Cinecast Episode 113 – Hats, Canes and a Shiny New Penny


Episode 113:
It’s the Academy Awards (almost) all the time. From the show itself to the winners; a complete recap. A new and interesting version of the top 5 and of course DVD picks.
Thanks for listening.

Click the Audio Icon below to listen in:

Below the fold are the Show Notes…

Show notes for the Cinecast Episode 113:

  • Intro music: :00 – 3:56
  • Opening crap/in-house announcements: :36 – 3:04
  • Stuff we saw recently: 3:06 – 18:14
    – – Rachel Getting Married, Battle Royale, Tora! Tora! Tora!
  • Oscar recap: 18:15 – 1:04:35
  • Odd Top 5: 1:04:35 – 1:34:30
  • Independent Spirit Awards: 1:34:31 – 1:41:09
  • “On the Road”: 1:41:12 – 1:54:15
  • DVD picks: 1:54:16 – 2:04:43
  • Closing thoughts/tangents: 2:04:45 – 2:11:36
  • Outro Music: 2:09:41 – 2:12:54
  • Let’s get a taco: 2:12:55 – 2:13:00

Bumper Music (with iTunes/Amazon links) provided by:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
“Phenomena” (album: Show Your Bones)
The George Baker Selection
“LIttle Green Bag” (album: Reservoir Dogs OST)

Track Row Three:

RSS Feeds (paste these URLs into your favorite RSS reader):

Cinecast (Andrew and Halfyard show)
After the Credits (Marina and Co.)
ALL the RowThree Podcasts on one feed
All posts and discussions from RowThree

Visit us on iTunes:

Stuff we looked at:

Rachel Getting Married
Battle Royale
Tora! Tora! Tora!
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (talked about later in the show during the “on the road” segment)

The Oscars!:

– Hugh Jackman hosting
– Actor Nominees Presentations
– Kodak Theater / Aesthetics
– Acceptance Speeches
– Montages
– Commericial aspects
– Music
– Winners

A different sort of Top 5:

What if the acting winners from this year’s Oscars could be chosen from any title in their filmography? These would be our choices…

Sean Penn
2009 win: Milk
should’ve won for: Milk

Heath Ledger:
2009 win: The Dark Knight
should’ve won for: The Dark Knight

Penélope Cruz:
2009 win: Vicky Christina Barcelona
should’ve won for: Volver

Kate Winslet:
2009 win: The Reader
should’ve won for: (tie) Little Children/Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Danny Boyle:
2009 win: Slumdog Millionaire
should’ve won for: if we HAD to pick one: Trainspotting

Independent Spirit Awards:

Commentary and winners

On the road (with Andrew’s iPod):

Saw V
smiles per mile: .05

Journey to the Center of the Earth
smiles per mile: .03

DVD Pick(s) for Tuesday, February 22th:

Four Flies on Grey Velvet
Four Flies on Grey Velvet

Sky Crawlers (Japanese Box [$445!])
Sky Crawlers

Dear Zachary: A Letter to his Son About his Father
Dear Zachary

Vanishing Point
The Vanishing

Comments or questions?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or email us: (general)


  1. Kurt, that shrunken awards show you're talking about is called the Independent Spirit Awards. The Oscars are supposed to be big. Most of it is meaningless of course, the fashion, the montages, but it's fun, and it's probably the only chance some of these movies will ever have at finding an audience. I was a the theatre yesterday and there were line-ups for The Wrestler and The Reader. It's hard to realize this sometimes as we're both active members of the online film community, but the vast majority of the general population have never even heard of these movies. It's nice to see them get some recognition at the Oscars, which millions of people actually watch.

    And your thoughts on Heath Ledger were pretty heartless. Yes, he has gotten a lot of media attention, but it was entirely deserved. The reason he's made headlines is because he was so young, it was so unexpected, and there was so much untapped potential there. He was just starting to show us the talent he had, and he was in one of the biggest box office hits ever last year. He revolutionized the movie villain. It's still too early to say for sure, but I think in 25-50 years, he'll be remembered the same way James Dean is. Show some respect.

