So Long And Thanks For All The Fish!

To all the writers, contributors, podcasters, and community members on ROWTHREE.COM:

We would like to thank you for making RowThree such as special space to shoot the shit about movies, cinema, soundtracks, directors, cinematographers, editors, mega-franchises, and poster art. It has been just a hairs breadth over a Decade since RowThree.com swung open its doors, and invited the internet in to sit down and have a movie discussion. In that time, a community blossomed, friendships were made, arguments were had, viewing recommendations were made and ideas were discussed. We were happy to play host to the writers, talkers and cue-card artists that have livened up the place.

What started with a few amateur writers assembling (John Allison, Jonathan Burdick, Andrew James, Marina Antunes and Kurt Halfyard) to consolidate their blogs into a community space has resulted in over 10,000 articles and 100,000 comments, hundreds of archived episodes of The Cinecast, Mamo!, After The Credits, and a potpourri of other podcast efforts. They will all locked and preserved in this space for a couple years. Feel free to enjoy them.

You can find Marina & The After The Credits players over at their new site: ATCPOD.CA
You can find the Mamo! Matt’s over at the Modern Superior Podcast Network with their DeathWatch podcast, as well as other side projects.
You can find Ariel Fisher also over at Modern Superior with A Frame Apart
You can find David Brook and his writing over at BluePrintReview.
You can find Matthew Gamble at Where The Long Tail Ends.
You can find Andrew very active at his Letteboxd Account.
You can find Kurt’s writing over at Screen Anarchy.
If you are itching for that Cinecast/Rowthree vibe, there is an effort underway to resurrect The Movie Club Podcast in the new year and put out episodes on a monthly schedule.

It was a privilege and a blast to work and play in this space. Cheers.

After the Credits Special Episode: This is Not the End!

While it’s true that RowThree.com is going static after a decade of updates, a milestone by any measure, we’re not done!

After the Credits has a new home and we’re happy to announce that going forward, you can find new episodes of the podcast at atcpod.ca beginning with the December preview which will drop next week followed by some coverage from the Whistler Film Festival.

Come January, we’ll be re-launching Girls on Pop and Dale has been cooking up a side-show for a few months that we’re hoping to launch in the very near future – all this to say that we’re not going anywhere!

For the most part, you won’t need to make any changes to your feed but if you don’t see fresh content popping up before November 30th, or to prevent missing any awesomeness, update your feed to http://atcpod.ca/feed/.

Cinecast Episode 500 – You’re On Your Own From Here…

Ten damn years! The Cinecast has been around for ten years totaling (more than) 500 episodes. We’ve argued over, bickered about, tongue-bathed, laughed about and quoted movies for close to 2000 recorded hours. We’ve made loads of new friends, lost loved ones, earned degrees, visited other continents, entered the covenant of marriage, written books, attended countless festivals, interviewed celebrities and even starred in a couple of low budget films in that time. And the amount of alcohol consumed… I don’t even want to think about it. We have some of the most devoted listeners in podcasting and I have to believe we’re in the running for most hours recorded of one series in the history of podcasting at this point. Therefore, of course we have a good hour of reminiscing and say thanks to a few important folks. But as we hit this momentous milestone we, for the most part, treat it like any other episode except for one big in-house announcement. We have three theatrical reviews: Thor: Ragnorak, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Murder on the Orient Express. Then we take some time to look back at the year that is 2017 which of course includes a top five list. We also fulfill on a years-old promise (or at least half of it) with a retro-review of Tyrannosaur in return for a generous donation from listener Len Fearnside.

This is The Cinecast 500. Yes, have some.

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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Television Trends – Who Decides What’s Hot and What’s Not?

Trends are a funny a thing. Whether you realize it or not, they are constantly forming right in front of your eyes and what’s more, some are more easily explained than others. In terms of the fashion industry, for example, there are many well-known trendsetters who only need to be seen holding a garment of interest before every man and their dog are wearing the item in question. However, when it comes to film and in particular television, the forming of trends is much more complex, especially with the emergence of on demand streaming platforms such as Hulu and Netflix.

IMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay

TV Is Now Borrowing From The Big Screen More Than Ever

In the US, box office takings for August 2017 totaled $625m according to the BBC, which indicates a 35% decrease when compared the same month last year. Whilst much of this is down to a perceived lack of high quality content, it’s also due to the fact that television series are borrowing the best elements and themes from the cinema and then simply doing a better job of incorporating them into their own programming. Many of the most popular current themes of programming within the television industry first found success on the big screen. Take the superhero genre for example – shows such as Jessica Jones, Daredevil and The Flash have enjoyed considerable success on the small screen and yet, it’s arguable that these shows would have never come to fruition had it not been for the success of flagship franchises such as X-Men and The Avengers on the big screen. Furthermore, a recent report from USA Today estimates that around 1 in 8 Marvel TV/Netflix show watchers are new to the superhero genre. All of this serves to show that while our interest in the superhero genre was rekindled by the cinema, it has been undoubtedly further whetted by television.

