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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-08-29
If you're a big fan of The Hunger Games, you've almost definitely seen the short teaser that debuted last night during MTV's Video Music Awards. The teaser doesn't show off very much footage, and people who aren't familiar with the books might wonder what the big deal is about a girl running through the woods. But I loved it primarily for what we didn't see-- no love triangle, no romantic moments with Peeta, no hint at all that this is a movie about anything other than one girl's struggle to survive in a brutal game.

That is what the books are about, but given how much Lionsgate seems to want The Hunger Games to be their equivalent of Twilight, I've been worried that the movie would emphasize star-crossed love over kickass fights and political unrest. This teaser has passed the test for now, but we've still yet to see where Lionsgate will take things when the full marketing campaign gears up. Last week, before the MTV teaser had premiered, I sat down with Perri Nemiroff, author of The Hunger Games Countdown column at Movies.com, to talk about some of our concerns for the marketing campaign. You can check out the video of that conversation below, and let me know if you're similarly concerned, or if last night's teaser has put you at ease.

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-08-26
>Subscribe to Operation Kino and everything else Kino Katey with iTunes!<


This week on Operation Kino, we're doing things a little differently. It's been 25 episodes since we first started keeping official count, and we decided to take this little anniversary as an opportunity to change up our format and tell you not just what we think of this week's crop of new releases, but how we think about movies in general. All four of us came prepared with one movie that we don't just love, but that we think explains something about the way we look at movies. We're calling this format the "Quarter Quell," which will sound familiar if you've read The Hunger Games-- don't worry, our version is far less violent. David starts things off with Paul Schrader's Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, which he fits in with the idea of film presenting "ecstatic truth"; Patches adores Groundhog Day not just because it's funny and well-made, but because it's a movie he can show anyone; Da7e watches Fight Club as an example of how characters can develop even in a really non-traditional narrative; and Katey closes things out with The Apartment as a way to get a glimpse into a far-away time, and also just a damn well-written movie.

But even with the new format, some things stay the same--we start things off with a summer-ending lightning round, and end, as always, with your lightning round answers for dessert.

Don't forget that on Monday, September 5, we'll be doing a LIVE SHOW as part of the New York Hell's Kitchen Film Festival. We don't have all the details just yet, but the show will be around 7 or 8 p.m. at The Producer's Club, located at 358 West 44th Street. Stay tuned for more details and come out and see us!

Take a listen below and find all your downloading options; for more from all of us, you can follow the show (@opkino), Da7e (@da7e), David (@davidehrlich or @CriterionCorner), Patches (@misterpatches) and me (@kateyrich) on Twitter.

And one more thing-- if you've been listening to the show and enjoying it, please write a review of it on iTunes! We'd greatly appreciate it.

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00:00-01:08 Lightning Round

01:24-4:46 Introductions and explanation of the Quarter Quell

5:17-18:10 David's pick: Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

18:44-30:06 Patches's pick: Groundhog Day

30:40-42:51 Da7e's pick: Fight Club

43:18-55:06 Katey's pick: The Apartment

55:06-1:00:00 Dessert

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-08-23
After an even longer hiatus than the earlier long hiatus-- it's been a busy summer!-- we're back with the ongoing series Virgin Territory, in which I watch a movie I've never seen and talk about it with someone who loves it. This week I sit down with Max Evry, movie writer about town, to talk about a movie he wanted me to watch so badly that he gave me the DVD for my birthday: The Road Warrior. For whatever reason he didn't want me to start with the first movie in the George Miller series, Mad Max, so my first introduction to Mel Gibson and his expert driving skills came once the oil crisis had hit and gasoline scarcity had turned Australia into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where Lord Humongous and his cronies reign supreme.

Check out our 15 minute conversation below, in which we talk about the lasting cultural legacy of The Road Warrior, how Mel Gibson's performance still stands completely independent of all the scandalous stuff that came later, and marvel at the fact that no stuntmen died in filming some of the truly amazing action set pieces in this thing.


