Cinecast Episode 406 – Glass Houses

This week is a bit of a struggle. A loving struggle but it took some finagling to make happen. Still, this week there’s (spoiler) love for the surprise “hit” of the summer in Edgerton’s The Gift. There’s a bit of a disagreement with “True Detective,” but that’s going to happen as we’ve seen from week to week. Then there’s some praise for the Amy Winehouse doc, Un-reality TV and the hate for Movie 43 baffles Andrew. Also John Carpenter is seen in a whole new way on the big screen. And surprising no one, Fantastic Four (2015) is the opposite of what its title suggests.

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






The Gift spoilers END @44:00
– more August releases BEGINS @44:45
See comments for more time track listings – thanks to Ultimolee for the extra elbow grease!



Director’s Club Podcast recording Tuesday… Soderbergh!
– Satanic Panic book release in Toronto | Carlton Cinema | Spectacular Optical
– New High and Low Brow podcast! – “Style is Substance”
– “I, Claudis” podcast coming this month to RowThree and Where The Long Tail Ends courtesy of Kurt Halfyard and Nat Almirall (stay tuned!)



The Gift



Season 5



They Live

Fantastic Four

Movie 43
The Year of Living Dangerously



show content


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Nic Pizzolatto’s writing is frustrating and the show’s obvious weakness. He’s got great ideas, but lacks in execution. I think if his writing were more self-aware (like some who are defending season two are arguing it is, but I’m not sure I buy it) it might be a little more forgivable, but his characters and their interactions and the utter silliness of it all was more than a little grating after a couple of episodes. In the first season, it was a little more forgivable, because Rust was the only one waxing poetic and Woody’s character balanced him out, but with three of the four main characters brooding pseudo-poetically throughout the eight episodes (and Taylor Kitsch’s brooding silently), it was a little much.

The last episode was slick… but too little, too late. I felt nothing, which is a shame, because it should have fucked my shit up since it WAS a well done finale… I just didn’t give a shit about any of the characters. Everything leading up to it was so hollow, that all I could do was shrug.

Granted, he’s the one writing for a hit HBO show and I’m commenting on a blog about it. So there’s that.

Andrew James

Cut season 3 down to two main characters and deal with them and their investigation. Trying to cram 4 players into an investigation and deal with all of their (cliche) internal bullshit just won’t work in 60 minutes/week. And you’re right; all four of them are trying to be Rust and supposedly taken seriously. It don’t work.



Re True Detective season 2, I think that Vince Vaughn got better at the end of the season when his ridiculous dialogue petered out. I was actually rooting for him at the end of episode 7.

Then came episode 8. Oh dear. Lots of moments where I thought ‘fcuk me, they’re actually going to do this’ and some moments where I verbalised ‘fcuk me’ at the screen (the first time in my life that I’ve ever done this). The saluting moment comes to mind here.

And the choice of songs. I’m guessing the production team thought that the music will be so meaningful and expressive of the emotion the audience is meant to be feeling at these points, where in reality the song choices came across as corny beyond belief and made the moments they played over a little laughable.

On the plus side I actually wanted Colin Farrell to escape in the forest and Vince Vaughn to make it to safety where he could get help, even though it was blindingly obvious that neither of these things were going to happen. That has to count for something I guess.

Regarding the season as a whole, Farrell was great all the way through, Vaughn was good at the end and it was fun to see Taylor Kitsch equate ‘turgid looking’ and ‘pouty’ with acting.

Two moments sum up the season for me.

When the media is chasing Taylor Kitsch regarding his alleged war crimes, they don’t manage to interview him and just give up, never to be seen again, because that’s what the media does, right?

The second was the big shootout. It was well filmed, no argument there. However, I just cannot accept that people running a meth lab would be so stupid. Meth labs are notorious for blowing up so I’m guessing there was an exit route, especially in a place that size.

However, the criminals, rather than getting away scot-free and starting up their meth lab somewhere else decided to murder police officers and members of the public for no apparent reason. What was the best they thought they could achieve by not running?

This was rendered more ludicrous and unbelievable when it was revealed that they were tipped off to the detectives visit. β€œThat gives us even more time to escape. Fcuk it, let’s just kill lots of people for the heck of it instead.”

Maybe the writers and production team thought what got great press in season 1, the six minute tracking shot at the end of the episode. Let’s put lots of these in this season. Joe and Josephine public will be too dumb to notice that the logic doesn’t make any sense.

Regarding The Brink, totally awesome, brilliantly acted, comedy drama. Thank you Matt Gamble for the recommendation.

I was a bit perplexed by what I thought was the end of the series, until I thought that Matt might have got it wrong and checked IMDB. Thankfully 2 more episodes to go.

PS Ocean’s 12 is an amazing film, the best of the trilogy by a country mile. And I have to check out Movie 43.

Andrew James

Well at least you and Kurt can agree on one thing! Haha!

Re: the music. It starts with the opening theme. That shit would be fine in season one. In this season, it makes me never want to listen to Leonard Cohen again. Thank God for Natural Born Killers right? Every time the girl in the pub starts whining about life, it gets more laughable every time.


I’m still surprised how much hate and snark True Detective Season 2 has received. My only summation would be, how do you take your MACHISMO? Black & bitter like Mann, Mamet, Melville, etc. OR lots of cream and sugar like Tarantino OR light and fluffy like the Fast & Furious films. Personally, light & fluffy is the only one I can’t stand. So when I hear complaints about True Detective like “the dialogue is laughable”, “over-written”, etc., I’m thinking the same exact thing about the Fast & Furious. I have yet to sit down and watch one of them in its entirety.