  2. I can't remember if I already mentioned this but I did catch up with Holy Smoke after several people recommending it, and man, that was an awful awful film. I have only seen it and the short Campion contributed to the Chacun son Cinema, but from those two I have no interest in seeing anything else she has done. I think the acting in the film is ridiculous matched only by the conceits of the story that are being wedged into it, and so I think it is no fault of the actors, and entirely the writer director. The film aspires for light Australian whimsy side by side with dark emotion and something like Muriel's Wedding pulls that off, but this just shows how hard that actually is to do. And aside from the poor execution, what was the message of the film exactly? I can't remember a more aimless waste of time I had the misfortune of seeing… there was something about sexual politics but none of it rang true, every sexual act was something 'written' to happen, not naturally occurring, neither Kate Winslet's character or Harvey Keital's convincingly evolve or possess anything to make them interesting in themselves, they just parrot ideas coming from elsewhere, they are empty vessels to puppeteer some halfbaked notion of sexual politics.

    As a man I was actually really insulted by what was implied by Keital's arc, and if Keital is not supposed to embody the male gaze in the film, and is just one particular person, this person is so worthless that I don't even understand why any time is spent on him. Also they frame him early on as this guy so good at his job, and nothing absolutely nothing is shown to indicate that is the case, clunky doesn't even begin to describe how much of a nothing his development is.

    If it hasn't been gleaned yet, I loathed Holy Smoke like I really can't remember loathing a film in quite some time.

    Kurt is wrong, and Andrew stay away from this film.

  3. Wow, some challenges to day:

    Ashley – Loads of people die of drug overdoses every week. They don't get media cluster-fucks on it. Just ask Brad Renfro. I just get exhausted at people who may never even have seen a Heath Ledger movie get all misty eyed because People Magazine had 2 or 3 dedicated issues on his demise. I liked Ledger in both Brokeback and Dark Knight, but I can't really say on the James Dean thing. I doubt it though. I'm not really aiming to be heartless here. It is a tragedy, but really, I'm simply compensating for the crazy amount of coverage that got. It was more than excessive.

    Rot – It's been a while since I saw Holy Smoke, but Campion has always had an interesting look at sanity and institutionalized solutions, and Harvey Keitel's (the expert, demise in Holy Smoke is pretty compelling stuff to watch as is the interactions with Winslet. I seemed to recall it being horrific, and strangely funny at the same time. A tough combo to pull off. See also In The Cut, a wildly under-appreciated Campion flick that people get too hung up on the cliche plot to grasp all the gooey character texture underneath. Same goes for Holy Smoke? Yes that was pretty ramble-y, but it's been a while since I saw Holy Smoke – but Rot you are correct in that Andrew will hate it, because the character actions/decisions will drive him nuts.

  4. And Rot. Give AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE a try, it is likely Jane Campions best film. As a bonus, it is the antidote to the Slumdog blahs, as Angel is also told using 3 different actors to tell a story of redemption, where no short cuts or maudlin/melodrama techniques are used to glitz up the affair.

    Also I watched Nights of Cabiria last night, and it was bloody fabulous…more on that coming, but I have to say, I like character studies that are told in rhythmic chapter/episodes. This should be done more, and come to think of it, Almost all of Fellini's films that I've seen do this. I now must watch Juliette of the Spirits now that I'm in love with Fellini's wife as an actress.

  5. Kurt, you mentioned at least two or three times in this cinecast that notion that a film has to be "adult" for adults to appreciate it. Why can't we have fun once in awhile and just enjoy a funny, silly movie? Some of my favourites are the flicks I discovered when I was eight years old: Splash, Ferris Bueller, Rookie of the Year, Footloose. I'd argue that Splash is a way better fairy tale than Slumdog Millionaire is. And I'll admit that Rookie of the Year and Footloose are not Oscar-quality films, but they aren't trying to be, they are just fun movies. I have plenty of more mature cinema in my collection to balance it out, like Little Children, A History of Violence, Children of Men, Rachel Getting Married (to be added March 10th), but it's the family classics that I come back to more and more often. I hope you manage to take a break from all the "adult" fare and enjoy something cute with the kids every once in awhile.

  6. Like I said Kurt, my all-time favorite screenwriter is now Ennio Flaiano, and what he pulls off in Nights of Cabiria is otherworldy. Everytime I come to the end of that film I cry, every single time. Granted it has less to do with the writing by that point so much as the performance.

    As for Campion, I am still trying to watch all of the Criterion films so will inevitably cross paths with her again but I cannot stress enough how much I disliked ever directorial choice she made in both Holy Smoke and her short for Chacun son cinema.