For the rest of the Virgin Territory series, go here, where you can find me talking Apocalypse Now with Dave Gonzales, Superman: The Movie with Matt Patches, All the President's Men with James Rocchi, Terms of Endearment with Mike Ryan, and The Evil Dead with Eric Eisenberg.
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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-08-19
>Subscribe to Operation Kino and everything else Kino Katey with iTunes! And if you like us, please please write us a review!<


This week on Operation Kino, our reviews are bit of a mishmash, as Katey and David hash out their feelings for One Day for a bit, and Katey strikes out on her own to tell you what she thought of Fright Night (Patches and Da7e sat out this movie week-- on some level we can't blame them). We follow that with a Segment Three devoted to the way Hollywood is strip-mining the 80s for movie remakes, and pick out a few 80s titles we think absolutely cannot possibly be remade, period. First, though, there's a lightning round inspired by the swordplay of Conan the Barbarian, then tidbits in which David talks about having his short film "Proposals" in the New York Hell's Kitchen Film Festival, Patches is severaly disappointed by the Off-Broadway revival of Rent, Katey reports from Lebowski Fest and Da7e wonders if the doomed Johnny Depp Lone Ranger movie might work after all. We end, as always, with your lightning round answers for dessert.

We've also got a very exciting announcement! On Monday, September 5, we'll be doing a LIVE SHOW as part of the New York Hell's Kitchen Film Festival. We don't have all the details just yet, but the show will be around 7 or 8 p.m. at The Producer's Club, located at 358 West 44th Street. Stay tuned for more details and come out and see us!

Take a listen below and find all your downloading options; for more from all of us, you can follow the show (@opkino), Da7e (@da7e), David (@davidehrlich or @CriterionCorner), Patches (@misterpatches) and me (@kateyrich) on Twitter.

And one more thing-- if you've been listening to the show and enjoying it, please write a review of it on iTunes! We'd greatly appreciate it.

[ Subscribe With iTunes ]


Download the file directly here (right-click and save-as)


00:00-00:54 Lightning Round

01:10 - 32:05 Introductions and Tidbits

32:25 - 50:35 One Day and Fright Night review

50:53 - 01:13:00 80s remakes discussed

01:13:00 - 1:17:31 Dessert

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-08-17
Wearing bathrobes and cargo shorts, Helga helmets and purple jumpsuits, carrying ball polishers and clinking White Russians, thousands of Big Lebowski fans descended upon the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City last night-- and while there wasn't exactly a visible cloud of pot smoke surrounding the place, you could pretty much fill it in for yourself. The night's Q&A and screening was a promotion for the new Blu-Ray edition of The Big Lebowski, but it was also the second night of Lebowski Fest, the 10-year-running convention dedicated to all things The Dude. Needless to say, the people who have been attending the convention for a decade basically lost their minds when The Jesus (John Turturro), Maude (Julianne Moore), Walter (John Goodman), Donny (Steve Buscemi) and of course The Dude (Jeff Bridges) took the stage for the conversation.

The producers of the evening have put together a highlight reel of the Q&A, which you can watch below. It doesn't really capture the feel of the evening, though, which was dominated by fans screaming quotes from the movie at the stage, which had Goodman cracking up the entire time and allowed Buscemi to kick things off with, "Well, first of all, you shut the fuck up." Then there was Turturro saying he's gotten a lot of "sex mail" written to The Jesus, Bridges claiming that The Dude is now working as a masseuse, and Goodman's response to the notion of a sequel: "It'll never happen. Why talk about it?" Bridges then closed out the night with the message he hopes everyone takes away from the movie: "That it's just, like, your opinion, man."