All I could say is TD S2 is just a hot soup of neo-noir genre that I really enjoyed. It payed homage to Mann, Mamet, Lynch, Chinatown, Heat, LA Confidential, etc. Yes, those directors and films did it better, but like Kurt said this is a tv show aiming for high cinematic drama. I understand some of the public criticism, but I definitely think it’s a bit harsh. The show has big themes and concepts, which are more or less camouflaged by its convoluted plot. Probably intentional. It’s clear to me that the showrunner, Pizzolatto sculpted a self-indulgent, uncompromised piece of work and it just happened to fit my specific tastes. The guy seems to have a reputation as an a-hole behind-the-scenes, which doesn’t help him with critics & bloggers. But with all that said, I’m pretty confident that Season 2 will age well because of all these elements.


It looks like Gamble has revamped the website. It’s definitely much more browser-friendly with loading times now although I miss the former’s charm. Windows Tile inspired? πŸ˜‰

Matt Gamble

I’m not really sure the inspiration is Windows, but I do like tiles. The last theme was a tiled layout as well, this one is just cleaner and more visually appealing IMO. Since our updates aren’t frequent, we can go with a more visually striking look.

For the record, reformatting the preview photos has been a bitch. I doubt I’ll do more than 40 or so.

Andrew James

Just tell them you have a Windows phone and you’re a shill for Microsoft.

Matt Gamble

Could be worse, I could be schilling for Google.

Ultimo Lee

The Gift [SPOILERS] 11:29
more August releases: 44:28
True Detective Season 2: 52:13
The Watch List: 1:07:33
Next Week: 1:53:45
End: 1:59:46
Whatever Kurt’s smoking during True Detective i hope he sends me some. By the end i couldn’t wait for it to be over


I haven’t seen Movie 43, but if Andrew is interested here’s Kermode’s review of it. He even mentions Kentucky Fried Movie.

Andrew James

So Kermode mentions the UK version has kids looking for banned videos on the internet. I suspect the gimmick of Dennis Quaid pitching the movie to Greg Kinnear is much better.

“Everybody involved is clearly ashamed.”
– Mark Kermode

This is so staggeringly incorrect. It’s not even opinion; it’s just wrong. Everyone involved might be ashamed off camera, but onscreen, everyone (everyone) is clearly going for broke. When Emma Stone says “he was a wizard!” that is not paycheck acting. It’s as hilarious as it’s meant to be.


To be fair to Kermode (and trust me he annoys me at times), the next time Gere was on their show they asked him about Movie 43.

Nat Almirall

Andrew, you may not want to listen to the podcasts concurrently with your first-time watch of Claudius. We don’t spoil anything specifically (I don’t think), but we do allude to future episodes, and it really is best (I do think) to proceed blindly into each installment, because much of its power (at least initially) is in blindsiding you.

Also, Kurt and I propose a lot of different theories as to characters’ reasons for particular actions; speculate on the directors’ and writer’s choices; and analyze several recurrent themes we see (which, of course, no one else may) — but those are things we picked up on, and I don’t think either of us would want to narrow your focus to simply what we talk about — or, to paraphrase Levarr Burton, don’t just go by our word, read into it for yourself.

Of course, you can do what you like — I don’t think think listening to each installment after viewing each episode will ruin a first-time watch, but Kurt and I have seen the series many times, have a deep, deep love for it, and treated the project as our own personal marginalia; above all, our aim is to celebrate the series and foster a continuing love for it, and we wouldn’t want to prevent a first-timer’s love from blossoming. (And I don’t mean to sound elitist or condescending, either, I, Claudius is one of the richest series ever broadcast, and there’s a lot more going on than even the stuff we [exhaustively] cover — as I’m sure Robert will let us know in the comments πŸ˜‰

Sean Kelly

Finally got around to listening to this episode and I JUST DO NOT GET Kurt and Matt (and many other people) gushing over THE GIFT.

This is a cliched and vanilla thriller that I consider no different than a Lifetime movie (granted, I’ve never seen any Lifetime movies).

Also, Kurt must be out of his mind to suggest that Jason Bateman get an Oscar nomination for this film. Yes, the role is somewhat against type, but there’s also a scene of him sticking his finger through his pants going “MY WEE WEE!!!” (most pathetic moment about the film).


I caught it last night and enjoyed it, maybe it’s not quite worth the hype but at a time where there’s a lack of low key/restrained adult dramas, it’s good to see a film like this getting a wide release.

It does lose points for the two “cattle prod” jump scares.


Agreed. It’s not 100% perfect, but man it is a breath of fresh air in the multiplex these days.


How back does the RowThree iTunes feed go before things disappear? That I Claudius cast might have just wiped half the feed off the map.

Andrew James

Was set to 25 as even more than ten can “cause feed timeout errors and delay podcast directory listings from updating.” I don’t really think that’s true for us anymore, so I’ll update the feed to show 50. I’m not sure how long it will take for the feed to propogate and actually show 50. It might be immediate or it might take minutes/hours. It might not show at all until we add more episodes.

If there are any problems, I hope people will let me know (I don’t actually have the monstrosity that is iTunes anymore).