  7. Not at all, I'm a lover of many a silly movie: Big Trouble in Little China, Ghostbusters, etc. I also watch a shit-ton of Kids flicks, from Monsters Inc. to My Neighbor Totoro to the Iron Giant to Bambi. I don't think films should be always 'adult' in subject matter (although those often have the highest impact on me at my current age.

    My attack on Slumdog is on how it doesn't even do what it is trying to do well – i.e. The Romance of the film. For either 'fun' or 'poignant'. While I don't revile the film completely (I like the police interrogations, I like the 21st century global mulch of culture and class shown in the film. but I don't get the whole feel-good fairy tale angle, that really was done poorly there. Or did I misread your comment? Were you positing Slumdog Millionaire as a 'fun romp?'

  8. Well An Angel at My Table was put out by Criterion 3-4 years ago. So you'll get there at about the same time as you catch up with Lynne Ramsey's RATCATCHER.

  9. @ the whole feel-good fairy tale angle

    I dont' relate to this criticism of the film. It would never occur to me to label Slumdog Millionaire as a "feel good film". I get the feeling that some people look at the latrine scene and think it's cute. How anyone can watch the kid swimming through AIDS infested shit to get the autograph of some guy I've never heard of, and think it's anything less than horrific is beyond me.

    I think my different perspective might be because I focus on the begining and sort of forget the ending, which I really didn't like.

    The same thing happened with Sunshine. It seems like everyone hates the end (justifiably) and just forgets about the rest of the movie which I thought was pretty good.

    Now, a year and a half after I saw it in the theater I literally can't remember anything but the ending. Maybe the same will happen with Slumdog.

  10. I'm gonna rag on Kurt just a tad over the oscar montage bashing..

    well for one, i didnt like the oscar montages because they just wasted my time, as i was just waiting to cross another x on the tabs for the Oscar pool.

    that said, when i think of all the movies i saw for free through nefarious means this year, I DESERVE to have my time wasted while they use 3 minutes to advertise other movies. I'm at least glad they picked decent songs, like "Tick Tick Boom" by the Hives. I have no good reason to complain.

    But as for complaining that the Oscars are about rewarding storytelling or this or that, well i'm going to have to disagree. For one, technical awards, but aside from that, only a few awards are really about storytelling. You can be a great actor in a shitty or mediocre movie and still get nominated, and even win, and maybe deserve to. Yeah man, I'd say you're being a bit overly blind and unfair.

    I mean Oscar bashing is a national sport, especially among the press, but lets be reasonable, this is a damned if you do damned if you dont, no-win situation for the people putting on this show. They get ripped if its too inside and meta, and ripped if its too bombastic and self congratulatory. They get ripped for being too commercial and pandering to a broad audience, and they get ripped for being too boring and not nominating what people actually saw. I wouldn't want to be on any board putting together that show, it seems like you're putting on a huge production everyone watches together like an event, and seems to actually pretty much get excited about and sort of like, but nobody wants to actually give them props for what goes right, and what fun you can get out of it by sharing this moment with so many other people.

    It's fair to say the Oscars fuck up a lot of things, but overall its a bit much to have such weird expectations and demands out of an awards show.

  11. btw, I'm starting to feel a reverse backlash towards Slumdog. I mean I had problems with it from the get go, but I'm seeing some haters go so over the top trying to attack every single element (like some feel I do with Gran Torino, even though I think its completely deserved :P) that I can't help but a get knee jerk defensive trying to stand up for it…

    I mean its gone through its "obnoxious popular kid" phase into a "bullied kid" phase, and I want to stand up for what I do like about it a bit more, and am actually feeling a bit more anxious to see it again. Maybe afterwards I'll be rubbing its face in the sand with the other bullies, but for now I'd rather spend my time giving it another chance than laboring over the same criticism.

  12. I didn't listen to the show but I think the award show he's looking for is called Your Personal List of Favorite Films. I, for the life of me, really don't get why people need some award show to validate their opinion. Mickey Rourke's been great for years, if some acadamy doesn't get it that's their loss. The monument they leave behind is their body of work, not some speech they give in a tuxedo.

    Like Vern said "who needs an Oscar when you can say 'I WAS IN DOUBLE TEAM, MOTHERFUCKER'?". And I mean that unironically. I think playing a villain in a Tsui Hark actioneer makes for a much more interesting career than chasing some statue in I Am Sam. Rourke didn't win the award because he didn't pander enough.