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-08-12
>Subscribe to Operation Kino and everything else Kino Katey with iTunes!<


This week on Operation Kino, all four members of the usual crew are back together to hold hands and weep quietly into our handkerchiefs, as we review The Help. From there we've got a Segment Three inspired by the weekend's other big release, 30 Minutes or Less, in which we talk about movies based on true stories, whether there's ever such a thing as "too soon," and how far David would go to have Werner Herzog make a movie about his tragic death. Before any of that, though, we've got a lightning round dedicated to awesome movie deaths, and tidbits in which Dave doesn't think the Dark Knight Rises set photos are spoilers, David wonders how on earth a movie like Our Idiot Brother qualified as a Sundance success, Patches wants your dating advice and Katey shares the harrowing tale of how she survived Glee 3D. We end, as always, with your lightning round answers for dessert.

Don't forget to follow us on our new twitter feed, and take a listen below and find all your downloading options; for more from all of us, you can follow Da7e (@da7e), David (@davidehrlich or @CriterionCorner), Patches (@misterpatches) and me (@kateyrich) on Twitter.

[ Subscribe With iTunes ]


Download the file directly here (right-click and save-as)


00:00-00:52 Lightning Round

01:15 - 27:09 Introductions and Tidbits

27:25 - 46:12 The Help review

46:40 - 01:03:52 Movies Based on a True Story Discussed

01:03:52 - 1:08:17 Dessert

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-08-09
For some reason the Oscars are in the air lately, despite the fact that it's only August and next weekend's box office will likely be dominated by Conan the Barbarian. It started last week when Andy Serkis's motion-capture performance in Rise of the Planet of the Apes started turning heads, causing some people to wonder if he could finally get an Oscar nomination for the role (and inspiring me to argue that he won't, and he doesn't need to be anyway). Tomorrow sees the release of The Help, a feel-good but also serious-minded drama set in the Jim Crow South, and featuring enough strong female performances to single-handedly fill the Best Supporting Actress category at this year's Oscars if they play their cards right.

But will they? Is The Help this year's The Blind Side, or just a summer diversion that will be forgotten by October? And is a potential campaign for Viola Davis as Best Supporting Actress totally misleading and wrong? To answer these questions and talk about the movie in general, I got on the phone with The Film Experience's Nathaniel Rogers, my friend and expert in all things Oscar, especially when it comes to actresses and their potential for awards glory. We talked about the movie and about the Oscar season to come for about 15 minutes; take a listen below, and find all your streaming options there too.

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Download the file directly here (right-click and save-as)


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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-08-05
>Subscribe to Operation Kino and everything else Kino Katey with iTunes!<


On this week's Operation Kino, we're once again down a member, as Da7e is taking a much-needed vacation and celebrating his birthday far, far away from us. So once again we've broken the mold and brought in a guest, inviting Popular Mechanics writer Erin McCarthy to join us for a review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, then a discussion of motion-capture and performance-capture technology, both as seen in this movie and as a template for making films in the future. Erin happens to be an expert about it thanks to her job, so she's probably the best guest we could have gotten for this episode. First, though, there's a Lightning Round inspired by the new indie Bellflower, then tidbits, in which Erin sings the praises of Shark Week, David defends one new video game as a work of art, Patches thinks The Change-Up is the funniest movie of the year, and Katey is blown away by the book A Visit From The Goon Squad. We end, as always, with your lightning round answers for dessert.

Don't forget to follow us on our new twitter feed, and take a listen below and find all your downloading options; for more from all of us, you can follow our dearly missed Da7e (@da7e), David (@davidehrlich or @CriterionCorner), Patches (@misterpatches) and me (@kateyrich) on Twitter. You can follow our guest Erin McCarthy (@erincmccarthy too!

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Download the file directly here (right-click and save-as)


00:00-00:54 Lightning Round

01:10 - 24:30 Introductions and Tidbits

24:47 - 47:10 Rise of the Planet of the Apes review

47:18 - 01:02:28 Motion-Capture And Performance-Capture Technology

01:02:28 - 1:06:43 Dessert

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-08-01
There was all kinds of weird news at the box office this weekend, with Cowboys & Aliens and The Smurfs tying for first place by appealing to completely separate audiences, and the last Harry Potter film crossing the $1 billion mark overseas, making that movie franchise the equivalent of some large world economy. But there was one story that was just simply great: Attack the Block, the British import distributed on 8 screens by Screen Gems, made $130,000, which comes out to an impressive $16,250 per screen-- nearly twice the per-screen take of that other alien movie out in theaters this weekend.

