The Shamrock Shake is Back for a Limited Time? C'MON!: James Franco and Mila Kunis en route in OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL.

Another film that answers questions we didn’t ask, OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL is a prequel showing how the magical land over the rainbow got its formidable-but-all-too-fallible wizard. Director Sam Raimi makes his 3D debut in this big-budget project, recruiting James Franco as his soon-too-be Oz, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams as a trio of witches good and wicked, and Zach Braff and Joey King voicing some of the kingdom’s more magical inhabitants: a flying monkey and a China girl. Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons bought a round-trip ticket to this fantasy world, and are back to discuss whether the newer actors live up to their original counterparts in 1939’s THE WIZARD OF OZ, if the CG-enhanced visuals add new grandeur to the predecessor’s production design, and if the entire experience is more like a wild ride into a tornado or a soporific stroll through a field of poppies.
Also: Steve gives his opinion of THE ABCS OF DEATH, and what’s coming to theaters next week.

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THE BOURNE LEGACY: CFQ Spotlight Podcast 3:32

Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz struggle for legitimacy of their selves and a film franchise in THE BOURNE LEGACY.
Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz hit the road in THE BOURNE LEGACY.

The actual Bourne legacy is that what was always intended to be a trilogy was so successful that it compelled Universal to find some way to continue the franchise without star Matt Damon (clearly the DOCTOR WHO fix wouldn’t work here). Their solution for THE BOURNE LEGACY, the movie: Bring in Jeremy Renner as another genetically-altered super-spy, Aaron Cross, who, in the aftermath of Bourne’s antics and with Ed Norton’s high-ranking operative tracking him with the intent of ending his service with extreme prejudice, begins his own struggle for survival and legitimacy (parallels between the scenario presented and the franchise itself are purely coincidental).
Come join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they explore this follow up to a unique and entertaining series of spy films. Does it promise the same gripping action and intriguing world as the Damon BOURNES? How does Tony Gilroy — who scripted the previous films and here steps into the director’s chair — fare in taking over the franchise? And is Cross going to catch hell from PETA for his capricious treatment of wolves?
Also: What’s coming to theaters next week. Quite a lot, actually.
Production Note: A recording glitch caused some skipping in the audio for this episode. Noticeable, but not annoyingly so, and not an impediment to understanding the conversation. Our apologies.

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THE BOURNE LEGACY opens August 10

This second trailer for THE BOURNE LEGACY, with its reference to alteration in chromosomes, suggests the franchise is tipping more toward science fiction in its explanation for the physical superiority of its elite assassin.
Jeremy Renner stars as Aaron Cross, heir to the titular legacy of Jason Bourne. Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Edward Norton, Donna Murphy, and Rachel Weisz co-star for director Tony Gilroy, working from a script he co-wrote with Dan Gilroy, inspired by Robert Ludlum’s series of novels.
Universal Pictures releases THE BOURNE LEGACY on Friday, August 10, 2012.

Dream House: : Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast 2:38.1

Not Your Average Fix'r Up'r: Daniel Craig stands at the precipice of his fracturing sanity in DREAM HOUSE.
Not Your Average Fix'r Up'r: Daniel Craig stands at the precipice of his fracturing sanity in DREAM HOUSE.

Winner of this year’s Ironic Film Title ribbon (SARAH PALIN: THE UNDEFEATED was disqualified for failure to complete a term — talk about ironic) DREAM HOUSE marks director Jim Sheridan’s attempt to explore the world of the psychological thriller, with a few surprising twists thrown in along the way. The tale of man whose family life begins to crumble with the revelation that the beautiful house they’ve just moved into was the scene of an horrific crime, the film has the atmosphere, has affecting performances by stars Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, — backed up by Naomi Watts as a sympathetic neighbor — and lays its story out in a way that casts events already witnessed in new lights as secrets are progressively revealed, but does its old-school approach still have relevance? Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons as they root around the cellar of a beloved genre and try to sweep away the cobwebs to find what works and what doesn’t in this latest attempt to draw chills from the infinite convolutions of the human mind.
Also: a discussion of the announced short-list of directors for Leonardo DiCaprio’s upcoming TWILIGHT ZONE project; and what’s coming in theatrical and home video releases.

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A Humble Country News Update: Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast 2:37

Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a newsreader!
Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a newsreader!

What can we say? There were no new genre films being released to theaters this week, and Steve and Larry had schedules that prevented them from syncing up for a planned discussion of TWILIGHT ZONE episodes (we’ll try to do that at some other point).
So, instead, Dan sat down with his trusty microphone and a stack o’ news, and brings you up-to-date on what happened in genre in the past week and what’s coming to theaters and home video in the coming week.
Everything will be back to normal next week (relatively speaking). Until then, click on the player, and enjoy!