A post shared by The Flash (@cwtheflash) on

Familiarity Breeds…Enjoyment?

While there are many different names for it, the familiarity principle or mere-exposure effect within social psychology could also go some way to explain how trends in television are set. The theory has it that an individual will develop a preference for something for no other reason than the fact that they are already familiar with it, whether this be on a conscious or unconscious basis. Take for example the iconic figure of Elvis Presley, his figure at Las Vegas combined with slot games have made for one of the most popular places to gamble. All you need is the comfort that there is a big brand behind the title and you will automatically be drawn to it, says researcher Dr Mark Griffiths. Author Margrethe Bruun Vaage’s Amazon bestseller The Antihero in American Television argues that the feeling of “familiarity is pleasurable” and that “television series activate mental mechanisms similar to those activated by friendship in real life.” In other words, viewers develop a shared bond between themselves and the characters on screen and the familiarity principle allows them to maintain this sympathetic attitude once it has been initially established.
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The Differing Interpretations of the Casino Within the Film Industry

Despite the fact that their portrayal can sometimes be considered somewhat cheesy and a little cliche-filled, some of the most gripping and absorbing scenes in film to this day still revolve around the casino. Whether it’s someone betting their last few chips on a single number in roulette or taking their chance with the river card when it comes to a game of Texas Hold’em poker, we simply can’t get enough of the tense atmosphere generated by the portrayal of casino on the big screen.

According to a report by the UKGC, mobile casino is now one of the largest gambling sectors in Britain due to firms such as 32red mobile casino employing an increasingly creative approach with regards to technology that both engages and entertains users. With that being said, the demand for more casino-related content, in general, has never been greater and so below are a selection of a few films which contain casino related scenes in some capacity.

The Hangover

The Hangover franchise has been hugely popular in recent years owing to its ability to make light of even the most serious situations. The same can certainly be said when it comes to the casino scene in the first film, with Zach Galifianakis’s much-loved character Alan casually pulling out a ‘Guide to blackjack’ book before hitting the casino and amassing a large number of chips.

Of course, the most hardened players will know that simply reading a book is not enough to be successful when playing online blackjack over at sites such Allslotscasino, but nevertheless, the movie’s light-hearted take on the casino is a nice change of pace whilst still reminding the audience that the stakes are high no matter which game you choose to play.

Source: The Hangover via Facebook

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Perhaps the most realistic and gritty film on this list, Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was considered to be a huge turning point in the history of British cinema. The movie marked the beginning of a new crime genre, which was both sleek and stylish and aimed to compete with the glitz and glamour of the movies coming out of Hollywood.

The casino scene within Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is of particular interest due to the fact that the up-close camera work employed by Ritchie offers both a surreal and unique insight into the inevitable highs and lows of the gambling. What’s more, the main protagonist finds himself losing out in a game of poker to a powerful crime lord and duly pays the consequences for biting off more than he can chew. If you’re looking for a truly immersive psychological journey centered around the casino then you could do a lot worse than revisit what is perhaps Ritchie’s finest work to date.

Casino Royale

Daniel Craig’s debut as James Bond was considered by many to be a watershed moment in the history of the Martini-loving British agent. The film was praised for its more realistic approach to the character when compared to the recent somewhat cheesy efforts of Bond’s gone by. Nevertheless, the portrayal of the high-stakes poker game within the film is still pretty outrageous.

Bond is competing for a staggering £115m ($152m) pot and yet somehow manages to beat his opponent’s full house with a straight flush whilst simultaneously trying to survive numerous attempts on his life. Whilst this is extremely impressive if not a little cheesy, online Texas Hold’em over at sites such as Maxgames engaging enough without having your enemies trying to snuff you out. Fantastic scene but also fantastically cheesy.

Variety is Still the Spice of Life

Let’s be perfectly honest – it would be quite dull if the casino was interpreted in the same way every time. The fact that there are numerous sites celebrating the best casino scenes within the film industry suggests that these moments are long lasting in the memory because of the variety on offer.

As with every other hobby, casino games offered by sites such as at 32red are primarily meant to be a fun and enjoyable way of spending your spare time and the fact there are so many different approaches to the casino within the film industry is indicative of how multi-faceted games such as Texas Hold’em and blackjack really are.