If you follow me or other movie writers on Twitter you've probably been hearing about Attack the Block for months now, as Screen Gems has done aggressive fan outreach early screenings since the movie debuted at SXSW in March. Or you might have just read Matt Patches' glowing review from that very festival, where he promised it "may wind up as one of the best action movies of the year." At the end of a long summer of expensive, short-on-imagination blockbusters, it's clear Attack the Block is better than nearly all of them, a sharp and relentlessly entertaining genre movie that also gives us characters worth caring about. The fact that it's executive produced by Edgar Wright is not a mistake-- it shares Shaun of the Dead's and Scott Pilgrim's ability to meld action and character development effortlessly, and also go for humor and thrills in seemingly one fell swoop. The plot is pretty simple: what would happen if the alien invasion started at a rundown housing project in South London, and a group of street thugs were the only ones who could fight back? But it's where the movie goes both with its action story and this group of punks we come to love that makes Attack the Block so thrilling and special.

I'll be writing a formal review of Attack the Block at some point this week, but this is just a short note to say, if at all possible, you should see this movie. Yes I know it's in limited release and difficult to find in a lot of places, but if you're in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin or Chicago, you have no excuse. Hopefully Screen Gems will be expanding the movie in the coming weeks based on this strong start, and if nothing else, Attack the Block is destined to be a DVD hit as more and more audiences discover what will at least be the best alien invasion movie of 2011. Believe.
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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-07-29
On this week's Operation Kino, we've got our first-ever special guest! With David Ehrlich still marooned on the West Coast in the wake of Comic Con, we brought in another survivor of the nerd-stravaganza, UGO's Jordan Hoffman, to help us recover from the madness and also review the movie that premiered for the geeky hordes in San Diego last week, Cowboys & Aliens. Before that, though, we've got our lightning round dedicated to cinematic love triangles, and then get into tidbits, where Katey and Jordan relive their respective highlights of Comic Con, Da7e gets into how much Ridley Scott's Prometheus might be an Alien prequel after all, and Patches really wants you to think about seeing The Smurfs. Really. For segment three we're on a bit of a tangent, getting into the ages of movie stars, whether actors can be too old for given roles, and hey, when did Harrison Ford start seeming so damn old anyway?

Don't forget to follow us on our new twitter feed, and take a listen below and find all your downloading options; for more from all of us, you can follow Da7e (@da7e), our dearly missed David (@davidehrlich or @CriterionCorner), Patches (@misterpatches) and me (@kateyrich) on Twitter. You can follow our guest Jordan Hoffman (@jhoffman6 too!

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00:00-00:49 Lightning Round

01:04 - 28:56 Tidbits

29:17 - 45:58 Cowboys & Aliens review

45:48 - 01:05:10 Actors and Age

01:05:10 - 1:09:36 Dessert

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-07-27
Every now and then today someone has popped up in my Twitter feed to remind me that today is a truly excellent anniversary. It's been ten years to the day since Wet Hot American Summer was released in theaters, only to land with a thud-- it made just $295,000 in its theatrical release. But bad movies that flop don't get anniversary celebrations, and Wet Hot American Summer may be the ultimate example of a cult movie that only builds its audience over time. When it hit theaters 10 years ago I was a savvy enough movie fan to read in Entertainment Weekly that it was one of the best movies of the summer, but I was also living in the kind of small town where it definitely never opened theatrically. It took me until about three years later, when several of my college friends were obsessed with it, to finally watch the movie, and it wasn't long after that I was wearing knee socks to a special screening in a nearby town and editing a home movie to the tune of "Higher and Higher."