    So Andrew can keep posting his dopey picture of some chick accepting an award, but all he's proving is that he has a juvenile need for external validation.

    • And to seriously address the issue. It is kind of nice to be validated for something that is deserved. Since the actors/directors/etc themselves consider the award pretty important I suppose so do I on some level. You're right in the sense that does it matter RGM wasn't nominated? I guess in the long run, no it doesn't. I'll watch it regardless. But yes, it's nice to be recognized for something. And when one of my favorite actors finally receives those kudos, it is kind of exciting – particularly when it is an actress I've been defending from haters for a long fucking time. And now she puts out two great performances during the year and suddenly she's being recognized for it.

      It's like when a great band that you've been listening to for years – ya'know, the band you tell everyone you know that they gotta check this out – finally is nominated for a grammy or whatever. And suddenly everyone loves them. On the one hand you're excited they finally got recognized, but on the other you're thinking to yourself "yeah, these guys have ALWAYS been good. You're just noticing this now you assholes!?"

  13. Well Rusty, most folks do like to Monday Morning Quarterback, Back seat drive, whathaveyou. No, I wish the Oscars would award more ambitious films (The Reader is a good start). They don't have to be films I love, but hey that sure helps.

    The show is certainly not there to validate my opinion (I feel quite strongly about it already thankyou very much). What do you suggest, that I think they should award films I think are pretty middle of the road or less than ambitious?

  14. It's frustrating to me that general audiences are so narrow minded. I get that more people chew bubble gum than eat caviar. It doesn't have to be a total merritocracy and the average art film is really not better than the average blockbuster. But it really seems like audiences are openly hostile towards quality and entertainment. They love transformers but refuse to see grindhouse? They go out to paul blart but be kind rewind can't break even? It seems to me like they've landed here some shit-loving bizarro world.

    I guess that's sort of the same thing as wishing award shows picked different movies.

  15. ^the worst roommate i ever had was looking for a comedy to watch. i suggested Clerks because it has dick and fart jokes.

    he looked at the box and said "Black and white? no thanks."

  16. Rusty – Agreed there. But we keep trying don't we? I will keep screening good flicks at my place, and recommending things that people simply don't know about, and will continue to alienated the mainstream with smackdowns of garbage like Transformers, Indy IV and arthouse wetblankets like The English Patient and Slumdog Millionaire. And If I can get one person to pick up LET THE RIGHT ONE IN because they are caught up in the Twilight-'Zone' (i.e. fad/mania/etc.) Then I am happy.

    Goon – Curiously, I have a lot of friends who really didn't like Clerks. I simply don't understand it. The movie is solid, solid stuff. I can see folks returning Todd Solodnz flicks saying it wasn't their cup of tea, but it is baffling that 30-somethings (+/- a couple years) wouldn't dig Dante & Randall. Ditto on Clerks II, which is pretty swell also, not the least of which due to the addition of one Ms. Rosario Dawson.

  17. No, I wish the Oscars would award more ambitious films (The Reader is a good start).

    And now Kurt is claiming blatant Oscar bait is ambitious. Yikes. If forced to choose between Jay Cheel's Taking of Pelham One Two Three and Kurt Halfyard's The Reader, give me Pelham. It may be shit but at least it ain't trying to tell you it doesn't stink.

  18. Kurt, you are so self-owned

    start at 15:45

    Kurt Halfyard –

    "Heres the thing about Slumdog Millionaire: I liked the movie! I really did."

    You go on to complain about the love story and that you weren't moved by it, and praise a number of other things about it.

    Over time its gone from this overall like of it, with reservations, into claiming its not even good.

    I wonder if all the awards and having to be a dissenter against so much praise has made you focus on only your negatives. We were in the car coming home from The Class and dissing on Slumdog, and Kurt said no, he hates Slumdog, and I said "I thought you liked it", and he insisted. I took his word for it…but I just had to look today after hearing this again…

    …and there it is. Sorry Kurt, but yeah, it seems without even seeing it again you've talked yourself into a full on hater. Before you go on a big Slumdog rampage again, maybe get a bit more in touch with what made you say you liked it 7 episodes ago, so you're not in a defensive angry position if you ever watch it again that will prevent you from a sober take.

  19. Yeah, Death Proof is one of those movies I'm constantly finding myself defending. It's annoying that people don't appreciate the skill behind it. But I'm not as baffled by that as the fact they won't even go see it in the theater!

    while we're on the topic; people wont see a movie unless there's a trailer that spells out the movie beat for beat and the first 7 min are available online. It's like audiences dread the possiblity of being surprised in a movie theater.