Friday One Sheet: The Post

It is no secret, I love negative space in poster design. Here is the key art for Steven Spielberg’s Nixon Era ‘document leak’ movie, The Post, starring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and a slew of others. The poster offers out of the ‘boxes of all the actors’ hack style poster, and goes for the ‘large steps of an institution’ image, with a tiny Hanks & Streep (facing away from the viewer) dwarfed by those steps. In light of the crisp Helvetica typeface, I do like the included handwritten signature of a release date, particularly because it seems that the story of the film is to obtain that signature to publish the secret government documents.

I have tucked the trailer below the fold to give you an idea of the kind of Oscar-bait America-Feel-Good exercise that the film might be. Cynicism aside, it feels clearly motivated by something like previous Oscar-winner Spotlight (And in the rich history of movies about newspapers, Zodiac and All The President’s Men) and that is pretty fine. It also feels a bit like a spiritual sequel to Bridge of Spies, one of Spielberg’s more underrated recent films.

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Trailer: Swinging Safari

It has been a few years since The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – 23 in fact – and while director Stephen Elliot has been working on and off in the ensuing decades, it appears here he has returned to the over-the-top form that made for such a wonderful cult film. Swinging Safari is a very broad and colourful comedy set in an very over-styled swinging-1970s Aussie milieu, the film stars Guy Pearce and Kylie Minogue, among others goofing it up at key parties and other poolside shenanigans. Will it work for 90 minutes? Who knows, but it looks like a lot of silly fun.

1970s Australia: A 200-ton blue whale washes up on a local beach and the kids think it’s the biggest thing that’s ever happened in their lives. Behind closed doors, the Mums and Dads of this quiet suburban cul-de-sac celebrate in their own special way, by joining the sexual revolution. It’s a time of boxed wine, bad hair, bad styles, bad choices, but good times. And like the rotting whale, it’s all about to go spectacularly wrong.

Friday One Sheet: In The Fade

A gorgeous one-sheet featuring a gorgeous actress: Diane Kruger. Here she is working with German-Turkish director Fatih Akin examining the after-effects of a terrorist bombing on one woman who loses her son and husband in the attack. It’s difficult, exactly, to tell this from this glittery urban-lit poster, that is as reminiscent of Blade Runner as it is of Old Boy. Maybe the rain makes things seems sad? But the first rule of old-school marketing is sell the star, and this picture does so magnificently. It even drops the laurel in the top left corner indicating Ms. Kruger picked up the best acting nod at this years Cannes festival. And just to show you how much Photoshop is used these days (you know this already, of course) here is Ms. Kruger not in the rain.

After the Credits Episode 220: November Preview

Summer love

We missed October due to festival and scheduling craziness but I’d like to think we more than made up for it with a couple of bonus episodes from VIFF.

The crew is, however, reunited this month as Colleen, Dale (Letterboxd) and I (Letterboxd) look ahead at November which is a mishmash of everything from action adventure (Thor: Ragnarok) and family fare (Coco) to awards hopefuls (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

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Friday One Sheet: Colour Chart [Lady Bird]

Making subtle use of the classic photo colour chart as a border/trim, the new poster for the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig (which was a huge hit at this years TIFF) goes for photographic intensity of its lead actress, Saoirse Ronan, sans freckles. For those who noticed the christian cross and ‘monastery font’ of the original poster, you can see these themes you can see they remain here, although the emphasis is strictly on ‘portrait photography.’ Typically this is the domain of the South Koreans when designing posters, but I like it when it gets adopted on this side of the pond.

Trailer: P.T. Anderson’s Phantom Thread

“Whatever you do, do it … carefully.” There, ladies and gents is the mission statement of P.T. Anderson in a nutshell. His latest film, Phantom Thread, which has quietly been winding its way through post production reunites the director with his star Daniel Day-Lewis, here strangely channeling late-period Ralph Fiennes (just close your eyes, and you can see Fiennes in the role just through the audio association). Of course, it is clear from the trailer that Day-Lewis shall deliver as mesmerizing a performance as his Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. Here he plays a mysterious tailor that likes to sew mysteries into his garments. The film follows his relationship with a waitress (Vicky Krieps) he courts, and eventually makes a model for his clothes.

Set in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock and his sister Cyril are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutantes and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma , who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love.

Visually impressive, yet somehow cold and austere as well, in a fashion that brings Anderson closer to Kubrick and further from Altman. I expect the dual meaning title Phantom Thread will be a stand out in a year that has been a spectacular year of ambitiously visual projects, including Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049, mother!, Okja, War For The Planet Of The Apes, Lady MacBeth, Hagazussa, Valley of Shadows, The Killing of A Sacred Deer, A Cure For Wellness, and The Florida Project.