Wet Hot American Summer is best watched with a group of friends who will laugh at pretty much anything, but once you've seen it you can revisit it endlessly on your own-- almost the entire movie is available in various clips on YouTube, so you don't even have to skip ahead to your favorite part. Feel free to share your favorite scenes below; meanwhile, I'm going to go hump the fridge. God bless us all, and God bless America!



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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-07-26
I pulled this video up earlier today for this article and I'm still not really over it. When I watched this movie I definitely didn't realize it'd be the enormous worldwide hit it became, and I idly wondered about the career prospects for everyone who participated in something so cheesy. I figured all the adult stars like Meryl Streep and Colin Firth would turn out just fine-- though who would have guessed Firth would have an Oscar just two years later?-- but genuinely wondered about the young stars Amanda Seyfried and especially Dominic Cooper. Being a girl Seyfried could pretty easily overcome flouncing around in sequins and a modest one-piece bathing suit, but Cooper seemed doomed to be remembered in his hot-pink jumpsuit any time he tried to play a serious romantic or action lead role.

I was totally wrong, of course-- he's in Captain America and The Devil's Double and seemingly everywhere else-- and I'm glad. But seriously, this video is almost too embarrassing to look at, and I don't care how much money everyone made while doing it. Relive the horror with me.

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-07-22
>Subscribe to Operation Kino and everything else Kino Katey with iTunes!<


This week's Operation Kino was recorded the night before Katey and David took off for San Diego Comic Con, so if you're totally burned out on hearing about that, don't worry! This podcast is not about Comic Con at all. It's comic book related, though, as we review Captain America: The First Avenger, but from there we launch into a conversation about patriotic movies, what the word "patriotic" even means and whether anyone will ever make a movie again that's as blatantly pro-America as, say, Independence Day. Before any of that, though, we've got a lightning round in honor of Friends With Benefits, and then we get into tidbits, where Katey talks up the new indie Bellflower, Patches wants you all to get into the online game Warlight, David sings the praises of Bjork and her tech-savvy new album, and Dave wonders what's up with all the leaked trailers these days. We end, as always, with your lightning round answers for dessert!

Don't forget to follow us on our new twitter feed, and take a listen below and find all your downloading options; for more from all of us, you can follow Da7e (@da7e), David (@davidehrlich or @CriterionCorner), Patches (@misterpatches) and me (@kateyrich) on Twitter.

[ Subscribe With iTunes ]


Download the file directly here (right-click and save-as)


Lightning Round 00:00:00 - 00:00:48

Intro and Tidbits - 00:00:59 - 00:24:16

Captain America Review - 00:24:34- 00:46:46

Patriotic Movies and Captain America - 00:47:13 - 01:07:59

Dessert - 01:08:00 - 01:11:43

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-07-20
Given that I'm covering Comic Con for the rest of the week-- you can catch up on all that madness here-- there may not be much action here for the next few days. But I figured none of you would object if this became a repository for all the bizarre photo ops that tend to happen at Comic Con. So behold, what happened when I attended a party and press event for Shark Night 3D, and got a little too close and personal with a shark. There was also a mechanical shark-- yes, like a mechanical bull, that you ride-- but I wasn't really dressed appropriately for riding it without flashing the entire crowd, so this was the only photo op I came back with.

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Author: Katey Rich
published: 2011-07-19
I've got a weakness for a certain kind of patriotism, for things like wearing stars and stripes on the Fourth of July, sights of soldiers returning home from combat, all that iconography that's blasted into American brains pretty much at birth. So while I'm only lukewarm about the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger, I love the posters that have been commissioned by Mondo, the source of great pop culture design and the alternate posters that pop up for seemingly every fan-friendly movie. Several of the Cap designs have been floated around the Internet at places like Badass Digest, Wired and Slashfilm. Some are done up like propaganda posters for the evil organization Hydra, and some are pure jingoistic American energy. Below are two of my favorites. As I prepare for tonight's press screening of Captain America, this might be the first time I've been genuinely excited about it. I guess good design is its own kind of superpower.





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