  20. Lookit the time difference between kurt's post and Goon's. He was ready to go with that shit, episode, time stamp and exact quote.

    Goon, I'm gonna call you Falcon from now on, cause yer so on the ready to swoop in.

  21. Clerks is way too boring. I guess maybe it was the first actual movie to celebrate fanboys? I can think of no other reason that would have made it popular, the story, acting, cinematography, writing and directing is horrible.

    Death Proof is good stuff for an adrenaline pump. Just fast-forward the points where the conversation is actually ABOUT nothing (the debate of wether or not she's going to flagpole, does anybody know why this debate is in there?), and enjoy the rest of the conversations.

    Rusty, it's just a case of wishing for a world that isn't full of idiots and greedy morons. It would be a nicer world if The Wrestler got recognized in the fucking country that it got made, and we all want a nicer world.

  22. The reader may be OSCAR Bait, but it is also (accident or not) a very interesting and smart film about guilt and shame and the lengths people will go to hide both.


    Er, or are we talking about the Tony Scott version. Not so sure on that one.

  23. Goon – On the Slumdog Millionaire thing. Movies and my opinions of the are constantly evolving. What I left the theatre with after Slumdog was a like of some things and a flatness of others. The flatness has grown on in hindsight (I recall the conversation after THE CLASS screening and you calling me out then face to face) Down the road for that film the more it sinks in (or evaporates wispy-like away!).

    Perhaps your interpretations of my reaction, or even my reaction at that moment were one thing, but hey. I've seen Fellini's "8 1/2" 4 times over the years, and the film is quite a different experience each time. I flip and I flop on Eyes Wide Shut going from boredom to awesomeness. I revisited the original THE HITCHER some time ago and realized just how damn sloppy that film is, not at all what my memory was of it. And on a closer side of things, a screening of CASTAWAY, I came out slightly on the 'like it' side until a conversation with my wife on it home in the car made me realize the film really had little going on at all, and that it was kind of a waste of time.

    I'm not going to apologize for evolving my tastes (even as films further sink in without watching them again). That is what people that watch movies do.

    And for the record, I guess I don't 'hate' the film as much as is apparent to you. (Oscar Snark can spill over -> take Shakespeare in Love for example…Entertaining turned to HOW THE FUCK? when it won the award). There are still parts of the film that I like, but as a whole, the film is a fair bit of a weaker somewhat copy-cat effort (City of God, Forest Gump, Two uses of M.I.A.'s Paper Planes etc.)

    Hope that clarifies my inconsistency.

  24. on Clerks – The dialogue is so much fun, it is easy (well easier than Juno) to forgive the somewhat written dialogue, static camera work and dodgy acting. In 1994 that film came out of nowhere, and perhaps you are right, the first honest-to-goodness fanboy film, even if Smith is somewhat above the simply label of Fanboy. I dig all of his films up to Dogma. After that He kinda lost me to indifference. I'll see Zack & Miri at some point, I'm sure. I wish Smith would try to step outside his sandbox a little further than Jersy Girl did.

  25. There's a difference between a car ride home "oh right, that sucked" conversion to mulling over it, writing a huge article about it, and saying you liked it on a podcast, and then over weeks gradually hating it. I mean there has to be some personal focus on the negatives, perhaps the constant reminder of the film because of awards season, that has at least some influence. Someone constantly telling you something else is great has that effect, you can't just move on. Every time lately I'm at a point where i could rip on it a bit, I remember the face of the host, or that one part of Jai Ho where the note goes on and on, and I just can't do it anymore. Not that the criticisms have faded away, but its time to move on until I see it again.

    I think the most similar film for that in my own experience is American Beauty, which gradually I started to think wasn't so great over time, until I basically forced myself to sit down with it again and realized how many little things I loved about it, that there was too much to like for me to turn away from it. I recognized there were things that for my taste I would usually have to apologize for, and just had to accept it worked for me. I wonder if Slumdog may be one of those movies for me.

    Zack and Miri, since you mentioned it, was a complete 'meh' for me that in reverse, I'm growing gradually more fond of over time, and may need a second viewing to remind me that its kinda boring and unfunny for good chunks. I'm mostly justifying wanting to see it again because I really want to watch the making of doc on the DVD. Smith does those very well.


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